Florida Veterans for Commons Sense
*For Immediate Release*
January 7, 2014
Contact: Gene Jones
President, Florida Veterans for Common Sense, Inc.
Phone: 941- 349-5131
As Iraq Sinks into More Bloodshed, Bush Speaks
Veterans Question Bush’s War as Terrorists Capture Major Portion of Iraq
January 7, 2014 – Former President George W. Bush is scheduled to speak in Sarasota at the Town Hall Lecture series on Tuesday, January 14, 2014. Jay Logan, chairman of the 2014 series, has said, “Having George W. Bush is an incredible honor.”
However, veterans question the invitation at a time when terrorists control major cities in Iraq, including Fallujah. While veterans respect the office of the President, veterans still question Bush’s enormous mistakes and failures before and during the Iraq War.
The facts are clear. In March 2003, the Bush Administration invaded Iraq in violation of international law based on fabricated justifications that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) and intended to use them.
Instead of allowing international weapons investigators to verify what WMDs, if any, Iraq possessed, Bush ordered the investigators out of Iraq and invaded. No WMDs were ever found.
As a result of Bush’s tragic decision, 4,488 brave American service members are dead. Hundreds of thousands more of our veterans are wounded in mind and body, and many are unable to access the care and services they need and deserve.
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has treated approximately one million veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts since 2001. A similar number have filed disability benefit claims against VA due to physical and mental health conditions from the wars.
The Iraqi people were not enemies of the United States. Nevertheless, Bush’s invasion resulted in deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis. Many more were wounded, or made ill. The fighting displaced over four million Iraqis and destroyed Iraq’s economic infrastructure, government, and social cohesion.
The invasion was predicted to be an inexpensive ‘cakewalk’ by the Bush administration. In reality, the cakewalk turned into a disaster due to poor planning and leadership. For example, the Bush administration predicted the war would cost about $60 billion. In fact, it will end up costing U.S. taxpayers an estimated $7 trillion when the interest cost on the money borrowed to fund the war and the cost to care for the veterans are included.
Al Qaeda was not present in Iraq prior to our invasion. However, after Bush’s invasion destabilized the country, Al Qaeda has become a major military and political power there. In fact, just this week, Al Qaeda occupied two Iraqi cities in which many brave American soldiers died to secure.
Florida Veterans for Common Sense holds that Bush’s actions to mislead America and invade Iraq were immoral and illegal because it did not have United Nations authorization, and no emergency existed to justify an invasion of Iraq in 2003.
As retired General Colin Powell said in 2001, Iraq was not an imminent threat to the United States.
Bush should not be honored. Florida Veterans for Common Sense believes Bush should be held accountable. Our members agree with Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson, the chief prosecutor at the Nuremberg war crime trials after WWII, “… the ultimate step in avoiding periodic wars…is to make statesmen responsible to law.”
As veterans, we have a patriotic duty to speak out about politicians who have exploited our brave and dedicated service members by sending them to fight unnecessary and counterproductive wars.
Florida Veterans for Common Sense Inc. is a 501 (c) 4 veterans advocacy organization.
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