Iraqi Leaders Denounce Congressional Delegation After One Member Suggests Iraq Should Help Pay War Expenses

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.

Source: Politico

Jonathan Turley

61 thoughts on “Iraqi Leaders Denounce Congressional Delegation After One Member Suggests Iraq Should Help Pay War Expenses

  1. “The response was a statement from the government that the entire delegation was not welcomed in the United States after making such a ‘stupid’ proposal.”

    That’s odd. That was my exact reaction about the delegation returning to Congress. CONGRESS! You didn’t impeach your buddies King George II and Oily Dick Cheney when they invaded a country that didn’t attack us all so their families, friends and business partners could make steal a buck or two.

    You broke it?

    You bought it.

  2. At least 100,000 (very low estimate) Iraqi’s died when we invaded a sovereign nation, uninvolved in 9/11, looking for non-existent WMD’s. The action was murder and the deaths/maiming that our troops suffered was at least as heinous. Particularly so because many idealistic young people enlisted, lured by the false propaganda that they were defending their country. Rohrbacker’s statement was not only stupid, it represents that he is too ignorant and insensitive to hold public office. Howerver, when has stupidity, ignorance and insensitivity been a detriment in seeking or obtaining public office.

    Iraq was always about the oil and Rohrbacker, as his past has shown, it too dumb, vile and greedy (for corporate $) to even avoid making a pretense that it was for a greater cause.

  3. Too lazy to look it up, but I recall Rove & Wolfowitz telling us that the costs of the war and reconstruction would be repaid to us using Iraqi oil revenue. Also before the invasion they told us it would cost 1 or 2 billion, tops.

  4. Look out Libya … he’s working up a bill for you too. Invade then bill.

    “U.S. Representative Rohrabacher (R-CA) submitted the following resolution, HR 188, which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and expresses the sense of the House of Representatives against the regime of Mu’ammar al-Gaddafi.

    In this historic resolution, the House states Gadaffi has shown himself to be an enemy of the United States and a threat to international security. In addition to supporting President Obama’s actions in the Libya, they hold the Gaddafi regime illegitamate AND request the Transitional Council to be recognized by the US as the legitimate representatives of the Libyan People!”

    http://feb17.info/official-documents/house-resolution-188-support-for-libyan-transitional-council-and-against-gaddafi/

  5. my first thought was that he was right to ask, but I believe Buddha is Laughing is correct on this one to a point.

    We broke some of it, we should fix what we broke. Although there wasn’t much in that country that was working correctly. We should be reimbursed for any new infrastructure that we built which we did not destroy.

    I think he was right to ask, but he should have known what the answer was going to be ahead of time.

    As far as being about oil? I don’t think so because we have huge reserves in the US that we cannot explore due to the anti-growth policies of this administration and the environmentalists who would rather drill in some third world s-hole.

    If anything it was more about payback for the assassination attempt on George the First.

  6. “I don’t think so because we have huge reserves in the US that we cannot explore due to the anti-growth policies of this administration and the environmentalists who would rather drill in some third world s-hole”

    Roco,

    Wrong again. The oil available to us would be a drop in the bucket and barely decrease out energy dependence. I’m sure too we need to drill, drill, drill. Look how well that turned out in the Gulf. By the way the vehicles of choice of most Tea Baggers are Trucks and SUV’s that get maybe 10mpg overall. Your great free marketeers destroyed trolley lines, gas turbine (1950’s) car engines, electric (1990’s) car engines and many other things that would have improved transportation and cut down on our oil dependence. Ronnie Reagan even had solar panels removed from the White House. With the fearlessness of the uninformed, you’ve again wandered into an area with which you’re only informed by propaganda.

  7. Roco “We should be reimbursed for any new infrastructure that we built which we did not destroy.”

    You really don’t want to get into that bookkeeping. We destroyed a lot more than we have built there. And we managed to destroy a lot more than just buildings & bridges. We destroyed neighborhoods where people of different religious beliefs used to reside. There was an active Christian community in Iraq until our invasion destroyed it. Iran was partially held in check by Iraq before we invaded, now it holds sway over a large part of Iraq.

    WE won’t even try to tally the human cost of what we did there. 10s of thousands dead, hundreds of thousands homeless, orphaned, widowed. Millions of lives upended. And for what? So some arrogant little prick from Connecticut could play dress up pilot & get re-elected.

