Jeremy Scahill

It is not secret that in the world of globalization, the war of corporations and states for resources creates the need for skillful structures willing to take contracts for the bloodiest and dirty tenders on the market, hidden from the eyes of the public. In his book, American journalist Jeremy Scahill reveals the history of the transformation of an ordinary security company into the largest private army in the world, whose main activity is participation in international military conflicts, and whose main customer is the state. In Afghanistan and Iraq, Blackwater (now Academi) with particular cruelty dealt with civilians and smuggled weapons. The author reveals the true nature and power of the parallel private army on which the US government has spent hundreds of millions of dollars and for which there are no laws or moral principles.

The main goal of the book Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army is to open the truth about the company “Blackwater” to the publicity while discussing the events the company is responsible for and the people guiding its activities. The author opens the book by announcing the names of people who helped him the most in creating the book and thanking all the journalists for their hard work and sacrifices they made to discover the truth that lies behind one or another event. Scahill starts his work by the enumeration of the events that were hidden from the public and for which Blackwater was responsible. The author shows how the company’s bloody performance was ignored by the government and had no legal consequences. Although Scahill has not formally expressed the thesis of the book, its goal is easily guessed by the tone of his writing and implied by the injustice of the events he discusses. It is essential to note that since the beginning of the paper, the author never judges the actions of the company, government or people, he simply retells the stories of the eyewitnesses and victims, forcing the reader to understand the content hidden between the lines. The arguments made in the book are supported by the facts, stories of the people related to the issues, and chronological sequence of events. Thus, the presented arguments are proven from different viewpoints and information sources, which makes them truthful.

As a journalist, Jeremy Scahill relied on different sources of information while writing the book. All the arguments used are supported by the facts and stories of witnesses. The sequence of events is presented in the chronological manner. Thus, a sufficient amount of sources and data is used to prove the arguments. The basic facts author uses rely on the evidence but not on the presumptions about people, society, or personal characteristics. Using different sources to prove the materials discussed in the book, the writer applies sophisticated analysis model to create logically based paper that is easy to understand. For example, the book begins by telling the background of the young man, Ahmed Hathem al-Rubaie, and his family, and the sequence of actions he was doing one day. Then, there are the evidences of the police officers and several victims, people that were standing not far from the car and that were driving after it, about the situation that happened at Nisour Square and involved al-Rubaie. Therefore, the usage of different sources of information to discuss every event including data from the investigation reports, makes the evidences presented in the paper look credible.

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The book of Jeremy Scahill is written to show that in the modern world there are still forces whose actions and activities are not controlled by the law. The author aimed to publicly disclose all the immoral actions of the military corporation, which claims that its main goal has always been to defend innocent citizens. The political judgment of Scahill is based on the discussion of the decision the US government made to allow the Blackwater organization to work on their own without any legal responsibility. The moral purpose of the book is to force the US government as well as Blackwater to take responsibility for their deeds and bear all legal consequences of their behavior or passivity. The political purpose of the book is to provide publicity with the information the government hid from their sight and to show the real events that the administration of Bush allowed in Iraq, Somali, Columbia etc. The language the author uses and the way the information is delivered make the judgment not straightforward, forcing one to draw the conclusions by his or her own.

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The book portrays the political and social models that shape the world and the countries nowadays. The growing of Blackwater from a security firm to a military corporation also shows the development of the political perspective of the US, the way it changed from peaceful to the one that is entirely based on the externally employed military forces. Jeremy Scahill shows the readers how the limited groups of people have control over the world development and resources allocation and how their ability to obtain powerful military force determines the development course of not only one nation but the entire world. All the facts and arguments the author makes are supported by strong evidences and data and presented in a skillful way with implicit conclusions hid behind the facts. 

The book is written from the third person’s omniscient point of view that is supported by the direct speeches of the eyewitnesses, people involved, and citations of the data found. The author starts the book describing the events the Blackwater corporation was involved in, and continues the story by the discussion of the company’s performance from its foundation to decline in the chronological manner. Scahill also reviews the military conflicts the company was involved in during its work for the US government and consequences its actions had on the lives of civil people and countries as a whole. The opening of the book by the discussion of the bloody events involving Blackwater and then reading about the corporation’s rising creates the negative perception of the main characters of the story; however, no biases by such a beginning are created. The book describes the performance of the private military corporation, whose existence was hidden from the publicity, and secrete operations it accomplished for the US government that involved the murders of innocent people (Baghdad) and armed revolutionaries (Columbia). Jeremy Scahill starts and finishes the book in such a way to show the reader how little he or she knows about the world events and how one’s knowledge is limited by the point of view of the main media that illuminate the issue for the benefit of one or another party involved in the conflict. 

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In this book, the author shows the human constraints determined by their culture, society, and time. He vividly illustrates that people are not free to create their own point of view on one or another event as the information they know is a variable in the hands of the media and government to manipulate them in the way it is favorable for the dominant political regime or group of people. The latent factors described in the book has been significantly changing and influencing the history of the today world, and the author tries to remove the veil concealing the truth. Jeremy Scahill confirms that human nature is hard to be changed, but people can change their outlooks when all facts are known and there is no hidden information or facts that are interpreted on behalf of one or another group of interest.

Summing up, it is essential to note that the history of Blackwater is a never-ending series of violations of all American and international laws. Jeremy Scahill, one of the stars of modern investigative journalism, gave a brilliant description and analysis of the connections between American ultra-right fundamentalists, the military machine, and the privatization of state functions. The strength of the author is in the detailed knowledge of the situation "in the field" obtained during the years of work in Iraq etc., and at the same time a clear understanding of the "high" policy of the Washington corridors of power. The journalistic discoveries of Scahill provoked several investigations of the US Congress and were noted by many prestigious journalistic and literary awards.

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