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The media and the numbers

by metavision Tue Jun 5th, 2007 at 09:34:24 AM EST

In the past week I have seen two articles about Iraq contractors with very different numbers that cannot be reconciled.  Few countries besides the US and UK have been "selected" for the contracts and I don´t believe there are "scores of companies" involved if we consider the sub-sub-contract schemes.

So who´s counting?  And who´s believing?

Common Dreams (from Reuters)
Lawsuit in Outsourced US War is Moved Out of Court

....Blackwater Security Consulting, one of scores of companies now fielding close to 130,000 civilians who work alongside the U.S. military in Iraq.

(The first comment regarding activism, ends with "The streets are empty, the shops are full..."!)

vs. Magnifico´s

The Independent:  Security staff who make up a private army in Iraq

There are 44,000 private security contractors in Iraq, forming what the US Senate dubbed the "largest private army in the world".

The difference is staggering and I have read a figure of 120,000 in the US press before, so I tend to believe the higher number.  That would give us an almost 1:1 ratio of contractors to soldiers, before the "surge".

*What kind of an army cannot feed, clothe, supply, maintain or secure itself?  The contracts include everything from the "housekeeping slaves" from poor countries, to all "security" types.  This is a brand new, invented "demand" in the market that must count as "economic growth" in all the typical numbers.  Just recycling the "redeployment" numbers in both armies every 3-6... months and publishing them at the right dates, makes me see the employment numbers as the tale they are.

*Is the neocon, oil-adjunct, industry-of-fear equal to the (neocon) army?  It´s a neocon´s win-win dream to control the oil by 1)letting the country pay with lives, costs, debt and internal neglect, 2)while profiting from the invented private army, which 3)will continue to grow with the neocon-controlled msm that parrots fear and hatred everyday across the globe.

*What´s the point of NATO trying to hold the mess of two neocon armies in an illegal war?  And the neocons have the nerve to ask for more troops from the EU...  Free troops, no contracts, because the EU is still sucking its thumb.

I believe chosen pieces of the worst I see in the msm and all adds up to profit for the neocons, regardless of the issue I read about.  I hope nobody will kid themselves about any positive motive in the neocon montsters´ minds.

The "serious" press is not even good at copying the right numbers.

I have previously had the impression that the numbers reflect two different things:

140,000 is the rough number of civilian contractors in Iraq, engaged in all sorts of activities, from catering through infrastructure to communications, etc.

40,000 is roughly the number who are there as gun-toting backup to the Army, who participate in fighting and the training of Iraqi security forces.

But I can't find the article I got that impression from, so maybe I just constructed that idea in the back of my mind. I'll google around a bit and see if anything pops up.

by Metatone (metatone [a|t] gmail (dot) com) on Tue Jun 5th, 2007 at 09:49:25 AM EST
That was my guess as well. As far as contractors go, I seem to remember that there is a Canadian company or two supplying the tools of the trade in Iraq.

Ok - this looks like a list of Canadian Contractors that are supplying the Iraq war:


Active Gear Company Canada Ltd:
Advanced Composite Structures
Aircraft Appliances and Equipment
Alliedsignal Aerospace Canada
Array Systems Computing Inc.
ATI Technologies
Atlantis Systems International
AWSM Enterprises


You get the picture. There are 92 of them.  Here's the chart http://coat.ncf.ca/our_magazine/links/52/52-50-51.pdf

Bring them home. Charge them with war crimes.

aspiring to genteel poverty

by edwin (eeeeeeee222222rrrrreeeeeaaaaadddddd@@@@yyyyaaaaaaa) on Tue Jun 5th, 2007 at 05:56:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Right now I only remember one Canadian, GardWorld, from recent news and it is not on the list, so it is hard to tell which ones are really in Iraq and under what military or commercial machinations they operate.  My guess is that there are not that many because the majors would lose control on the ground having too many independents to supervise.

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.
by metavision on Wed Jun 6th, 2007 at 08:27:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I cannot begin to imagine the reality of Iraqis:  

A foreign army has occupied and destroyed my country, killing people in their way and in addition they bring in the same amount of lawless mercenaries to do their bidding, while millions escape or live in terror.  What would I do if it were my country?

Our knowledge has surpassed our wisdom. -Charu Saxena.

by metavision on Wed Jun 6th, 2007 at 08:18:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
cross-post, open thread

The difference between theory and practise in practise ...
by DeAnander (de_at_daclarke_dot_org) on Tue Jun 5th, 2007 at 06:58:21 PM EST

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