Pardoning four Blackwater mercenaries who had slaughtered 17 Iraqi civilians on September 16, 2007 in Baghdad’s Nisour Square must rank among Donald Trump’s most despicable acts.
The four Blackwater mercenaries Dustin Heard, Evan Liberty, Nicholas Slatten and Paul Slough were convicted by an American court in 2014 for the massacre of Iraqi civilians that posed neither a threat to them nor were they armed.
Among those killed was nine-year-old Ali Kinani driving in the back of his father’s car when life was snuffed out of his small body by these Blackwater terrorists.
Also killed in Nisour Square massacre were 25-year-old taxi driver Mahdi Naser, and 77-year-old farmer Ibrahim Mafraje. He was the father of seven.
Little Ali came to symbolize the suffering of the Iraqi people at the hands of American Blackwater terrorists as well as the US occupation army.
He was in the back of his father’s car on the way home after picking up his aunt and cousins, on what had appeared like a normal day until the shooting started in all directions.
Ali’s father Mohammed Kinani moved to the United States to follow the prosecution of the Blackwater murderers of his son. He was determined to bring the killers to justice.
In court, the war criminals claimed innocence and alleged they had been fired upon first, a claim the America jury rejected.
In 2014, a Washington court ruled that the four had opened fire with machine-guns, grenade launchers and a sniper rifle on a crowd at the busy traffic circle.
Slough, Liberty and Heard were convicted of voluntary and attempted manslaughter, while Slatten, who opened fire first, was convicted of first-degree murder.
But now they are all free men as a result of Trump’s presidential pardons in his dying days in office.
Trump has not only pardoned some of his close aides but is also contemplating pardoning—pre-emptively—his children as well as son-in-law Jared Kushner.
He is also considering pardoning himself!
To get a pardon, one must have been convicted of a crime and sentenced by a court.
Pardoning members of his own family clearly indicate they have committed crimes.
While Trump’s crimes are likely to catch up with him, at least at the state level where such pardons do not extend, the pardoning of Blackwater mercenaries that killed innocent Iraqi civilians reflects the criminal nature of America’s rulers.
It also reflects the racist nature of America. It has never cared for other people’s lives. They are considered dispensable commodities.
The Iraqi people should draw appropriate lessons from this episode in a long line of others and make every effort to get rid of American war criminals from their soil.
America’s crimes in Iraq are so widespread that it would take volumes to log them.
They started with the use of depleted uranium in the US-led war on Iraq in January 1991 to the torture and humiliation inflicted on the Iraqi people in Abu Ghraib prison.
Adding to this long list of crimes is the creation of Daesh terrorists, financed, armed and trained by the US.
The Iraqi civilians had secured a conviction against Blackwater mercenaries in an American not an Iraqi court.
Yet those convicted of killing innocent people including children have been set free.
The people of Iraq have no more reason for hesitation.
Kick the murderous thugs out of their country to redeem their honour.