The perils of colonial justice in Iraq
One possible way to arbitrate this dispute is by observing the dispensation of justice with regard to American servicemen accused of the "unlawful killing" (in military parlance) of Iraqi civilians. In this area, as with the infamous cases of torture in Abu Ghraib and elsewhere, impunity is the rule of thumb for both the rank and file and their superiors. In the overwhelming majority of cases over the course of the war, prosecutions have either not taken place, or if court martials have occurred, there have been acquittals or token sentences dispensed.
No matter how profound the inequities of US military justice, the transitional Iraqi government of Ibrahim Jaafari has no means to challenge them. The trend towards impunity, therefore, would seem to validate the grievances of the opponents by demonstrating the uneven distribution of power that defines relations between the US and the transitional Iraqi government. Read more