BAGHDAD - Iraqi authorities want the U.S. government to sever all contracts in Iraq with Blackwater USA within six months. They also want the firm to pay $8 million in compensation to families of each of the 17 people killed when its guards sprayed a traffic circle with heavy machine gun fire last month.It will be curious to see what happens here. With the vast majority of the Iraqi people wanting the US occupation to end what happens if the US just blows them off on this one.
The demands — part of an Iraqi government report examined by The Associated Press — also called on U.S. authorities to hand over the Blackwater security agents involved in the Sept. 16 shootings to face possible trial in Iraqi courts.
The tone of the Iraqi report appears to signal further strains between the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and the White House over the deaths in Nisoor Square — which have prompted a series of U.S. and Iraqi probes and raised questions over the use of private security contractors to guard U.S. diplomats and other officials.
There is still a lot of talk about a permanent occupation and that is indeed what Cheney and the neocons envision. The Iraqi government is telling Blackwater to get out today - how long before they tell the US troops to get out and what would the US do? Any hint of legitimacy of the occupation would then evaporate.