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(Washington Post)   The war heroes you won't hear celebrated on Memorial Day - the 1,350 civilian contractors killed in Iraq and Afghanistan and 29,000 who have been injured there fighting for America and freedom   (washingtonpost.com) divider line 301
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4185 clicks; posted to Main » on 25 May 2009 at 10:01 PM (5 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2009-05-26 03:21:50 AM
Remove all Republicans: doglover: Soldiers make nothing, risk everything, and volunteered for the privilage. That's heroism.

So do teachers but we don't have a day for them.


I could've sworn we did. (penis)
 
2009-05-26 03:35:12 AM
So how is being a mercenary (or a policeman, for that matter) any different than signing up to the army because you want your college tuition paid, are low on money, or cannot get any other job. If it's a degree of pay, then please draw the line at some dollar amount. This is a legitimate question, so please don't respond with, "You're just a civilian, I oughta kick your ass! You wouldn't know about HONOR!"
 
2009-05-26 03:36:11 AM
I have an uncle who's a contractor. He's a refrigeration specialist and works in Iraq, unarmed, doing blue collar work for ~5x what he could earn stateside. He's pushing 50, has pretty much failed at succeeding in life as sees Iraq as an easy way to pay off his debts and make up for his failures.

Basically, it's a messy subject. He's taking advantage of a situation to free himself of another messy situation he created, and accepts a far greater than normal risk of death by being there. If he was killed, I can't say I would think of it as tragic.

However, I can't bring myself to think he's somehow a cut-throat mercenary by helping keep things cold in Iraq. That's something that doesn't sway battles, kill children and destroy homes. And if someone offered to pay me 5 times my current salary for a 1 year stint, I'd probably be really tempted. 5 years of pay for 1 year of effort is a pretty big deal in American life.

In the end, there is a very sharp distinction between an armed mercenary and an imported specialist worker. Sure, the military could train and employ those workers and everyone would call them heroes, but they also have to pay for that. It probably is cheaper to pay 5x stateside costs for the duration of need than to internalize as a military division.

/meh.
 
2009-05-26 04:28:18 AM
Bit'O'Gristle: but their deaths were terroristic in nature

As were some of their lives.
 
2009-05-26 04:39:31 AM
Who cares about the real situation? This is Fark! I've made up my mind based on half-truths and heresay! I'm right and you're all wrong, wrong wrong! You and your families all deserve painful, fiery deaths because you're so wrong! HAHAHAHAAA!!!

/now for a cliche
//obvious troll is obvious
 
2009-05-26 05:49:06 AM
And that's how you use the Hero tag.
 
2009-05-26 06:12:15 AM
Getting a kick out of this....
/DSB? That's me

40below: Seriously, dunno about you Americans, but the CF has outsourced pretty much everything that isn't mission critical, from personal Internet to shack construction at KAF. Saw lots of PAE-Lavelin folks over there doing work the army doesn't / no longer can do for itself. Nobody carrying guns, though.

/ did pick up a KBR cap just to piss off the lefties, tho
 
2009-05-26 06:28:45 AM
wyrlss: Remove all Republicans: doglover: Soldiers make nothing, risk everything, and volunteered for the privilage. That's heroism.

So do teachers but we don't have a day for them.

I could've sworn we did. (penis)


It's not a national holiday, and we don't have two days for them like we do for the men and women we train to kill. Why not a celebration for those who we train to teach instead? Why not a day for those who remind us not to kill? One day to celebrate the hippies, the Rachel Corries of the world, the advocates of peace?
 
2009-05-26 06:41:18 AM
Remove all Republicans: wyrlss: Remove all Republicans: doglover: Soldiers make nothing, risk everything, and volunteered for the privilage. That's heroism.

So do teachers but we don't have a day for them.

I could've sworn we did. (penis)

It's not a national holiday, and we don't have two days for them like we do for the men and women we train to kill. Why not a celebration for those who we train to teach instead? Why not a day for those who remind us not to kill? One day to celebrate the hippies, the Rachel Corries of the world, the advocates of peace?


Could you tell me where the goal-post stops? I don't want to get worn out chasing it down.
 
2009-05-26 07:24:27 AM
YAAAAY! Ignorant Lefty thread!

Not every civilian contractor is a halliburton thug with body armor and a bad attitude. Some just serve food, provide medical care (for soldiers and civilians), or translate.

But really, all of you continue with your hate of something you are completely ignorant of. It just makes it easier to pull you out of the pool when intelligent opinions are needed.
 
