Sunday, October 07, 2007

Traffic terrorism

Janessa Gans, a former US official reveals the behaviour of Blackwater drivers in Iraq:

"We would careen around corners, jump road dividers, reach speeds in excess of 100 mph and often cross over to the wrong side of the street, oncoming traffic be damned," she writes. "I began to wonder whether my meetings, intended to further U.S. policy goals and improve the lives of Iraqis, were doing more harm than good. With our drivers honking at, cutting off, pelting with water bottles (a favorite tactic) and menacing with weapons anyone in their way, how many enemies were we creating?"

Gans describes a particularly "infuriating" incident where the lead Chevy Suburban in her convoy allegedly crashed into a sedan ferrying an older man, a young woman and three children.

"As we approached at typical breakneck speed, the Blackwater driver honked furiously and motioned to the side, as if they should pull over," she pens. "The kids in the back seat looked back in horror, mouths agape at the sight of the heavily armored Suburbans driven by large, armed men in dark sunglasses. The poor Iraqi driver frantically searched for a means of escape, but there was none. So the lead Blackwater vehicle smashed heedlessly into the car, pushing it into the barrier. We zoomed by too quickly to notice if anyone was hurt."

"Where do you all expect them to go?" she allegedly cried. "It was an old guy and a family, for goodness' sake. Was it necessary for them to destroy their poor old car?"

How many of these incidents occur on a daily basis? How many die? There is simply no accounting for the disgraceful and murderous way in which Blackwater conducts its operations in Iraq. They are a law unto themselves.

I have actually seen videos of this type of driving in Iraq, available on Youtube. The footage is apparently from official US armoured vehicles driving recklessly often on the wrong side of the road and on pavements, causing pedestrians to throw themselves out of the way.


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