March 03, 2006


In the early days of the Republic, when various political factions were pushing for the United States to enter the Napoleonic wars on the side of France or England, John Adams said, “Great is the guilt of an unnecessary war.”

The people who “gave” us the unnecessary war in Iraq got some unpleasant news from a Zogby poll of US troops in Iraq, which found that a 72 percent majority “think the U.S. should exit the country within the next year, and more than one in four say the troops should leave immediately…”

The survey found differences between the services but overall consistency. Members of the Reserves and National Guard overwhelmingly favored leaving within a year, by 89 and 82 percent respectively. About three quarters of Guard and Reserve soldiers favored withdrawal within six months. In the regular Army, about 70 percent favored withdrawal within a year, as did 58 percent of Marines. Significantly, the poll was taken before the recent spike of violence in that country.

At this writing, around 2,300 U.S. military personnel have died in Iraq and nearly 17,000 have been wounded. No one knows the number of Iraqi casualties, although estimates run as high as 100,000.

Financially, the National Priorities Project estimates the cost of the war to be around $245 billion and climbing. Using estimates based on IRS data, the NPP estimates that the war has cost West Virginia $893.3 million. The administration and its supporters in Congress have slashed vital programs to pay for this war and to pay for the even more (financially) expensive tax cuts aimed mostly at the richest Americans.

While the wealthiest continue to benefit from tax breaks, the Associated Press reports that the Bush administration has proposed cuts in medical programs for tens of thousands of veterans in the proposed federal budget. According to the AP, “Even though the cost of providing medical care to veterans has been growing by leaps and bounds, White House budget documents assume a cutback in 2008 and further cuts thereafter.”

So much for shared sacrifice in wartime. Excuse me, but exactly who is supporting the troops?



Anonymous said...

Good summary and interesting poll. I just want to add that the $245 billion that the U.S. government is spending on Iraq does not include a lot of line items from the Defense appropriation and does not include the amount of debt interest we're going to have to pay off on this. I would hate to see what that level of interest is.

Wabi-Sabi said...

The result that amazed me the most was the fact that 85% of the troops said their mission is primarily "to retaliate for Saddam's role in the 9/11 attacks."