That has now been thrust front and center in Iraq, where the government says that it will open an inquest into the recently disclosed case involving American soldiers who have been charged with raping a woman and murdering her and three of her family members on March 12 in a farmhouse in Mahmudiya, 20 miles south of Baghdad.
Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki contends that the immunity from Iraqi prosecution granted to foreign troops encourages them to commit crimes:
We do not accept the violation of Iraqi people's honor, as happened in this case. We believe that the immunity granted to international forces has emboldened them to commit such crimes in cold blood. There must be a review of this immunity.Well, yes and no.
I have no trouble protecting U.S. or other coalition troops from Iraqi legal system is they are fully prosecuted by their own governments. The U.S. record on that is mixed.
The former soldier, Pfc. Steven D. Green, left the Army on May 13 under a regulation that allows the Army to honorably discharge a soldier if a psychiatric evaluation finds a personality disorder "so severe that the soldier's ability to function effectively in the military environment is significantly impaired," Army documents said.
It had previously been known only that Mr. Green was honorably discharged because of a personality disorder.