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Iraqmire, South Africa and America

The United States isn’t the only country having the life sucked out of it by Iraqmire. The same thing is happening in South Africa.

Thousands of white soldiers and police officers — most of them are veterans of the disgraced apartheid regime — have left their jobs and families to work as contractors in Iraq. This is causing a lot of tension and controversy in South Africa; much more so than in the United States.

South Africa is still recovering from the infamy of being one of the world’s worst police states not too long ago. They’re trying to live down that image. Compare that to the U.S., which seems to get off on being the global tough guy. While the American Powers That Be are doting and swooning over Blackwater, South Africa has a different reaction.

Their current government has drafted a law that would criminalize all South African citizens who are working as contractors in Iraq. Maybe we could learn something from them.

(Yes I know Condoleezza Rice has issued an order cracking down on Blackwater. Those orders can be rescinded just as quickly as they were issued. We’ll see how long this “order” lasts when the cameras have gone.)

The internal tension and embarrassmen t aren’t South Africa’s only problems. South Africa’s security is in jeopardy. Local police departments have been drained by the mass exodus of officers fleeing to Iraq for more money (up to ten times what they were making in South Africa). And most of the country’s special forces trainers are now on the U.S. payroll in Iraq.

The country is being bled dry by the War in Iraq. Sound familiar?


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6 Responses to “Iraqmire, South Africa and America”

  1. The internal tension and embarrassmen t aren’t South Africa’s only problems. South Africa’s security is in jeopardy. Local police departments have been drained by the mass exodus of officers fleeing to Iraq for more money (up to ten times what they were making in South Africa). And most of the country’s special forces trainers are now on the U.S. payroll in Iraq.

    I know the post’s author picked out this gem from the linked article. So I have to ask, where did the moron of a reporter come up with this “analysis”? The article states that the South African government is complaining that its police officers are leaving for Iraq because they aren’t getting paid enough. Whose fault is that? Why aren’t they getting paid more? Isn’t South Africa still one of the leaders in exporting gold, platinum, and diamonds? What are they doing with the earnings received from these mining proceeds?

    One can blame Blackwater for a lot of things, as Ralph Peters did this past Saturday, but not this. If the South African government, and even the U.S. government (which can be fixed fairly quickly; note Peters’ solutions), doesn’t want companies like Blackwater doing what they are doing, then they can pay their people more, as was noted in the piece.

  2. Interesting article. Thanks for the link.

  3. SteveIL, did it ever occur to you that perhaps we shouldn’t have South African mercenaries in Iraq? I mean, whose fault is THAT?

    JMJ

  4. The shame here is that the South African government who cannot pay their citizens enough would disallow them to export their skills to make a better life for their families just because they dislike the war. When citizens leave their home country to make better money, much of that money ends up back in the home they came from. This helps the home countries economy which helps other citizens of that country. As far as South Africa being “bled dry” by Iraq just the opposite is true. They are having to invest practically nothing and are seeing a boost to the economy. Perhaps with the increased revenue they will be able to pay better wages. No one is forcing these men to take the risk and they should be free to provide for their families in any legal means they can. Government should stay out of a very difficult family decision.

  5. JMJ. So you think that contractors in Iraq who are hiring people from around the globe should discriminate against South Africans applying for employment?

  6. No, I’m saying there shouldn’t be ANY F’N FOREIGN CONTRACTERS OVER THERE! Jesus H Christ - Iraq has a 50% unemployment rate!

    JMJ

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