March 18, 2008 – Nearly five years into a war that might drag on for decades, Vice President Dick Cheney visited Iraq and declared, “If you look back on those five years, it has been a difficult, challenging but nonetheless successful endeavor.” Really, Mr. Vice President? How so?
About 4,000 American troops have died since our baseless invasion of Iraq, and the Department of Veterans Affairs is overwhelmed by the sheer volume and dire condition of wounded soldiers who manage to return alive.
Conservative estimates hold that nearly 80,000 Iraqi civilians have died, but a study published in 2006, which included those who have died of disease and other issues related to the war, indicated that 650,000 Iraqis had perished. About 2 million of the country’s population has been internally displaced while 2.5 million have left Iraq.
Our presence in Iraq has hindered our ability to fight the good fight in Afghanistan and the $12 billion-per-month costs of remaining in Iraq have no doubt left our government in a tough spot in dealing with our current economic woes.
On Monday, when Cheney did his victory lap/public relations tour around Baghdad, the Los Angeles Times reported 52 Iraqis and two U.S. soldiers died as a result of bombs and mortars that wounded more than 80 people. Perhaps the vice president didn’t have the chance to visit with the families of the six children who were also killed that day.
We could think of a million words to describe the war but it takes a twisted mind to see it as a “successful endeavor.”