Progressive Writers Bloc

They Owe Us for the Flying Tigers

Uncle Bill Warner

A mercenary is someone who takes up a weapon for a fee. Money, not national honor, is the keyword. Most people are familiar with the Hessians, (Germans) who signed on with the Brits to suppress the upstart colonists under George Washington. About 22,000 of these guys came over, hired out by their king, and when the Brits beat a hasty retreat, most of 'em blended in quietly and their descendants are today living in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

The Nepalese Ghurkas have been shoring up the British Army for years. Then there is the French Foreign Legion, where you can supposedly invent any name and nationality to sign up for some dirty duty. Of course, this has traditionally attracted criminals running from the law and ex-soldiers from the losing side of a war. After WWII, many ex-nazis went there looking for work, and the Legion was a pretty attractive deal. After 3 years of a 5 year enlistment, a Legionnaire becomes a French citizen...sooner if he is wounded in combat.

A group of American mercenaries in the pay of the Chinese before the U.S. got into World War II was the American Volunteer Group ( AVG) , known popularly as the "Flying Tigers." They got paid good wages, with bonuses for each Japanese plane shot down. Not being in the Chinese army, they were not subject to the rules governing prisoners of war, and could have been summarily shot if captured. But the money beckoned... And how about all of those ex-Nazi rocket scientists who we brought over here after World War II and made U.S. citizens? They worked for NASA, under the famous Dr. Wehrner Von Braun who put the U.S. on the Moon, remember? Did they do it for love of America, or did they get private compensation in the form or citizenship and high salaries? Sounds rather mercenary to me...

Ever hear of Blackwater USA? They are a private company which is getting 37 million bucks from the Pentagon to hire civilian former foreign commandos and police from places like Chile and South Africa to do firearms training and such as independent contractors for our military and to guard oil wells and such. Welcome, non-citizens!

Right now the U.S. is having a hard time filling its military with U.S.citizens, despite outrageous offers of money for signing up. A huge portion of our people in Iraq are being "extended", which is like an involuntary draft, and is not too popular with Reservists who never signed on to be part of a permanent army of occupation. Many want out.

As our present government does not want to institute conscription at this time, what with Congressional elections looming down the line and a Republican majority just barely hanging on by its teeth as the public support of the Iraq occupation is going sour, what will happen? Will we turn things over to the warlike Kurds, the Saddam-supporting Sunnis, or the majority Shia opening the door to civil war as our troops wave tearful farewells over the fantails of their departing troop ships? You'll recall we went in and ousted the secular Sunnis, the ones that were holding it all together, albeit brutally. We say we have to stay there and "keep the peace" ... that is why we have built so many permanent bases. Incidentally, we need to be there to make sure that democracy does not work. The last thing we want is for the majority Shi'ites to take control and turn Iraq into a fundamentalist Muslim country like their neighbor; oil rich and religiously-controlled Iran. If they spoke with a united voice about things like U.S. getting out of Israel, and controlled about half the world's oil supply and prices, they would have us by the ... well, you know.

So, what is left to us? Hire more mercenaries! It is obvious. We have already outsourced our industry, paying foreign workers pennies on the dollar to take jobs away from American workers, so why not pay them to fill the ranks of our military? We are already taking in non-citizens, mainly Latinos, with the offer of citizenship if they are killed (which would mean their families would benefit, not them personally). We're even now engaged in recruiting more "illegals." U.S. recruiters have just recently been thrown out of a high school in Tijuana!

I propose going to China and offering to take all the criminals that the People's Republic has locked up and offering them a deal something like the French Foreign Legion does. China would be a good choice, not just because we could pay them next to nothing, but because we are already fighting this war on money borrowed from them! Besides, they owe us for the Flying Tigers...

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