Spin is one thing, facts are another.
These are facts:
655,000: Iraqi deaths a Johns-Hopkins study attributed to the war nine months ago.
2770: Iraqi civilians killed in May 2007, according to government reports. (Actual figure unknown because the Iraqi government refuses to share its data with outside agencies that could verify totals.)
1.9 million: Estimated Iraqis displaced within the country.
2.35 million: Estimated Iraqi exiles outside the country in January 2007.
18,000: Iraqi doctors who have fled the country since March 2003.
???: Iraqis orphaned by the war – no reliable statistics.
25%: Iraqi children who are malnourished (May 2006).
130,000: U.S. troops taking part in the invasion at Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld's insistence.
500,000: U.S. troops estimated to be necessary by generals who put together a prewar contingency plan.
$60-$95 billion: Total cost of Iraq war and aftermath calculated by Paul Wolfowitz in February 2003.
$600 billion: Money Congress has allocated for direct costs of the war and occupation so far.
$750 billion: Total the Cheney-Bush Administration has sought for keeping the occupation going through September 2008.
$140,000: Estimated cost per minute of the war and occupation in 2007.
$2 trillion: Total direct and indirect costs of war and occupation (through 2010) calculated by Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Blimes in January 2006.
$9 billion: Taxpayer money that disappeared in Iraq.
$549.7 million: Value of unaccounted for spare parts shipped to contractors in 2004.
$1.4 billion: Overcharges by Halliburton.
6,000-10,000: Estimated number of U.S. troops whose injuries have included brain trauma.
30%: Estimated percentage of troops who develop serious mental problems within three or four months after returning from Iraq.
14: Journalists killed by U.S. forces in Iraq.
112: Total number of journalists killed in Iraq.
1-2 a day: Hours of electricity available to the average residential household in Baghdad. (Actual figure unknown since U.S. no longer reports the electricity figures for the city.)
5000: "Diehard" insurgents the Pentagon estimated to be fighting on July 28, 2003.
20-30,000: Insurgents the Pentagon estimated in October 2006.
70,000: Insurgents the Pentagon estimated in March 2007.
69%: Iraqis who say U.S. presence worsens security situation (polled in March 2007).
71%: Iraqis who want U.S. troops out within a year (polled in September 2006).
71%: Americans who want U.S. to withdraw troops by April 2008 (polled in July 2007).
52%: U.S. Senators who have voted to withdraw most troops by April 2008.
8%: Republican Senators who have voted to withdraw most troops by April 2008
If this is what "success" in Iraq looks like to anybody, I don't want to know what they think failure is. Al Qaida may be finished in Iraq, but then, they were never IN that country until we invaded, so what, exactly, did we achieve?
Meanwhile, the fact that the Taliban can still launch attacks in battalion strength, raise cash, recruit fighters and control territory THIS long after we moved in to oust them should tell you something about the scale of just how f*cked up things are in Afganistan.
Oh, and does anyone remember the original premise for invading Iraq in the first place? And how it turned out to be outright bullshit.
Alex's mom is right not to want to send her son off to war; not for this.