Originally posted by JS357
It would be impossible to conduct military operations in a country if killing an attacker were subject to that country's laws. While Iraq's position is understandable politically, murdering their people wouldn't be with impunity. US soldiers are subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice which for example says:
918. ART. 118. MURDER
Any person subject ...[text shortened]... , etc.
Your knowledge of this subject is obviously extremely limited. This link might help: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/RL34531.pdf
First, US troops are not supposed to conduct offensive military operations in Iraq after December 2011 (they can't conduct them now without the permission of Iraqi authorities). So that portion of your argument is utterly irrelevant. Of course, the inherent right to self-defense is not effected.
Secondly, the most common form of Status of Force Agreements between the US and host countries provides for "shared jurisdiction" e.g. The United States has concluded agreements where it maintains exclusive jurisdiction over its personnel, but more often the agreement calls for shared jurisdiction with the receiving country.
So Iraq was requesting nothing more than what most countries in the world with US forces on their soil have while the US was insisting on something they assuredly do not have i.e. full immunity.
The US Supreme Court has weighed in on such agreements and found them valid. Note this case cited in the link I provided at p. 15:
In 1957, a member of the U.S. Army was indicted in the death of a Japanese civilian while
participating in a small unit exercise at Camp Weir range area in Japan.71 The United States
claimed that the act was committed in the performance of official duty, but Japan insisted that it
was outside the scope of official duty and therefore Japan had primary jurisdiction to try the
member. After negotiations, the United States acquiesced and agreed to turn the member over to
Japanese authorities. In an attempt to avoid trial in the Japanese Courts, the member sought a writ
of habeas corpus in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.72 The writ was
denied, but the member was granted an injunction against delivery to Japanese authorities to
stand trial. The United States appealed the injunction to the U.S. Supreme Court.
In Wilson v. Girard,73 the Supreme Court first addressed the jurisdictional provisions contained in
the administrative agreement. The Court determined that by recommending ratification of the
security treaty and subsequently the NATO SOFA, the Senate had approved the administrative
agreement and protocol (embodying the NATO provisions) governing jurisdiction to try criminal
offenses.74 The Court held that “a sovereign nation has exclusive jurisdiction to punish offenses
against its laws committed within its border, unless it expressly or impliedly consents to surrender
and that Japan’s “cession to the United States of jurisdiction to try American
military personnel for conduct constituting an offense against the laws of both countries was
conditioned” by provisions contained in the protocol calling for “sympathetic consideration to a
request from the other State for a waiver of its right in cases where that other State considers such
waiver to be of particular importance.”75 The Court concluded that the issue was then whether the
Constitution or legislation subsequent to treaty prohibited carrying out of the jurisdictional
provisions. The Court found none and stated that “in the absence of such encroachments, the
wisdom of the arrangement is exclusively for the determination of the Executive and Legislative
Given the travesty of justice that the US court system made in the case of the Blackwater employees who gunned down a dozen or so Iraqi civilians in the middle of Baghdad and got away with it scot free, it's no wonder the Iraqi people and government found the idea of complete immunity for US servicemen for ANY crimes committed repugnant. Surely the US would not agree to the same for foreign troops training or being trained here. American exceptionalism has its limits.