In his “eighth” major Iraq speech, President Bush will tonight endorse the Gen. David Petraeus’s plan to stay 9-10 years in Iraq, prolonging the escalation until next summer. Bush will falsely allege that he supports “redeployment” from Iraq, heralding the strategy as “a way to bring a divided America together.” From excerpts of tonight’s speech:
These Iraqi leaders have asked for an enduring relationship with America. And we are ready to begin building that relationship.
Today, NBC’s Tim Russert added further details about Bush’s “long-term commitment” to Iraq:
At the end of 2008, by the best calculations, there will be anywhere from ninety to 110,000 troops still in Iraq. And if in fact there’s going to be this long term strategic relationship, that number will necessarily have to go down, but it indicates that we are in Iraq for the long, long haul.
So what would Americans have to commit to Bush’s long-term plan? Today, the Center for American Progress offered a “conservative projection,” suggesting that “we could well suffer between 8,220 and 11,167 additional deaths” and potentially 59-80,000 wounded.
Furthermore, despite three different scenarios on troop levels (70,000, 100,000, and 130,000), each adds up to well over $1 trillion in tax dollars spent on the war by FY2017.
As House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) stated, “The Bush-Petraeus plan of 130,000 Americans in Iraq for 10 more years is not a reduction in our footprint; it is an insult to the intelligence of the American people to call that a new direction.”