Thursday, July 21, 2005

Iraq War, Presidential Lies, and Extraordinary Debt

President Bush and most of his cabinet gave us their absolute assurances that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and that we were in great peril; that Saddam Hussein hated us and our democracy and would not hesitate to use them in attacks on the cities of America; that he was a tyrant who needed to be removed and that the only way to do this was through military action. Although he had allowed UN Weapons inspectors access to his country their report of no weapons found was not to be trusted and that we would not place our security in the hands of any International body.

We have the recent disclosure of the Downing Street Memo which clearly demonstrates that Bush was convinced in July 2002 that military action was to be conducted and that there was no time for negotiation and intervention through UN activity.

War Facts: The war has cost American taxpayers well over $200 billion dollars, approaching 1800 battle deaths and 14,000 seriously wounded
  • Well over 100,000 Iraqi deaths and countless seriously wounded civilians.
  • Destruction of the Iraqi infrastructure, electrical distribution, sewer systems, water supply which have yet to be restored.
  • Loss of stability in the Iraqi healthcare system and educational structures.
  • Construction of 14 permanent US military bases in Iraq.
  • Increasing resistance and effectiveness in the so-called insurgency.
  • Disruption of the lives of 40,000 National Guard and Reserve families whose husbands are now on active duty in Iraq.
  • The largest corps of civilian militia ever formed in support of corporate enterprise, the second largest armed force in Iraq after the American military (firms like Bechtel and Halliburton spend 40% of their charges to the American taxpayers on armed, high paid security forces).
  • Increasing success in the recruitment of "terrorists" with Iraq as a billboard for why America is the enemy.
  • Neglect of the "War" in Afghanistan where the Taliban are regrouping, opium exports are at an all time high and war lords rule a good part of the nation depositing 2/3rds of American aid in their personal war chests.
  • Administration neglect of domestic programs related to health care, education, protection of American jobs.
  • Deterioration of democracy in our own hemisphere in Central and South America and the polarization politically of the American people.
I encourage readers to join the action taken by Rep. John Conyers Jr., on May 5, 2005 and over 100 other members of congress and ½ million Americans in asking Bush to respond regarding the content of the Downing Street Memo. Go to and become a signatory.

In 1987 then Vice President Bush met with Iraqi Ambassador Nizor Hamdoom to assure him that Iraq could continue the purchase of the technology from the US. Later under his own administration, Bush kept the deal going knowing full well that Iraq was developing nuclear and chemical weapons. From 1986 to 1991 the commerce department licensed over $1.5 billion of strategically sensitive US exports to Iraq. Our corporations profited and Iran became the recipient of this deadly technology at a cost of death to tens of thousands of men women and children.

Logically, is it any wonder the Muslim world questions the integrity and predictability of the American government?

It is estimated that the war bill thus far will add up to an average of at least $3,415 for every US household.

Just $151.1 billion of the amount expended thus far could have paid for: close to 23 million housing vouchers; health care for over 27 million uninsured Americans; salaries for nearly 3 million elementary school teachers; 678,000 new fire engines; over 20 million head start slots for children; or health care coverage for 82 million children.

This same $151 billion spent by the US government on the war could have cut hunger in half and covered HIV-AIDS medicine, childhood immunizations and clean water and sanitation needs of the developing world for more than two years.

We can spend our wealth more wisely in support of world peace and well we should. We can no longer tolerate the deceit of our national leaders and their moral posturing while behaving like bullies in moral vacancy. One possibility is to move toward impeachment.


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