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Hornberger's Blog is a daily libertarian blog written by Jacob G. Hornberger, founder and president of FFF.
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Blackwater Sovereignty


If things are going as swimmingly in Iraq as U.S. officials say they are, then how come U.S. officials have to be escorted around the country by the gun-toting cowboys from Blackwater who are shooting innocent people on the street?

I also still don’t understand this sovereignty business in Iraq. I thought that Iraq is supposed to be a sovereign and independent country. If that is the case, then how is it that a private mercenary group has immunity from criminal prosecution for murder by virtue of some decree previously issued by a U.S. occupational administrator? That is, once the new Iraqi regime was installed into power, why would any of the colonial aspects of the pre-installation occupation be in force?

The answer lies in the fact that the ultimate sovereign in Iraq is the U.S. government, not the Iraqi regime. As long as the Iraqis don’t stray outside parameters of proper behavior set forth by U.S. officials, then Iraq is permitted to be “sovereign.” But if the Iraqis go outside those parameters, such as by making soldiers from both the regular U.S. Army and its mercenary army subject to Iraqi law, then the real sovereign growls and bears its sharp teeth.

Thus, all this “sovereignty” business is just one more lie piled among a multitude of other lies. The truth is that there has always been one — and only one goal — for Iraq — the installation of a pro-U.S. regime, not a truly independent regime. What U.S. officials mean by “success” in Iraq is a pro-U.S. regime akin to those that exist in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, or Jordan — that is, a pro-U.S. regime that will do the bidding of U.S. officials, especially upon payment of a satisfactory amount of foreign aid.

Of course, all this is nothing more than empire thinking, which divides the world into pro-U.S. regimes and anti-U.S. regimes. In actuality, it doesn’t matter one bit what type of regime ultimately comes into power in Iraq. Even if the regime hates the United States, it will nonetheless do everything it can to sell its oil. Even if it refuses to sell to the United States, once the oil is put into the marketplace, it can be sold elsewhere.

After all, look at Venezuela, whose ruler hates the Bush regime. It is still selling tons of oil, not out of generosity but rather out of self-interest. The same was true of Saddam Huussein. But for the sanctions imposed upon him by the UN and U.S., he would have been more than willing to sell tons of Iraqi oil into the international marketplace. It was ironic that he was prevented from doing so by U.S. officials.

The solution to all this, of course, is not a reform of the U.S. overseas military empire but rather a dismantling of the empire. It is the only way to neutralize the empire mindset — i.e., the mindset that divides the world into pro-U.S. regimes and anti-U.S. regimes—and, at the same time, limit the sovereignty of the U.S. government to the United States.

This post was written by:

Jacob G. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. He was born and raised in Laredo, Texas, and received his B.A. in economics from Virginia Military Institute and his law degree from the University of Texas. He was a trial attorney for twelve years in Texas. He also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dallas, where he taught law and economics. In 1987, Mr. Hornberger left the practice of law to become director of programs at the Foundation for Economic Education. He has advanced freedom and free markets on talk-radio stations all across the country as well as on Fox News’ Neil Cavuto and Greta van Susteren shows and he appeared as a regular commentator on Judge Andrew Napolitano’s show Freedom Watch. View these interviews at LewRockwell.com and from Full Context. Send him email.