Not THAT sovereign
As you know, Iraq is now a sovereign nation, America having graciously returned its sovereignty on June 28, 2004. But there’s sovereign and then again there’s sovereign. And the sovereignty of a nation under military occupation is, shall we say, something of a state of mind.
And right now the otherwise hopelessly deadlocked “government” of the sovereign nation of Iraq is getting ready to be a royal pain in the ass to the Bush Administration. It seems that Iraqis of all ethnic stripes have finally found something to agree on (other than hating Americans): they want American contractors to be subject to prosecution under Iraqi law.
For some strange reason the Iraqis don’t think they can trust America to bring lawless contractors to justice. Go figure.
(AP) Iraq bill would lift contractor immunity
The Iraqi government on Tuesday approved draft legislation lifting immunity for foreign private security companies, sending the measure to parliament, a spokesman said.
The question of immunity has been one of the most serious disputes between the U.S. and the Iraqi government since a Sept. 16 shooting involving Blackwater USA guards that left 17 Iraqi civilians dead.
* * *
Iraqi government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said the draft law approved Tuesday would overturn an immunity order known as Decree 17 that was issued by L. Paul Bremer, who ran the American occupation government until June 2004.
“It will be sent to the parliament within the coming days to be ratified,” he told The Associated Press.
Al-Dabbagh did not single out Blackwater but said: “According to this law, all security companies will subjected to the Iraqi criminal law and must obey all the country’s legal regulations such as: registration, customs, visas, etcetera.”
Watching this play out is going to be fascinating. There’s simply no way the Bush Administration can allow this to go into effect. Given the overextended status of the US military, Bush desperately needs the rent-a-soldiers in Iraq. Absent them, he would be forced to dramatically cut back military operations — or perhaps even, God forbid, follow the will of the people and withdraw completely.
Yet, recruiting US and other Western civilians willing to work as contractors in Iraq absent legal immunity under Iraqi law would be next to impossible. (Would you want to be subject to prosecution in an Iraqi court?)
So ultimately the Bush Administration is going to have to find a way to squash this proposal and leave the immunity to prosecution under Iraqi law in place (while perhaps acquiescing to placing contractors under military justice), sovereignty be damned.
Hey, if they really wanted to be a truly sovereign nation, they shouldn’t have asked us to invade them in the first place
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October 31st, 2007 at 12:39 am
The contractors for The Prince of Darkness have been granted immunity by the State Department. Even better, Condolousy Rice won’t say if she knew about it or not!!! It seems to be a somewhat important matter, seeing as 17 people were killed by Blackwater mercenaries. Oh, excuse me, I forgot, it was only Iraqi civilians, a mother and baby being among them. You would think that Ms. Rice might know if the thugs were granted immunity by her own State Dept. Perhaps not. She claimed she had no way of knowing that terrorists would use airplanes for an attack, before 9/11. (Of course, she was given warnings, but chose to ignore them.) She has a fairly predictable pattern of “not knowing,” even if knowing should be a significant part of her job. Doesn’t sound very competent to me; but since she is one of Dubya’s dearest sycophants, she doesnt need to be competent. Eric Prince is a big campaign contributor to the Republikkkans. You can bank on the fact that Blackwater is NOT going to pay any price for their misdeeds. Condi will see to it. Already has. She has made a few whimpering noises about an investigation, but it will go nowhere. The hypocrisy of it all is transparent beyond belief. Just another day in Bushworld.