by MoveOn.org –
MoveOn.org (yes, the notorious Democratic Front Group) is launching a petition calling on Congress to hold on to the $87 billion President Bush requested until Bush changes his team and changes his course in Iraq.
Please join us in telling Congress to hold on to our money until President Bush changes his team and changes his course in Iraq. You can send an email to your Member of Congress and sign our petition at:
Then please pass this message along to your friends and colleagues.
Here’s the situation:
The US occupation in Iraq has left American soldiers unprepared and vulnerable, the country degenerating into chaos, and the Iraqi people embittered and hostile. Now the President is asking Congress for a staggering $87 billion blank check to fund more of the same. Until he takes strong steps to correct this failure, Congress shouldn’t give him a cent. President Bush needs to fire the team responsible — starting with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld — and transfer authority to the United Nations.
Some 155 US soldiers have died in Iraq since President Bush declared “Mission Accomplished.” Since the beginning of the war, over 300 soldiers have given their lives, more than in any US conflict in decades.
There are 140,000 troops in the country now. According to General Tommy Franks, those levels won’t be reduced “in the foreseeable future.” “The Army is strained and stressed,” said another general last week. (Washington Post, 9/14/03
The U.S. occupation of Iraq now costs about $1 billion a WEEK — as much as the Federal Government spends on after school programs for the entire year. Those are just military costs — not including any money for rebuilding in Iraq.
Suicide attacks and bombings throughout Iraq are becoming a daily occurrence; they show no sign of slowing.
Iraqis resent the US occupation. The headline of an article in today’s New York Times is “Iraqis’ Bitterness Is Called Bigger Threat Than Terror.” (New York Times, 9/16/03)
No weapons of mass destruction have been found, nor have we seen any evidence of an active weapons development program.
And there’s no exit strategy: the Administration has yet to present a realistic plan for how the occupation of Iraq will end.
But Donald Rumsfeld and the team that took us to war remain unwilling to concede that anything’s wrong. Thomas White, a retired Army General, noted that “[Rumsfeld] is absolutely convinced that he is right, that his view is correct, so all the rest of this stuff that is floating around is kind of noise, a lot of which he just dismisses out of hand, or he rationalizes somehow as consistent with this plan of his.” (Washington Post, 9/14/03
While Rumsfeld rationalizes, we’re paying for the mismanagement of Iraq in money and in blood. The President, Secretary Rumsfeld, and the rest of the team distorted evidence to get us into this war. They told us that they had a plan for getting out of Iraq. But so far, the President hasn’t done anything to demonstrate that he’s going to pull us out of this mess.
He should start by hiring a new Defense Secretary. Then he should repudiate the failed unilateral approach and transfer authority for the rebuilding of Iraq to the United Nations.