When I saw the headline and the lead of the story that said one Blackwater security guard got a life sentence and three others 30 years for killing Iraqi civilians I had mixed emotions — at first.
I mean I detest the fact that the U.S. (my country) hired private mercenaries at higher pay than army soldiers and that the firm got the job because its founder contributed to the Republican Party, the party of the president who pushed us into a war of choice (his choice), but on the other hand this was war, and bad, ugly things happen in war. And could regular soldiers be prosecuted in similar circumstances?
But then I read some of the details. I mean I was not there. I only know what I read. But it seems as if these security guards got way too carried away and indeed thought there was no law for them.
And American soldiers have been prosecuted for wrongful deaths in war in Iraq, I recall.
It kind of reminds me of the infamous My Lai Massacre in Vietnam.
We go into a country ostensibly to help the people of that country. But those we send to fight get confused and the native people become the enemy.
Those security guards killed innocent civilians and in the process bolstered the message of the terrorists that Americans are the enemy.
Those sent to help fight the war on terror had become terrorists themselves.