Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi released a statement today marking the 4,000th U.S. casualty in Iraq. “Today, we mourn America’s fallen heroes; the deaths of 4,000 American soldiers are a grim reminder of the enormous cost of war in Iraq: the human cost. We honor those soldiers, America’s best and bravest who have paid the ultimate price, and pray for their families and loved ones. With 4,000 American lives lost and thousands injured, many of them permanently, Americans are asking how much longer must our troops continue to sacrifice for the sake of an Iraqi government that is unwilling or unable to secure its own future.”
Pelosi also referred to the cost of the war, and a need for a new direction in the country. “Americans also understand that the cost of the war to our national security, military readiness and our reputation around the world is immense and that the threat to our economy — as the war in Iraq continues to take us deeper into debt — is unacceptable. America wants a New Direction, not the continuation of the President’s plan for a 10-year, three trillion dollar war in Iraq.”
To me, the Bush administration is not the only one with blood on their hands. All of the Congressional Democrats who voted to give President Bush the authorization to use force in Iraq are also to blame. (Pelosi voted against this). Most prominent among those Democrats who voted for the war is Hillary Clinton, but she is joined by many other Senate notables such as Majority Leader Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer.
Of the 13 current Senators who have endorsed Clinton, only five voted against the war, and of those five, four are women. Pelosi is correct in saying that America does need a new direction, but nation also needs both Democrats and Republicans with the courage to do what is right.
Today is a grim reminder of one of the worst mistakes that the United States has ever made. It is an error that cuts across party lines, because poor judgment doesn’t respect partisan boundaries. This may be George W. Bush’s war, but too many Democrats were his enablers. Let’s hope that we won’t be reading stories about the fifth, sixth, or ten thousandth Iraq casualty in the future.