Another name for mercenary is ‘murderer’

Erik Prince, owner of the “shoot first and make excuses later” group of mercenaries called Blackwater Worldwide (formerly known as Blackwater USA) claims calling his collection of hired killers “mercenaries” is a “slanderous term.”

I don’t know if it is possible to slander a slimeball like Erik Prince. A soldier of fortune who built his empire with his daddy’s money, Prince is just another killer for hire.

He’s also dumb as a stump when it comes to American history.

As Evan Thomas and Mark Hosenball report in Newsweek:

Erik Prince likes to point out that in Lafayette Park, across from the White House, stand the statues of four military officers who helped whip the ragtag Continental Army into shape to defeat the British in the Revolutionary War. Prince can quote the inscription under the statue of Gen. Wilhelm von Steuben, who trained George Washington’s troops at Valley Forge, Pa.: “He gave military training and discipline to the citizen soldiers who achieved the independence of the United States.” The private soldiers employed by Prince’s company, Blackwater USA, to protect American officials in Iraq are in a “noble tradition,” Prince tells NEWSWEEK. Indeed, at Blackwater, Lafayette Park is jokingly called “Contractor Park.”

But don’t call the Blackwater men “mercenaries.” That’s a “slanderous term” used by Blackwater’s detractors, “an inflammatory word they use to malign us,” says Prince. Mercenaries, he says, are professional soldiers who work for a foreign government. Blackwater’s men are “Americans working for the American government.” (Never mind that von Steuben was Prussian, and that the other three statues-of the Marquis de Lafayette, Comte de Rochambeau and Thaddeus Kosciuszko-honor two Frenchmen and a Pole.)

But dumb or not, Prince is more than just another right-wing kook with a lot of guns and a no-bid government contract to kill at will. Jeremy Scahill, author of the book Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army, told Newsweek that Prince is a “neo-crusader,” a “Theocon” with a Christian-supremacist agenda.

Which means Prince fits right in with the madman of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue – George W. Bush – the deranged President who sees the invasion of Iraq and massacre of thousands upon thousands of that country’s civilians as a mandate from God.

Prince’s private army of professional killers operates without rules, without boundaries and with the full blessing of the Bush administration. Still, their tactics shock and scare even those they are hired to “protect.”

As Newsweek also reports:

Some American diplomats-and not a few professional soldiers in the U.S. military-look askance at the heavy-handed swagger of the Blackwater guards, who often sport goatees and tattoos, wear wraparound shades, brandish their weapons and have been known to run anyone off the road who gets in their way. One State Department official, who spoke anonymously so as not to offend any guardians, tells NEWSWEEK, “It was one step forward in a meeting with Iraqis and two steps back as cars were getting bumped off the road on the ride home.”

Prince says it is a “slander” to call his operatives “mercenaries.”

If anything, calling them mercs is too kind.

Blackwater operatives are murderers, thugs and goons – just the kind of people we would expect to work for – and support – the likes of George W. Bush.


  1. SEAL

    Thanx, checkerboard. Notice how he deliberately avoided my questions. Under his thinking the soldier should do as he damn well pleased. That isn’t an army, that’s a mob. The military morality is defined and governed under military law, the Uniform Code Of Military Justice. It even provides for disobeying an order that violates the UCMJ or the Constitution.

    The difference between the military and mercs is simple:

    The US soldier swears an oath to protect and defend the United States Of America from all enemies, foreign and domestic. He enlists to be trained and serve for a specific period of time, surrenders most of his constitutional rights to the military, and he agrees to obey the lawful orders of all superior officers because he trusts their informed judgment. There are criminal penalties if he fails to honor his commitment. If the sergeant orders the private to kill the non-combatant, the private may refuse. Not because of any personal judgment but because the sergeant had no authority or right under the rules of war to give that order. It is even possible that the Joint Chiefs could refuse a presidential order if the order violated their sworn duty. They swear their oath to the Constitution, not the president.

    The merc swears no oath to anyone or anything when he is hired. He may sign a contract to perform a specific job for a specified period of time, however, he may walk away from that commitment with only the threat of civil action. The merc retains all of his constitutional rights. The merc is hired for the knowledge, ability, and experience he already has. He agrees to apply those under guidelines set forth by whoever hires him. However, he is under no obligation to follow any “orders” beyond those he judges proper and he is free, even expected, to perform his job as he sees fit. He makes his own moral judgments. If asked/told to commit a crime such as murder he may refuse or ask his employers why. He might even ask them what it is worth to them. The choice is his.

    The US soldiers will have variant reasons for enlising but, for each individual soldier, one of those will be moral/patriotic. The merc has only one reason for selling his services. Being paid the highest possible price for his skill doing what he likes to do. The US soldier has a duty; a moral and a legal obligation to his country. The merc’s only obligation is to himself and covering his own ass (legally) by hook or crook with no concern for his employer.

