What would the Prince of Peace think of the Prince of War?
The word Theocracy is derived from the two Greek words Qeo/j(Theos) meaning “God” and kra/tein (cratein) meaning “to rule.” Erik Prince, the founder of Blackwater USA believes in a Theocratic form of government. Besides Blackwater USA, he is also the Vice President of the Edgar and Elsa Prince Foundation, which funds one of the biggest groups of religious Theocrats in existence, the ADF (Alliance Defense Fund). The ADF’s mission is to break down the wall of the separation of church and state. They raise millions for their mission not from the small donations of individuals but from foundations like Erik Prince’s. A good read on the subject is Sarah Posner’s article entitled: ARMY OF GOD-The Legal Muscle Leading the Fight to End the Separation of Church and State.
Back to Mr. Prince. He specializes in not only funding rightwing religious groups that want to change America’s secular government into a Theocratic government; he is a millionaire that owes much of his success to the company he founded, Blackwater USA. Blackwater received a few meager contracts during the Clinton administration but hit the mother lode after 9/11. Interestingly enough, Blackwater was on the mind of Donald Rumsfeld the day before 9/11 was embedded in the minds of all Americans. The SOS spoke that day, September 10th, about the Department of Defense and its waste and inability to keep America secure. Rumsfeld called for a wholesale shift in the running of the Pentagon, replacing the old DoD bureaucracy with a new model, one based on the private sector.
The next day, September 11th, ushered in the beginning of an unprecedented scale of outsourcing and privatization of our military. By the end of Rumsfeld’s tenure in late 2006, there were an estimated 100,000 private contractors on the ground in Iraq–an almost one-to-one ratio with active-duty American soldiers. Mr. Prince has become a very rich man who runs a private army. To quote from Jeremy Scahill’s book entitled Blackwater, the Rise of the world’s most powerful mercenary army: “Blackwater is the elite Praetorian Guard for the “global war on terror,” with its own military base, a fleet of twenty aircraft, and 20,000 private contractors at the ready.” Also included in their arsenal are helicopter gunships, a private intelligence division, and it is manufacturing surveillance blimps and target systems.
The inherent problem with outsourcing our military to a private mercenary group is obvious. There is no oversight, no accountability and no allegiance to our constitution and its tenants of civil liberty’s and due process. However I doubt much of that bothers Mr. Prince since his goal is to change our constitution and our government so that both are based on a Theocracy. One would think Mr. Prince would value life over money, but I do not think that is the case based on the penny pinching that Blackwater undertakes. They took one word, “Armored”, out of a major contract they signed to provide services in Iraq. This cost 4 of their contractors their lives:
It is one of the most infamous incidents of the war in Iraq: On March 31, 2004, four private American security contractors get lost and end up driving through the center of Falluja, a hotbed of Sunni resistance to the US occupation. But on March 12, 2004, Blackwater and Regency signed a subcontract, which specified security provisions identical to the original except for one word: “armored.” Blackwater deleted it from the contract. To quote the attorney that represents the families, Mr. Miles:
“When they took that word ‘armored’ out, Blackwater was able to save $1.5 million in not buying armored vehicles, which they could then put in their pocket. “These men were told that they’d be operating in armored vehicles. Had they been, I sincerely believe that they’d be alive today. They were killed by insurgents literally walking up and shooting them with small-arms fire. This was not a roadside bomb, it was not any other explosive device. It was merely small-arms fire, which could have been repelled by armored vehicles.”
So, what would Jesus think of the “Prince of War”, Mr. Erik Prince cutting corners to become even more wealthy, not to mention funding groups that seek the destruction of our constitution? How would Jesus feel about Mr. Prince funding a group that advocates hatred of gays, who last time I checked…were made in God’s image?
Methinks, he would not be happy one bit that people like Erik Prince make money in an immoral war and in ways that jeopardize human beings so he can fill his own coffers and those of the religious extremists. He also wouldn’t be too fond of groups like the ADF that promote hatred and intolerance among other things. I could be wrong..but I doubt it.
“Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”– And I am not talking about the alleged persecution of Christians, as the ADF is so fond of saying. I am talking about the persecution of gays by groups like the ADF.