Tuesday, June 12, 2007

A true land of opportunity

Where there's death and destruction, there's profit - as security companies in Iraq know only too well

Terry Jones
Tuesday June 12, 2007
The Guardian

"Gordon Brown was in Iraq yesterday on a "fact-finding mission". It needn't all have looked gloomy for the next prime minister, however - not if he did some fact-finding about Blackwater, a North Carolina company that is now one of the most profitable military contractors operating in Iraq, and proves just what a land of opportunity Iraq really is. Blackwater's president, Gary Jackson, acclaimed a "staggering" 600% growth in 2004: "This is a billion-dollar industry," he said, "and Blackwater has only scratched the surface of it." So if Gordon, or any of us, wants to get on this Iraqi gravy train, we could do worse than see how Blackwater goes about it.

First you need your father to leave you a billion dollars or so, as happened to Erik Prince, Blackwater's founder. Then use the money to set up a company that specialises in shooting people. Of course, you say the company's vision is "to support security, peace, freedom and democracy everywhere".......

The families of the four men decided to sue Blackwater to find out why they died - but the company can seek profit even in this situation: last Friday it was announced that Blackwater is suing the dead men's estates for $10m, according to the families' lawyers, "to silence the families and keep them out of court".

So there it is - more ways to make money out of Iraq than you or I would have dreamt of. And companies like Blackwater are showing us the way."

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