There seems to be no getting away from the Blackwater story

I arrived in the U.A.E. last weekend to investigate the possibility of opening an office here to make it easier for clients with needs in the region. By all accounts, the economic growth in places like Dubai and Abu Dhabi is quite impressive. I was attending a CEO club dinner in Dubai on Monday night when an ex-patriate businessman asked me how we were different from Blackwater.

It was both a good and bad question to be asked, thousands of miles from home. If you believe the old adage: “there’s no such thing as bad publicity”, you might think that Blackwater is benefitting from all of the publicity. However, I could see in this man’s face that he had his own views about that company and I did not get the feeling that they were very supportive.

Then I remembered making a mental note of a headline I had read just before I left but did not have the time to write about it. The headline read; “U.S. offers cash to victims in Blackwater incident”. As far as I am concerned this is the last straw. Apparently the U.S. embassy has seen fit to offer sums of $12,500 to the mourning families. Firstly, this is of course a paltry amount by any standards. What I want to know is: why is the U.S. embassy taking it upon themselves to use tax payer’s money when the company in the middle of all of this has profited by hundreds of millions of dollars in Iraq?

Why should we, as tax payers, suffer when we did not profit or do anything wrong? It would have cost the owner of the company nothing to have issued an apology and it could have been done in a way so as not to appear as if he was accepting blame. Although I think there is very little chance of that happening unless he hires some some high-powered PR firm and they convince him that it is good for his reputation and business. Another step he could have taken would be to offer the families an interim payment to help them bury their relatives and ease the burden on the surviving family members. Maybe then the people over there would not hate Americans as much as they must do now.

I for one do not agree with subsidizing Eric Prince’s company as they reap huge financial rewards. I do not know how many people are aware of this development (that only made it on to page 19 of the Washington Post) but I think all tax payers should speak out and let the Government know that we do not want to be taken for fools.

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  1. Maud says:

    What a joy to find such clear thniikng. Thanks for posting!

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