icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm

‘We should be more vigilant about US military adventures and private mercenaries’

Eric Draitser
Eric Draitser is an independent geopolitical analyst based in New York City and the founder of StopImperialism.com. He is a regular contributor to RT, Counterpunch, New Eastern Outlook, Press TV, and many other news outlets. Visit StopImperialism.com for all his work.
The normalization of violence by the United States in places like Syria or Iraq translates into a normalized violence that exists in the United States, independent geopolitical analyst Eric Draitser told RT.

RT spoke with Draitser, an independent geopolitical analyst based in New York City and founder of StopImperialism.com, about Monday’s shooting in the Washington Navy Yard, which left 13 people dead, including the shooter. Following the shooting spree, Vice-President Joe Biden asked the American people to practice more vigilance in the face of such dangers.

Eric Draitser: Well, what Biden was referring to is of course the Obama administration’s tough talk vis-à-vis gun control in the wake of the school shooting in Sandy Hook a few months back. So he’s kind of calling back to that rhetoric that the Obama administration was putting out. But I think once again we should be aware that this is the height of hypocrisy, this is US hypocrisy 101 because while at the same Biden and the Obama administration talks about ‘being vigilant’ and ‘gun control’ and things of this nature, we are looking at a facility that is operated or populated with mercenaries, US contractors, so-called military contractors, which really means trained killers, professional killers whose job it is to kill - usually in countries like Pakistan or Afghanistan or Iraq or elsewhere.

So without running the risk of jumping to conclusions we can at least note that that facility was crawling, if you will, with these military contractors. So if anything we should be more vigilant about US military adventures and the use of private mercenaries than we should be about regular, ordinary citizens.

Police walk in the Washington Navy Yard after a shooting in Washington on September 16, 2013 (Reuters / Joshua Roberts)

RT:But what more could be done to stop (such killing sprees) happening? People might be surprised because, firstly, this is a Navy base in America’s capital. And secondly, there’s been a lot in the media about the NSA program so why aren’t these sort of people guilty of these attacks being picked up before they do it?

ED: Because those people aren’t the target of NSA surveillance. The targets are regular, ordinary citizens. The targets are political figures from abroad. The targets are anybody who is out of line with the US political establishment’s agenda, so the notion that somehow the NSA surveillance program is designed to somehow prevent these sort of incidences is an outlandish idea that really could only be propagated by the Obama administration or any other elected official whose goal it is to deflect the attention away from where it rightly should be placed and that is US militarism.
We see a direct connection between violence that takes place in the United States and US foreign policy; you’d have to be blind not to see it. The normalization of violence by the United States in a place like Syria or Iraq or elsewhere translates into a normalized violence that exists in the United States, something that is seen as merely the ‘news of the day’ rather than an endemic problem.

RT:What could provoke such a person who has dedicated his life to the armed services to then turn a gun against those people he’s worked with?

ED: Well again I hate to speculate because I really don’t know who this individual is. Perhaps this individual was or was not responsible; it’s really early to make such a judgment. But on a general level, we have seen a long, documented string of these types of incidences being carried out by individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder, people who have gone through the horrors of war, maybe who have been trained killers, trained mercenaries, or whatever other part of the so-called private military contractor establishment and completely go off the rails. This would not be the first time that something like this has happened. Of course, we remember the Boston bombing last spring in connection to Kraft International and the mercenary firms…These types of organizations are involved in some of the deepest black ops that exist anywhere in the world and so we shouldn’t be surprised by anything they might be capable of, whether it is in Pakistan or whether it is in Washington, DC.

Aaron Alexis, who the FBI believe to be responsible for the shootings at the Washington Navy Yard in the Southeast area of Washington, DC, is shown in this poster released by the FBI on September 16, 2013 (Reuters)

RT:And in terms of security, what do you think the government’s reaction will be to this? Can we expect to see more security measures put in place?

ED: Naturally, we’ll see more security measures if we can judge by the reaction of the law enforcement establishment with regard to Boston last spring, we saw an entire city put under what amounted to de facto martial law. We will certainly see a ramping up of security procedures; we’ll certainly see not only tighter security but more suspicions placed on individuals working within the military’s sphere or the contractor’s sphere. Of course we shouldn’t forget the Edward Snowden's revelations and the heightened security that has been put in place because of his defection with those NSA documents. So I think we’re going to see a ratcheting up of the security apparatus; a ratcheting up of the police state apparatus, and this of course does not bode well for Americans interested in civil liberties or the illusion of freedom.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.