The Bush administration's rhetoric on Iraq is about to be put to a very stark experimental test. The administration says that its goal in Iraq is to establish a stable, sovereign democratic government, which implies that it wants to establish the rule of law. Well, the Iraqi government is about to file criminal charges against employees of Blackwater in connection with the recent shootings of 20 innocent civilians. The employees in question are still in Iraq.
Of course the idea that the Iraqi government is anything even resembling sovereign is a transparent sham. The U.S. has already strongarmed the Iraqis into rescinding their earlier decision to expel Blackwater from the country altogether. Now this latest attempt by the Iraqis to secure justice for their dead will determine just how transparent the sham is. If there is even the tiniest shread of truth to the administration's rhetoric, the merest vestige of honor left in the United States of America, then we will allow the prosecutions to proceed whether or not we believe that the employees in question are guilty. If we are truly fighting for democracy and the rule of law then those Blackwater employees must face trial. That is what it means to follow the rule of law. If, on the other hand, we are fighting for something else (did someone say oil?) and the principle that the United States is the world's last superpower and we can do whatever the fuck we want then those employees will be spirited out of Iraq back to their comfy home in the good ole U.S. of A.
Care to guess which outcome my money is on?