Baghdad wants U.S. to pay $1 billion for damage to city

By Reuters
Thursday, February 17, 2011 10:03 EDT
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BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Iraq’s capital wants the United States to apologize and pay $1 billion for the damage done to the city not by bombs but by blast walls and Humvees since the U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein.

The city’s government issued its demands in a statement on Wednesday that said Baghdad’s infrastructure and aesthetics have been seriously damaged by the American military.

“The U.S. forces changed this beautiful city to a camp in an ugly and destructive way, which reflected deliberate ignorance and carelessness about the simplest forms of public taste,” the statement said.

“Due to the huge damage, leading to a loss the Baghdad municipality cannot afford…we demand the American side apologize to Baghdad’s people and pay back these expenses.”

The statement made no mention of damage caused by bombing.

Baghdad’s neighborhoods have been sealed off by miles of concrete blast walls, transforming the city into a tangled maze that contributes to massive traffic jams. Despite a sharp reduction in overall violence in recent years only 5 percent of the walls have been removed, officials said.

The heavy blast walls have damaged sewer and water systems, pavement and parks, said Hakeem Abdul Zahra, the city spokesman.

U.S. military Humvees, driven on street medians and through gardens, have also caused major damage, he said.

“The city of Baghdad feels these violations, which have taken place for years, have caused economic and moral damage,” he said.

U.S. troops pulled out of Iraq’s cities in June 2009 before formally ending combat operations last August. Around 50,000 remain in Iraq but they are scheduled to withdraw by year end.

Baghdad is badly in need of a facelift. Electricity and trash collection are sporadic, streets are potholed and sewage treatment plants and pipes have not been renovated for years.

Iraq has seen growing protests in recent weeks over poor government services.

Zahra said the city’s statement issued on Wednesday would be the start of its measures to get the United States to pay for damages but he did not say what other steps might be taken.

(Reporting and writing by Aseel Kami; Editing by Jim Loney)

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  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_EKTMZWPUVVU4CBKH4HWPKPVNCY cal5000

    Piss Off, Iraq. You owe us fucking money.

  • 7rob7

    Wow. I wonder which will happen first: we pay for needlessly destroying Baghdad, or Chevron pays for needlessly destroying Ecuador.

    “The suspense is terrible. I hope it lasts.” ~ Willy Wonka

  • Anonymous

    It is just disgusting but not a surprise that the neocon madmen are still saying Iraq owes the USA billions in oil because we liberated them!!
    Many of the neocon scumbags have expressed this disgusting tripe, the we liberated them and they, Iraq, needs to thank us!!

    The opposite world of far right wingnuts in America, fucking dicksticks!

  • Anonymous

    I really hope your post is sarcasm.

  • H.P. Loathecraft

    Only one billion? Just the bridges the Americans demolished would cost more than that.

  • overdoneputaforkinit

    The US was spending $12 billion a month in Iraq. All you want is a measly $1 billion? That’s about 3 days of US military spending.

  • Anonymous

    After spending a few trillion destroying their country, one billion is not enough to rebuild much.

  • Ignatzfattis

    Send the bill to the Bush and Cheney families.

  • Anonymous

    Iraq is the biggest financial sinkhole in human history. Remember how the Neocons kept repeating the mantra that Iraq oil would pay for the war. The lemmings that followed them and continue to deny that they were wrong have to be forced out of their echo chamber. They are a cult and that means deprogramming them. They are a threat from within and are more dangerous and formidable than any external threat we face.

  • Ignatzfattis

    “The suspense is terrible. I hope it lasts”
    From the 1971 film Willy Wonka.

    Was originally:

    “The suspense is terrible. I hope it will last”
    Gwendolen, from the 1895 play “The importance of being Ernest” -Oscar Wilde.

    I hope it was an homage.

  • gypski®

    Sen the bills to the Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld/Rice/Tenet/et al Families. The broke it, let them pay for it like they’d make the average person pay out the ass for breaking something of theirs.

  • Anonymous

    Offer them our war criminals instead.

