Five years on, Bush talks up Iraq victory

President George W. Bush said on Wednesday he had no regrets about the unpopular war in Iraq despite the ‘high cost in lives and treasure’ and declared that the United States was on track for victory.

Marking the fifth anniversary of the US-led invasion with a touch of the swagger he showed early in the war, Bush said in a speech at the Pentagon, ‘The successes we are seeing in Iraq are undeniable.’

With less than 11 months left in office and his approval ratings near the lows of his presidency, Bush is trying to shore up support for the Iraq campaign, which has damaged U.S. credibility abroad and is sure to define his legacy.”

Some numbers from Iraq

crosses.jpgPhotograph by Kevin Dooley

Within hours, or days, the inevitable will happen … a luckless US military member will be killed and become the 4,000th victim of the war in Iraq.

It is time to look at the real numbers behind this futile, stupid war, a war launched on lies and corruption.

The Cost to US Forces in Iraq

3,990: American troops who have died in Iraq since the start of the war. [icasualties.org, 3/17/08]

29,395: Number of U.S. service members that have been wounded in hostile action since the start of U.S. military operations in Iraq. [AP, 3/11/08]

2,100: Number of troops who tried to commit suicide or injure themselves increased from 350 in 2002 to 2,100 last year. [US News and World Report, 2/25/08]

The Cost to Iraqis and Journalists

8,000: Number of Iraqi military and police killed since June 2003. [Brookings Institute, Iraq Index, March 13, 2008]

82,000-89,000: Estimate of Iraqi civilians casualties from violence since the beginning of the Iraq War. [Iraq Body Count]

127: Number of journalists killed in Iraq since March 2003. [Committee to Protect Journalists]

The Cost to US National Security

1,188: Number of global terrorist incidents from January – September 11th, 2001. [American Security Project, “Are We Winning?,” September 2007]

5,188: Number of global terrorist incidents in from January- September 11th, 2006. [American Security Project, “Are We Winning?,” September 200

The Cost of Funding the War in Iraq

$50-60 Billion: Bush Administration’s pre-war estimates of the cost of the war. [New York Times, 12/31/02]

$12 Billion: Direct cost per month of the Iraq War. [Washington Post, Bilmes and Stiglitz Op-Ed, 3/9/08]

$526 Billion: Amount of money already appropriated by Congress for the War in Iraq. [CRS, 2/22/08]

$3 Trillion: Total estimated cost of the Iraq War. [Washington Post, Bilmes and Stiglitz Op-Ed, 3/9/08]

Economic Costs of War in Iraq

$33.51: Cost of a barrel of oil in March 2003. [Energy Information Administration]

$105.68: Cost of a barrel of oil on March 17, 2008. [NYMEX]

There are many more revealing and scary numbers.

Cheney says Iraq invasion was successful endeavour

cheney.jpg

Iraq’s President Jalal Talabani, right, sits next to U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney in his office in Baghdad

Over on the post “U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney on Monday declared the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq a ‘successful endeavor’ in a visit to Iraq.

‘If you look back on those five years it has been a difficult, challenging but nonetheless successful endeavor … and it has been well worth the effort,’ Cheney told a news conference in Baghdad after meeting Iraqi leaders.

The Iraq war is a major issue in the U.S. presidential campaign. As it enters it sixth year, the war has cost the U.S. economy $500 billion and seen nearly 4,000 U.S. soldiers and tens of thousands of Iraqis killed.

Shortly after Cheney spoke, a woman wearing a suicide vest blew herself up in a cafe in the southern holy Shi’ite city of Kerbala, killing 25 people and wounding 50, police and health officials said. Bombs in Baghdad killed four and wounded 13.