Lynn Woolsey on the Iraq War’s Fifth

“Five years ago today, President Bush took to the oval office to tell the world that the invasion of Iraq was underway. Five years later our country finds itself in an unwinnable quagmire, a failure so great that it will forever overshadow the lengthy list of President Bush’s other disappointments and missed opportunities during his eight years in office.“The invasion of Iraq has cost us the lives of nearly 4,000 of our nation’s bravest and brightest men and women. Fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, have been taken from their families and loved ones, which represent the greatest and most horrific sacrifice that any nation could ever be forced to bear.“But theirs has not been the only sacrifice. So far, over 40,000 Americans have returned from Iraq with the irreparable physical and mental wounds of war – scars that will last for their rest of their lives, and will affect them in ways that we can’t even imagine. And hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians have been caught in the cross fire of a violent civil war that has further propelled Iraq into darkness and hopelessness.“And then there is the financial cost of this President’s mistake, which Nobel Laureate Economist Joseph Stiglitz recently projected will cost our nation at least $3 trillion over the next decade. What is most damning about this figure, however, is the lost opportunity costs that it represents. At a time when some children are forced to learn in crumbling schools, when too many seniors are forced to chose between putting food on their table and buying the prescription drugs that they need to survive, when homeowners wonder how they will keep pace with their rising mortgage payments, and most jarring of all, when our veterans, the very people that this President sent to war in the first place, are forced to wait for months to see a doctor, we are spending over $11 billion a month on an unwinnable occupation.“That’s why so many of us continue to voice our opposition, day in, and day out. We’re fighting on behalf of every family who will lose a loved one while fighting in Iraq, every family who will struggle even though they live in the richest country in the world, and on behalf of the people of Iraq who want to control their own destiny.“At this hour, at any hour, our nation is better than this. It’s far past time that we help restore America’s reputation in the world, refocus our energy on rebuilding our own country, and return Iraq to the Iraqi people. Our troops have done everything that has been asked of them, it’s time to bring them home.”