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We have passed the five-year anniversary of George W. Bush's bungled war in Iraq. What has it gained the American people? I'm afraid the answer is nothing. Let's look at the accomplishments.
We delivered a new ally to Iran. We lost nearly 4,000 American lives and suffered another 29,000 wounded. We spent $400 billion, by Pentagon accounting. We increased the federal deficit to $9 trillion. We've made the Middle East more, not less, unstable. American prestige is in the trash can. Oil is more than $100 a barrel. The military is strained to the breaking point, so we are now recruiting high-school dropouts and people with criminal records. The American economy is on the tipping point of disaster. Bush's disapproval rating is at 65 percent.
Iraq is by no means stable. The destruction of infrastructure and loss of life in Iraq have, many say, permanently wrecked the country. The so-called rebuilding of Iraq has, from the beginning, been a cluster-blunder marked by greed, corruption, no-bid contracts and incompetence. To a large extent, we have lost our economic independence. Most of the brands you see advertised on television are Japanese; most of the stuff we buy is made in China. We are the biggest debtor nation in the world. The product of our public education system sucks when compared with most of the industrial world. If it weren't for foreigners with Ph.D.'s in the sciences and engineering, many of our faculties would be lacking enough warm bodies to teach. You might think about that before you gripe about Muslims. The dollar has lost so much purchasing power, foreigners are beginning to demand payment in euros.