Friday, March 02, 2007

Perspective: Blackwater's 'Little Birds' inspire awe in some, terror in others

They skim the wounded skylineof an angry city - tiny black wasps, fragile yet full of sting.

Bristling with biceps and gun barrels, they're as much a part of the daily fabric of Baghdad as sandbags, checkpoints and black plumes of smoke.

They are Blackwater's Little Bird helicopters.

As icons often do, they stir emotion. The Little Birds can symbolize all that's right or wrong with the war. To the enemy, they are an evil to be struck from the sky. To an ally in trouble, their inbound buzz is the blessed sound of a second chance.

It can be much less complicated for the everyday soldier. For many grunts on the ground, Blackwater's Little Birds fill two simple needs: entertainment and inspiration.

From the Virginia Beach Pilot