He was never really being subtle about it, but in a recent sworn legal declaration made by a former Blackwater manager as well as an ex-Marine who may or may not be still working with the company (now called Xe, which Prince still owns and remains chairman of the board after stepping down as CEO earlier this year), we've got a claim that vastly bolsters the perceived motivations and goals of Blackwater founder Erik Prince.
The sworn statement is posted thanks to The Nation.
The claims of weapons smuggling isn't new, but this here is very telling --
...he views himself as Christian crusader tasked with eliminating Muslims and the Islamic faith from the globe.
What I want to get into here is that basic term "crusader." In a general sense, we in the West use it all the time - the journalist crusading for the truth of X story, the intrepid little guy crusading to stop the evil (insert here).
The word in and of itself is minor - but depending on context, it's a loaded gun. Let's look at one that is very loaded to us - simply, the N-word. Given the context of my being a white middle class kid of moderate leanings, my saying that would be immediately condemned in most states. Yet I have friends who use this term all the time, and considering that they're black men, it's acceptable.
Words depending on context can go from harmless to dangerous.
Bin Laden and his predecessor/mentor, Ayman al-Zawahiri, all the way back in 1994 co-signed their initial fatwa that planted the seed to grow into al-Qaeda. This was written under the banner of "World Islamic Front for Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders."
We can either ignore this on the grounds of well, it's Bin Laden, of course he'd say that, or we can consider exactly why he chose his terminology. The problem with Bin Laden is that as a result of 9/11, we toss away everything he and his counterparts say as the insane ramblings of a radical Islamist group. What we as a population don't do is apply the same logic as we do in the innumerable serial killer movies we so love - try to get in their heads, to better defeat them.
Bin Laden's crazy but he's no fool - "Crusader" is a loaded word in the Muslim world, for obvious reasons. It's a marketing ploy, really. And a good one.
(However, in recent years they've lost a lot of ground from their attack techniques - a lot of Muslims have died as collateral damage from their attacks on Western targets. They haven't been able to replenish their numbers of middle-management and trainers and as a result haven't been recruiting suicide bombers as much as they used to.)
Crusader is a word used to describe each and every member of the West, discounting Israel - the "Zionists," though "Zionist Crusader" seems to be bandied about every now and again. The reason, of course, is that the term is loaded with history for the Islamic faith. For lack of a better analogy, it's their Holocaust, plain and simple.
For John Doe #2 to make this statement, as a member of Blackwater management, is a big red flag. He's well aware of what it means in the context of this clashing of religious/political belief, or the old Huntington term, civilizations. And it's clear he knows it, hitting the point home in the very next point of declaration:
To that end, Mr. Prince intentionally deployed to Iraq certain men who shared his vision of Christian supremacy... Many of these men used call signs based on the Knights of the Templar, the warriors who fought the Crusades.
I would never blame John Doe #2 for making these statements, but if they are true (and I have to believe that, to make a statement as specific as this, he'd have documents to back them up before being allowed to make this sworn statement under penalty of perjury), this will be a talking point of al-Qaeda for years to come, essentially bolstering their claim - "See? See? We've been saying this for years. Join up!"
Combine that with the claim that Xe/Blackwater's holding a base of operations in Malta, with connections to the Knights of Malta - an old Crusade-era militia built expressly for the defense of Crusade-conquered lands (who're still in operation today), and it's effectively everything al-Qaeda wants, and everything average Muslims fear.
Potentially, it's all the evidence needed for Muslims on the sidelines to pick a side.