Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Medhi Hasan and Erik Prince go head to head on Friday morning (Photo: Mehdi Hasan Twitter @mehdirhasan)

Watch: Mercenary Erik Prince Confronted Over Calling Iraqis 'Barbarians'

"You yourself have referred to the people your men were fighting in Iraq as barbarians who crawled out of the sewer."

In an interview scheduled to air on Al Jazeera's YouTube channel Friday morning, journalist Mehdi Hasan confronts former Blackwater CEO Erik Prince over comments Prince made about Iraqis and the bloody history of his mercenary company. 

"What drives you, when you kind of, come up with these plans to do private security especially in a lot of these Muslim-majority countries?" Hasan asked Prince in a clip posted to Twitter Wednesday. "Because you yourself have referred to the people your men were fighting in Iraq as barbarians who crawled out of the sewer."

Prince said that he was referring to "terrorists," a point Hasan conceded while pointing out that Prince's wording in the quote suggested the mercenary saw all Iraqis as terrorists. 

"You said, 'These were the chanting barbarians American troops had been sent to liberate?'" Hasan said. "You weren't sent to liberate 'terrorists.' It sounds like you're talking about Iraqis."

Hasan's question left Prince at a loss for words, though Prince did, after a few seconds, deflect to attacking Saddaam Hussein and pointing out that he wasn't behind the policy decision to invade Iraq.

In the clip, Hasan also brought up the conviction of four Blackwater employees for murder and manslaughter for their actions in Iraq. Prince, smiling, replied that it took four times to convict the men and implied that the federal government had to bring the case in Washington, D.C., in order to secure a conviction.

"Is a D.C. jury not a legitimate jury?" asked Hasan.

"I would say, a jury of your peers does not compare to the rest of America? No," Prince said. 

"So some juries are legitimate, some not," said Hasan. "Like so-called judges."

The full interview is scheduled to air Friday morning. Watch:

 


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.
We need your help.

Support progressive journalism.

Common Dreams is not your average news site. We don't survive on clicks or advertising dollars. We rely entirely on your support. And without it, our independent progressive journalism simply wouldn’t exist. Every gift of every amount matters.

Join the fight and support our common dreams today.

On Climate and Covid-19 Emergencies, G7 Judged a 'Colossal Failure' for All the World to See

"Never in the history of the G7 has there been a bigger gap between their actions and the needs of the world. In the face of these challenges the G7 have chosen to cook the books on vaccines and continue to cook the planet."

Jon Queally, staff writer ·


NYC Mayoral Candidate Eric Adams Rebuked for 'Dangerous' 400-Students-to-1-Teacher Theory

"Defunding schools to the point that we have a 400:1 student-to-teacher ratio so we can bankroll another huge expansion in an already-multibillion dollar police budget," said Rep. Ocasio-Cortez, "is how you build a school-to-prison pipeline."

Jon Queally, staff writer ·


Lack of Patent Waiver Would Add Over $70 Billion to Cost of Vaccinating World: Oxfam

Most of that money, said a spokesperson for the group, "will go directly into the pockets" of Big Pharma shareholders.

Jon Queally, staff writer ·


Darnella Frazier Receives Pulitzer Special Citation 'for Courageously Recording the Murder of George Floyd'

"Without Darnella, Derek Chauvin never would have been tried and George Floyd would have been blamed by the state for his own death."

Brett Wilkins, staff writer ·


'We Are Sounding the Alarm': Global Left Warns Right-Wing Fujimori Trying to Steal Election in Peru

"Fujimori’s only way forward to victory is simple: annul tens of thousands of already tallied votes," warned Progressive International. "Powerful forces are organizing to deliver this outcome."

Andrea Germanos, staff writer ·