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In Congressional Hearings, Iraqi Parliamentarian Blames The "Destruction" Of Iraq On U.S. Invasion

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Some extraordinary testimony is being offered today in hearings impaneled by Congressman Bill Delahunt - who chairs the Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on International Organizations, Human Rights and Oversight - by two Iraqi parliamentarians: Sunni Khalaf al-Ulayyan and Shiite Nadim al-Jaberi. GOP Congressman Dana Rohrabacher asked the two men, point blank, if they would have preferred the United States not launch the invasion of Iraq. For al-Jaberi's part, he did not want to dwell on the "mistakes of the past." Al-Ulayyan, however, was a little more blunt in his assessment:

[WATCH.]

DANA ROHRABACHER: Maybe if you could just...if it's possible to answer with a yes or no, would you have preferred that the United States not have conducted the military operations it did in order to rid Iraq of Saddam Hussein? Would you have preferred that we not do that now, in retrospect...

KHALAF al-ULAYYAN, Member of the Iraqi Parliament: We would prefer if it didn't happen because this led to the destruction of the country.

ROHRABACHER: So you would have preferred the United States not to have gone in and got rid of Saddam Hussein?

al-ULAYYAN: The United States got rid of one person, but they brought hundreds of persons who are worse than Saddam Hussein.

ROHRABACHER: That's a fair answer.

al-ULAYYAN: And, unfortunately, now Iran is going into Iraq, and this is under the umbrella of the American occupation of Iraq.

Over at the Washington Independent Spencer Ackerman has collected a number of other highlights from these hearings, including the two men's opinions on whether the Surge worked (it didn't) and whether they support the proposed long-tern security plan (surprise! they dont!).