    I am way past tired of people with no military knowledge or experience issuing declaratory statements about the military. They should just shut the hell up and leave it to those of us who have been there and done that.

  2. Sandra Price

    Checkerboard. You are right again. You speak for many of my relatives from WW2 to the present time.

  3. CheckerboardStrangler

    “Political leaders do not exist on a moral plane higher than that of the rest of us. If anything, experience shows politicians are several cuts below the average human being in terms of moral conscience.”

    Paolo you fail to consider the fact that political leaders CARRY themselves as being on a higher moral plane precisely because they are ELECTED to LEAD. Furthermore, MILITARY LEADERS ARE IN FACT on a higher plane than the soldier. Military leaders operate on the higher plane of ABSOLUTE AUTHORITY.

    Lastly, as evidenced by military training, direct opposition to orders is not only grounds for military punitive action, under the stress of combat it is frequently grounds for punitive action administered by fellow soldiers.

    You live in a world of folly in which individual soldiers take it upon themselves to buck orders on a whim.

    It’s clear you’ve never known anyone who served or ever served yourself.

    Sorry, it just does not work that way in the real world. It might be great if it did but in reality it does not.

  4. CheckerboardStrangler

    I dont take issue with the duty taken up by the American soldier in service to their country.
    They sign up and swear to follow orders issued by the government.
    Blackwater operatives sign up and swear to follow orders issued by Erik Prince and his minions.
    Blackwater derives its revenue from the pockets of the American taxpayer, which IN FACT MAKES THEM a
    publicly funded but privately owned and operated mercenary army.

    As long as the American people tolerate a privately owned army on their shores, which operates with zero accountability to the people and free reign over and above the law, and operating UNDER THE COLOR OF LAW, we leave ourselfves open to a publicly funded, privately directed coup d etat and the utter takedown of this country.

  5. Paolo

    Time to expand on my prior comment.

    There is no difference in principal between a mercenary and a regular soldier. Both are hired to kill people the ruler designates an “enemy.” Both are hired to do this killing without question, on the assumption the higher authority knows best.

    The system of military indoctrination (boot camp and beyond) is designed to take an individual, with an individual conscience, and turn him into a cog in the machine, willing to kill a fellow human being at an instant’s notice.

    Soldiers need to start realizing that following orders from a higher authority does not exempt them from moral blame. That is a total cop-out.

    Political leaders do not exist on a moral plane higher than that of the rest of us. If anything, experience shows politicians are several cuts below the average human being in terms of moral conscience.

    There are rare instances when it is right and just to conduct a war. Primarily, these would be wars of self-defense (WWII, for example) and wars of independence (the Revolutionary War). Wars of foreign conquest are inherently immoral, even if that dictator on the far side of the globe is an evil person.

  6. bryan mcclellan

    I’m not very comfortable with the paint job you’ve done on myself and my fellow veterans Paolo.I’ve struggled for years with the guilt of having had a hand in the deaths of others.Their faces visit me often.I know they had families just as I,but they were trying to take my head off you see,and when it came to kill or be killed what would you have had me do? I could have run but chose to do as my country asked ,right or wrong that was and remains my fate.Baby killer ,murderer,I’ve been subjected to all sorts of vile accusations,as have my brethren.There is no one on the face of this Earth that wants peace more than the soldier. Should we all be dammed for doing what we were ordered to do?I much prefer clinging to what sanity I’ve been able to lo these many years,knowing that I stood up when called.I’ll gladly take these ghosts to the grave with me knowing the one called Deserter has no home at my final resting place.

  7. Jenifer D.

    Truth is not slander

    By any means. Erik Prince is just another well-heeled hater that doesn’t like to be told the way things are in the real world. Like the rest of his ilk, he prefers his own truth; tell him what he wants to hear or you’re a traitor.

    See what happens when one overdoses on the drug that is called ‘absolute power’? Like drugs and alcohol, it rots your brain and ain’t it a shame it can’t be outlawed?

  8. Sandra Price

    “Tears of the Sun” was filmed in Africa and released in 2003.

    I believe that is the film that you mentioned above. My son has worked with Willis on many films but I’m not certain he did this one.

  9. Paolo

    I would even expand this a little further. Not only are mercenaries murderers, but ordinary soldiers are, too, in most cases (I’ll expand on this later if requested to do so).

    Mercenaries hire on to a government in order to murder political enemies. Soldiers do the same damned thing. The fact their murders are dressed up under slogans like “duty to country” and “defending freedom” changes nothing.

    A soldier for the US army is like a soldier for the mafia. He just works for a bigger family and is better equipped.

    To quote General Smedley Butler: “War is a Racket.”