Dropping in to Darfur
US President John S.
McCain awarded a $1bn no-bid contract to the private military company Blackwater
Worldwide1 on November 15th 2009.
Doubts had been raised by members of the US Congress that Blackwater employees
actually were loyal Americans and not mercenaries2 in the employ of a
foreign government; in fact, hard evidence had emerged of Chilean soldiers
fighting in Iraq, formerly trained by Augustus Pinochet's murderous regime.
Nevertheless, the President had received sufficient confidence from assurances
provided by founder and sole owner, Mr Erik. D Prince3 following
Controversy and criticism4 of the 100,0005 privately
managed, armed security contractors working in Iraq.
Speaking at Lafayette Park6, across from the White House McCain put a
positive spin on the announcement. America, said McCain, had a long tradition of
hiring private military contractors to achieve national security.
Pointing to the inscription under the statue of Wilhelm von Steuben, the
President recounted how the Prussian General 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."
Vice Chairman and former CIA Counterterroism Chief J. (Joseph) Cofer Black7
had acted in a key brokerage role to secure the no-bid contract - using his
rolodex of government contacts to convince the Administration that only
Blackwater had the necessary resources for the operation they had in mind.
In March 2006 Black allegedly8 suggested at an international
conference in Amman, Jordan, that Blackwater USA was ready to move towards
providing security professionals up to brigade size for humanitarian efforts and
low intensity conflicts.
It would appear that Mr Prince would now need to deliver on some of his earlier
rhetoric9 about creating a private battalion that could be dropped
into a trouble spot anywhere around the world (Darfur was expressly mentioned by
In reality, American involvement in Darfur had been likely ever since the group
'Human Rights First' claimed that over 90% of the light weapons currently being
imported by Sudan and used in the conflict were from China.
Likely became inevitable with the emergence of further evidence of the Sudanese
government's murder of civilians to actually facilitate the extraction of oil.
The U.S.-funded Civilian Protection Monitoring Team, which investigated attacks
in southern Sudan during 2008 concluded that as the Government of Sudan sought
to clear the way for oil exploration and to create a cordon sanitaire around the
oil fields, vast tracts of the Western Upper Nile Region in southern Sudan
became the focus of extensive military operations.
Ironically, the announcement concluded a six year period of demonstration
against Western Governments who stood accused of blind-folding (pictured)
themselves to the human tragedies resulting from the War in Darfur.
We refer to Jeremy Scahill's excellent book "Blackwater: The Rise
of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army"
Steve Payne, Editor
Today in Alternate History,
a Daily Updating Blog of Important Events In History That Never Occurred Today.
Imagine what would be, if history had occurred a bit differently. Who says
it didn't, somewhere? These fictional news items explore that possibility.
Possibilities such as America becoming a Marxist superpower, aliens influencing
human history in the 18th century and Teddy Roosevelt winning his 3rd term as
president abound in this interesting fictional blog.