Blackwater’s Erik Prince is setting up no-Muslims battalion for Abu Dhabi to use against revolution … and Iran

This Rachel Maddow report on the Middle East contains valuable information. It’s also interestingly structured, presenting a kind of melange of where-we-are in the region:

■ The intro deals with U.S. diplomatic activity. (Note that Obama is speaking to AIPAC over the weekend. I’d watch that one for news of what he says.)

■ The promised (threatened?) Glenn Beck rally in Jerusalem is discussed next. (Teabag God v. Lord of Darkness, a title fight in Jerusalem. Nice touch for a sinking ex-alkie.)

■ The focus then turns to ex-Blackwater mercenary chief (and hard-right Christian badboy) Erik Prince. Here’s where I’d like to start paying attention — about 2:45 in the clip.

■ Finally, Jeremy Scahill explains what Prince is really up to.

Watch the intro and Beck material for fun if you like, but the Eric Prince material and Scahill’s comments on it are really important.

About the Iran discussion, recall that the Arabian peninsula is mainly Sunni, and Iran is Shi’a.

This is the next phase in privatizing the military. First you bring in the mercs to “supplement” the forces you directly control. Then the mercs outnumber the “conventional” forces. Finally you distribute (diversify) the command-and-control structure so that the mercs are roughly self-directing. (In the computer world, this is called “distributed processing.”)

That’s the phase I think we’re in right now — distributed command-and-control. It’s an unheard-of situation for a first-world military, but it mirrors the distributed command-and-control of our political process in this post-Citizens United corporate era. Scahill elsewhere says this is “the most radical privatization in our history [and] we’re seeing it full-blown in the war machine.”

The “conventional” U.S. military could shut down Prince in a heartbeat (and shut down his heartbeat as well) if it wanted to. You guess whether it wants to.

And a Prince shall lead them. Pay attention to this issue, and to Jeremy Scahill as well. He hangs out at The Nation, which incidentally could use your support.


Gaius Publius is a professional writer living on the West Coast of the United States.

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