Royally Kranked

Monday, July 10, 2006

UPDATED: Amnesty, Murder, & Revoking Battlefield Immunity

Updated from earlier today

One thing I was unaware of when making the previous post was that the decision to grant immunity to US Troops is NOT up to the Administration OR Congress to decide

Nope, in a move sure to set off howls from the dwindling number of starry-eyed True W Believers, that determination is up to the UN Security Council

And Jr's problems just got MUCH worse now, as Iraqi PM Maliki is now asking the UN to withdraw the battlefield immunity that protects US Troops and civilian contractors from being tried or held accountable in the Iraq legal system

Iraq says to ask U.N. to end US immunity

Iraq's Government says it will ask the United Nations to end immunity from local law for United States troops, as the US military named five soldiers charged in a rape-murder case that has outraged Iraqis.

Human Rights Minister Wigdan Michael said work on a review of foreign troops' immunity was now under way and a request could be ready by next month to go to the United Nations Security Council, under whose mandate US-led forces operate in Iraq.

"We're very serious about this," she said, adding a lack of enforcement of US 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," she said.

"After that, [Prime Minister] Maliki will present it to the Security Council. We will ask them to lift the immunity.

"If we don't get that, then we'll ask for an effective role in the investigations that are going on. The Iraqi government must have a role."

Analysts say it is improbable the United States would ever make its troops answerable to Iraq's chaotic judicial system.

Asked to respond to Ms Michael's remarks, White House spokesman Tony Snow dismissed that as a "hypothetical game".

But Mr Snow says the US understands Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's concerns.

"We want to make sure he's fully informed and also that he is satisfied, regardless of what the treaty situation may be on these issues, that justice truly is being done, and that he can make that demonstration to his people as well," he said.

Immunity decree

The day before handing formal sovereignty back to Iraqis in June 2004, the US occupation authority issued a decree giving its troops immunity from Iraqi law.

That remains in force and is confirmed by UN Security Council Resolution 1546 on Iraq.

Many Iraqis have complained for the past three years about hundreds of civilians killed by US troops and abuses such as those highlighted in the Abu Ghraib prison scandal of 2004.

But a handful of new US investigations into incidents, including the killing of 24 people at Haditha and the quadruple murder and rape case at Mahmudiya, have caused an outcry that prompted the newly formed national unity Government to speak out.

Ms Michael said commanders' failure to hold soldiers to account had fostered a climate of impunity.

"One of the reasons for this is the UN resolution, which gives the multinational force soldiers immunity," she said.

"Without punishment, you get violations."

US commanders say troops are not immune from justice and must answer to US military law.

But officials concede a flurry of cases reflect a crackdown aimed at restoring credibility with Iraqis.
Murder charges

Sixteen troops were charged with murder in Iraq in recent weeks, as many as in the previous three years.

Four soldiers were charged on Saturday with rape and murder in the Mahmudiya case, dating from March.

A military official named them on Monday as Privates First Class Jesse Spielman and Bryan Howard, Sergeant James Barker and Specialist Paul Cortez.

All are accused of conspiring with Steven Green, then a private in the 502nd Infantry Regiment, who was charged as a civilian with rape and murder in a US court last week.

Prosecutors say four soldiers went to the home after drinking, intending to rape 14-year-old Abeer al-Janabi, and left a fifth soldier manning their nearby checkpoint.

They say Green shot Ms Janabi's parents and 6-year-old sister, before he and one other raped the teenager and Green also then shot her dead.

Sergeant Anthony Yribe was charged with dereliction of duty for failing to report what he knew of the case.

US official documents say Ms Janabi was raped.

US officials have said Ms Janabi was aged 20 or 25, but documents obtained by Reuters put her age at 14.

If the Administration REALLY thinks revoking battlefield immunity is a "hypothetical game", then it truly has no idea just how badly damaging these incidents are to both Administrative policies and the US long-term interests as a whole

The whole thing must be galling from the POV of so many Iraqis, especially seeing as how that immunity wasn't granted until the day before the US turned over formal sovereignty of Iraq to the newly-formed Government

This insistence on being exempt from the same laws, treaties and legal obligations expected from the rest of the world is a big part of why the US is so hated around the globe, it's an attitude that states the only lives worth noting or protecting are those of US citizens, all others are either immediately forgotten or ignored entirely

And while this immunity policy did exist under Bill Clinton, it's more than appropriate that it's going to give W more political heartburn than he's ever experienced before, a bit of karmic payback for Dear Leader's blowing of that treasury surplus left by the Slick One before leaving office in 2001

Regarding the Abeer al-Janabi horror, and the slaughter of 24 civilians in Haditha, there can and must NEVER be any legitimacy attached to such atrocities, executing, slaughtering and raping children is a crime there can be no diminishing, no trivializing, no attempting to ease punishment for those involved in the most evil of acts, violence against children

Expect this demand to revoke military and civilian contractor immunity to grow with the various Iraqi factions vying for political power, taking a hard-line against the US occupiers is a cause that can only unite, not divide, most of the armed groups currently operating and killing in Iraq

And there is definitely a way for things to get worse in regards to revoking battlefield immunity for the us military and civilian contractors, and that's if Afghanistan Leader Hamid Karzai has to play the same anti-US card to stay alive politically, and that's an option I submit is more likely with the Taliban resurgent in areas of Afghanistan outside of Kabul

And to further add damage to the political cost W's paying now, expect the amnesty proposal in Iraq to definitely cover those who say they only target US troops

When incidents involving women in labor getting killed by troops , or allegations of massacres in which a child survivor of only 9 wishes the US troops involved to be executed, or the victims listed in this roll call of the Iraqi Dead, when any of these incidents goes uncorrected/unatoned for, is it any surprise that amnesty proposals giving immunity to Iraqis who targeted US troops will now be given much more serious thought than before?

And if both Iraq and Afghanistan decide that they need to offer amnesty/immunity to their own people, how can the Administration possibly either attack the idea-for fear of undermining the very Governments installed by the US, OR support the proposal, which will be a staggering bodily blow to W's political fortunes especially leading into the November elections?

Does anyone think an amnesty will go over well with the families of those US Troops killed, maimed, or traumatized in duty to their Commander in Chief?

The misery the dueling amnesty/immunity proposals are going to inflict on the President and his retinue is going to be painful indeed, and as stated at the end of the previous post, a group more deserving of the same pain and anguish it's policies have dished out to so many innocent, unwilling civilians cannot be found outside of 1600 Pennsylvania and Capitol Hill

Both the Administration AND the GOP need to Crash & Burn as hard, bright and completely as possible

2 Comments:

  • :lol:

    All these posts and almost ZERO comments... You're not going to wind-up like that other Americablogger who's own blog got zero comments over the years and years, are you?

    What was his name again?

    By Anonymous Unbefestigter Radikaler, at 5:47 PM  

  • You commented here, and I haven't returned the favor

    What a shame huh?

    By Blogger KingCranky II, at 4:59 PM  

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