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By MICHAEL ZACCHEA,
• Nearly 4,500 U.S. service members killed in action.
• 134,000 Iraqi civilians and soldiers died.
• Four million Iraqis are refugees or were displaced within Iraq.
• 965,000 U.S. veterans treated at Veterans Administration hospitals, including hundreds of thousands with post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury.
• 914,000 U.S. veterans filed disability claims with the VA.
• $1 trillion current cost, plus $1 trillion per decade for the next five to six decades.
remember the following truths:
• The U.S. did not destroy the enemy's will to fight. The U.S. did not achieve a decisive victory in Iraq.
• Iraq's society was shattered by the war. The vast majority of Iraqis are living in far worse conditions now, and subject to more violence, than they were under Saddam Hussein's brutal, murderous regime.
• The U.S. is neither more secure nor better off for our nine-year military failure in Iraq. President Bush deployed 2.6 million American service members into combat in Iraq, and our nation has nothing to show for it.
• The nations that most benefitted from the invasion and occupation of Iraq are Iran and China. The Iraqi prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, is an Iranian client. Iran now has a buffer state between it and Saudi Arabia. China now has secured unfettered access to the world's second-largest supply of oil.
• Iraq had nothing to do with the attacks on 9/11. Al-Qaida did not exist in Iraq when the U.S. invaded. Now al-Qaida maintains a violent presence in the country.
• Our nation was unprepared for nearly one million non-fatal casualties. The Department of Veterans Affairs still faces unprecedented numbers of new casualties and claims. The VA still needs additional resources.
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