Thursday, April 19, 2007

Abdul Raheem

2 Apr 07
The squadron’s chief warrant officer, Abdul Raheem, returned from leave yesterday. We found out that it wasn’t his nephew that was recently killed as was reported to us earlier; it was his brother. According to Abdul Raheem, his brother was driving his car when an insurgent who didn’t know him “assassinated him.” His brother’s son had been killed by insurgents 2 years earlier and Abdul Raheem’s brother had been the sole financial support for the young man’s widow and two children. He left behind his own widow, his widowed daughter-in-law, and two grandchildren. Abdul Raheem looked weak from grief and said he hadn’t been able to eat in several days. He has now inherited financial responsibility for the two families.

There’s a really interesting web-video documentary (Google: “Shadow Company”) that details the emergence of private security specialists in modern warfare. The film traces the roots of several firms from the end of Apartheid in South Africa to their assistance in civil wars around Africa and ultimately their involvement in Iraq. South Africa has been widely criticized by other nations for supporting “mercenaries” and, under international pressure; they issued a statement expressing their concern and embarrassment that South Africans are found wherever claims of mercenaries are raised. We have a large population of South African civilian security specialists that live on and operate from the base.

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