2009-05-26 07:26:24 AM
Therion

Came here for this, satisfied like a dog that ate a whole pan of brownies.

/before he threw up and/or died, that is
 
2009-05-26 08:04:55 AM
What has been built now in the USA is almost a series of small (or not so small) private armies on the back of the dubious guaranteed profit contracts. You as taxpayers have funded the construction of these armies, but they have no accountability to you. All of this is almost by definition not cost effective, and it's the reason why budgets are growing but the size of the armed forces is decreasing. Read Naomi Klein's book The Shock Doctrine for more information than you really wanted to know on the subject.
 
2009-05-26 08:20:14 AM
If they're not dead they have to wait till veterans day to be snubbed.
 
2009-05-26 08:34:30 AM
Kind of funny that the difference between a "War Hero" and "War Criminal" is whether you were on the side that won or lost. Regardless of who the aggressor was.
 
2009-05-26 08:42:33 AM
www.users.on.net

Remember Abeer Hamza.
 
2009-05-26 08:46:02 AM
Not everyone who goes to war is a hero. Not everyone who is a victim is a hero, either. Being a hero is not decided by where you are, but how selflessly you act.
 
2009-05-26 08:52:31 AM
DeathByGeekSquad: 2wolves: No. They were there for a paycheck.

Some of the folks who went in the first wave of soldier to Iraq were the kids who used the military for free room/board and an education during peace time. I wish I had bookmarked the video of the mother declaring, "He didn't sign up for a war!" after her child was killed.

So, in essence, they went for the paycheck and benefits. However, they were still over there, no matter what their reasons for joining up were originally. The same goes for the Contractors. They put their lives on the line for something they believed in. If they didn't believe in it, do you honestly feel they put a six figure price tag on their life?

It's simple, you're trained as a soldier, and while you pick up some skills you'd use in civilian life, you aren't best suited for that task. Soldiers migrated to soldiering. Amazing.

Not all mercenaries are Blackwater employees, there are a number of groups around the globe that assist troubled countries, especially those in Africa, with security/infrastructure matters.


Honestly, I think there are a lot of people who would risk their lives to some degree for the six figures alone. Look at dangerous five-figure jobs. I don't think fishermen believe in the fish or loggers believe in the logs.

Not that I don't appreciate those who have served, but I feel that heroflation has crashed the modern heroconomy. There should be a Level 2 Hero designation for people/soldiers/etc who actually go above and beyond. The standard-issue hero tag feels increasingly forced. If you or a friend/family member is truly heroic, people will recognize this without your insistence.
 
2009-05-26 08:52:39 AM
wilbret: STFU? Soldiers are also volunteers. They get paid. What makes them a hero?

Because they don't get to choose what hell hole they are going to, the CIC does, mercs choose to go into the danger-zone when and where they want. Show me a merc who volunteered for a suicide mission and i will show you entire battalions that were ordered to their death. Real soldiers are also bound by rules and honor, these mercs aren't, the worst thing that's going to happen to them is they get fired, soldiers that do great wrong go to prison.
 
2009-05-26 09:02:06 AM
cameroncrazy1984: 2wolves: No. They were there for a paycheck.

Exactly. We don't honor mercenaries.


THIS.

Definitely there for the paycheck and nothing more.
 
2009-05-26 09:10:47 AM
There are very few ACTUAL heroes in this world, and I would bet that none of them have ever been to Iraq.

Over 10 billion a month has been wasted as the country spins one more turn towards the drain. It is hard to see any heroes in that sort of scenario when not much of anything has changed.
 
2009-05-26 09:16:05 AM
immrlizard: There are very few ACTUAL heroes in this world, and I would bet that none of them have ever been to Iraq.

www.gerrymay.com

Oh, how short your memory is of the fallen.
 
2009-05-26 09:22:49 AM
RoxtarRyan: immrlizard: There are very few ACTUAL heroes in this world, and I would bet that none of them have ever been to Iraq.



Oh, how short your memory is of the fallen.



1. Afghanistan is not Iraq
2. Killed by friendly fire while standing next to a rock
3. Had his image destroyed by the Military PR machine

ya, real hero
 
2009-05-26 09:37:41 AM
"fighting for America and freedom"

Submitter needs to recognize that America started a religious war over there, AND over here. This isn't about America or freedom, it's about brown people not praising Bush's God.

