Sunday, September 30, 2007

"The Editors"

I can't really blame The Nation for this editorial. If I were a professional writer, I'd do everything I could to keep my actual name from appearing at the top of that article.

The Nation says:
It was Bremer who issued the infamous Order 17, which insulated his protectors from any form of prosecution for crimes committed in Iraq.
CPA Order 17 doesn't do anything of the sort. All it does is insulate a private security contractor from being charged with a crime when said contractor does something that he is contracted to do. Like shoot people to defend someone he's been contracted to defend. Or from espionage charges when he's been hired to conduct surveillance operations.

It should be clear that anyone willing to go beyond a cursory glance at Order 17 would see this. But, shocking as it may be, there's the rub. The Nation's editors have no inclination to actually research the situation.

If they did research, they would find - as this fellow did - that there are dozens of laws that regulate Private Security Contractors and their behavior. The real problem is that they aren't enforced as they should be.

Why is this difference worth yelling at the editors of The Nation about?

Because this war doesn't stop if we make knee-jerk judgments. Whining about PSC's being "above the law" attributes the problem at hand to the wrong cause - not even a true one, in this case. And it is just as important as it always has been that we give this war more than partisan potshots and snippets of our attention.

We're in Iraq now. What's important now - the one thing that will benefit everyone - is a sovereign Iraqi nation ruled by Iraqis. The only way to achieve that is to stay there for a while, and apply ourselves to the problems in a realistic, rational way so that those problems get solved and progress occurs.

That's not what The Nation is interested in doing.