The Democrats – the Senate Democrats that is – caved again. The madness of funding for the Iraqi war continues as the Senate voted to provide $70 billion dollars in additional money to keep the war dragging on for a while longer. In rapid succession, the Senate cast two votes Tuesday night to approve the hybrid spending bill. By a 70-25 vote, the Senate approved the Iraq and Afghanistan war funds – without restrictions that Democrats had insisted on for weeks.
Democrats again failed to win votes to force removal of U.S. troops or set a non binding target to remove most troops by the end of next year. The defense policy bill, approved 90-3 by the Senate, also expanded the size of the U.S. Army and set conditions on the Bush administration’s plan to build a missile defense system in Europe. The Bill now goes to a conference committee to work out differences, then on to the President for signature. And he will sign it. After all, the criteria setting deadlines for removal of troops didn’t fly again.
In May, a $120 billion war spending bill was sent to the White House which abandoned the call for most U.S. troops to leave Iraq after an earlier veto by President Bush. So far this calendar year, the President has been given $190 billion dollars to continue with his misguided policies in the Middle East.
To date the Iraq war has cost us almost $480 billion dollars –
- $275 million per day,
- $4,100 per household,
- Almost 4,000 U.S. soldiers killed,
- more than 60,000 wounded,
- 700,000 Iraqis killed, and
- 4 million refugees
GAO Accounting Report (2006) – The last two columns are estimates based on past spending but were calculated prior to the recent $120 billion dollar request.
And yet, no one has the guts to stop the insanity that George W. Bush began with his “shock and awe” in March 2003. What a shame, and what a travesty to the American and Iraqi people. We now have a war which appears to have no end and no chance of creating Bush’s fantasy dream of a democratized Middle East.