Yesterday, President Bush marked the fifth anniversary of the Iraq invasion with a speech hailing its success, calling it a "major strategic victory."
Really? OK, let's review the apparent criteria for success… by looking at the FACTS:
Financial Cost to U.S. Taxpayers:
- As of March 2008: over $500 Billion > the facts
- Official CBO estimates of total cost by 2017: $1.9 trillion > the facts
- A Nobel prize-winning economist's estimate: $3 TRILLION > the facts
Military Casualties, Morale, and Readiness:
- Nearly 4,000 US troops killed > the facts
- Nearly 30,000 wounded > the facts
- Suicide rate among "war on terror" veterans between two and four times higher than that of national average for non-vets > the facts
- 88 percent of military officers say the war has stretched US forces thin, leaving the country ill-prepared for another war > the facts
Iraqi Humanitarian issues:
- 82,000-89,000 Iraqi civilian casualties (other estimates put the figure at over 150,000 civilians killed) > the facts
- Nearly 4 million Iraqi refugees, or 7% of the population > the facts
Iraqi Government Progress and Overall Regional Stability:
- One year after "the surge" the Iraqi government has only met three of the 18 benchmarks > the facts
- 58% of top U.S. foreign policy experts believe that Sunni-Shiite tensions will dramatically increase in the Middle East > the facts
Relevance To Broader "War on Terror":
- 607% rise in average yearly global terror incidents, since the 2003 invasion > the facts
- 84% of foreign policy experts DISAGREE with the statement "The US is winning the war on terror" > the facts
So that's what a "major strategic victory" looks like? I guess the majority of the American public has got it wrong, then. Good thing the Bush/Cheney administration doesn't care about public opinion (or, apparently, the facts) in the first place.
OK - so clearly, ENOUGH with them. Who's next?
The options being offered to us:
(I didn't forget anybody, did I?)
More references and sites of possible interest:
- The Hidden Costs of Iraq
- Financial cost of Iraq War
- No End In Sight
- Leading To War
- Iraq By the Numbers
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