August 28, 2007 Town Hall
Good evening........ In the last 15 seconds, American taxpayers have squandered another $125,000 on the military misadventure in Iraq. One half million dollars a minute.
By the time this evening is over, more than 20 innocent Iraqi civilians will have perished in the quagmire, leaving behind grieving and embittered children, parents, cousins and friends.
By the time sun sets tomorrow 3 more American Servicemen and women will have given their lives and more than 2 dozen will be wounded, many maimed for life.
All while engaged in fighting an unwinnable war.
The cost of this war, in lives and treasure is staggering. Over 3720 American lives, almost 30,000 wounded, over 650,000 Iraqi civilians dead, 70% of the Iraqi population does not have adequate access to water, more than 1 in 4 children are malnourished. Over one trillion American dollars already wasted.
We could discuss tonight the costs to Illinois and the 10th congressional district specifically. We could reflect on the over 1100 casualties and the 133 soldiers who will never return home. We could look at what the $2 BILLION this distinct alone has spent could have accomplished.
We could have hired over 31,000 schoolteachers, or
Provided over 200,000 university scholarships, or
Given health insurance to three quarters of a million people who everyday desperately go without.
But these are numbers that you can find all over and there is ample material in the back of the room for you to take home.
What we should really be addressing tonight is TRUTH and COURAGE.
If the first casualty of war is truth, then this wars casualties began long before the first shot was fired. Truth went out the window when Mark Kirk swore in October of 2002 that he had “SEEN THE EVIDENCE – been to the war room—understood things he could not disclose to his constituents. And truth has yet to return.
I have a deep and abiding faith in the wisdom of the American people to make just and sound decisions if we just tell them the truth.
No more lies – no more happy talk. No more wishing and hoping it will just magically get better. No more pretending that “victory” - whatever that means, is just around the corner - if we just kill enough of “them”- whoever “they” are, then stability and security will flourish.
No - it is time for our Congressman to level with us, for this administration to level with the American people.