This morning groups representing veterans, military families and state progressives joined at the State Capitol to criticize the endless war in Iraq. The event was timed to coincide with tomorrow’s five year anniversary of President Bush’s ‘Mission Accomplished’ speech. All of Wisconsin’s 90 fatalilties happened after Bush’s infamous speech. Nationally, 97 percent of the more than 4,050 Americans killed in Iraq also perished after Bush’s declaration.
Ryan Nofsinger was deployed to Iraq as a medic in 2003 and served two full tours after being stop-lossed. He said that ‘if we don’t end this war and punish those responsible, it will destroy everything wonderful about this country that the generations before us sacrificed to keep alive.’
Shane Sanderson, a 22-year Army veteran who served in Iraq said that ‘If a leader says we need to ‘stay the course,’ in Iraq, ask ‘why if it’s not working? If a leader talks about staying in Iraq for as long as 100 years, ask ‘how can we do that if Americans want us out now.’ We owe that to our soldiers and we owe that to ourselves.’
Jane Jensen, founder of Military Families for Peace and Military Family Compassion Groups, was also at the event. She commented that, ‘for military families across Wisconsin, ‘mission accomplished’ means our troops are home and given the medical care and support our leaders like George Bush and John McCain promised them when they sent them to war over five years ago. As it stands, that promise has been broken.’
Robert Kraig, Director of Program for Citizen Action of Wisconsin said that ‘on top of the foreign policy calamity of this endless war, there are tremendous opportunity costs here at home. Foremost among these is billions of dollars that could be used to invest in guaranteeing quality affordable health care for every American.’
Scot Ross, Executive Director of One Wisconsin Now commented that ‘George Bush lied us into Iraq and there is no reason to trust him, his administration or his failed leadership. John McCain has been the country’s biggest cheerleader for the Bush strategy and this shows just how out of touch he is.’