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March 04, 2008

Posted by Ilan Goldenberg

The Washington Post has another depressing story out of Iraq about the failure to prosecute Shi'a officials responsible for the ethnic cleansing of 2006. 

Two former high-ranking Shiite government officials charged with kidnapping and killing scores of Sunnis were ordered released Monday after prosecutors dropped the case. The abrupt move renewed concerns about the willingness of Iraq's leaders to act against sectarianism and cast doubts on U.S. efforts to build an independent judiciary...

Some of the stories about the trial regarding judge and witness intimidation and an overall kangaroo court atmosphere really don't inspire confidence.  Of course, to the U.S. Embassy this is somehow a sign of progress.

"The very fact that the charges were heard and investigated does show modest progress toward the rule of law," said Mirembe Nantongo, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.

Talk about spin.  More broadly, this comment is in some ways emblematic of the entire operation in Iraq right now.  Things are marginally better than they were a year ago.  But it's really hard to see how what is going on in Iraq right now is "progress".


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Looks like the Iraqis are learning from the US.

After all, how many US troops have been tried on murder charges for the haditha massacre ?