  8. the cultural infrastructure an Persian historical artifacts were completely destroyed. The non-miltary people were murdered, the premise was nothing but a greed hard-on. This bullshit suggestion is nothing more than an attept to placate some seriously guilty, seriously sick attempt at mitigating, covering up, and escaping liability to a sovereign and DESTROYED Nation. It is disgusting. That war has seriously undermined the credibility of the US around the world and $$$ is the issue,why hasn’t Halliburton, or Blackwater or any of the other culpable ‘corporations’ been brought to bear? And why hasn’t Iraq sued the US?….I can only think because one doesn’t go to the corrupt to correct…..

  9. I think it’s important to remember the role Democrats played in authorizing the war, enabling the requests to sustain and enhance the occupation, refusal to investigate the previous administration for its crimes, and our current presence there.

    It’s important to remember that Obama’s foreign policies are strongly supported by neo-conservatives. Republicans and the Tea Party are easy targets for criticism and ridicule, but none of the damage we’ve done and continue to do overseas would be possible without the active support of Democrats.

  10. So Les, whats your point? Nobody here suggested there is not enough blame to go around. Perhaps this is a sign of a guilty consciences? That would be a hopeful sign but I doubt that is your goal. I bet your goal is deflecting blame from the monsters that started this crusade. Yes, they had help from spineless Dems and those who Blew Dogs but that should not take one day in Hell away from the afterlife to the chicken hawk chicken shits that let the fires

  11. Beyond the duplicity is the sheer arrogance and beyond that is the massive ignorance of the right.But beyond all of that is need for some cosmic justice to be brought down on the heads of the American people who let these war crimes be perpetrated in our name. We abetted Bushco and Blackwater et al in both Iraq and in this country by our acquiescence to the fear mongering. And worst of all it continues.

  12. When totaling up the damage we have done I neglected to mention the tons of unexploded ordinance and depleted uranium we have kindly salted across the country. There is a gift that will keep on giving

  13. culheath
    1, June 13, 2011 at 1:16 pm
    Beyond the duplicity is the sheer arrogance and beyond that is the massive ignorance of the right.But beyond all of that is need for some cosmic justice to be brought down on the heads of the American people who let these war crimes be perpetrated in our name. We abetted Bushco and Blackwater et al in both Iraq and in this country by our acquiescence to the fear mongering. And worst of all it continues.

    ———————————–
    nyet! boyo, nyet!

    the American people , even at thier worst, continue to be more civilized than our current ‘political’ body. We the People rely on the whores of media to give us accurate and timely information….many of us continue to protest…and continue to pay for our ‘American’ behavior….

  14. frank, my point is that as long as liberals continue to support Democrats (who are equally as corrupt and incompetent as Republicans), we will continue to commit grave injustices at home and around the world.

    The reason I bring up the Democrats is because, when presented with an article that describes a problem caused by Republicans and Democrats alike (without authorization from Democrats, Bush et al could never have invaded Iraq in the first place), and continued primarily by Democrats, all the comments are about how awful the Republicans are. Well, of course they’re awful. They’re Republicans. That’s what they are.

    But improvement never comes about by pointing fingers at other parties, no matter how guilty those other parties are. Democrats will only act like liberals if liberals stop supporting them when they act like conservatives. Our problems overseasright now are the Obama administration’s responsibility. And as this administration continues the devastating, useless policies of the Bush administration, even escalating them, it’s childish to avoid condemning it.

    If liberals support Democrats, they ought not to complain when the Democrats predictably act like Republicans, as that’s what they’ve been doing for the last 10 years.

  15. frank, your point about unexploded ordinance is an important one.

    It’s important for liberals to remember that Hillary Clinton voted against banning the use of cluster bombs in civilian areas, helping the guarantee that kids for years, maybe decades, will continue to be maimed and killed by them.

    Again, that’s not to take blame away from Republicans who voted against the ban, but to remind liberals that supporting Hillary Clinton is to support someone who acts just like a Republican when it suits her political needs.

  16. Les-
    I am with you. I used to be a democrat but am now an independent.. I realized that if I was anti-war I wouldn’t be able to vote republican or democrat.
    Trying to have Iraq pay for the war is like asking the relatives of an innocent victim to pay the police officer who shot their loved one. It is insanity.
    The dem’s and the repub’s are two sides of the same coin. They kill indiscriminately- without cause and without remorse.

