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U.S. Mercenary Chickens Will Come Home to Roost
#990033">A Black Agenda Radio commentary by Glen Ford
Katrina - that harbinger of what a future urban America in crisis will look like - saw hundreds of thugs from Blackwater and other mercenary outfits patrolling the streets of New Orleans - as if they were the legitimate authorities.
The day may not be far off when the New Orleans nightmare becomes a national reality. The specter of mercenary occupation of American cities is no longer farfetched - it has already happened. The logic of permanent domestic mercenary deployment is rooted in the historical fact that the rich created the modern state to protect their wealth, and to harness the nation as a whole to produce more wealth for their benefit. Mercenary armies and police forces put the lie to the pretense that the state serves to protect the general population. As the current corrupt order decays, the rulers find that due process and other niceties of law - including armies operating under codes of military justice and civil service police forces - restrict their freedom of movement. The process of dispensing with the traditional coercive organs of the state in favor of private mercenaries is well advanced in the United States, where the privatization of prisons of all kinds is in full swing.
These are conscious, methodical decisions by the nation's corporate rulers, rather than emergency measures. At some point, the privatization of coercive power becomes irreversible, as seems to have already occurred in the U.S. military.
Despite the many crises caused by Blackwater's lawless behavior in Iraq, the U.S. State Department claims it can't get out of its contract with the outfit until next May - when in reality Washington has no idea how to replace its soldiers of fortune. If privatization of the military and police functions of the American state continues, there will come a time when no U.S. government will be capable of breaking a contract with their hired killers. There will be no one left but mercenaries to enforce the government's will.