Report alleges racism and dog abuse at an American air base in Balad, Iraq
Finally pulling troops out of Iraq was supposed to be a big moral victory for the United States, but unfortunately, the instability across the region, caused in no small part by the disastrous choice to go to war in that country in the first place, means that the American taxpayer is still footing the bill to pay military contractors and mercenaries outrageous sums to provide security in the region. Zack Kopplin of the Government Accountability Project, along with Irvin McCullough, published the results of a lengthy investigation into one such security firm in the Daily Beast this month chronicling the horror show that's resulted trusting the safety of Balad Air Base in Iraq to a Virginia-based company called Sallyport Global. On “Salon Talks,” Kopplin discussed their findings. So far, the US has paid Sallyport a cool billion to run operations at the base, and the result has been, Kopplin explained, a disaster. White supremacists from South Africa, furious about the end of apartheid, are running the show, according to the report, and have imposed their ugly ideology on a community that has people of diverse races and ethnicities. “When you get two to three hundred, roughly, ex-Apartheid South Africans controlling all the guns in your military base, and these guys hold very racist views, they start to actually implement them,” Kopplin said. Corruption is widespread and, Kopplin argues, the entire situation is degrading relations with the Iraqis that live near the base. The investigators also found evidence of animal abuse, chronicled reports that stray dogs, who flock to the base seeking food in a countryside decimated by war, are being caged up and starved. "I remember hearing the dogs crying," one employee told the reporters. "All the time." The story is pressing at any time, but even more so now that Donald Trump is president, and reports suggest his administration is close with military contractors like Erik Prince, who are notorious for pushing American foreign aggression in hopes of making more money off the American taxpayer. Watch the video above to hear more about the alleged racism at the air base and who Kopplin says should be held accountable. Subscribe to SalonTV’s YouTube Channel to watch SalonTV’s live interview and music shows “Salon Talks” and “Salon Stage,” airing daily at noon ET / 9 a.m. PT and 4 p.m. Click here to watch more “Salon Talks” interviews.