//epic fail
 
2009-05-26 09:42:33 AM
smerfnablin: 1. Afghanistan is not Iraq
2. Killed by friendly fire while standing next to a rock
3. Had his image destroyed by the Military PR machine

ya, real hero


The question wasn't whether or not someone died in Iraq, but whether a person was ever in Iraq, and he did serve in Iraq during his military career. Someone that left a lucrative career to serve in the armed forces where he will face god-knows-what and make considerably less? Yeah, Hero tag, and damn near every greenlight regarding him agrees (or is at least given a 'Followup' tag).

/get back to school, kid
//grownups are talking
 
2009-05-26 09:49:52 AM
The war heroes you won't hear celebrated on Memorial Day - the 1,350 civilian contractors killed in Iraq and Afghanistan and 29,000 who have been injured there fighting for America and freedom Israel and the plutocrats.

/fixed it
 
2009-05-26 09:51:57 AM
Good thing I do more work, more effectively, for more pay, as a contractor than I ever did as an E4.

Seriously, instead of biatching about OMG MERCENARIES you should push to have the military up their training qualifications to get qualified people in positions instead of having to rely on people like myself to cover their asses. Some days I feel more like a trainer for the military than anything else, since I have to teach soldiers jobs they're already supposed to know!

But hey, mercenary!
 
2009-05-26 10:01:08 AM
The war heroes you won't hear celebrated on Memorial Day - the 1,350 civilian contractors killed in Iraq and Afghanistan and 29,000 who have been injured there fighting for America and freedom

Yes subby, if by "war hero" you mean "opportunist" and by "contractor" you mean "mercenary" and by "freedom" you mean "greed".

I'm so tired of the label "contractor" when they're on the US payroll and scum-sucking turrist or mercenary when they're on anyone else's payroll. The use of the word "contractor" is deliberate newspeak to make them sound like the trusty ol' builder who drove over to your house in his all-American F150 and built your deck. It's shameless hypocrisy.

/Reckons subby is a troll.
 
2009-05-26 10:02:34 AM
From TFA: "But don't expect President Obama to remember or thank the contractor personnel who died supporting our troops or diplomatic missions. Instead, expect to see contractor personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan continue to be portrayed as expendable profiteers, adventure seekers or marginalized members of society~"

Yeah, is there anything that's not Obama's fault? Whaarrrgaarrbll!
 
2009-05-26 10:12:11 AM
Contractors are not heroes--they are simply mercenaries getting paid big bucks--big BIG bucks.

The United States is in no danger from Iraq or Afghanistan. There is no need for our military presence in either nation.
 
2009-05-26 10:33:34 AM
HobblingContractor: Seriously, instead of biatching about OMG MERCENARIES you should push to have the military up their training qualifications to get qualified people in positions instead of having to rely on people like myself to cover their asses.

Agreed. I have a bit of a problem sending into combat people who have been enlisted for maybe 3 months and have little to no training about the customs, the enemy, protocols, etc. I keep in contact with a friend of mine who recently went through Army boot camp, and she was telling me that they were being told that they would be sent over to kill people. Granted, while this is a gross oversimplification of the military, it embeds the wrong ideas and destroys the standards that our new troops should have in regards to serving. Luckily, she's been around enough 'seasoned' military personnel to not really acknowledge that mindset, and to look beyond the "if the skin is brown, shoot it" mentality.

Is training about the customs and such a necessary part of this war, though, she asked? Absolutely, it is. This isn't like going to war against the Germans, or fighting back the Japanese. We are seemingly permanently stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan, and our troops need to know the basics, because I'm pretty sure miscommunication or simple misunderstanding of customs and courtesies are to blame for quite a bit of tension between the troops and the locals.

The same goes for their specialization, be it an electrician, mechanic, or other support-style skill set. More training needs to be done before they hit the sand.
 
2009-05-26 10:38:16 AM
RoxtarRyan: immrlizard: There are very few ACTUAL heroes in this world, and I would bet that none of them have ever been to Iraq.



Oh, how short your memory is of the fallen.


Tillman was killed when his own side blew his head off. He didn't die saving anyone, defeating an enemy or doing anything worthwhile, the poor bastard. Then the Bush admin tried to play him up as a huge hero dying for our freedoms. Simple fact, Tillman's dedication and self sacrifice was wasted by a greedy and callous administration to fulfill an agenda based on lies. There's no hero to be found in this story. He's more victim than hero, and I feel more sympathy for his family and disappointment in the nation he thought he was helping than anything like pride. It's more apt to call his story the ultimate waste of a potential hero.
 
