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Iraq and US Relations: Blackwater case dismissal

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Iraq has expressed its disappointment with a US federal court ruling that threw out all charges against five Blackwater Worldwide security guards accused of gunning down Iraqi civilians in 2007. In can be recalled that Blackwater contractors, a US private military company, was sent to Iraq to assist the US army in 2003 and protect US diplomats. In 2007, 17 Iraqi civilians were killed in Al-Nusur square in western Baghdad - allegedly gunned down in an unprovoked shooting by Blackwater security Guards now known as Xe Services. It is equally important to mention that after the 2003 invasion, private guards
protecting US personnel enjoyed immunity from prosecution in Iraqi courts, but that ended with a bilateral pact that took effect in 2009.

View of Iraqi Government:

1. The Iraqi Government has said that this decision would denigrate the reputation of the US Government in the eyes of the common people.

2. The Government is of the opinion that they have conducted their investigations and found that the Blackwater committed a serious crime in the killing of 17 Iraqi citizens. The Iraqi government is considering other legal means through which it can sue the Blackwater company.

3. This matter will be appealed in the American court and if not resolved correctly, this will definitely add another strain on the relationship between Iraq and the United States.

4. The Iraqi government is considering other legal means through which it can sue the Blackwater company.

What the Judge felt?

U.S. District Judge Ricardo Urbina considered repeated government missteps in the investigation, saying that prosecutors built their case on sworn statements that the guards had given with the idea that they would be immune from prosecution.The U.S.-Iraqi security pact that took effect Jan. 1, 2009, lifted the immunity that foreign contractors had in Iraq. A British security contractor accused of shooting two colleagues is currently being held in Iraq and could be the first Westerner to face an Iraqi court since the immunity was lifted. By the way US must try to generate respect for themselves in Iraq in order to maintain peace in the region.