Seven Years and a $747 Billon in Waste, Fraud and Abuse in Iraq
Stay up to date with the latest headlines via email.
We've arrived at the 7th anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of the Iraq war.
There's a temptation as we begin to end our combat presence in Iraq to search for the happy ending. Newsweek, for example, recently ran a cover photo of President Bush with the infamous "Mission Accomplished" banner in the background, declaring that now, finally, we have "Victory At Last." But that's an awful revision of history. We have an obligation to insist on uncompromising truth rather than the versions that make us feel better about ourselves. Tens of thousands of dead people demand it.
No "mission" was accomplished in Iraq because we went to war on false pretenses. We failed the moment we invaded.
More than 4,300 American lives. At least 95,600 Iraqi civilians dead, with some estimates more than six times that number. More than $747 billion spent so far, which, combined with the effect on oil prices and with indirect costs, helped lead to the economic crisis. Reduced, not enhanced, American security.
The Iraq war, like the Afghanistan war, is a massive case of waste, fraud and abuse.
While it's a good thing that President Obama committed to ending the Iraq war, he's ratcheting up a more expensive Afghanistan war while we're still reeling from the economic impact of the former. With Al Qaida having been driven from the country and with our increased troop presence having been met with increasing violence nation-wide, it's clear that Obama's War, like Bush's War, also fails to make us safer. We don't have a spare trillion dollars for useless war.
Our new video marks this tragic anniversary. But, we need your help in letting the administration know that we understand the damage done to Iraq and to our country. We also know that there will be no economic recovery as long as we're spending $100 billion a year on another war that doesn't make us safer--the war in Afghanistan.
That's why we're asking everyone to report the Afghanistan war as an example of waste, fraud and abuse on the White House's official economic recovery website, Recovery.gov. Simply scroll down to the field marked "What" and paste this message into the text box:
"I'd like to report the waste of billions of dollars of our national wealth in Afghanistan on a war that doesn't make us safer. It's fraud to portray this as a war that increases our security, and it's abusive of U.S. troops and local civilians to drag out this war any longer. End the war so we can have real economic recovery."
You don't have to fill out the whole form. Just let them know that you think spending more for useless wars is a clear example of waste, fraud and abuse of the taxpayer that will undermine economic recovery.
Thanks to Bush, the invasion and occupation of Iraq has been a massive waste of human life and treasure. Let's not let the Obama administration make the same mistake again in Afghanistan.
Robert Greenwald is the director/producer of "Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch's War on Journalism," as well as many other films. He is a board member of the Independent Media Institute, AlterNet's parent organization.