2009-05-26 10:54:03 AM
www.global-air.com

(new window)
 
2009-05-26 10:58:38 AM
eggrolls

It wasn't the fact that Tillman died overseas that places him in Hero status; it's the sacrifices he made regardless of the outcome. How many people purposely leave a career where they are already heralded as gods by some (c'mon... we've all seen those sports fans that live and die for their team or players of choice!) to join the military as a member of the enlisted ranks? Hell, I would think that he would at least go officer, but ah well... He had a sweet life, and regardless of that, he decided that there was something bigger and better that he can do with it

That alone raises him above the "I'm going to enlist because of the benefits" crowd, or the "I have no other options" group. How many people could say that they would make the same sacrifices that he made? Honestly, I don't think I would, and I highly doubt any other Farker would either.
 
2009-05-26 11:07:40 AM
pvd021: DeltaXi65
Many of these independent contractors who were killed weren't mercenaries. They had nothing to do with combat operations - they drove the trucks, built the bases, etc.

And those who were involved in combat operations, most of them were veterans.

But, of course, this is Fark, so don't let facts get in the way of your righteous indignation. Happy Memorial Day.

They were there for the paycheck, not the scenery, not the food, the people, the culture. The Paycheck. They paid the ultimate price, their families are going to have to deal with their death, and their decision to risk personal injury for the sake of more money. No one is going to fellate their heroisn, because there wasn't any to begin with. If anything, the Iraqi people should realize that this is what democracy and capitalism is all about.


So all those soldiers who take the GI bill, are just in it for the college education?
 
2009-05-26 11:13:48 AM
eggrolls: RoxtarRyan: immrlizard: There are very few ACTUAL heroes in this world, and I would bet that none of them have ever been to Iraq.



Oh, how short your memory is of the fallen.

Tillman was killed when his own side blew his head off. He didn't die saving anyone, defeating an enemy or doing anything worthwhile, the poor bastard. Then the Bush admin tried to play him up as a huge hero dying for our freedoms. Simple fact, Tillman's dedication and self sacrifice was wasted by a greedy and callous administration to fulfill an agenda based on lies. There's no hero to be found in this story. He's more victim than hero, and I feel more sympathy for his family and disappointment in the nation he thought he was helping than anything like pride. It's more apt to call his story the ultimate waste of a potential hero.


So the tragic method of his death and political posturing that had nothing to do with his actions, degrades his actions?

The man gave up a hell of a lot to do what he felt was right. He was unlucky, and not deserving of the vile statement that you just put forth.
 
2009-05-26 11:24:13 AM
Hey Subby,

My father was paid by the US Army Air Forces.

His father was paid by the US Army.

His grandfather was paid by the Union Army.

His great-grandfather was paid by the US Army.

His great-great-grandfather was paid by George Washington.

If you, or your ancestors, were paid by anyone else, enjoy your time in hell.
 
2009-05-26 11:49:13 AM
Memorial and Veterans days do nothing but perpetuate the military-industrial complex and enforce jingoism and nonsensical pride based on nothing more than an accident of birth.

Now, that's just not true and you know it. You want to see the COST of freedom ? Go to Arlington Cemetary some day and just look at the rows of headstones; pay a visit to the JFK gravesite. If it doesn't move you, you're one sick fark ! I've nothing but the deepest respect for the men and women buried there, or Normandy or the countless other places our men and women , young and old, have died at the behest of our government. They died not just for the country, but for the guy in the foxhole next to them.
Don't forget that without our first veterans, we wouldn't be here as a nation; we'd be singing God Save the Queen and football would consist of a bunch grass sliders !
 
hej
2009-05-26 12:04:32 PM
RTFarticle: Hey Subby,

My father was paid by the US Army Air Forces.

His father was paid by the US Army.

His grandfather was paid by the Union Army.

His great-grandfather was paid by the US Army.

His great-great-grandfather was paid by George Washington.

If you, or your ancestors, were paid by anyone else, enjoy your time in hell.


Maybe you need to re-read the headline.
 
2009-05-26 12:15:29 PM
Nothing Sweeter Than Redneck Tears: HeartBurnKid: The mere fact that we're even using mercenaries in Iraq is disgusting. Now you want us to honor them on the day we use to honor our actual soldiers, subby?


so one employer is better than another?

please.


American soldiers swear to uphold the Constitution. Mercenaries are beholden to nothing but their paycheck.

It's a question of ideals.
 
2009-05-26 12:49:47 PM
So because I'm a contractor, got out of the military because I got broken sseverely, and came back as a contractor, I automatically hate the US and deny the oath I swore when I was enlisted?

Thanks! I never knew that!
 
