Blackwater (PMSC) Remembered: Abu Ghraib Human Rights

Expert from: Coutnerterrorism and its Affronts to Human Rights by. Kurtis Edwards

**Eric Prince, Blackwater founder, is the brother of Betsy DeVos, current US Secretary of Education.

One of the more sinister parts of detaining terrorists and the subject that brings PMSC back in the conversation is the torture and humiliation of prisoners at the hands of PMSCs and military personal in clandestine prisons. Mentioned above was the Abu Ghraib prison torture scandal of 2003. What were the causes of that scandal and what does it mean for PMSCs in general? Scholars like Kristine Huskey (2012), George Mastroianni (2011), and Bernardo Zacka (2016) find the cause to be in multidimensional causalities. They look at the organizational attributes of the operating staff and employer, the chain of command along the division lines of military and contractor, as well as the personal sexual deficiency of particular PMSC workers at Abu Ghraib.

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Answer to the 1947 American Anthropological Association’s Statement on Human Rights

The individual realizes his/her personality through the constant interaction between his/her culture and his/her perceived singularity within that culture as the viewer. I bet humans act like particles in quantum physics more than we want to believe; when viewed the particle changes. What is the society when not viewed? As well and conversely, when that person is influenced by another his/her personality will change. However, there remains one constant denominator in all of these social and political equations, as well as quantum physics, and that is the individual/particle. Constructivism dictates that it is both, not just the community/culture. I tend to think it is a synergy and synthesis between two overwhelmingly opposed forces that we simply cannot see the middle ground, much like quantum physics and traditional physics.

There are such things so monumental they transcend all forms of social organization. A bomb does not discriminate between any such organization. When any of us are in fear, we will either freeze, fight or flight. At the doorstep of pain and suffering, all of us will react. Genocide will kill the person, the family, the community and the state. Violence, organized or not, and the desire for power are two norms that are held constant throughout all peoples; there are others, and I argue we just don’t want to find them. When it becomes practical and beneficial both in the short and long term to not ‘take advantage’ I am sure our understanding of commonalities will flourish. Competition needs a hierarchy to work, how else can we define a ‘winner’ or a ‘loser’ without an order? Maybe decouple progress and competition?

We can start by making logical, equitable changes in how we organize internationally. The foundations of the most legitimate intergovernmental organization are cemented in power and domination. The UN must reform the UNSC. We have to find a way to have as legitimate of an organization without playing to the hands of the most important members. We have to stop saying some hierarchies are acceptable and others are not. However, it should be built on the core notion that violence and subjugation in any form are not the desired norm. Violence and subjugation are universal, and there has to be a counterpoint just as universal. I don’t think the Chinese/Asian societies could even look past the logic of ‘harmony’ in that? Even if one does not exist; we have the awesome ability to create and invent through our unique skills at communication that could not have come about without some type of cooperation.

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The African Womens Development Fund

The African Women’s Development Fund (AWDF) is a Ghana-based grantmaking institution serving the continent of Africa. This summary will provide a brief description of the AWDF as an organization, their mission statement, their values, along with a short mention of their current activities. The AWDF was selected for this summary because it is not a gender-based charitable organization but rather it creates and provides grants to “support local, national and regional women’s organizations working towards the empowerment of African women” (AWDF, 2016).  Using the official website of the AWDF along with an April 7, 2015 Mena Report on recent AWDF grants will be used as source information for this summary.

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