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Private armies in Iraq


Derek McMillan
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The story on Channel 4 News this evening about private security firms in Iraq make one wonder whether the British death toll is being disguised. They showed the grieving family of one soldier who will get no military funeral because he signed up with a private army in Iraq.

They also quoted from one security man who was hired to protect American soldiers. I will repeat that. hired to protect American soldiers and derided their lack of security consciousness concluding "If they get killed by a roadside bomb they will have nobody but themselves to blame." For someone employed to protect them I have to say this is probably not an attitude his employer would want made public.

Moreover the idea that the American army need to be protected by security guards does nothing for their macho image.

The fact that private soldiers, who will get no flag-draped coffins going home are very convenient for Bush and Blair.

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The story on Channel 4 News this evening about private security firms in Iraq make one wonder whether the British death toll is being disguised. They showed the grieving family of one soldier who will get no military funeral because he signed up with a private army in Iraq.

They also quoted from one security man who was hired to protect American soldiers. I will repeat that. hired to protect American soldiers and derided their lack of security consciousness concluding "If they get killed by a roadside bomb they will have nobody but themselves to blame." For someone employed to protect them I have to say this is probably not an attitude his employer would want made public.

Moreover the idea that the American army need to be protected by security guards does nothing for their macho image.

The fact that private soldiers, who will get no flag-draped coffins going home are very convenient for Bush and Blair.

Yes I saw this report. Apparently, so far at least 662 contract workers have been killed in Iraq. Most months, more UK contract workers are killed than soldiers. It seems that they are more in the front-line than the military. A bit like the way the Romans used their auxilleries in front of their citizen army.

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