I know it was a long blog. but I still should have inclded this news item which didn't make the TandT. Even Google news had it yesterday.
The Canadian government has hired a security firm that used to be called Blackwater to train Canadian soldiers. Why isn't it called Blackwater any more? Probably because of its unsavoury reputation.
Coming to bloom in the first term of President Bush, Blackberry provided mercenaries ( hired thugs from all over the world) to supply an American army that couldn't attract volunteers. It also provided food services, housing, etc. It got the unsavoury reputation for two reasons.
1. Its soldiers had an extraordinarily high rate of killing civilians. (Well, they were, after all, hired and trained as simple thugs).
2. It developed an even higher rate of false billing, of charging for services not delivered, of overcharging, of corruption...
Even the American press carried some pretty scandalous stories about it. For some reason, though, the American government retained it as a contractor. It was clearly being protected by the president and by congress. The stiuation continues. Only the name Blackwater has changed, first to XeServices, and now to Academi. It continues to be protected by congressmen and others for reasons that I am sure have nothing to do with bribery and corruption.
Now, Blackwater AKA XeServicesAKA Academi is making money out of our taxes.
Defence Minister MacKay, whatever his charms may be, is such a walking disaster as a Defence minister that he really should be an environment minister for New Brunswick where he he might be slightly less damaging.
He has extraordinarily expensive travel habits, is a tool of the military establishment, has made a very expensive mess of the procurement of a new fighter aircraft - and now he has hired a company with a long record of thuggishness and cheating - to train our troops.
Much of their training has been moved to the U.S. Of course. Canada is an American colony with a military that uses American equipment and is trained to fight American wars, all mired in the corrupt politics of the American defence industry.