Every article written about the Blackwater debacle in Iraq contains the following sentence nearly word for word:
The ministry has said that it would prosecute the participants in the shooting, but a law issued by the American occupation authority prior to the return of sovereignty to Iraq in 2004 grants American contractors, along with American military personnel, immunity from Iraqi prosecution.What's funny is that it turns out they're immune from American prosecution as well. Nice work if you can get it.
We all know of course that Iraqi sovereignty is a sham in fact, but it appears that we're now willing to acknowledge that it is a sham in law as well. How, otherwise, can you claim that the decisions of an occupation authority persist in an unoccupied territory? The answer is that the Iraqi government is not sovereign, or more particularly, that the government of Iraq is sovereign except where it is not--rather like an occupied country. Even were there no "private contractors," but only the American army blasting around the country shooting shit up and kicking down doors, that fact would be evident. The exemption of these contractors is a difference in degree. But what a degree!