2009-05-26 12:53:43 PM
HobblingContractor: got out of the military because I got broken sseverely

If you got "broken severely" in the military, you shouldn't be over there as a civilian.
 
2009-05-26 01:10:53 PM
HobblingContractor 2009-05-26 12:49:47 PM
So because I'm a contractor, got out of the military because I got broken sseverely, and came back as a contractor, I automatically hate the US and deny the oath I swore when I was enlisted?

(offers cat rub + purr)
 
2009-05-26 01:31:55 PM
real shaman: Contractors in war zones are a relatively new thing, created mostly by cut backs in military spending. The Army no longer has the manpower or equipment to provide their own food and housing and electricity.
So for all you slamming the contractors, write your congressmen and STFU. Our soldiers wouldn't have food and be getting electrocuted by showers without those mercenary contractors.


FTFY
 
2009-05-26 02:45:56 PM
cameroncrazy1984: 2wolves: No. They were there for a paycheck.

Exactly. We don't honor mercenaries.


THIS
 
2009-05-26 03:43:32 PM
TheWizard:

So the tragic method of his death and political posturing that had nothing to do with his actions, degrades his actions?

The man gave up a hell of a lot to do what he felt was right. He was unlucky, and not deserving of the vile statement that you just put forth.


He wasn't unlucky. Unlucky is getting hit by a bus crossing the street. The man's gesture was squandered, then pissed on by the political posturing as you call it. I call it being duped. I have no beef with Tillman, but he didn't die defending a cause or standing up for an ideal. He was placed in harm's way and lost his life for no good reason. Sympathy yes, admiration, no.
 
2009-05-26 06:25:11 PM
Not soldiers; contractors. No oath to country, no respect for rank.

As a retired Navy officer, I'm personally offended that this takes headlines away from the actual soldiers.
 
2009-05-26 06:25:50 PM
Not meaning to troll, but why should we honour the death of a contractor working in Iraq any more than we should honour the death of a contractor working anywhere else in the world?

Both accepted their contracts, and the benefits thereof, fully knowing the risks involved.

Sucks that anyone, anywhere, dies, but I'm not going to honour one over the other just because they chose a different location.
 
2009-05-26 08:07:58 PM
Imagine this.

You're a commanding offier. You have 5,000 soldiers at your disposal. You need 10,000 soldiers, to get the mission done, now. You don't have 10,000 soldiers, now. Bottom line, your mission is going to FAIL unless you have 10,000 bodies on the ground in 30 days.

What are you going to do? Let them fail? Or get the damn mission done, go home, and get back to screwing your wife.

You tell me where the people come from, Sherlock F'ng Holmes.
You tell me. Are you going to sign up? Would you sign up if they offeed you $800 dollars a day? Would money motivate you?

Can you say, "No." Then how about serving your country. If you're so high and mighty and can point the finger while clucking your tongue, then there's a recruiter waiting for you right now, son.

Step up, or step down. Either way, do something. You're in my way.
 
2009-05-26 08:23:27 PM
I could tell you how an iraqi interpreter could be worth his weight in gold,
and how knowing the local areas could even save your life and the lives of yer men.

But most of the folks here have never been in the military and could never understand the world past mom and dad.
 
2009-05-26 11:33:02 PM
So let me see if I've got this right. I'm prior military, served from '87 to '91 during the first gulf war, honorably discharged. 13 years later, I go over to Iraq as a contractor, working as a highly technical network engineer/security specialist (CISSP) working for DISA, one of only about 30 people in the Iraq theater doing this work...and ALL contractors are mercenary scum bags?

My responsibilities were to engineer and secure the classified and unclassified networks used by the Army, as well as deploy/support a Cisco IP Telephony solution. I rarely left the post, was not permitted arms.

How many enlisted people have the skills required to perform what I could do there? Did I get paid a lot of money? Honestly, per hour, I got paid barely more than I make here in the states, but I was working 80 hour weeks, no days off, so I got paid for two years of work in a single year, so yea, it seemed like a lot of money to most people.

I went over there to support the men and women fighting the war, as I did when I was active duty. I was no mercenary nor do I consider myself a hero, but I don't believe I deserve to be disparaged for my work.

Did I meet a bunch of contractors that didn't give a darn about the enlisted folk, care about their mission? Yup, too many of them. Screw every one of 'em. But we weren't ALL like that.

/Just went to NYC a couple weeks ago to see two of my friends who were both active duty get married.
//Going to Atlanta in a couple of weeks to spend the weekend with some more I met over there who've become life-long friends.
 
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