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Friday, July 01, 2005

Mercenary complains to Fox

How safe is Iraq for them?

Iraq's New War Zone: American vs. American
Thursday, June 30, 2005
By Liza Porteus

NEW YORK ? It's called "blue on white" - American versus American in the war zone that is Iraq (search).

On one side are Americans who have gone to Iraq as private contractors, helping Iraqis and the U.S. military with construction or security while often earning a bigger paycheck than they would have made at home.
On the other side are Americans serving in the U.S. military- soldiers and Marines who earn less money and whose primary responsibility is fighting a violent insurgency and stabilizing the Iraqi government.

But until Tuesday, he was afraid he would find himself in the area known as the "Red Zone" ? areas outside the fortified Green Zone, also known as the "international zone, (IZ)" which houses many coalition and Iraqi government buildings - where the military cannot guarantee one's safety.

As he wrestled with the prospect of being evicted from his fairly safe work and living space, Peters said he was appalled at the treatment he received from a U.S. Army officer by the name of Lt. Col. Mike Casey who, according to military officials, has been aiding the Iraqi police in enforcing evictions of illegitimate tenants.

"It was one of those situations that blew me away ... he was very, very angered over American contractors," Peters told in a phone interview from Baghdad last Friday.
He signed what he thought was a legitimate rental agreement with the Iraqi owner of the apartment, which is in a building of mostly former Iraqi Republican Guard soldiers. He paid the presumed Iraqi owner $10,000 for the space and spent another $3,000 on furniture.

But when he arrived at the apartment on June 3, the Iraqi police told them to vacate the area. An American police consultant at a nearby Iraqi police station recommended Peters call Casey for help.
According to Peters, when he called Casey the next day, help was the last thing he received.

"If I had to put it in a word, he was vicious," Peters told, referring to his first conversation with the officer. "The guy came back really strong and made it very, very clear that he absolutely wanted me out of there, that the whole thrust of why I was over here was to make money."
Leaving the Green Zone

Peters was given until Thursday by the Iraqi government to vacate the IZ apartment. He left two days early, moving Tuesday to an area near the Baghdad Airport out of fear for his own security if he stayed any longer in the Green Zone.

He obtained space in a trailer to both live and work near the airport through an associate. But this move is a temporary one ? Peters has 30 days to find a new arrangement.

Peters said it's not so much the eviction but the handling of it by a fellow countryman that gets to him.

"I put 20 years in, I was on the SEAL team ... I've been in Vietnam, Panama, been here, spent a month in Afghanistan," Peters said. "Out of all my experiences in my entire life, I've never, ever, ever had an Army or any military individual treat an American or ever heard of them treating an American like that.

"What I heard him say was enough to make me realize this isn't the way America wants to portray itself ... we're all Americans, we're in the same war, we're all fighting for the same cause."

He added: "I don't have a vindictive stance. United we stand, united we fall ... this is so wrong, it's unbelievable. It very well could have cost me my life ? we need to stick together as a nation, this is too important."

Look, the guy did his service, which is fine, but when he signed up with Blackwater, he joined the mercenary team, a team which can get Americans killed. He spent more on his apartment than an infantry private, who patrols the Red Zone, which is actually all of Iraq, makes in six months. You think Casey gives a shit if he didn't like being evicted? What are they going to do, send him to Iraq?

Here's a hint Mr. Peters, he's not the only one who hates contractors.

And more importantly, you aren't fighting the same war. You chose to become a mercenary and make money from other people's misery, so why do you expect the Army to help you keep an illegal rental.

I love the Fox spin, like the Colonel is in the wrong. I don't thik so. Mercenaries have no rights under the laws of war. The colonel is under no obligation to help a rich mercenary live in safety. If Iraq is too dangerous for him, he has the option that every 11B would love to have. He can go home. The Colonel can't, the MP's manning the guardposts can't. The Trauma nurses can't. But he can go home at any time of his choosing.

posted by Steve @ 2:40:00 AM

2:40:00 AM

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