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Today Marks Beginning of Fifth Year in Iraq

The United States is now in the fifth year of its war in Iraq. The war, which began March 19, 2003, has resulted in some 3,200 deaths of US soldiers and some 655,000 deaths in Iraq, according to a Johns Hopkins survey conducted by American and Iraqi epidemiologists. According to the United Nations High Commissioner on Refugees, about two million Iraqis have been forced to flee Iraq and another 2 million are displaced within Iraq. Iraqis continue to leave their homes at a rate as high as 50,000 a month. The US alone had spent around $500 billion at the end of 2006, and Columbia University economist and Nobel Prize winner in economics Joseph Stiglitz estimated that the cost of the Iraq war could top $2 trillion after factoring in long-term healthcare for veterans. Still, President Bush is pushing to spend more money and more American soldiers to continue the war in Iraq.

Bush has asked the country to “have patience,” saying that the new strategy, which requires 30,000 troops to deploy to Iraq, “will need more time to take effect,” AP reports. Americans and Congress, however, are weary of Bush’s plans. A recent CNN poll shows that 59 percent of Americans oppose the troop increase, the Los Angeles Times reports. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said, “The American people have lost confidence in President Bush’s plan for a war without end in Iraq… That failed approach has been rejected by the voters in our nation and it will be rejected by the Congress,” AP reports.

Currently, Democrats in Congress are supporting a bill that would require a complete withdrawal of troops from Iraq by 2008.

Sources:

Women's eNews 3/20/07; Guardian 3/20/07; Los Angeles Times 3/20/07; NOW release 3/19/07; Alternet 3/20/07; AP 3/20/07

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