US officials keep insisting that the Iraqi government pass the laws the US wants. But what would happen if Iraqi legislators pass some of the laws the US has for itself.
Specifically the Third Amendment to the US Constitution: No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
An Associated Press story today highlights a plea by the director of Iraq’s National Library for US soldiers to leave the building:
Saad Eskander, who has overseen the restoration of the library after it was burned and looted following the 2003 invasion, claimed that U.S. and Iraqi soldiers forcibly entered the three-story building earlier this week as part of security preparations for a major Shi’ite pilgrimage.
The presence of foreign forces in the building could make it a target for insurgents, he said. He noted that the library’s collection had not suffered any damage, but said he holds U.S. and Iraqi forces “responsible for any damage inflicted on priceless documents or any human casualties due to this illegal operation. Any damage or theft will represent a cultural catastrophe along the lines of the looting of the Iraqi Museum after the fall of Baghdad in 2003,” he added.
But the most significant point of the article is this:
It is not uncommon for forces to temporarily commandeer houses and buildings as rest stops or lookout posts. (emphasis added)
I wonder how the US occupation forces would feel if the Iraqi government passed a similar law. Would they respect such a law? Perhaps Iraqi legislators will start turning to their actual constituency, the Iraqi people, and start passing laws to protect them, instead of catering to a foreign occupier.