Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Question to Ask the GOP: How Much Longer Will You Keep American Troops in Iraq?

That is the question that the media never seems to get around asking Republican Senators and Representatives. They are allowed to get up and denounce Democrats for wanting a time limit to our involvement. They are allowed to claim that Democrats are going to put "a bullet in the heart of our troops," as Senator Kay Hutchinson did on Tuesday, February 26, 2008. Yet, they never have to state how long they would keep spending American lives and money in Iraq.

We hear such trite sayings as "We will stand down as the Iraqis stand up." We are told that the Democrats should allow General Petraeus to decide how long troops should stay in Iraq. But Republicans never say how long they are willing to keep American troops in Iraq.

While GOP officeholders are not willing to say, the Pentagon is willing to tell us. The figure they are using is that 140,000 troops will be in Iraq after the troops that make up the so-called "surge" are withdrawn. If you are keeping score, that is 8,000 more troops than were in Iraq when the "surge" began.

The cost to the United States for the war in Iraq is getting close to half a trillion dollars, and we are spending money at about a clip of about 12.5 billion a month. Of course, that is not what we were told at the beginning of Bubble-Boy's adventure. Then we were told that the war would cost around 50-60 billion. When Larry Summers, the President's Economic Advisor, said that the cost could reach 200 billion, his estimate was called "baloney" by Donald Rumsfeld.

So here we are, five years after the invasion of Iraq, over 4,000 American dead, thousands wounded, and billions spent. Yet, the media continues to act as if the burden of proof is on the opponents of the war and not on the supporters of the war.

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