As Twain once said, "never pick a fight with a man who buys his ink by the barrel." It's an even worse idea to kill his dog. In the latest development in the Blackwater saga Blackwater killed the New York Times' dog and the State Department is investigating the shooting. (Like I said, you can't make this stuff up.)
According to Reuters, Blackwater claims the shooting was defensive in order to protect the lives of it's K-9 and K-9 handler:
Blackwater spokeswoman Anne Tyrrell said the dog had attacked one of Blackwater's bomb-sniffer dogs while a security team was sweeping the compound for explosives.
"The K-9 handler made several unsuccessful attempts to get the dog to retreat, including placing himself between the dogs. When those efforts failed, the K-9 handler unfortunately was forced to use a pistol to protect the company's K-9 and himself," she said in an e-mail to Reuters.
Blackwater has been slow to learn how to work with the media and once again, they've missed an opportunity. Sure, it's a PR disaster when one of your guys shoots a newspaper's dog at Christmas time (but not as bad as last year's shooting of the Iraqi Vice President's bodyguard.) But damage can be controlled. Since it's the holidays, I thought I'd give Blackwater a little present--some free spin advice for my friends in Moyock.
It's probably a good time to yank your Blackwater K-9 training video from the web that shows just how cuddly BW pooches are, at least when in action. Watching a German Shepard viciously attack a guy in a padded suit doesn't exactly bolster the sweet heroic dog under attack image you want to portray.
It's also a good time to put a little PR spin into the story. Try this one:
A semi-feral dog that begged for scraps in the Baghdad New York Times compound attacked Fluffy (rebrand, or rather rename her if you have to), a Blackwater certified bomb-sniffing dog who has been credited with saving multiple lives with her keenly trained nose. Fluffy, a 3 year-old orphan rescued from a North Carolina puppy mill by Blackwater, was carrying out her job when Hentish ambushed her.
"I tried everything," the Blackwater K-9 handler said. "I love dogs. The last thing I ever want to do is kill a dog, but this is war. That mongrel was about to rip Fluffy to pieces."
A Blackwater Little Bird pilot risked his life to fly to the NYT compound and evacuate Fluffy to the Combat Support Hospital in the International Zone where she was turned away because of her species.
Fluffy's wounds were treated in the Blackwater compound. She's expected to make a full recovery.
It might not hurt to throw in some of Fluffy's training from the BW website. It also woudn't hurt to respond to this blogger's queries.
Stay tuned for the escalation of the latest Blackwater shooting incident. My prediction: an Iraqi Ministry of Interior press conference in which they claim they're revoking the Blackwater dog's license and ordering it out of the country.