Michael Vick, They’ve Heard of You in Iraq

Over the weekend, The Washington Post featured a strong article about Iraqi anger at the dismissal of charges against five Blackwater security guards accused of killing unarmed civilians in 2007. (The judge said the case against the guards was based on sworn statements they made after receiving promises of immunity.)

According to the story, Gen. Ray Odierno, commander of the U.S. forces in Iraq, described the episode as “a lesson in the rule of law.” Whatever wisdom there is in that view, at least some Iraqis are, unsurprisingly, not disposed to see it that way. That’s not, however, because they’re unfamiliar with the American legal system. Here’s the story’s kicker:

Firas Fadhil Abbas, whose brother Osama was killed at Nisoor Square, said that “if someone kills a dog in America, they do not escape punishment. I don’t understand this trial.”

Other things he might find hard to understand about America: After being released from jail for killing dogs, it’s possible to receive an award in courage from your co-workers.

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Greg Marx is an associate editor at CJR. Follow him on Twitter @gregamarx.