Many of us have been objecting for years that we are closing down essential programs and selling off public lands on the state and federal level while we gush billions to fund wars like the one in Iraq — an oil rich country. The Iraqis, however, have called for billing the United States for damage to their country from the war. When Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, a Republican from California, went to Iraq with a delegation he caused a diplomatic incident when he politely suggested that Iraq might want to pay some of the costs back now that it is again selling oil at record high prices. The response was a statement from the government that the entire delegation was not welcomed in the country after making such a “stupid” proposal.
Of course, it was not stupid to spend hundreds of billions and sacrifice so many young Americans. Instead, officials again demanded that the United States pay damages to Iraq and emphasized that they did not want the war and did not approve of the way the United States has acted in their country. Of course, the Obama Administration is now indicating that Iraq needs us to remain and that we would seriously consider keeping troops after the proposed date of withdrawal set by Bush. Obama previously renamed combat troops to suggest a withdrawal from the war.
Government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh responded angrily to the suggestion that we were there to help them and should be compensated: “We as a government reject such statements, and we have informed the American embassy that these congressmen are not welcome in Iraq,”
The head of the Iraqi parliament’s foreign affairs committee, Humam Hmoudi, said suggestions that Iraq should bear such costs are “stupid” and “provokes us and the Iraqi people.” Legislator Etab al-Douri was equally incensed and said “we are the ones who should ask for compensation and not them, and we demand the occupiers to withdraw now.” Of course, the Obama Administration is insisting that we remain and continue to bear the entire bill for our defense of the Iraqi people.
Ambassador James F. Jeffrey reacted to the scandal by distancing the Administration from such comments and reminding the Iraqi people that these congressmen do not speak for the country.