US Congressman Asks Iraqis to Pay for Iraq War



Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (GOP) asks Iraq to Pay Up!

by Enver Masud

Republican representative Dana Rohrabacher, while leading a bipartisan US congressional delegation to Iraq, asked Iraqis to pay for the destruction, invasion, occupation, and pillaging of Iraq.

On June 10, 2001, Agence France-Pressereported, “Once Iraq becomes a very rich and prosperous country… we would hope that some consideration be given to repaying the United States some of the mega-dollars that we have spent here in the last eight years,” Rohrabacher told journalists at the US embassy in Baghdad.

Based on claims known to be false — that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction, the US invaded and occupied Iraq. Even if true, Iraq was not a threat to the US.

The US has spent $ 44.6 billion in taxpayer funds on rebuilding Iraq — $21.25 billion for security, $11.48 B for Infrastructure, 6.36 billion for government, $1.37 billion for the economy.

Arguably, not all of the $44.6 billion spent was for the benefit of Iraqis. At best less than half of this amount went toward rebuilding Iraq, and much of this went to pay US  contractors for often shoddy work.

And billions of Iraq’s own funds entrusted to the US are missing. The missing money may represent “the largest theft of funds in national history”, investigator Stuart Bowen told the Los Angeles Times newspaper.

According to BBC News, about $6.6bn . . . may have been stolen. “The money came from a special fund set up by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York with Iraq’s own money, which was previously withheld from the country under harsh economic sanctions imposed against Saddam Hussein’s regime.”

With the cost of the Iraq war estimated at over $3 trillion, and with over 4000 American troops killed and over 30,000 wounded in Iraq, Americans are understandably upset.

Meanwhile, Iraqi deaths are approaching 1.5 million.

Rohrabacher added that the same principle held for Libya, saying: “If the Libyans for example are willing to help pay, compensate the United States, for what we would spend in helping them through this rough period, that’s one way to do it.”

Contrary to Rohrabacher’s reasoning on reparations, Kuwait has received $37 billion of the $52 billion in war reparations claims imposed on Iraq by the United Nations Security Council for Iraq’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait.

If the law and legal precedent mean anything, it is the US that should pay reparations to Iraq.

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