The Mercenaries Previously Known as Blackwater

First it was Blackwater USA. Then it was Blackwater Worldwide. Now, it's "Xe" (pronounced "Zee"). The private military company has repeatedly tried to re-brand, after numerous controversies from the killing of civilians in Nisoor Square in Baghdad; to its no-bid contracts in Iraq, Afghanistan and New Orleans, post-Katrina; to its hiring troops with ties to repressive regimes, like that of former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet. The company says its latest name change is meant to reflect a new focus. Blackwater / Xe spokesperson Anne Tyrrell said, "We've taken the company to a place where it is no longer accurately described as Blackwater." Its subsidiaries also have new names: Blackwater Airships is now Guardian Flight Systems, Blackwater Target Systems is GSD Manufacturing, and Blackwater Lodge and Training Center is the U.S. Training Center. The company has also shed its famous (or infamous) bear-paw and crosshairs logo. The new head of Blackwater / Xe, Gary Jackson, told employees, "Xe will be a one-stop shopping source for world class services in the fields of security, stability, aviation, training and logistics," reports the Wall Street Journal.

Comments

wouldn't this idea be best served right now, by going after the banks, and the upper- crust of them!?

get a reality check people. the rest of the world is not as peaceful as the one you live in. get out and see what its like then come back and talk about it. if you haven't been there you do not have the faintest idea of what you are talking about.

It's been almost a year.

Oh, right:

If you think we think you think we think you think we think we think you think we think it's peaceful out there, YOU'RE the one who needs a reality check!!!

How many of those guys would have gone over there for the same pay they received in the military. From someone running for Congress in 2010, all I see is overpaid security in a place where one gets paid over 100,000 to wear civilian attire, while the service man or woman next to him or her gets paid a lot smaller percentage. I for one will work to pass a law that does not pay private contractors such as Blackwater or XE or whatever name they come up with next to try and "change their image" from receiving no more than what our men and women in uniform get paid. How many will go then by choice? How many will show up the rodeo then? Taxpayers are tired of paying out billions to idiots that overprice and get contracts from taxpayers without proper and due process. Get all you can XE, it will come to an end.

Semper Fi
1981-1995
USMCDAV

The problem is that such regulation can be circumvented with relatively low costs. Imagine the same partners establishing a new private company, Xe, which then takes over the assets and contracts of Blackwater Worldwide. While the costs may be somewhat higher and the legalities more complex, it could be done without putting a visible dent on profits, and no amount of regulation could force the old name on the new entity.

The only working method - in both cases - is for the other interested parties to always refer to this company as "Xe, formerly known as Blackwater"

Re- Debate by Mutternich and several Anonymous posters that perhaps
some Blackwater mercenaries, "are just trying to support their families in a
lousy economy when they have no better-paying skills."

Reasonable people will differ about the ethics of working
as a mercenary in those circumstances. Moreover, some may be
motivated not only by economic necessity, but also by disinformation.
Don't forget the Feb. 2006 Zogby poll of U.S. military (not Blackwater) troops
in Iraq, in which 85% said the U.S. mission is mainly
"to retaliate for Saddam's role in the 9-11 attacks;"
77% said they also believe the main or a major reason for the war was:
"to stop Saddam from protecting al Qaeda in Iraq."
Some of these naive troops may have signed with Blackwater/Xe,
after their U.S. govt. tour of duty.

I think the important focus should remain on Blackwater/Xe
as a corporate entity, and the type of POWER RELATIONS
used by that entity to succeed economically.

In particular, note the asymmetric POWER RELATIONSHIP between
Blackwater/Xe and its mercenary employees. This is exemplified
in the lawsuit by families of 4 Blackwater mercenaries, who were
improperly equipped, sent into hostile action, killed, and then
had their bodies dragged through the streets of Fallujah.

Maybe these 4 were vicious slimeball sadists; maybe they were
well-meaning chumps, used as "tools of capitalist exploitation".

But the employment contract these mercenaries signed with Blackwater/Xe
was heavily slanted in favor of Blackwater. Hence -- pursuant to the terms
of that contract -- U.S. courts dismissed the lawsuit, and ordered it into
secret arbitration by a panel tilted heavily in favor of Blackwater.

See more details in 5/23/07 Democracy Now article,
"Pivotal Family Lawsuit Against Blackwater USA Blocked from Court—
and Moved to Panel with Company Ties".

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