Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The UAE is moving further & further away from its pre-911 potential

In Spring of 2000, I was living and working in the UAE and went to do a job interview with the nation's best and brightest publishing and training program run by the government agency's in Abu Dhabi. I had read some of the publications and felt that the federal United Arab Emirates would slowly be able to evolve into a more democratic country with proper education and training--allowing for local concepts of tribalism in a European style federation. I suggested this in an interview.

I was not hired. Since then, I have been finding the UAE moving further away from its pre-911 potential.--KAS

Original Content at

Erik Prince, The "Prince of Darkness"

By Dave Lefcourt

Erik Prince, former owner of "Blackwater USA"

Yesterday's lead article in the New York Times titled, "Secret Desert Force Set Up By Blackwater's Founder", revealed Erik Prince, the billionaire former owner of "Blackwater" (now "Xe Services", the private security contractor financed by the Pentagon whose "activities" [murder of innocents] first became exposed in Iraq) is about to ply his trade in the United Arab Emirates according to some "ex-employees, American officials and corporate documents secured by the newspaper.

According to these sources Prince has secured a "$529 million contract" with the UAE and is building a private security battalion (army) in the desert kingdom located on the Persian Gulf directly opposite Iran.

Their mission: "Conduct special operations inside and outside the country, defend oil facilities and infrastructure and put down internal revolts" according to the source documents.

Now interestingly, Prince, born in America and a former Navy SEAL, may be breaking U.S. federal laws that "prohibit American citizens from training foreign troops if they did not secure a license from the State Department", (the "Times" couldn't verify the existence of a such a license).

Last year, "Xe Services", paid $42 million in fines" for training foreign troops in Jordan and other countries over the years".

But this is just a slap on the wrist and a mere pittance considering Prince and his "merry marauders" have secured billions in security contracts from the U.S. government that began in 2000, after the bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen.

Sadly, Prince has become a new face of American ingenuity and entrepreneurship in the post 9/11 world.

We used to be known as builders, innovators and job creators. Now the jobs are shipped overseas and we help develop the likes of an Erik Prince who erects training camps to hire and train mercenary armies in the desert to ply their trade of Mafia type "Murder Inc", disguised as private defense security guards.

In Iraq, Prince's "Blackwater" operated pretty much with impunity until their "guards" got careless and indiscriminately killed innocent Iraqi's that posed no imminent threat to anyone. Even when there are "status of force" agreements with the quisling government in Iraq that grants immunity from prosecution (by that quisling government), certain acts of blatant, unprovoked murder does draw the attention and provokes the local indigenous population to demand justice particularly when these "security guards" gun down innocent people in broad daylight. Whisking these murderers out of the country (the "usual" act following an atrocity committed by these "guards") Prince and "Blackwater" assumed they were fully protected and immune from prosecution. [1]

But getting back to Prince's latest "endeavors" in the UAE (and the volatile region where the country is located) raises some serious concerns i.e., mercenaries conducting special operations "outside" the country which poses a real potential threat for war, particularly with neighboring Iran.

That country will not take kindly to any outside mercenary force illegally entering its country and conducting clandestine military operations. Prince's mercenaries may be clad in un-identified uniforms but if any are captured and interrogated with their identity traced to the American "Prince", how would that bode for the United States that would be seen as permitting one of its citizens to train foreign forces apparently with its consent (and right on Iran's doorstep)?

Or is this secret American policy to allow Prince and his confederates to ply their dirty work in Iran in hopes of provoking that country to retaliate say against our carrier groups operating in the Persian Gulf that would justify our attack against them?

This should not be dismissed out of hand as beyond the realm of possibility. The "Times" article did mention the UAE as having territorial disputes with Iran over a "chain of islands" in the Persian Gulf but according to the "Times" sources, there was "no expectation that the mercenary troops would be used for a stealth attack on Iran," (not something I'd bet the house on).

Anytime you place an armed force (mercenary or otherwise) in an area directly off the Strait of Hormuz and Iran, a key potential bottleneck point (if that narrow passage was blocked preventing any shipping) where most of the world's crude oil passes, the chances for a disastrous conflict arises exponentially.

Erik Prince needs to be reined in, not just fined but prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

At present he is a menace, an un-prosecuted felon more dangerous in fact to the U.S. and its people than Osama bin Laden ever was or could ever have been.

[1] Initially five "Blackwater" guards were to be prosecuted in the U.S. by the Justice Department for their roles in a notorious Baghdad shooting but the charges were dismissed by a federal judge in 2010. However in April, 2011 a federal appeals court revived the Justice Department's case against the five men with the final outcome still pending.

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