June 15, 2011
The Wisdom Fund

US Congressman Asks Iraqis to Pay for Iraq War

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

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-Presse reported, "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 the claims were 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, Americans are understandably upset.

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.

Enver Masud, "A Clash Between Justice and Greed, Not Islam and the West," The Wisdom Fund, September 2, 2002

Naomi Klein, "What is Being Planned in Iraq is Not Reconstruction but Robbery," Guardian, April 14, 2003

Enver Masud, "New Iraq Constitution a Pretext for Exploitation," The Wisdom Fund, September 16, 2003

Enver Masud, "Iraq: $64 Lunch, $125,000 Truck Driver," The Wisdom Fund, January 29, 2004

Naomi Klein, "Pillaging Iraq in Pursuit of a Neocon Utopia," Harper's Magazine, September 24, 2004

Enver Masud, "Iraq War: 'Supreme International Crime'," The Wisdom Fund, June 29, 2005

Enver Masud, "Assured by the U.S., Saddam Invaded Kuwait," The Wisdom Fund, April 17, 2006

George McGovern, "Why I Believe Bush Must Go," Washington Post, January 6, 2008

Peter Van Buren, "Occupation: Having To Say Goodbye . . .," Asia Times, June 10, 2011

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