Andrew Walden on FrontPageMag.com has a detailed discussion of the mores in Iraq about testimony in trials and the role of blood money in Iraqi culture. He uses as an example a murder trial against several British troops that simply fell apart in court as witness after witness admitted to making up their story for blood money payments. Blood money sounds like a violent term, but it is a conflict resolution device in the tribal cultures in the Middle East. The practice is discussed in the Hadith, which is the record of the acts of the Prophet. From the article:
The British Ministry of Defense spent the equivalent of about $18 million on the investigation and the trial which collapsed in November, 2005—29 months after the initial incident. The Haditha charges could also collapse, but not until the media and politicians have enjoyed months of free reign to slander US combat troops' conduct in Iraq. This could be very demoralizing to US troops who may feel their combat operations will be dissected under a microscope by investigators who do not share their risk. If the British case is a model then the investigation will be followed by a trial which could drag out until early 2008. Investigators must to dig out the truth so the sacrifices made by our troops in Iraq are not swept away in a sea of lies.
This is a detailed and well—documented article that provides a great deal of information and perspective. Read the whole thing.
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