Four Blackwater employees have been convicted of killing 14 unarmed civilians in Iraq in 2007. This case should be an embarrassment for the U.S. military and its government. However, we live in a country where the courtroom was filled with shameless supporters of these mercenaries and their actions.
The Presidential discretionary spending budget proposal for 2015 (chart above) allots 55% for military spending. Medical is 5%. Science is 3%. Education is 6%. In all, 61% of that budget goes to military and bureaucratic government maintenance. This is simply outrageous.
Blackwater, a private security firm, was hired by the Pentagon to provide bodyguards for diplomats and high-ranking politicians in war zones. Why does a military which sucks the air out of our budgets need to contract high-priced security guards? The only reasonable answer is corruption. Blackwater has been renamed Academi and was renamed U.S. Training Center after the massacre of 2007. Erik Prince, the vocally Fundamentalist Christian owner of Blackwater, sold off the business to private investors in 2011. It is reasonable to speculate that Mr. Prince did so in anticipation of yesterday's court ruling against his employees. It is also reasonable to speculate that private investors would not invest in the company if the corrupt hiring of it by a bloated military was not very profitable.
Blackwater and the American military have made me ashamed to be an American since the Iraq and Afghanistan invasions to further the interests of Saudi-U.S. corporate interests in the Middle East. Yesterday's verdict is simply a bone thrown to those of us who wish to see a demilitarized U.S. economy and government. However, it is a baby-step in the right direction.