Nine years of ill will built up toward American contractors working in Iraq is finally (and unsurprisingly) coming to head now that the U.S. military is officially withdrawn from the country. A New York Times front pager details how several hundred foreign contractors working in post-war Iraq have been sporadically detained at airports and other checkpoints in a somewhat passive-aggressive move by the fledgling Iraqi government that pens up contractors for having expired weapons permits that Iraqi officials refuse to renew. No one's been formally charged with any crime, so the detainments are more awkward and inconvenient than anything else. But The Times is calling it "one of the first major signs of the Iraqi government’s asserting its sovereignty after the American troop withdrawal last month." The rundown of sovereignty-asserting actions in The Times piece -- booting U.S. companies from the Green Zone, refusing American troops immunity from Iraqi law -- makes a convincing case that Iraq has gotten awfully sick of foreign powers in Iraq -- particularly contractors for outfits like
Blackwater Xe Academi (can you blame them?). Unfortunately, the U.S. has plans to rely on contractors to run oil fields and train troops in Iraq now that troops have withdrawn.