Nation Article Gets Positive Results on Blackwater, So Letâ€™s Celebrate, Okay?
One of the reasons we haven't endorsed during the presidential primary, as we've said often times, is because we want to be able to push candidates on issues that are important to us. Yesterday the Nation did just that when it published an article by Jeremy Scahill (author of the superb book Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army) on the fact that Barack Obama would not rule out the use of mercenaries like Blackwater in Iraq.
So after the article's publication, Hillary Clinton announced that she would co-sponsor legislation to "ban the use of Blackwater and other private mercenary firms in Iraq." Which, when you write a piece like this, is exactly what you want to have happen -- it's what John Edwards did for the issue of poverty the entire time he was in the race. It shines a bright light on the issue, raises it to the level where people start paying attention to it, and puts pressure on others to do follow your lead.
So this is Scahill's update:
Her timing was interesting, to say the least. Why February 28, in the middle of a tough political campaign? Why not after last September's Nisour Square massacre, when Blackwater operatives killed seventeen Iraqi civilians? Or, better, before it?WTF? What, the article didn't snare the politician they wanted? Mr. Carrot, please meet Mr. Stick.
As Naomi Klein says today at the Huffington Post: