The subtitle to this front page story in the Washington Post about private security companies in Iraq reads: “Despite Shootings, Security Companies Expanded Presence.” While this statement may not be as clueless as the infamous piece that wondered why crime was decreasing as the prison population was increasing, the genre is the same. In other words, it’s not necessarily paradoxical that the violence which caused American security contractors to shoot people in Iraq would prompt an increase in the presence of those contractors. In hindsight, one can say that this violence should perhaps have prompted an increase in military personnel, as well.
It’s possible, of course, that the security contractors frequently were shooting people for no good reason, in which case bringing more of them in would have been an unambiguously bad idea.. However, the Post’s story, by Steve Fainaru, provides no evidence that this ever occurred. Instead, Fainaru is content to show that contractors, and specifically Blackwater, were hated by Iraq
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