During a debate in October, GOP presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann stated that she believed that Libya and Iraq should pay the United States for its war efforts in those two countries. Her statement was met with applause, though some of her fellow candidates expressed concern with her message.
Recently Bachmann clarified and confirmed her idea, but added that not only should Iraq pay for the war efforts, but that it should also pay for each American life lostÂ—to the tune of several million dollars per. In a morning interview with David Gregory, moderator of Meet the Press, Bachmann reaffirmed her rather odd stance on what she believes Iraq should pay.
The idea of an invaded nation being asked to give monetary compensation is nothing new. Back in June, California Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher stated on Libya: "There's nothing wrong with suggesting that the people who have benefited from our benevolence should consider repaying us for what we have given them."
Granted, the situation in Libya was different from the one in Iraq. However, for Iraq, there are no excuses. The very basis for the war itself has been called into question over the years by key figures in the United States, and it has been regarded as an unpopular decision to say the least. To say that Iraq should pay the United States for invading their country is akin to burning down your neighbor's house, then asking them to pay you for the price of the matches and any damages your house suffered as a result.
Some may argue that the war had the unintended benefit of throwing out a dangerous dictator, and there was no doubt that Saddam Hussein was a tyrant. But Iraq did not ask that the US bomb their cities and act in ways that killed many innocents. Some may discuss the benefits all they wish, but at the same time, a country must take responsibility for its actions. The United States is not the world's constable, and to suggest that it ask those it invades to repay it exorbitant amounts of money is only adding insult to a very serious injury.