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The conviction in a Washington court Wednesday of four former Blackwater Worldwide security guards for their roles in a 2007 shooting in Baghdad that left 17 Iraqi civilians dead and 17 other wounded is a small, symbolic and perhaps significant act of justice in a much bigger and unresolved drama of death, destruction and impunity.The larger drama that begs moral resolution is that punishing a few hired guards and gunmen while ignoring the responsibility of the political leadership of the United States and Great Britain that waged this criminal war in Iraq in the name of their entire nations is a gross abdication of responsibility – and itself a moral and political crime that makes a laughing stock of those American and British politicians who lecture us about the value and power of democracy.The verdict against the four Americans this week will be appealed and tested in court, and it may not hold.The verdict is a small, single example of the rule of law in action that does affirm one of the most impressive aspects of the American system of life and governance – the application of the rule of law.
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