|Mar 20, 2007
White Hot Rage
I HAVE LONG suspected that Blackwater Security and L. Paul Bremer (what's his nickname? Scooter? Pookie?) were responsible for the insurgency in Iraq and subsequently the death of my son, Casey. I am reading Jeremy Scahill's new book: Blackwater and it is doing nothing to decrease my suspicions, only confirm them.
Bremer arrived in Iraq in 2003 to oversee reconstruction and the occupation as the Assistant Fuhrer to BushCo and the war profiteers. He surrounded himself with a virtual small army ("Praetorian Guard", as Scahill calls them) of Blackwater security personnel; two helicopters; armored humvees; and armored SUVs. He traveled from place to place heavily guarded, as a hated, marked man, while Casey (a motor pool driver and mechanic) was sent to do battle in the back of a wide open trailer.
Bremer's devastating "Orders" disbanding the Republican Guard…causing 400,000 former armed soldiers to hate and target the US; he began de-Baathification which let go myriads of professionals who could help with putting the Bush-torn country back together and the mere fact he slunk out of the country, secretly, under the cover of darkness with almost 9 billion reconstruction dollars missing only increased Iraqi hatred of Americans.
So Punky Bremer, or whatever they call him, is awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for totally making FUBAR of the occupation and escalating an insurgency by allowing Blackwater to run rampant over the citizens of Iraq. In one horrible instance, a Blackwater employee brags about using a bullet that can pierce through armor, but when it gets into a body it explodes and does horrible damage. He was really proud of himself when he shot someone in the ass who died from internal injuries. Blackwater agents randomly kill innocent Iraqis with impunity because Bremer also issued an order that they could not be held accountable for killing innocent Iraqis, unlike our soldiers who are subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
So, on March 31st, 2004, the residents of Fallujah, who were already mad at America for a "stray" bomb during the first Gulf War that missed a bridge and hit an apartment complex, killing and injuring dozens of residents, were already fed up with the oppressive occupation of Iraq, Buster Bremer and Blackwater, who strut around like cocks of the walk with their Oakley sunglasses and sub-machine guns. On that fateful day, four security agents were killed, burned and hung from a bridge in Fallujah. I don't condone or support those killings and my heart aches for their families…and for the families of Fallujah who have been devastated (time and again) by Bush and his cronies. On that day, Sporty Bremer instituted oppressive measures against the Fallujans and Moqtada al-Sadr called for ambushes on American soldiers. That's as far as I have gotten in the book…
Enter Spc. Casey Sheehan. On the fateful day of March 31st, he began a letter to us, because he finally knew where we could write to him. He never finished the letter or sent it to us. We got it back with his "personal effects" from Iraq. He said that they had an uneventful convoy to Baghdad from Kuwait and that they were looking forward to a pretty "smooth year" because "only two" soldiers from the unit that they were replacing were killed the previous year. He also said something that broke my heart and will haunt me until I die.
He called me from Kuwait one day before his unit convoyed to Iraq. It was about noon his time and after midnight our time. I was thrilled to hear his voice and I would have kept him talking forever if I knew it was the last time I would hear from him. But in his letter, he expressed his doubts that I would remember the conversation because I was half asleep. How could my boy think I would forget that he called me? I am forgetting what his voice sounded like. I am forgetting what he smelled like. I am forgetting how smooth his cheeks felt when I kissed him. I will never forget his last call or what he looked like in his coffin, though, after I have forgotten many other things.
Anyway, on April 04, 2004, his unit got the call that some soldiers had been trapped in one of the insurgent's ambushes. Casey's sergeant was told to put together a Quick Response Force to go help them. There was no room in the back of that open trailer for Casey, but he made a private get out, pulling rank on him. His sergeant. told him: "Sheehan you don't have to go." "Where my sergeant goes, I go," Casey replied. Well, Casey and 6 other soldiers…5 from the first Cavalry like Casey, and one, Michael Mitchell from the First Armored Division who only had one week left in Iraq were killed in an ambush on the way to rescue the other soldiers that were ambushed. Eight soldiers were killed that day in Baghdad, and from reports I have heard from two un-embedded reporters that were there: scores of innocent Iraqis were killed in a First Cavalry bloodbath retaliation.
Some people accuse me of being "angry." I just want to say, I am not "angry," I am filled with a white-hot rage that my first born is dead. My courageous, sweet, honorable, honest, funny, irreplaceable Casey is dead so companies like Blackwater, Halliburton, KBR, Exxon, Raytheon, etc can rape the American taxpayers. But can it be rape when the partner is willing?
I am outraged that Congress expediently buys into Bush's evil rhetoric that voting to cut off the funding will not be supporting the troops! THE TROOPS AREN'T GETTING THE MONEY! Blackwater security agents make more in two days in Iraq than our troops do in a month. Blackwater security agents are better equipped and armored than our troops. Our troops are dying guarding pipelines and Halliburton convoys.
I am angry for 3200 other wonderful lives cut short like Casey's and I am angry that hundreds of thousands of Iraqis are dead, because L. Paul did his job of increasing the insurgency well and was rewarded handsomely for it.
The people who say I am angry are correct. I am also angry that there is not sufficient fury in this country to get our citizens to demand that Congress pull back the money from the war profiteers and bring our troops home.
I am especially enraged that BushCo are still in power: reigning free to commit any crimes impervious to all slings and arrows. I am sick of waiting for the time when BushCo's "Get out of jail free" card expires.
When will the nightmare end?
I suspect never, as long as the Military Industrial Complex is running roughshod over every branch of our government with the silent complicity of the American public.