Iraq wants immunity stripped from U.S. troops.

Looks like the new Iraqi government isn’t too happy with all the bad news about U.S. troops committing atrocities. They’re planning on asking the U.N. to strip the troops of their immunity from Iraqi law:

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraq will ask the United Nations to end immunity from local law for U.S. troops, the government said on Monday, as the U.S. military named five soldiers charged in a rape-murder case that has outraged Iraqis.

In an interview a week after Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki demanded a review of foreign troops’ immunity, Human Rights Minister Wigdan Michael said work on it was now under way and a request could be ready by next month to go to the U.N. Security Council, under whose mandate U.S.-led forces operate in Iraq.

“We’re very serious about this,” she said, adding a lack of enforcement of U.S. military law in the past had encouraged soldiers to commit crimes against Iraqi civilians.

“We formed a committee last week to prepare reports and put it before the cabinet in three weeks. After that, Maliki will present it to the Security Council. We will ask them to lift the immunity,” Michael said.

It’s highly unlikely that Iraq will see its request granted and that’s only likely to further inflame the citizenry and contribute to ongoing failure to win the hearts and minds of Iraqis. Bush has said repeatedly that he’d pull us out of Iraq if the new government demanded it. One is left to wonder how much longer it’ll be before they finally do ask, whether their ready to stand on their own or not.

8 thoughts on “Iraq wants immunity stripped from U.S. troops.

  1. Sounds more like the Iraqi government is just stalling for time.  I don’t think they want the Yanks out yet; after all the suicide bombers are targeting more Mosques then the American bases.

  2. Yeah, I beg to differas well, based on an article I read in The New Republic, a (for me anyway) online journal which I respect a lot for its thoughtful journalism.

    While TNR in total is not free, free registration will get you access to this article about how the US army is basically fighting it’s Iraq war more or less disconnected from the political maneuvering back in the US.

    One of the most interesting things that I read in is that in many places the US is, if not the friend of the locals, the only source of some sort of security (against local gangs, terrorists foreign and homebred etc…) and that many Iraqis have this ‘You can’t go!’ attitude whenever there’s talk of them pulling out (which they often have to do when units are rotated).

    It really isn’t turning a corner in any way, because it still remains a horrible quagmire there. And in the best of worlds, it will probably become a mess like Europe has in the Balkans – having to field pacification troops for decades, because old hatreds die hard…

    Still, an interesting change.

  3. PS: When I said “I beg to differ”, I meant as in “beg to differ with the subtext that everyone hates the US and wants them out”.

  4. Oh I don’t doubt that there are plenty of people who don’t hate us over there, but the question is are they the majority or the minority? And if our armed forces keep committing atrocities how long before even those people decide are presence isn’t worth the cost?

  5. Churchill said: Never, never, never believe any war will be smooth and easy, or that anyone who embarks on the strange voyage can measure the tides and hurricanes he will encounter. The statesman who yields to war fever must realize that once the signal is given, he is no longer the master of policy but the slave of unforeseeable and uncontrollable events.

    As much as I was against the war well before it began, I doubt the majority of peace-loving Iraqis want our armies to leave any time soon and nor should we until there’s a semblance of stability.
    Here and over there many political games are being played over all its aspects.
    People jostling for kudos, face, power and polls, whilst others are dying.

    Les: And if our armed forces keep committing atrocities …

    I’m not trying to downplay the atrocities or justify or excuse them but, in five years (?) there’re have been very few compared to the random bombings and beheadings the other side has carried out.
    We should be dropping porn, cell-phones, game-boys and the like all over Iraq. Distract them. LOL

  6. Les,

    “don’t hate us” isn’t good enough. Call me cynical, but old hatreds die slowly, if ever, and at best the U.S. Oil Protection Force seems welcome to provide cover for an interal power struggle.


    I’m not trying to downplay the atrocities or justify or excuse them but, in five years (?) there’re have been very few compared to the random bombings and beheadings the other side has carried out.

    If you count the invasion, Abu Ghraib, and at least some of the counter-insurgency operations as atrocities, a different picture emerges. There may or may not be a lapse in troop discipline, but as they say back home – “Der Fisch stinkt vom Kopf her” (the fish stinks from the head down)…

  7. Just an opinion, not well informed: If we are there to help the Iraqis (not saying, one way or the other), then we are their guests.  If our troops mistreat our host by harming his children, then they should expect to be treated as in violation of the oldest codes of behavior between strangers.  If on the other hand, we are there as conquerors, the Geneva conventions should hold.  In the first case, death is the penalty, and that at the hands of the offended party.  In the second, I do not know.  Any business of special immunity is without precedent or merit, as far as I know.

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