In addition to the fact that tens of thousands of dumb American kids, full of our culture's general gender phobias and sexual viciousness and casual attitudes toward the extremes of violence, without a lick of Arabic or cross-cultural understanding among them, terrified by their strategic impotence and therefore prone to horrible situational bullying, under the high leadership of a pack of thugs, liars, moral reprobates, and advocates for the cruelest of tortures, there are also 20,000 mercenary murderers in Iraq right now, the kind of ex-army washouts who by rights should be working part-time and low-wage, simmering with resentments, getting into bar fights, and spending the occasional night in the town jail for roughing up their often-pregnant, loud-mouth girlfriends. Instead, the government and military leadership of this nation, who we are assured are working earnestly to find a "solution" to the problem of Iraq, have consented to load these bums up with guns and booze and pay them hundreds of dollars a day to swagger around a nation that doesn't fucking belong to us, immune to any law on earth, and to kill people, if they so choose. Let's all be perfectly clear about this: Just as the purpose of the military is not to build democracy or liberate peoples or serve the higher idols of humanitarianism, but to kill and destroy, it is the purpose of the "security contractor" to perform the sorts of extrajudicial thuggery and mob-style whacking that even the rapists at abu Ghraib had too much honor to commit. The linked Post article notes that it was Satrap L. Paul Bremer who first exempted these bastards from all the laws of heaven and earth, and the inclusion of that detail in this and similar articles always seems to me to indicate further just how pervasive is the notion that what is occuring in Iraq is the result of a series of tragically mistaken decisions. But the fact that ignorant men made the decisions does not make the decisions themselves acts of ignorance. Or, as they say on the innertubes: Not a bug, but a feature. The United States didn't create a legal vacuum around two tens of thousands of heavily-armed hit men by accident, and the issues of their accountability and their culpability do not "remain unresolved" because they're "thorny" or "difficult" or "complex." How many times must we repeat ourselves: the war in Iraq was an act of aggression by the United States, an unprovoked invasion with no more moral or legal legitimacy than any conquest undertaken by Germany or the Soviet Union or Napoleonic France. We are not the good guys.