Rohrabacher to Iraqis: Be More Grateful!
Posted on The Nation by Christopher Hayes:
This dispatch comes from brand new crack DC intern Eric Naing:
The House Subcommittee on International Organizations,
Human Rights and Oversight met today to discuss issues of sovereignty
and stability in Iraq ranging from the country's longstanding financial
obligation to neighboring Kuwait to its even longer-standing issues
with the Kurdish people. But Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) seemed mostly
interested in berating the Iraqis for their lack of gratitude
At the hearing, Saleh al Mutlaq and former Iraqi interim Prime
Minister Ayad Allawi, both members of Iraq's Council of
Representatives, spoke about Iraq's future and the importance of the
country's upcoming elections.
Mutlaq called for a "moral and responsible" withdrawal of U.S.
troops saying that the invasion of his country was "irresponsible."
Worried that violence and intimidation from Iraq's ruling party
could distort the outcome of the January election, Allawi stressed the
need for election monitoring from institutions such as the United
Nations, the Arab League and other NGOs along with the United States.
Then Rohrabacher opened his mouth.
"I have never heard one word of gratitude from the Iraqi people about the 4,300 Americans who lost their lives," he exclaimed.
"We went to Iraq to try and free your people and now we're being blamed
for sectarian violence," he said. "Don't blame us because that type of
bloodlust exists in your society."
A defiant Mutlaq responded, "You were the ones who pushed your troops. We did not invite you."
It was at this point that an exasperated Rohrabacher threw up his hands and stormed out of the room.
It was only in the aftermath of Rohrabacher's tantrum that Rep. Bill
Delahunt (D-MA) quietly stated that weapons of mass destruction, and
not Iraqi freedom, were the reason the U.S. invaded Iraq.