  • Mein Furor

    “Iraq is a very wealthy country. Enormous oil reserves. They can finance, largely finance the reconstruction of their own country. And I have no doubt that they will.”
    Richard Perle, chair
    The Pentagon’s Defense Policy Board
    July 11, 2002

    “The likely economic effects [of a war in Iraq] would be relatively small…. Under every plausible scenario, the negative effect will be quite small relative to the economic benefits.”
    Lawrence Lindsey
    White House economic adviser
    September 16, 2002

    “It is unimaginable that the United States would have to contribute hundreds of billions of dollars and highly unlikely that we would have to contribute even tens of billions of dollars.”
    Kenneth Pollack
    former director for Persian Gulf affairs
    National Security Council
    September 2002

    “Iraq has tremendous resources that belong to the Iraqi people. And so there are a variety of means that Iraq has to be able to shoulder much of the burden for their own reconstruction.”
    Ari Fleischer
    White House press secretary
    February 18, 2003

    “When it comes to reconstruction, before we turn to the American taxpayer, we will turn first to the resources of the Iraqi government and the international community.”
    Donald Rumsfeld
    Secretary of Defense
    March 27, 2003

    “There is a lot of money to pay for this that doesn’t have to be US taxpayer money, and it starts with the assets of the Iraqi people. We are talking about a country that can really finance its own reconstruction and relatively soon.”
    Paul Wolfowitz
    Deputy Secretary of Defense
    March 27, 2003

    “The United States is very committed to helping Iraq recover from the conflict, but Iraq will not require sustained aid.”
    Mitchell Daniels, director
    White House Office of Management and Budget
    April 21, 2003

    And then we have these gems from Cheney:

    “It is unknowable how long that conflict will last. It could last six days, six weeks. I doubt six months.”

    “We will, in fact, be greeted as liberators.”

    “$50 Billion”

    “The war will pay for itself.”

    “Go fuck yourself.”

  • Anonymous

    We owe the Iraqis a hell of a lot more than 1 billion. We need to hand over the Bush Administration to the people of Iraq so they can stand trial for the death and destruction they brought to Iraq. If Obama thinks being in Iraq is justified, he should be put on trial also

  • Anonymous

    At least 1000 $Billion too low.

  • Anonymous

    For what? Oh yeah, I forgot, bringing them democracy. I wonder who is going to come and bring demcracy to the US?
    China maybe?

  • Anonymous

    Great idea. How about a lengthy stay in Abu Ghraib before the gallows?

  • Anonymous

    only $1bln? hey, that wouldn’t even put a dent in that demolished city! consider that since katrina the GAO says the US has spent $145bln ‘rebuilding’ that town which the US army corps of engineers ignored protecting for 11 years of pleas… and even the GAO called it “disgraceful” that 85% of that money went to the richest ‘hoods and the downtown district which wasn’t even damaged… meanwhile the ninth ward still looks like baghdad or port au prince…

  • Anonymous

    I’m antiwar in general and anti this war in particular.
    I wish it never happened but since when countries that won the war apy to the counties that lost.
    USA invaded the Iraq overcame Iraqi army, deal with it.
    USA must pay, or what?

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/3ETFGMQ3B7VD4AAMILBBEVMCWE JasonA

    No, no no…you have it all wrong. Don’t you recall our Dear Leader VP Cheney told us that Iraqi oil revenue would pay for the war?

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/3ETFGMQ3B7VD4AAMILBBEVMCWE JasonA

    Excellent examples of the complete LIES were were told.

  • Anonymous

    Yup. Now, the righties will claim this war to be President Obama’s war, and will blame him for the damages caused. No matter that it was actually incurious George who started this illegal war (and kept the costs off the official government budget, so it did not show up until President Obama put it in, and now has a super-deficit, even BIGGER than gwb [sic] admitted to before.

  • David R Velasquez

    “For what? Oh yeah, I forgot, bringing them democracy “

    What democracy? Their parliament keeps making demands on the US occupational command and the US keeps ignoring them.

  • Anonymous

    I agree we owe Iraq damages because we went to war under false pretenses. However, the voters were lied to and duped by george, dick. rummy, powell, rice and the rest of this disgusting adm. so they need to be held responsible both criminally and financially! The “I don’t look back” president, needs to look back and make them pay for their sins, morally, criminally and financially. They did this and I’m sure are still getting rich off their wars so let them cough up the money! I’m sure they can come with it if george cuts back on his country club dues and golf games!

