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Privatizing America

Don Rose 22 August 2018 One Comment

While you were busy smacking your lips over Omarosa’s secret tapes or had your eyes peeled on the Manafort trial, you might have missed the report that the Orange Menace is again considering privatizing the 17-year war in Afghanistan.

Yes, people, Erik Prince, founder of the murderous mercenary organization once known as Blackwater, is again pitching his scheme to save money and end the shame of this unwinnable war by hiring a private army to take over the nasty task of making Afghanistan great again.

privates

Frustrated by our continuing failure to make any progress in this civil war — we’re actually regressing–Donald Trump is reconsidering the privatization idea posed by Prince in a PowerPoint presentation early in his presidency. In essence, a mercenary army would be hired and report to a “viceroy” who reports directly to the president–bypassing the Pentagon and all its incompetent generals. (You don’t suppose Prince would like that viceroy gig, do you?)

Prince is launching a campaign to sell the idea to the nation–meaning, of course, to Trump, who, during his campaign claimed to know more than those Pentagonians. (Strange, if Trump had so little respect for the military, why did he hire a slew of generals to run his administration? How did that work out?)

The military, naturally, is strongly opposed to the idea but according to reports some of Trump’s advisors fear he may be more open to the idea now.

Prince, you may recall, is the former Navy Seal who assembled the Blackwater organization, which was hired by the CIA in Iraq and several Middle East states to provide “security” services. The whole thing blew up when Blackwater mercenaries were involved in shooting up a crowd of civilians, killing several, but went unpunished.

Prince changed the organization’s name, sold it at a great profit and later reappeared during Trump’s transition setting up a secret meeting in the Seychelles to create a ‘back channel” of communications with the president’s BFF Vladimir Putin.

He also happens to be the brother of Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, who is working hard at privatizing public education and saving the skins of corrupt private “colleges” like the wonderful Trump University.

Quite a family. Trump is clearly awed and supportive of them because they are billionaires–DeVos notably from Amway–though Omarosa tells us Trump refers to her as “Ditzy DeVos.”

As Gail Collins put it in Saturday’s NY Times, DeVos “loves for-profit education….she championed an overhaul of the Michigan School System, which replaced troubled public schools with terrible charter schools, most of them for-profit.”

Stack up these two privatizers along with Trump’s ongoing program of chopping off more and more public lands–the most massive privatization of public lands in memory, probably in history–and something of a pattern emerges:

The privatizers are privateers.

George W. Bush tried to privatize Social Security and got scorched. Could Trump give that a shot again? I wouldn’t be surprised if he tries, should he win a second term.

Then he could title his memoir “The Art of Dealing America Out.”

**
Don Rose is a regular columnist for the Chicago Daily Observer

One Comment »

  • jim crawford said:

    Excellent article, well researched and right to the point.

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