  17. Trump is still considering a run as an independent. In 2008, the independents voted for Obama. In 2010, they leaned tea party republican. Who knows about 2012?

  18. Swarthmore,
    I hope Trump jumps back in because he is such an idiot, it would guarantee a Dem victory.
    I was happy to see the Iraqi’s tell Rep. Rohrabacher where to take a hike. Just who invaded who? Since when do invaders ask for reparations?

  19. I am unaware of any principle of law pursuant to which I may burn down your house without your consent, rebuild it and impose liability against you for the reconstruction costs.

  20. Woosty’s still a Cat : “many of us continue to protest…and continue to pay for our ‘American’ behavior….”

    Some of us, yes. Enough…we’ll see.

  21. Though illegaly obtained in my view, what price should the Iraqi’s pay for their freedom from a ruthless dictator? Looks like gratitude is off the table. Is freedom free?

  22. Mike A:

    “I am unaware of any principle of law pursuant to which I may burn down your house without your consent, rebuild it and impose liability against you for the reconstruction costs.”

    ***************

    It’s a little dusty as a concept, but it’s the right of conquest.

  23. mespo:

    I don’t believe the right of conquest has ever been invoked in our dealings with the Iraqis subsequent to the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. If that were the basis of our claims, we would have simply taken possession of the oil fields and begun pumping the stuff into tankers.

  24. Two stories from Yahoo News nine days ago:

    “5 U.S. Soldiers Killed in Baghdad Rocket Attack”

    “Families Say Goodbye to Soldiers Heading to Iraq”
    This story is about the deployment of 1,300 Kentucky National Guard troops to Iraq, the largest deployment of KY Guardsmen since World War II. The unit being deployed is the 149th Maneuver Enhancement Brigade-(you can’t make this stuff up!) (Does this mean there are 148 other Maneuver Enhancement Brigades?)
    Anyway, the moral of the 2 stories is, as a wise man once said, “It ain’t over ’till it’s over”.
    I hope we leave the world’s biggest embassy in good condition when…if we leave. When the new “Strong Man” takes over, he is going to want a nice place to live.

  25. mespo727272
    1, June 13, 2011 at 3:16 pm
    Though illegaly obtained in my view, what price should the Iraqi’s pay for their freedom from a ruthless dictator? Looks like gratitude is off the table. Is freedom free?

    —————————
    are you KIDDING????!

    I have no right but do
    let me clean up what they mayt say…DON’T DO US ANY FAVORS!!!!!!!

    Iraq has been blown back to the stone age…we have ASSURED that they will HAVE to re-inure thier most recent and slavish history. According to those who believe we should charge them for our ‘graciousness’….well, that makes us the new Saddam….and from what hear, we are doing an admirable job of filling his shoes…….starting with Iraq, slipping into Abu Graib….where does the slide end????????

  26. Invade a country and kill its people and then ask for payment for the unwanted invasion. That does sound like a Teapublican talking point. Only the Right can claim that we should be paid for killing hundreds of thousands Iraqis when we were the intruder. I have to agree with Mike A. that the right of conquest does not or should not apply here. We have assisted the Iraqis with establishing their own “democracy” so aren’t we admitting that we are not invoking the right of conquest?

  27. pete
    1, June 13, 2011 at 5:39 pm
    to the victors go the spoils
    ….
    —————————————
    there was no victor here….this was a break and enter. The thief was observed.
    Am I the only 1 here that see’s that?

  28. Woosty

    i was being sarcastic

    the fact that bush/cheney said before the invasion that oil money would pay it isn’t relevant. it wasn’t their money to spend.

  29. Although I am hardly an expert on international law, I believe that the traditional concept of the law of conquest has lost much of its rigor since the advent of the UN and treaty law. We should also remember that the invasion of Iraq was undertaken pursuant to authorizing UN resolutions, and had to be conducted in accordance with the Geneva Convention and the law of occupation. Of course, we know that we violated our treaty obligations in some respects, and probably violated them in many respects. The UN has a tendency to look away when the US is the actor.

    We see the same thing in the case of Libya. It is clear that we have exceeded the scope of our authority under the UN resolution permitting military action to protect civilians since the project has been transformed into forced removal of the existing government.

    In any event, the comments by Rep. Rohrabacher are absurd.

