OxBlog

Monday, June 05, 2006

# Posted 10:14 PM by Patrick Porter  

SHOULD IRAQ TRY THE ACCUSED MARINES? Isn't America, in fact, obliged to live up to its claims that Iraq is a liberated, sovereign, self-governing state?

John Dickerson and Dahlia Lithwick make the case:
But we either believe in Iraqi institutions or we don't. If something public and symbolic and substantive isn't done to bring the Iraqi officials into this process of trying the culprits in the massacre, our project there is hopeless. So, if an all-out handover is impossible, perhaps we get to the bottom of the crime together. A joint U.S.-Iraqi investigative commission under the watch of the United Nations or the International Red Cross would be a start. The United States should also allow television coverage of whatever courts-martial result. That would at least offer Iraqis some evidence that justice was being done in this specific case, and that the institutions the Americans have been promoting around the globe are capable of being fair and equitable.
I agree that this should be done. But I don't fully share their reasoning.

This should be seen first as a matter of principle, not first as an opportunity for repairing public relations . Even if occupied Iraq was now in a state of near-utopia, it would still be right for the new Iraq to try foreign troops who are accused of committing atrocities on its soil.
(8) opinions -- Add your opinion

Comments:
Absolutely not. The U.S. military justice system is fully capable of investigating and adjudicating any crimes according to our laws and our values. If the host country doesn't like it they can go pound sand as far as I'm concerned.

Europe is full of idiots that wanted to try Rumsfeld and Cheney in the international criminal court. This proposal is just an open invitation to all of them to launch more stupid campaigns against our soldiers.
 
Patrick:

You forget. To some, public relations is the only true path. It is more important for people to think you are doing something than actually doing something. That's why the UN is so well regarded. It has a great PR machine, and everything they get donated has a UN sticker on it.
 
nash,

what of the will of the country we liberated, and who we returned to self-government?

without wishing to sound extremely pompous, our commitment to democracy actually imposes obligations on us from time to time.
 
it's hard to call Iraq self-governed, while they can't really provide security to their citizens and can't catch the militia leaders themselves.
 
true, but they can put people on trial.
 
John Dickerson and Dahlia Lithwick should be handed over to Muslim terrorists. They're on their side after all.
 
With all due respect, are you crazy?
 
Lithwick and Dickerson have never been motivated by the humanity of the Iraqi people, or concerned that they get justice before, (they both opposed an Iraqi trial for Saddam) and I don't think they are now. They simply think the marines will recieve harsher judgement, and the Bush administration a sounder thrashing, with an Iraqi trial.

But a 'fair' trial will not result not in conviction but in hearty round of applause, and complaints for the American to get out the way, so that the Shia and Kurds can do a proper job of cleansing the country of Sunnis.

L & D are a textbook case of eloquence without constructive principle - they simply want bad things to happen to people they don't like, and can and will take any side of any issue to that end.
 
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