Mar. 20, Our View: The Five Year Anniversary of the Iraq War Brings New Facts, Yet Few Solutions

In the reality-based world here in America, the fifth anniversary of the start of the Bush administration’s failed war brought terrible news. The financial cost of the war is expected to range from $2 trillion to $5 trillion, a number widely reported in the press. In March 2003, VCS predicted that these things would come to pass in a letter to the President signed by 1,000 veterans.

Report All Our Casualties. Sadly, many reporters still fail to tell the people about the full scope of human casualties from the war. For example, the number of U.S. battlefield casualties hit 73,500, and the number of U.S. walking wounded veterans hit 300,000. Your support of VCS helps get these facts out. Click here to make sure that Veterans for Common Sense can continue publicizing the true casualty statistics from the war zone. The more the public knows about the war, the better chances we have to responsibly return our veterans home.

In addition to the battlefield losses, our economy lies in ruins, the stock market is in panic, the housing market crashed, our roads and schools are falling apart, and yesterday widespread public protests against the Iraq War shut down many major urban areas.

White House Delusion. However, as if disconnected from anything sane or real, on the fifth anniversary of the start of President George W. Bush’s Iraq War fiasco, he and Vice President Dick Cheney called their Iraq War a success. They invoked fear again, by falsely claiming that their lies that started the Iraq War keep us safe. They live on an imaginary public relations cloud.

The situation on the ground in Iraq continues worsening. The number of Iraq civilian deaths tops one million, the number of internally displaced hit two million, and the number of international refugees hit two million. Electricity, jobs, water, schools, roads, government and society in general have devolved into bloody chaos. That is not success.

How did it get so bad? Gulf War veterans know. This March also marks another horrible anniversary associated with Iraq. Seventeen years ago, after Desert Storm, U.S. soldiers in Southern Iraq stood by with a sense of helplessness as the Iraqi Republican Guard mercilessly slaughtered thousands and thousands of Iraqi civilians who were rising up to overthrow Saddam Hussein at the urging of President George H. W. Bush. Gulf War veterans knew the Iraqis would never greet us with flowers, as the current administration claimed in 2002.

Catastrophic Consequences. Now, seventeen years after the Gulf War cease fire, the millions of Iraqi children abandoned by the Gulf War Secretary of Defense, Dick Cheney, are now the young adult suicide bombers running into crowded markets and blowing up scores of people to mark the visit of Vice President Cheney. At home, our deeply psychologically traumatized Iraq War veterans, many on their third combat deployment, are turned away from VA hospitals when they seek help.

Here is our message to the Administration: Our young veterans are filling up VA hospital waiting rooms, and we will not allow another generation of veterans to be abandoned. Our new war veterans are speaking out. The Winter Soldier hearings commemorate the 5th anniversary of the Iraq War. In an echo of the 1971 Winter Soldier hearings, the veterans documented the Horrors of War.

We can learn from the past to improve the lives of veterans. In an illustration of the incompetence used in dealing with veterans of the first Gulf War, a scientific review finally links soldiers’ exposure to chemicals to Gulf War Illness.

VCS is depends on your contributions to keep speaking truth to power about the true cost of war. Please give to VCS today.

Thank you,

Paul Sullivan
Executive Director

Veterans for Common Sense

VCS provides advocacy and publicity for issues related to veterans, national security, and civil liberties. VCS is registered with the IRS as a non-profit 501(c)(3) charity, and donations are tax deductible.

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