Published on

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."

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

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.


Never Miss a Beat.

Get our best delivered to your inbox.

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:


This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Please select a donation method:

Share This Article