Menendez Statement On The Eve Of The Fifth Anniversary Of The Invasion Of Iraq

Menendez Statement On The Eve Of The Fifth Anniversary Of The Invasion Of Iraq

Washington - On the eve of the fifth anniversary of the American-led invasion of Iraq, Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee who visited Iraq earlier this year, released the following statement:

"On this day, we think first and foremost of our men and women in uniform, and their families, who have had to bear an enormous burden for a gigantic mistake. 29,395 soldiers have come home wounded. 3,990 have paid the ultimate price. Today our country honors their sacrifices, and holds them in our thoughts and prayers. The troops are a credit to their country.

"However, the Bush Administration took us into the war on the wings of a lie. With each passing year, we've heard the same false promises of victory, the same squabbles among Iraqi politicians, and the same excuses from the Bush Administration as to why they can't admit their mistakes and bring our troops home. The only developments have been new suicide bombings, new American casualties, and new billion-dollar bills to pay.

"After five years of war, Iraq has become one of the most unstable nations in the world. Even after the so-called surge, violence is still a part of everyday life. Iraqi politicians are reluctant to work together so long as they can blame America for their problems and remain dependent on us for solutions. Our armed forces are stretched to their limit and their ability to respond to a crisis elsewhere around the world has been severely damaged.

"Meanwhile, Osama Bin Laden is still at large, and Al Qaeda is regrouping.

"The War has made us no safer here at home, but it has certainly made us poorer. According to some estimates, the total economic costs will soon reach $3 trillion. As thousands of Americans lose their jobs, as millions of Americans face foreclosure, as college tuition bills and health care costs pile up for families, continuing a war that is costing us $10 billion per month is an economic calamity.

"For five years now, President Bush and his Republican allies have parroted the line that, 'We're fighting them over there so we don't have to fight them here.' But now, as our economy appears headed for crisis, we know that what they really meant was, 'We're spending our money over there so we don't have it to spend here.'

"We cannot continue to throw American lives and American money at a situation that neither will resolve. There are no good solutions to the conflict in Iraq, only better and worse options for the United States. The best option is to bring our troops home as quickly and safely as possible. Sadly, if the President and his Republican allies in Congress continue to block Democratic efforts to transition out of Iraq, it seems that only the upcoming election gives our nation any hope of believing that this sixth year of war is the last one we will be forced to endure."