Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Why do US troops have immunity from Iraqi law?

It is clear that there are two compelling reasons that U.S. troops should not be granted immunity from Iraqi law while serving there. First, many innocent Iraqis have needlessly been misused and even lost their lives because our forces will not or can not discipline their own behavior. Second, a consistent pattern has been evidenced that the military will not or can not find nor tell the truth concerning these incidents and provide justice to those who have been harmed.

Our national integrity was seriously corrupted when we allowed our administration, brazenly and transparently, to manufacture a rationale to invade a sovereign nation that posed no conceivable threat to us. And with these actions “on the ground”—with this arrogance, with this disdain—we claim more and more sordid moral territory.

The high-minded purposes trumpeted by this administration used to justify this illegitimate act of war are laughable in the face of our conduct. Shame has been brought to us all.

Those who do not give respect do not gain respect.

7 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. Rich,
I am a student at DeWitt middle school, and everyday on my way to school, I go past one of your signs. I know of a lot of people who admire the thought provoking questions you make on your signs. Thank you, and keeo up the good work.

9:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Saw the article in the Ithaca Journal today, and thought I'd let you know that every time I pass your house, I truly appreciate your efforts. It's such a visible site, so the impact must be great - both positive and negative. Unfortunately, I fear most passersby are ignorant or apathetic about the issues you raise.
Kelly Speiser

10:03 AM  
Blogger Vikas said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12:25 PM  
Anonymous Ellen Douglass Haith said...

Thanks so much for 'speaking' up in this way. I only pass your fence occasionally, but I always look forward to cheering the latest sign.
Ellen Douglass Haith

2:14 PM  
Blogger Karen, David, Bevi and Ilana said...

Thanks for posting your signs. Our family really looks forward to driving by your intersection,just to see what you have written. Your signs have initiated great discussions with my daughters. We are always saddened by the vandalism, but it shows that your words really affect people. Negative responses are better than apathy. It encourages a dialogue of sorts... And your calm reaction to the vandalism is fantastic.
Thanks!

7:41 PM  
Anonymous ShawnM said...

Thanks for your effort. Coming recently from Canada, it is reassuring to see that USA hasn't completely become the theocratic, fascist state that watching 5 minutes of FOXnews or the 700 club might lead one to believe. How does one ensure that the legacy of "neoconservatism" isn't forgotten, and to its extreme right-wing ideology people say, "never again"? Perhaps your signs will help in this regard, well into the future.

5:49 PM  
Anonymous Justin said...

I read your signs every day when I pass by. I disagree with the people above that most readers are apathetic - Americans aren't ignorant or stupid, we're just uninformed about international politics. Unfortunately, I believe that that has occurred only in recent decades. I personally grew up in Asia (20 years), and have a great interest in international affairs, and agree that the iraq war was egregious. That said, I cannot agree with your sign about Iraqi law. Initially, I agreed when the Iraqis raised the call, but then I realized the main issue - Iraq's legal system is weak and untested, and if American troops were subject to Iraqi law, what would prevent them from having mock trials to appease the populace, or passing laws making it illegal to be an American?

Also, I don't understand the "is it even conceivable that we oppose a ceasefire" sign (I agree... no), because we do want a ceasefire in Israel. My parents live in Haifa, so I personally am very concerned about the situation in Israel and Lebanon, and I fret constantly. To hear though that Secretary Rice is flying to Israel to help negotiate a ceasefire - under any condition - should be welcomed.

8:44 AM  

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