Ron Paul, member of the House Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement on the anniversary of the invasion of Iraq two days ago:
The occupation of Iraq began five years ago today, but few realize that the march to war began ten years ago under Bill Clinton, when regime change became official U.S. policy. In 1998, I took to the House floor in protest of the Iraqi Liberation Act to warn that, ‘I see this legislation as essentially being a declaration of virtual war. It is giving the President tremendous powers to pursue war efforts against a sovereign Nation.’ My warnings were largely dismissed at the time, but five years later, we were bombing Iraq.
After five years of occupation, today is a good time for reflection. The cost to America has been great: 4,000 soldiers are dead, 30,000 have been severely wounded, and over 100,000 have applied for disability. In addition, the war has put a tremendous strain on our economy. As we spiral toward recession and experience an assault on our dollar, we spend $12 billion per month financing our Iraqi operations. The war has cost us nearly $1 trillion dollars, or over $3,300 per American man, woman, and child.
In a recent presidential debate, I was asked whether the war was ‘worth it.’ I said, and still say, ‘absolutely not.’”