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. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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….

  5. 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.

  6. 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 (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.”

    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.”

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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?

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


    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?

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


    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.

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

    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!

  15. Mike Spindell:

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

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