The United States of America declared war on Iraq on Feb. 19, 2003. The American people were told that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, and had close ties to terrorists. Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein was imprisoning, beating and murdering dissidents and posed a direct threat to the security of the United States and the world. We were told that the war in Iraq was part of the War on Terror, part of our retaliation for the attacks of September 11. The American people were betrayed.Since the war began, 1,032 American soldiers have been killed, 893 of them after Bush declared “Mission Accomplished.” 7,125 American soldiers have been wounded in Iraq. Iraq Body Count, a group of British and American academics and researchers, says that between 5,000 and 7,000 Iraqi civilians have also been killed. Allied forces have killed more than twice as many civilians in Iraq than died in the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. These numbers do not count the death and destruction visited on Allied forces or on the civilian contractors sent to Iraq to restore order.A torrent of blood has stained the sands of the Euphrates valley, but what has it purchased? We were told that the Iraq War was part of the fight against terrorism, but the State Department’s annual Patterns of Global Terrorism says that the number of serious terrorist attacks world-wide has increased 36 percent to a 21-year high. We were told that Iraq had WMDs. However, a new report by Charles A. Duelfer, the top American weapons inspector, says that while Iraq intended to develop illicit weapons if UN sanctions were ever lifted, they had no large-scale programs with the capacity to create them. The more cynical among us believed that the war was being fought for oil, but since the war began gas prices have sky-rocketed. If crude oil prices stay at $40 a barrel for a year, the price they have risen to due to the instability that the war has caused in the Middle East, U.S. gross domestic product will decline by more than $50 billion. This lost revenue is dwarfed, however, by the $144.4 billon spent on the Iraq war this year alone. According to the Center for American Progress, the amount of money wasted in Iraq would have been more than sufficient to safeguard our ports, upgrade the Coast Guard fleet, inspect incoming cargo in our ports, protect all U.S. commercial airplanes from shoulder-fired missiles, purchase state-of-the-art airport baggage screeners and walk through explosives scanners, put 100,000 police officers on the streets of the nation, double federal funding of fire departments, integrate emergency communication systems nationwide, secure all major roads and railways, secure nuclear weapons-grade material from theft world-wide, deactivate 6,000 nuclear bombs in the U.S. and former Soviet Union, add two divisions to the Army, double the number of Special Ops troops in the military, rebuild Afghanistan (remember Afghanistan, the one that actually had terrorists before we got there?), increase by one-third assistance to the poorest countries in the world and quadruple American diplomacy in the Muslim world. The American people have been betrayed by our leaders. It would be an insult to the sacrifice of all those who have given, as Lincoln said, “the last full measure of devotion” to this country for its citizens to return to power the men who sent them to die for no reason but their own political advantage. McGaffey can be reached at

Riseup with Riseman

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UR Womens’ Lacrosse trounces Nazareth 17-5

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An open letter to all members of any university community

I strongly oppose the proposed divestment resolution. This resolution is nothing more than another ugly manifestation of antisemitism at the University.