As of October 7, 2006, the Department of Defense reported 2742 Americans have died and 20,687 have been wounded in Mr. Bush's war. Over 2000 of those deaths took place after "Top Gun" George declared, "mission accomplished".
The Pentagon reported that American troops in Iraq were attacked an average of 792 times each week in August. That's 113 attacks each day or one attack every 13 minutes. In September, 776 U.S. troops were wounded; and 33 Americans were killed in just the first nine days of October. We cannot allow this to continue.
A majority of Americans believe Mr. Bush's decision to invade Iraq was a mistake; but mistake is the wrong word. It was not a mistake. It was a deliberate, premeditated attack on a third-world nation, designed to create "political capital" for George W. Bush. The decision to go to war may have been wrong and stupid and illegal; but it was not a mistake. The mistake is staying there any longer--sacrificing more American lives and squandering America's military capabilities.
In November 2005, the Center for American Progress released a report that predicted "[I]f we still have 140,000 ground troops in Iraq a year from now, we will destroy the all-volunteer army" (The report was co-authored by Lawrence J. Korb, Assistant Secretary of Defense during the Reagan administration). Eleven months later, we still had 147,000 troops in Iraq (Army Times, 9/13/06), and the Army is making plans to maintain current troop levels in Iraq through 2010 (MSNBC, 10/11/06). How can they do that?
• Every available active-duty combat brigade has served at least one tour in Iraq or Afghanistan, and many have served two or three. Likewise, the vast majority of Army National Guardsmen and Reservists have been mobilized since Sept. 11, 2001, some more than once." --Washington Post, 9/14/06
• "Strains on the Army from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have become so severe that Army officials say they may be forced to make greater use of the National Guard to provide enough troops for overseas deployments." -- New York Times, 9/21/06 (don't expect an announcement before the election)
• By May 2005, the Bush Administration had used "stop-loss orders" to keep more than 14,000 soldiers on active duty beyond their expected discharge date, in an attempt to maintain troop levels.
• The Army's surgeon general reported that 30 percent of U.S. troops have developed stress-related mental health problems three to four months after coming home from the Iraq War. (About 1 million American troops have served so far in the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. You do the math).
Since Mr.Bush decided to invade Iraq, the Army has quadrupled its recruitment bonuses, lowered its standards, raised its maximum enlistment age, and cut down the numbers who "wash out" in basic training; but it has still not been able to meet its personnel goals (Washington Post, 9/14/06).
• "The invasion of Iraq I believe will turn out to be the greatest strategic disaster in U.S. history." --Retired Army Lt. Gen. William Odom, The Lowell Sun, 9/30/05
Ignoring all reality, President Bush vows, "I will not withdraw, even if Laura and Barney [his dog] are the only ones supporting me." I seriously doubt that Barney supports the war, but Mr. Bush doesn't need to worry. He will always have the support of the neoconservatives who still dream of world domination, the war profiteers who benefit from the protection of our military, and his biggest fans--al Qaeda.
Otherwise, there is little support for Mr. Bush's war. A study conducted by the Institute for Policy Studies and Foreign Policy In Focus found that 72% of American troops serving in Iraq think the U.S. should exit the country within the next year, and 29% believe we should leave Iraq "immediately". (This was 14 months ago).
In early September 2006, the Program on International Policy Attitudes conducted a poll of Iraqi public opinion. It found: