BRANDOLAND: Talking to God...For You!

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Merc-O-Rama

"Outsourcing" has gone to the next level.

Worry Grows as Foreigners Flock to Iraq's Risky Jobs

Once again...the mainstream media comes up with a bullshit headline.

The REAL headline? "Foreign Mercs working in Iraq...for US COMPANIES"

On your dime.
WASHINGTON — For hire: more than 1,000 U.S.-trained former soldiers and police officers from Colombia. Combat-hardened, experienced in fighting insurgents and ready for duty in Iraq.

This eye-popping advertisement recently appeared on an Iraq jobs website, posted by an AMERICAN ENTREPRENEUR who hopes to supply SECURITY FORCES for U.S. contractors in Iraq and elsewhere.
"Security Forces" = Mercs.
If hired, the Colombians would join a swelling population of heavily armed private military forces working in Iraq and other global hot spots. They also would join a growing corps of WORKERS from the developing world who are seeking higher wages in dangerous jobs, what some critics say is a troubling result of efforts by the U.S. to "OUTSOURCE" its operations in Iraq and other countries.

In a telephone interview from Colombia, the entrepreneur, Jeffrey Shippy, said he saw a booming global demand for his "PRIVATE ARMY," and a lLUCRATIVE BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY in recruiting Colombians.

Shippy, who formerly worked for DynCorp International, a major U.S. security contractor, said the Colombians were willing to work for $2,500 to $5,000 a month, compared with perhaps $10,000 or more for Americans.
The "American Entrepreneur" says that - the Colombians - are willing to do the same job - as the American Mercs -at a quarter of the cost.

Outsourcing 101.

Who pays the "American Entrepreneur?"

Uncle Sam...and YOU.

(Quick note: I'd like to remind you - that Cheney & Rumsfeld - have been working on the PRIVATIZATION of the military - since the NIXON Administration. Meaning - they've been trying to create business opportunities - within the miltary - for their peeps - for over 30 years. And here we are.)
But where Shippy sees opportunity, others see trouble.

Rep. Jan Schakowsky, an Illinois Democrat, worries that U.S. government contractors are hiring thousands of impoverished former military personnel, with no public scrutiny, little accountability and large hidden costs to taxpayers.
No. You're kidding? That's impossible.
The United States has spent more than $4 billion since 2000 on Plan Colombia, a counter-terrorism and counter-narcotics program that includes training and support for the Colombian police and military. Last month, Congress moved toward approval of an additional $734.5 million in aid to the Andean region in 2006, most of it for Colombia.

"We're training foreign nationals … who then take that training and market it to private companies, who pay them three or four times as much as we're paying soldiers," Schakowsky said.

"American taxpayers are paying for the training of those Colombian soldiers," she said. "When they leave to take more lucrative jobs, perhaps with an American military contractor … they take that training with them. So then we're paying to train that person's replacement. And then we're paying the bill to the private military contractors.
Do the math.

God, are these people good.
An estimated 20,000 Iraqis and about 6,000 non-Iraqis work in private security in Iraq, said Doug Brooks, president of International Peace Operations Assn., a trade group representing the burgeoning industry.

Security accounts for as much as 25% of reconstruction costs in Iraq, eating a substantial portion of an $18.4-billion rebuilding package funded by the U.S.
"Private Security": A Good Gig If You Can Get It!

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Hey, have we found that missing $8-9 BILLION yet?
The reports are difficult to verify because many large companies, including DynCorp, which is based in TEXAS and operates in 40 countries, have policies against speaking to the media. Gary Jackson, president of Blackwater USA, said he had no comment.
Just LOVE IT when TEXAS comes up in a story like this.
Shippy, an Air Force veteran whose work for private military contractors has included stints in Saudi Arabia, Ecuador and Iraq, extolled the Colombians' virtues.

"These forces have been fighting terrorists the last 41 years," he wrote in his web posting seeking work. "These troops have been trained by the U.S. Navy SEALs and the U.S. [Drug Enforcement Administration] to conduct counter-drug/counter-terror ops in the jungles and rivers of Colombia."
That's...an interesting take on history.

Terrorist: ter-ror-ist (n) 1. Someone who threatens the profit of a US company. 2. Anyone on the other end of a "freedom-loving" gun.
Colombians who have completed their military service are entitled to seek higher-paying private-sector jobs when their stints are up, as are U.S. soldiers, he said.

"What's wrong with them using their skills, their know-how in Iraq?" asked David Spencer, a Washington-based security consultant who has spent nine years working in Colombia.

"It's good for the Colombian because he makes more money than he could make in Colombia, and it's good for the [U.S.] contractor because he has to pay less than he'd pay an American."
Outsourcing 101.

"It's good for the Colombian because he makes more money than he could make in Colombia, and it's good for the [U.S.] contractor because he has to pay less than he'd pay an American."

Jeans. Light-bulbs. Mercs.

Awesome.

You're paying for it. Don't forget that.
Shippy said he had been in business for only three months and had yet to land a contract for the Colombians.

He said he was interested in recruiting only Colombians who had been thoroughly vetted for criminal or human rights problems, to work for companies with U.S GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS.

Shippy said a trip to Baghdad had convinced him there was plenty of opportunity.

"THE U.S STATE DEPARTMENT IS VERY INTERESTED IN SAVING MONEY ON SECURITY NOW," Shippy said. "Because they're driving the prices down, we're seeking Third World people to fill the positions."
Good for you.

"That's the business of war, man."

Yep.

Dick and Don have made a lot of people...a lot of money.

My head hurts.

More later...

BTW. The average Iraqi sees NO DIFFERENCE between a dude in Army issued-fatigues and a dude in "private security" gear. Methinks some of the mercs...are making it tough for the "non-private" forces in Iraq, i.e. our soldiers. And that ain't right.

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Off to start my own private security firm.

"There's gold in them 'thar hills!"

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