War ravaged Iraq has agreed to pay $400 million to a group of Americans who say they were traumatized or tortured during Saddam Hussein's rule after the 1990 invasion of Kuwait. What's so unfair about that? Oh, right.
An agreement was signed last week that would settle up to eight groups of claims against Iraq, and help lift decades-old UN sanctions. Meanwhile, Iraqis barely have electricity, are still fighting an insurgency, and, frankly, the country is a little strapped for cash these days. So where will this money come from, and who will get it?
The claims include compensation for emotional distress from the children of two contractors seized near the Iraq-Kuwait border in 1990, Americans held as human shields in an effort to prevent a US attack, and the case of CBS News reporter Bob Simon and his cameraman who were held after being arrested along the border with Kuwait.
The money comes out of a roughly $900 million fund in frozen assets held by the US government to settle unresolved contracts under the Oil for Food program.
The claimants included an American boy who was seen frozen-looking on Iraqi television while Saddam Hussein asked him if he'd enjoyed his breakfast after he and his family were prevented from leaving the country.
American citizens can sue Iraq for being mistreated and asked about breakfast 20 years ago under Saddam Hussein because we have great lawyers here and because we're America, dammit. The odds of millions of Iraqis traumatized by the US invasion of their country being able to sue the United States? Yeah.