  • Guest

    …in care of Death Row Lock-up…I wish.

  • David R Velasquez

    I’d probably agree with the iraqis except that with the level of corruption you’d be left to wonder where the money actually went.
    Also, there’s the famous case of the literal pallet of 1billion US dollars intended for Iraq’s reconstruction that completely and ‘mysteriously’ disappeared.
    I’d rather they took $1billion and flew over Baghdad and just dropped it from the sky.

  • David R Velasquez

    “the butcher’s bill”

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QMPOO3PZFN7XV2XZKCGSXXR3WM Joe Somebody

    They aren’t asking for money for the war, they are asking for money for the wanton destruction caused post-invasion.. the troops spinning donuts on laws, driving through landscaping, the artificial walls dumped all over that broke more infrastructure, etc. etc. You know, things like spray painting “our god is better than your god” on their churches.. that kind of crap.

    They want damages for reckless behavior AFTER the “war” was over. And that’s reasonable.

  • David R Velasquez

    ‘…activities include group games like human pyramid building… and the contest to see who can best imitate a christmas tree’ …… my money’s on Dubya!

  • Snertly

    Iraq should cut out the middle men and sue Halliburton directly.

  • Anonymous

    Community service. Yep, that’s the ticket.

    All the Republicans behind the insane invasion of Iraq in 2003 (along with any hawkish Blue Dog Democrats) should be renditioned over to Baghdad to perform community service. And not only the warmongering conservative politicians should be renditioned, but also any conservative millionaires or billionaires who lusted after control of Iraq’s oil resources.

    I know, I know, all these conservatives behind the insane invasion of Iraq will cower on this side of the Atlantic, going to their cocktail wienie parties, holding their twice-yearly hardcore conservative strategy meetings, releasing their latest book in an attempt to justify their insanity and homicide tendencies, doing everything they can to defund and destroy our democracy and the future of our own nation’s children while raking in even more tax cuts and tax breaks to add to their already obscene Banana Republican wealth…so “humanitarian” isn’t a word that is in their dictionary, nor “compassionate,” nor “Christian,” nor even “community service.”

  • Anonymous

    Good Luck!

  • Anonymous

    We broke it and we should fix it. A lot of people are against the war now becuase they don’t like the outcome. Paying for what we screwed up may make them think twice about jumping into the next one.

  • Anonymous

    Good luck to Iraqi people with getting this money

  • Anonymous

    Here’s the deal Baghdad ……………..there’s a couple billion dollars the Pentagon “lost” in Afghanistan if you can find it we’ll split it, OK ? ( hint: it was last seen in large olive drab duffel bags )

  • RottenJohnny

    Cool. Send the bill to bush. He can pay out of his book advance.

  • Anonymous

    Fuck that Iraq, send the bill to G. W. Bush and Obama. W lives in Dallas and the other shit head is at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington D.C. There, problem solved.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bob-Zentrails/100001475536421 Bob Zentrails

    Not to worry.

    Chaney guaranteed that the Iraq War would practically pay for itself.

    What he really meant, though, was pay HIM. LOL

  • Anonymous

    Good luck. Have they seen Detroit lately?

  • Anonymous

    Pay the money. Pull out our troops. We’ll save money in the long run. And Iraqis will be able to get on with their lives.

    Note – total US govt aid to Iraq 2009 – $2.3 billion.

  • Mr. Neutron

    The US never cares about the damage it does to countries it invades – hell, they didn’t even care about the damage they did to Buckingham Palace when they “fortified” it for George W’s visit once.

    If Iraq wants any reparations for an illegal invasion, they’ll have to play hardball – no appeal to what’s right, no attempt to use national courts or the UN.

    It’s all about the oil – Iraq can threaten to sign 30 year contracts giving all their oil to China, and all their service contracts to non-Western countries, if the US doesn’t pay up. Throw in some hardcore treaties with Iran, too, to get the US attention. The US is trying to keep Iraqi nationalists out of power, and keep enough “military advisers” and “embassy guards” in Iraq to threaten Iraqi politicians and businessmen with, but US control is slipping away. Don’t pay up, and that control will slip away faster.