It appears that, with the death of the four "civilian contractors" in Iraq yesterday, a new euphemism has been born. They were probably mercenaries in American employ.

And now we have another spiral of revenge in the Middle East.
Simon R. Hughes
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It appears that, with the death of the four "civilian contractors" in Iraq yesterday, a new euphemism has been born. They were probably mercenaries in American employ. And now we have another spiral of revenge in the Middle East. Simon R. Hughes

From an AP story at

http://apnews.myway.com/article/20040401/D81LNKRO0.html or
http://tinyurl.com/2rka6
State Department spokesman Adam Ereli said the contractors, all men, "were trying to make a difference and to help others."

U.S. officials did not identify the dead or the nature of their work because the next of kin had not yet been notified.

However, early evidence indicated they worked for Blackwater Security Consulting, a company based in Moyock, N.C., the company said in a statement. The security firm hires former military members from the United States and other countries to provide security training and guard services. In Iraq, the company was hired by the Pentagon to provide security for convoys that delivered food in the Fallujah area, the company statement said.

end quote

So, I guess this makes them "mercenaries," and that must make the treatment they received from Fallujans okay. (I get that impression from a brief look at Kathy Cramer's site. I do believe she will find all the conspiracies and double-talk she seeks.)
Maria Conlon
"Some guy hit my fender the other day, and I said unto him, 'Be fruitful and multiply.' But not in those words." Woody Allen
Thus spake Maria Conlon:
So, I guess this makes them "mercenaries," and that must make the treatment they received from Fallujans okay.

Except the 10 year-old kid who ground his heel into the charred head of one of the mercenaries, telling Dubya to take notice, I haven't heard of anyone at all saying that the killing of the men was OK.
I began this thread on a point of English usage.

Simon R. Hughes
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Thus spake Maria Conlon:

So, I guess this makes them "mercenaries," and that must make the treatment they received from Fallujans okay.

Except the 10 year-old kid who ground his heel into the charred head of one of the mercenaries, telling Dubya ... all saying that the killing of the men was OK. I began this thread on a point of English usage.

Okay, let's discuss it.
I think the term "civilian contractor" has been used for a while by the military to mean anyone whose services are contracted for. That would include people from Blackwater Security Consulting as well as Halliburton types. So, it could be probably be viewed as either a euphemism or as a "catch-all" term.
Is "mercenary" used as anything but a negative term? Was it ever a "job title"? That is, were "mercenaries" ever officially called "mercanaries" by the military or government outfit that hired them? I haven't done much reading in that area, so I don't know. I do know the term "soldier of fortune" but I'm not sure that's the same thing (when applied to a person rather than a game).
Observation: Our emotions tend to inform our opinions in areas like this one. It is hard to remain dispassionate.
Maria Conlon
"...and your flag decal won't get you
into Heaven any more" (C&W song)
Is "mercenary" used as anything but a negative term? Was it ever a "job title"? That is, were "mercenaries" ever ... "soldier of fortune" but I'm not sure that's the same thing (when applied to a person rather than a game).

How about condottieri?
Except the 10 year-old kid who ground his heel into the charred head of one of the mercenaries, telling Dubya to take notice,

Ah, so it was a political gesture.
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It appears that, with the death of the four "civilian contractors" in Iraq yesterday, a new euphemism has been born. They were probably mercenaries in American employ.

This probability is not universal. For example
some Canadian military cooks are no longer
trained soldiers but civilian contractors, e.g.
in Afghanistan. It is supposed to be cheaper
and the Canadian Armed Forces are hard up.

Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs (Ottawa, Canada)
Is "mercenary" used as anything but a negative term? Was it ever a "job title"? That is, were "mercenaries" ever officially called "mercanaries" by the military or government outfit that hired them? I

Wasn't it Kipling who wrote an ironic Epitaph
for an Army of Mercenaries, meaning the
ordinary British troops of his day (before WW1) ?

Don Phillipson
Carlsbad Springs (Ottawa, Canada)
It appears that, with the death of the four "civilian contractors" in Iraq yesterday, a new euphemism has been born. They were probably mercenaries in American employ. And now we have another spiral of revenge in the Middle East.

And a planeload of civilian contractors were arrested in Zimbabwe a few weeks ago.

Steve Hayes from Tshwane, South Africa
http://www.geocities.com/Athens/7734/stevesig.htm
E-mail - see web page, or parse: shayes at dunelm full stop org full stop uk
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