New York

Dreadlock in Baghdad

by

Sunday in Iraq
IBC

Here’s a question, raised in 1979 by the mellifluous Mighty Diamonds:

Who’s gonna bodyguard ya, Mr. Bodyguard?

I want to know who.

Thirty years later, the answer’s clear: The Pentagon, that’s who. At best we’ll get the “rogue security contractor” excuse from the Bush regime for Sunday’s cacophonous killing of 11 Iraqis in Baghdad by the North Carolina mercenary army Blackwater.

That excuse has worked before. As I wrote in July 2004, it was used by the Pentagon after the Abu Ghraib tortures came to light. SecDef Don Rumsfeld blamed “rogue” soldiers.

Our memories are short when it comes to the mercenaries employed by the Bush regime. As I pointed out in August 2004, private “interrogators” from CACI were employed by the Pentagon at Abu Ghraib, where all that “fear up” went down.

After this latest incident of privatized violence, we have Blackwater saying its boys were ambushed. Blackwater has 1,000 “troops” in Iraq and guards Ambassador Ryan Crocker. Yes, they guard Crocker, and the administration guards them. Monday’s Washington Post concisely captured the two versions of the latest Blackwater escapade. Here’s the first:

The shooting started at noon on Sunday when a car bomb exploded near a State Department motorcade traveling through the western Mansour neighborhood of Baghdad near Nisoor Square, U.S. officials said. Following the explosion, Blackwater employees guarding the diplomats exchanged fire with armed attackers, Blackwater and U.S. officials said.

The subsequent battle killed at least nine people and wounded 14, Iraqi police and hospital workers said. [An Iraqi official] put the death toll at 11.

Followed by the second version:

“We were shocked when we saw these fighters getting out of their SUVs and shooting randomly at people,” said Sgt. Mohammed Juwad Hussein, an Iraqi army soldier who said he was manning a checkpoint in Baghdad near the scene of the fighting. “We didn’t know who they were targeting or who they wanted to shoot.”

They wanted to shoot them some Ay-rabs, pal. The way I see it, the Mighty Diamonds sang about the possibility of dreadlocked Rastafarians someday making bodyguards pay the price:

One of these days it a go dread (dreader than dread)

Ev’ryone looking a place to hide ’em head (well dread)

But don’t worry, Blackwater bodyguards, the Bush regime will shelter you. Iraq’s citizens are the ones who can’t hide. As of this morning, IBC’s “documented civilian deaths from violence” totals somewhere between 72,596 and 79,187.

Yes, the Blackwater “incident” was notable. But as the IBC “recent events” list notes, on that same Sunday, many other Iraqis died, and not at the hands of American mercenaries, whom our press continues to euphemistically label “contractors” or “bodyguards.”

One of the victims was a 12-year-old boy who was killed in Diwaniya during a raid by U.S. and Iraqi troops, according to news reports assembled by IBC. Wonder what happened there?

In any case, this particular bloody Sunday was predestined. IBC’s list of 38 people who were killed just the day before includes this entry:

Baghdad: car bomb kills 11 outside bakery, Amil; 11 bodies.

And this one:

Karma: 3 bodies.