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The cost of President George W. Bush’s illegal and immoral war in Iraq — in both dollars and American lives — continues to spiral out of control.
Bush not only wants to send more and more Americans into harm’s way in his war. He wants to spend more and more money to fund his failing efforts.
All this comes when polls show more and more Americans not only want the soldiers home but want spending in the Iraq debacle reduced and the hemorrhaging economy brought under control.
But Bush has a habit of getting what he wants and the timid Democratic Congress appears powerless to stop him.
President George W. Bush Monday demanded nearly 200 billion dollars from Congress to fund war operations next year, throwing down the gauntlet to opponents who want a swift exit from Iraq.
“Every member of Congress who wants to see both success in Iraq and our troops begin to come home should strongly support this bill,” Bush said at the White House.
“I know some in Congress are against the war and are seeking ways to demonstrate that opposition,” he said. “But they ought to make sure our troops have what it takes to succeed.”
The request for 196.4 billion dollars would fund the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2008, and adds more than 42 billion dollars to the administration’s original estimate of its war costs for next year.
It includes 5.3 billion dollars for mine-resistant armored vehicles known as MRAPs, and 3.6 billion dollars for the State Department in part to fund what Bush called “crucial relief for Iraqi refugees.”
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, an ardent Iraq war critic, said the request pointed to the president’s “misplaced priorities” following his recent veto of a popular health care funding bill.
“Demanding nearly 200 billion dollars for Iraq while vetoing health care for 10 million children exemplifies the Bush AdministrationÂ?s misplaced priorities,” she said.
“For the cost of less than 40 days in Iraq, we could provide health care coverage to 10 million children for an entire year,” said Pelosi.
“The colossal cost of this war grows every day — in lives lost, dollars spent, and to our reputation around the world.”
If approved, the request would push US war costs to a whopping 757.4 billion dollars since Bush launched his “war on terror” following the attacks of September 11, 2001.