  30. Mike Spindell:

    “Your great free marketeers destroyed trolley lines, gas turbine (1950′s) car engines, electric (1990′s) car engines and many other things that would have improved transportation and cut down on our oil dependence”

    Puzzling spoke about this in another thread. Apparently, at least in LA, the city government had a good deal of input in the dismantling of the existing rail system.

  31. pete
    1, June 13, 2011 at 6:22 pm
    Woosty

    i was being sarcastic

    the fact that bush/cheney said before the invasion that oil money would pay it isn’t relevant. it wasn’t their money to spend.

    ———————
    sorry, I’m decidedly cranky today, normally I get your humour right off….I’m going bck to my cave now…..DON’T BOMB ME!

  32. “Apparently, at least in LA, the city government had a good deal of input in the dismantling of the existing rail system.”

    Roco,

    The lobbyists that paid the city government, GM in particular, had a hand in that. It started in the early 40’s. There are books and news stories written about the GM effort. GM made buses of course.

  33. “life is not at all like an Oliver Stone movie or a Michael Moore documentary.”

    Roco,

    Sadly the movies don’t tell half of it, or do you think the Tea Baggers were a grass roots movement, instead of being organized by Dick Armey, with the Koch Bros. funding?

  34. The right of conquest lost a lot of steam after WW2. It’s been replaced officially with notions of the illegality of aggressive war. The amazing thing is that it held sway under international law from about the 17th Century until 1974.

    As to my point about Iraq, regardless of the method obtaining, Iraq is demonstrably freer today than under Saddam. They have an actual parliament and exercise a large measure of self-determination. The country has not imploded as many of us feared, and they are reaping huge profits from oil wells we repaired after both our bombings and Saddam’s sabotage.

    Is this new-found freedom “on the house”? Is our protection of this fledgling democracy just the price we pay for the bone-headed attack of their former regime which undeniably led to a better political situation for most Iraqis? I’ll concede some measure of corruption in the current government, but are we really arguing that the conditions under Saddam were preferable to the conditions that most Iraqis find themselves in today?

  35. culheath:

    “Ask the 100,000 dead ones who used to be alive.”

    Is living under Sadam not something that enters into the equation? There are around 31 million Iraqis. Is not life better for the ones who remain?

    Were the 300,000 plus American dead in WWII not worth defeating Hitler? I imagine it matters to the people who are alive today because of our war dead.

    Do you really mean it would have been better to let Hitler sweep across Europe, enslaving and terrorizing people than to have lost over 300,000 Americans?

    I wish we hadnt gone to war in Iraq and would not have wanted my son to go but there are 31 million souls who are now able to enjoy a society where they may speak out and attend to the basic elements of human life without fear of reprisal by their government.

  36. Roco
    “life is not at all like an Oliver Stone movie or a Michael Moore documentary”

    —————
    Actually regarding Michael Moore it is, it’s why they’re called documentaries.

  37. culheath:

    As Ghandi said ” What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans, and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty or democracy?” The short answer is that it doesn’t matter to them, but the other point is that life continues for the vast majority and under that circumstance how it continues truly does matter.

  38. rococo

    check your history, Germany/Hitler did sweep across Europe, but they declared war on us. we didn’t just invade because roosevelt wanted to.

    so by your reasoning where to next, china?

    how about saudi arabia. from there we could split up and go after libya and somolia.

    btw, glad your kids didn’t have to go

  39. Mespo,

    Just Google “sectarian violence”, there are too many articles to pick just a few for a posting but it’s a good way to read up on the complete disintegration of the country and the resegregation of the populace into neighborhood and village strongholds aligned with various militias and mullahs. Initially for protection and now because all non-aligned or ‘others’ have been purged from that particular neighborhood or village. That sounds like an implosion to me.
    ***

    Baghdad Burning, a real-time blog from Iraq
    .
    http:/ /river bendblog.blogspot.com/ (Close up the space between “/ /”, “river” and “bend” and paste the link into your browser.

    This is a first-person account of the implosion and disintegration of Iraq. most of the blog posts were puled into an award winning book. The writer actually welcomed the regime change initially but as the war dragged on, the country disintegrated and the oppression and abuse of the populace became commonplace she grew to hate us. The blog ends in 2007 when she and her family had to leave and seek refugee status in Syria due to the danger to her family. They were the wrong religion in the wrong part of the city. If you feel like reading a good chronicle of the war start with the oldest of the archives and work your way forward.
    ***

    The iraqis are still liberated from adequate electricity after 8 years. They’re still not grateful for it.

