Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Iraq wants Saddam-era debts dropped

'Iraq's president said Tuesday he will press his government's case before the United Nations this week to have the country's remaining multibillion dollar Saddam Hussein-era debts dropped.

President Jalal Talabani said he will make the appeal at the General Assembly meeting in New York, which starts Wednesday. With its economy hit hard by falling oil prices, Iraq has been seeking the cancellation of some $25 billion in U.N.-mandated reparations for Saddam's 1990 invasion of Kuwait.

The government has also asked other Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia, to cancel other remaining debts.

"We will demand an end to the unjust compensation imposed on Iraq," Talabani told reporters before leaving for New York.

In July, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki urged the Security Council's most powerful members to cancel all sanctions and more than 70 resolutions adopted after the Kuwait invasion. At the time, al-Maliki said Iraq is now a democracy that poses no threat to international peace and security.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon responded by suggesting that Kuwait and Iraq discuss alternatives, including the possibility of converting outstanding war reparations into investments to help Iraq's reconstruction. Kuwait has so far resisted the idea.'

Saddam invaded Kuwait in August, 1990. The Iraqi Army was expelled from Kuwait by the end of February 1991. Although it was Saddam who had decided to invade Kuwait, the royal jarab in Riyadh wanted to keep Saddam in power in Baghdad and urged Bush Sr. to not allow the Iraqi Shia to overthrow Saddam's regime. Bush Sr. complied and Saddam remained the Butcher of Baghdad.

Kuwait recovered quickly, while Iraqis suffered through another 12 years of cruel sanctions, and while Saddam built 81 palaces and murdered many more Iraqis. Saddam's dictatorship was belatedly overthrown in 2003.

Kuwait's projected 2009 GDP: $137 billion ($39,849 per capita)

Saudi Arabia's 2008 GDP: $593 billion ($23,834 per capita)

Iraq's projected 2009 GDP: $83.553 billion ($4,000 per capita)

Both Kuwait and KSA have exported suicide bombers to Iraq since 2003. What would Iraqis do without their Arab "brothers"????

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