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Monday, September 24, 2007

Shot By Both Sides: Iraqi autonomy tarred by Blackwater

The diplomatic sniping continues between Iraq's prime minister and the Bush administration over Blackwater's alleged shooting of 11 innocent Iraqi civilians (see Maliki insists Blackwater must pay for shootings from Guardian Unlimited). The company and its Bushie backers are insistent that its employees did nothing wrong in the incident, but Nuri al-Maliki isn't buying it and that's bringing the cloak and dagger mercenary operation into the light of public scrutiny.

Through the war's PR machine, we're told that Iraq would descend into chaos without Blackwater's hired guns. For poor suffering Iraqis, however, everyday life is already pretty mayhem-filled under Blackwater's for-profit watch. That's because the beneficiaries of their services are not Iraqi citizens, but those wealthy foreigners trying to open the country up to Western speculative forces.

The security firm operates outside the Iraqi government's control and its presence in the country raises real questions about Iraq's level of autonomy. Maliki can't punish Blackwater in any real way no matter how guilty they are, and they're not leaving until the mission is accomplished, or rather their contract runs out. Private armies operate a little differently than public ones, and these Bush approved non-state combatants serve the true master behind this war — the interests of global capital.

We're constantly told that our troops need to remain overseas until Iraq can take care of itself, but it's beginning to look like it was never the U.S. intention to grant the Iraqis complete independence. Weren't the Iraqi people supposed to benefit from all of that oil revenue after the war too? Hasn't worked out as Bush described it, has it?

Caught between streams of projectiles launched by the opposing external forces occupying the country, Iraqis must be wondering what secret understandings have been reached about their future. Joining in the bullet-themed barrage, I'll fire off this Magazine tune, metaphorically capturing the Iraqis' plight.

Shot By Both Sides
by Magazine

This and that, they must be the same
What is legal is just what's real
What I'm given to understand
Is exactly what I steal

I wormed my way into the heart of the crowd
I wormed my way into the heart of the crowd
I was shocked to find what was allowed
I didn't lose myself in the crowd

Shot by both sides
On the run to the outside of everything
Shot by both sides
They must have come to a secret understanding

New offenses always in my nerves
They're taking my time by force
They have to rewrite all the books again
As a matter of course

I wormed my way into the heart of the crowd
I wormed my way into the heart of the crowd
I was shocked to find what was allowed
I didn't lose myself in the crowd

Shot by both sides
On the run to the outside of everything
Shot by both sides
They must have come to a secret understanding

'Why are you so edgy, Kid?'
Asks the man with the voice
One thing follows another
You live and learn, you have no choice

I wormed my way into the heart of the crowd
I wormed my way into the heart of the crowd
I was shocked to find what was allowed
I didn't lose myself in the crowd

Shot by both sides
I don't ask who's doing the shooting
Shot by both sides
We must have come to a secret understanding
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