The college where I work runs a small Internet café, and people from Tala and the surrounding areas come to browse the net. I always see people checking their e-mail, browsing Facebook, etc, but about once a month I see someone applying for military contracting jobs with companies like Blackwater and KBR. I don’t know whether I’m more disturbed that Kenyans are applying to go make money murdering people in Iraq, or the fact that United States companies are hiring people from developing countries to fight their battles.
These guys never even ask for help. They just come sit on the computer and go right to where they’re going. It’s like the word on the street is that you can get rich quick if you go to Iraq. Most of this stuff happened during the Bush era, so I don’t even know if these companies are even hiring anymore. I do know that at one time there were more private military contractors in Iraq than actual US Army dudes. Like 180,000 of them or something. Private militaries! Are you kidding me? These companies have their own helicopters, tanks, armored cars, guns, etc… it’s ridiculous. Just go google around and you’ll see stories talking about stuff like how, for example, Blackwater mercenaries are better-equipped and better-paid than US Army troops. Not to mention they have zero accountability (who does a private contractor take orders from?).
The sad thing is, the guy browsing on our computer is most likely just some guy trying to feed his family. He’s probably a nice guy… but does he have any idea about what he’s fighting for? Is he fighting to defend freedom and the American way of life (2.5 kids, a dog, white picket fence, etc)? Does he have any idea why the US thinks those people are “terrorists?” I think we’d be fooling ourselves to say we stand for something; it’s more likely that we’re all just trying to get filthy, stinking rich. At least a hundred thousand Iraqis have died, and for what? Some dudes are getting rich and some other dudes are paying the price with their life! I guess you just gotta hope that you’re on the right side of the barrel when the gun goes off, eh?