Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Iraqis are learning fast. Are Blackwater days soon to be in the past?

posted by Bill Arnett @ 8:41 AM Permalink

An interesting article at the Huffington Post this morning regarding Blackwater, Inc., the company which provides security for American diplomats, general officers, and other dignitaries, and that has been accused of committing cold-blooded murder during the course of their job. Excerpt:
Iraqi authorities want the U.S. government to sever all contracts in Iraq with Blackwater USA within six months. They also want the firm to pay $8 million in compensation to families of each of the 17 people killed when its guards sprayed a traffic circle with heavy machine gun fire last month.

The demands _ part of an Iraqi government report examined by The Associated Press _ also called on U.S. authorities to hand over the Blackwater security agents involved in the Sept. 16 shootings to face possible trial in Iraqi courts.[…]

The Iraqi government report said its courts were to proper venue in which to bring charges.

It said Blackwater's license to operate in Iraq expired on June 2, 2006, meaning it had no immunity from prosecution under Iraqi laws set down after the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003.

The government report also challenged the claim that a decree in June 2004 by then-Iraqi administrator L. Paul Bremer granted Blackwater immunity from legal action in incidents such as the one in Nisoor Square. The report said the Blackwater guards could be charged under a criminal code from 1969.[…]

The report found that Blackwater guards also had killed 21 Iraqi civilians and wounded 27 in previous shootings since it took over security for U.S. diplomats in Baghdad after the U.S. invasion. The Iraqi government did not say whether it would try to prosecute in those cases.

The State Department has counted 56 shooting incidents involving Blackwater guards in Iraq this year. All were being reviewed as part of the comprehensive inquiry ordered by Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
It appears that the alternate reality the bush maladministration has sought to invent in Iraq and America is beginning to fall apart, and justly so. It continues to erode any faith remaining in Iraq, and the world, that America is a nation of laws and respects a duly elected representative government.

Not only did bush ignore the initial request last month to remove Blackwater from Iraq, the company was awarded additional lucrative contracts to provide a mercenary air force to supplement its mercenary army. But it is clear from this new report, as well as a recent report that all of the bush goals to unite and stabilize the Iraqi government have failed, that the al-Maliki led government is no longer going to accept bush's alternate reality and, instead, opt for a reality wherein companies and their employees must fall under the jurisdiction of Iraqi courts when accused of a crime, something bush will never allow.

Now, facing a six month deadline to get Blackwater out of Iraq, will bush blink and respect Iraqi authority or again ignore the requests and authority of a sovereign government and spurn any efforts to deport Blackwater? I think most Americans would agree that bush is incapable of doing the right thing and honoring the rule of law in Iraq, just as he has ignored, and continues to ignore, the rule of law here in America.

Each day, as again today, Blackwater is accused of firing at will and murdering innocent Iraqis, it is obvious to the world that bush, in the name of all Americans, poses the greatest threat to peace of any country in the world, that Americans believe they can invade countries, conduct a systematic genocide of the citizens of that country, and that America is more interested in expanding imperial hegemony than establishing democracies and fighting terrorism as is claimed.

It will take at least one, maybe two generations to repair the damage bush has wrought in our name and that neither speaks well nor bodes well for America.

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