    From last year
    “Thousands Protest Electricity Shortage in Iraq”

    “From the very first days of the American occupation, until now, electricity has proven a constant in the suffering of Iraq’s people. The lack of it helped shape sentiments in the summer of 2003 toward the American military, which inherited utilities already crumbling from decades of wars and sanctions. Many are dumbfounded that, seven years later, it remains so scarce, despite billions of dollars in American aid.

    Wealthier neighborhoods of Basra have as many as eight hours of city electricity a day; during blackouts, they can also afford the $50 or more a month for power from a generator shared by several blocks. The city’s poorer neighborhoods, by far the majority, often have just one hour of electricity a day, a situation not uncommon in Baghdad and other regions. The temperature in Basra on Saturday was 113 degrees.”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/20/world/middleeast/20iraq.html
    ***

    From May of this year
    “Heading off summer power protests”

    “Iraq’s government is guaranteeing citizens 12 hours of discount-priced electricity from local generators this summer, hoping to mitigate another imminent upswell of protests.

    The dissatisfaction on the streets has fueled a surge of populist politicking. On Thursday in Baghdad, tens of thousands of supporters of cleric Moqtada Sadr held a parade of sorts, where organized squads marched over U.S., UK and Israeli flags painted on the ground.”

    http://www.iraqoilreport.com/energy/electricity/heading-off-summer-power-protests-5777/

  40. I wish we hadnt gone to war in Iraq and would not have wanted my son to go but there are 31 million souls who are now able to enjoy a society where they may speak out and attend to the basic elements of human life without fear of reprisal by their government.

    This is simply untrue. Iraqi prisons are filled with dissidents and people suspected of being dissidents and people suspected of knowing dissidents. There are reports of torture. Iraqi Security Forces have raided groups for freedom of the press. Authorities regularly attack non-violent protesters. Violence against women (especially vocal women) is much higher than when Hussein was in power.

    It’s always good to not live in a dictatorship, but living in a corrupt, authoritarian kleptocracy is not much better.

  41. Maybe, I am wrong…have been before…but if we declared war…don’t the spoils of war go to the Victor….Maybe Haliburton, Blackwater/Xe will lay claim too….

  42. Les – you are right. Plus the sectarian violence we unleashed when we blundered through the country led to the deaths of thousands and the displacement of millions. People are not free to live where they want but are forced to build redoubts around enclaves of similar believers. The fear of reprisal is always with them.

    And as far as living in a corrupt authoritarian kleptocracy, take a look around everyone, your soaking in one.

  43. Just two quick points to make:

    1. Sectarian violence and mistreatment of women has multiplied since Saddam was overthrown. He was a vicious bastard, but like Tito he kept suicidal religious attacks at their minimum. Unlike Hitler, he wasn’t a threat to take over the region. Finally, women
    (at least 50% of the population) were far better off under Saddam. I don’t defend any dictator, but until the US removes the Saudi royalty, stops the Sudanese killings, ousts Kim Jong from N. Korea and ceases to support the many other regimes in this world that are equals to Saddam’s brutality, without his few saving graces, then we have no honor in our Iraq invasion, except for that of our troops who were needlessly sent into harm’s way.

    2. As to the spoils of war, this surely can not be used as a recognized international standard. If that was the case why does every Nation in the world insist Israel give up the West Bank? They really were attacked. I personally believe they should give up the West Bank and its’ settlements because having it and the settlements are untenable.
    So I use this not to make a case for Israel, but to illustrate that the “spoils of war” is not about international law, but about whether a country has the power to get away with its invasion.

  44. Anonymously Yours
    1, June 14, 2011 at 9:10 am
    Maybe, I am wrong…have been before…but if we declared war…don’t the spoils of war go to the Victor….Maybe Haliburton, Blackwater/Xe will lay claim too….

    —————————-

    It was not a legal war…it was an invasion. And a huge show of disdain towards humanity and current understandings of diplomacy. It was also stupid. Built on a premiss that did not exist. We may be big and the rest of the world may be tolerating this crap at the moment but, hubris would be a huge mistake.

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