Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Moment of Truth

Below is an article from the Center for American Progress Action Fund:

The Congressional Research Service reported on Monday that the "average monthly cost of the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan has been clocked at $12 billion." Iraq alone has cost American taxpayers approximately $450 billion. In addition, Bloomberg reported yesterday, "Four thousand U.S. service members have died in President George W. Bush's 'war on terror' in Iraq and Afghanistan 5 1/2 years after American forces ousted the Taliban in December 2001." As the costs of war continue to stack up, the Senate this week begins a debate to drawdown U.S. involvement in Iraq. Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) will begin the debate by introducing a bipartisan amendment to the Defense Authorization bill that "requires active-duty troops to have at least the same amount of time at home as the length of their previous tour overseas." In recent days, a number of conservative senators, including Richard Lugar (R-IN), George Voinovich (R-OH), Pete Domenici (R-NM), Susan Collins (R-ME), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), and Judd Gregg (R-NH) -- have offered rhetoric suggesting they are ready to break with Bush's escalation policy in Iraq. Put on the defensive, the White House is reportedly in "panic mode," concerned that the Republican discontent may be the "crack in the dike" that forces a long-overdue Iraq redeployment.

FOR THE WHITE HOUSE, IT'S JUST A GAME: The New York Times reported yesterday that White House officials were heatedly debating whether Bush "should try to prevent more defections" of war supporters by announcing a "gradual withdrawal" of U.S. troops. Calling it a "moment of truth for the President," neoconservative pundit Bill Kristol "confirmed that there are real discussions going on at the White House, with advocates of what is being called 'The Grand Bargain' pushing hard for the president to move soon to announce plans to pull back in Iraq." But rather than confirm that the White House is undertaking the kind of substantive debate about Iraq that is in the nation's security interests, Press Secretary Tony Snow yesterday denied such discussions were ongoing. "There is no debate right now on withdrawing forces right now from Iraq," Snow said. The Washington Post reports today that the White House is not talking about a true "strategic reset" in the Middle East, but instead, a "political strategy" to "shift [Bush's] message." According to the Post, the White House has "rejected calls to change course but will launch a campaign emphasizing his intent to draw down U.S. forces next year and move toward a more limited mission if security conditions improve."

All that money. All those lives. And BushCo is working on a political strategy to try and contain a PR disaster before the next election??!!

For the life of me, I can't understand why, beyond a greater interest in Paris Hilton, the American public can't see through these arrogant jerks and put a stop to the horrors they've perpetrated. Doesn't it just make you burn when you think about what this country could do if we were willing to spend $12 billion a month on social development like truly liberating aid to foreign countries (as opposed to WTO undermining loans), health care for employed Americans, actual teaching instead of training for mind numbing required tests, etc., etc., etc.

As Gandhi said when asked his opinion about western civilization - it sounds like a good idea.

Will we ever achieve it?

Be the change you wish to see in the world. -- M. K. Gandhi

Individually we have little voice. Collectively we cannot be ignored.
But in silence we surrender our power. Yours in Peace -- BR

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