The exact number of Iraqis who have been killed in the US invasion and occupation of their country is unknown but thought to number in the hundreds of thousands, possibly over a million. Their country has been utterly destroyed and sectarian violence is now commonplace. A permanent US military presence of tens of thousands of Federal soldiers continues to occupy Iraq.
And at least one US congressman wants the Iraqi people to compensate Washington, DC for the costs of invading and occupying their country. Naturally enough, the Iraqis are outraged by this:
The suggestion by a U.S. congressman that Iraq repay the United States for the money it has spent in the country has stirred anger, with an Iraqi lawmaker ridiculing the idea as “stupid” and others saying Iraqis should be compensated for the hardships they’ve endured.
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, a Republican from California, suggested during a trip to Baghdad with fellow lawmakers Friday that once Iraq becomes a rich and prosperous country, it could repay the U.S.
That comment triggered outrage among an Iraqi public and political establishment that had little or no say in the U.S.-led invasion of 2003. Iraqis are largely glad to be rid of Saddam Hussein but blame the U.S. for the chaos and sectarian violence that followed the invasion.
“We as a government reject such statements, and we have informed the American embassy that these congressmen are not welcome in Iraq,” said government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh on Sunday….
The head of the Iraqi parliament’s foreign affairs committee, Humam Hmoudi, called his comments “stupid” and said it is the Iraqi people who should be demanding compensation.
“This provokes us and the Iraqi people as well to demand compensations for losses Iraq suffered during the invasion,” he said.
Another lawmaker from one of the main political blocs, Etab al-Douri, called the repayment idea a “humiliation.”
“We are the ones who should ask for compensation and not them, and we demand the occupiers to withdraw now,” she said….
The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad sought to distance itself from Rohrabacher’s comments.