Friday, June 25, 2004

That's s-o-v-e-r....

sov·er·eign·ty n. 1. Supremacy of authority or rule as exercised by a sovereign or sovereign state. 2. Royal rank, authority, or power. 3. Complete independence and self-government. 4. A territory existing as an independent state.

According to the BBC for Friday,
[t]he US Government has said it plans to maintain legal jurisdiction over US forces in Iraq after the handover of sovereignty at the end of June.

It is taking the action so its forces are not subject to Iraqi courts. ...

A senior US military official also said that the plan would be that all foreign coalition forces would continue to be immune from Iraqi prosecutions.

There are about 140,000 US troops currently in Iraq and 25,000 from other countries.

The most likely option at the moment appears to be that the current US administrator Paul Bremer would extend what is known as Order 17, which gives all foreign personnel in Iraq protection from prosecution in Iraqi courts.
Comic relief was provided by the assertion from US officials said this would be done with the agreement of the Iraqi people.

This comes on the same day that CNN reported that
[i]n his confirmation hearing before the Senate on Thursday, Gen. George Casey - who will soon take over as the commander of coalition forces - said U.S. Central Command is working on contingency planning in case increased violence persists in Iraq after the handover. ...

As many as 15,000 troops could be deployed to Iraq if the insurgency continues to intensify, CNN has learned.
"In case?" The BBC quotes Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi as saying
we have been expecting this escalation and we are expecting more escalation in the days ahead
and had this from Secretary of State Colin Powerless:
"I think we underestimated the nature of the insurgency that we might face during this period," he said.

"The insurgency that we're looking at now has become a serious problem for us, but it's a problem that we will deal with."
So ultimately I don't think there's any "in case" about it. Another 15,000 troops, a 10% increase in the US forces in Iraq, forces that will continue to not be subject to Iraqi law - and apparently will be there for the foreseeable future, as the Washington Post reminds us.
"I think it's entirely possible" that U.S. troops could be stationed in Iraq for years, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz told the House Armed Services Committee [on Tuesday]. But, he added, as the Iraqi army and new national guard develop, "we will be able to let them be in the front lines and us be in a supporting position."

Wolfowitz said it is possible that U.S. troops could be used to enforce Iraqi martial law after the partial transfer of power a week from now.
So 155,000 troops, answerable only to their own hierarchy, not to the supposedly free nation they are occupying, will be helping to enforce martial law against a populace increasingly outraged by their presence, thereby clearly identifying themselves with that government and thus that government with them - which will do a hell of a lot for that government's legitimacy among that same populace.

(Thanks to This Modern World for the link to the Post article.)

Footnote: Speaking of which, one other thing about it. "Partial transfer." A description I frankly would not have expected to see in such a mainstream paper, which usually is content to let reality be manufactured in DC's halls of power. Has Bush's position really crumbled to the point where rejecting the White House line (in this case, that of "full sovereignty" for Iraq as of July 1) is so casual? One can hope.

Updated to add the link to the Iraq poll. Those results, which were not released publicly but were obtained by Newsweek, are available in slide format here.

No comments:

// I Support The Occupy Movement : banner and script by @jeffcouturer / (v1.2) document.write('
I support the OCCUPY movement
');function occupySwap(whichState){if(whichState==1){document.getElementById('occupyimg').src=""}else{document.getElementById('occupyimg').src=""}} document.write('');