Pelosi doubletalk costs US taxpayers
half-trillion dollars and counting
No laughing matter: U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) has
a half-trillion dollars in appropriations for the war in Iraq
under the doubletalk guise of "no blank check for Iraq." Photo by Luke
Political action committee MoveOn.org released a report Thursday
indicating U.S. taxpayers have coughed up almost half-trillion
dollars for the war and occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan.
Citing a vote by Congress last month that appropriated an additional
$100 billion dollars for the war, the group estimates the total
funding for the occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan has reached
a whopping $456 billion, nine times the $50 to $60 billion estimated
in late 2002 by Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, President George
W. Bush's Budget Director at the time.
California taxpayers have contributed as much as $57.8 billion
while Speaker Nancy Pelosi's San Francisco constituents have contributed
$1.2 billion, according to the report.
The figures were announced at a San Francisco rally in Union
Square Friday where members of MoveOn.org lit a Christmas tree
decorated with photos of U.S service personnel. The protestors
sang holiday carols urging Congress to "Bring the troops
home for the holidays."
estimates the U.S. occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan could ultimately
cost U.S. taxpayers $1 trillion, 1/3 the annual federal budget.
Susan Gordon, a member of MoveOn.org, said Iraq war funding has
forced congressional budgetary cuts in domestic spending for healthcare,
education, infrastructure and the fight against global warming.
"With the $1.18 billion that the war has cost just California's
8th district, we here could have gotten healthcare for 483,200
people, " Gordon said. "A half-trillion dollars has
been wasted on a war with no end in sight. Just think of what
better things we could have done in our district with $1.18 billion."
Congress is expected to vote in September for President Bush's
request for an additional $145 billion in support of the occupation
of Iraq and Afghanistan through September of 2008.
It is also expected that Pelosi's "support for the troops"
will result in her voting to support the appropriation, effectively
continuing the U.S. occupation of Iraq and further placing U.S.
troops in harms way for a war widely perceived to be based on
lies and deception.
But according to former Surgical Assistant Joe Wheeler, who served
in Iraq in 2003, as many as 90 percent of U.S. troops do not support
"I'd say 90 percent of the people out there - the soldiers
that are in Iraq - do not support the war," he said, "but
it's illegal for them to speak out."
"In fact people who have even gotten out of the military
and have been honorably discharged who are doing things like I'm
doing here today - speaking to you and telling you the truth about
what's going on - have been threatened by the military, have had
their honorable discharges changed from honorable to dishonorable,"
To date, 3,706 U.S. service personnel have been killed in Iraq,
27,409 have been wounded or maimed for life, and as many as 655,000
Iraqis have lost their lives since hostilities began in March,
Pelosi refuses to call for articles of impeachment against Bush
and Vice President Dick Cheney for their crimes against humanity
and for underminding the U.S. constitution with unconstitutionalwarrantless
wiretapping. Pelosi also refuses
to meet with her constituents who oppose Pelosi's support
for the Bush administration's war.
Gordon announced a day of action will be held in San Francisco
and nationwide on August 28 to show democrats that they need to
fight harder to "force President Bush to agree to a timeline
to bring our troops home."
Code Pink cofounder Medea Benjamin said she was glad to be at
the rally with fellow citizens who understand the depth of their
responsibility to help bring about a timeline for withdrawal.
"We know that the violence that we unleashed in Iraq is
going to be very hard to stop. We know as long as we have our
troops there, there will never be an end to the violence,"
"The only possibility of ending it is a timeline for withdrawal
and a serious call to the international community to get on board
and work with the Iraqis for a reconciliation project."