01/11/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

American Lawsuits Against Iraq See Opposition From US

George Charchalis says he has never really recovered from the ordeal he endured after Saddam Hussein's Iraq invaded Kuwait in August 1990.

He hid for more than a month in Kuwait City but was ultimately arrested, "roughed up pretty good" and taken to Iraq. He was held there for nearly three months as a human shield against American bombing.

After the 2003 invasion of Iraq, Mr. Charchalis, now 78, had every reason to believe that he and 240 other Americans held during the Persian Gulf war of 1991 would be compensated under expansive laws that allow Americans to claim assets of foreign governments like Iraq's. President Bush, after all, had seized Iraqi assets just before the war and paid other people used as human shields nearly $100 million.

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