President Bush has wedged himself between Americans and Iraq by supporting a UN measure that stops financial claims against the fledgling democracy. Iraq faces bankruptcy if claims are added to $26 billion it already owes companies and individuals who suffered in the first Gulf war. But the temporary plug keeps scarred Americans from due compensation, the New York Times reports.
George Charchalis says it’s “terribly unfair” that he and others used by Saddam Hussein as human shields are left in limbo. US officials say Iraq won’t get a “free pass when it comes to accounting for the past,” so while Iraq will get a year-long reprieve from paying damages, an eventual showdown on the fate of claims like Charchalis’ seems likely.