April 03, 2004


There's been some loose talk about the people who were killed in Falluja being mercenaries. My understanding of the term is that it covers a soldier who is fighting for a government or rebel cause for pay instead of God and Country. By any stretch of the imagination, does this cover the four who died? The official story is that they were working for a private contractor, safeguarding food convoys. If they were mercenaries then every former military man with a security guard job is a mercenary.

But generally we've kept a separation between security guards (who are often former police or military) and mercenaries. But what if the story is just a front? If they were just pretending to be security guards, they were most likely really working for... the US government. Again, working an undercover job for your own government is not mercenary activity. So what's really going on?

The title mercenary is one of disrepute in today's world. Calling someone a mercenary is a way to put them one down and to lower their value. So when they're killed, burned, and hung from a bridge, it's not quite as bad because, after all they're only mercenaries. Is that morally acceptable?

Posted by TMLutas at April 3, 2004 06:39 PM