Moran: ‘We owe’ Iraq veterans
Jim Moran was a critic of the Iraq war when being a critic of the Iraq war was not only not cool, but was considered by more than a few to be treasonous.
The Virginia Democratic congressman spoke Thursday on the day that the U.S. officially declared the end to the military action that began in 2003 with a focus on the ongoing price that will be paid by a nation that came to be divided over the controversial war.
“It’s our obligation both as taxpayers and as legislators to assist all of those returning veterans as they transition to civilian life – by providing the proper health care and the education and employment opportunities that they deserve and they will need,” said Moran, who voted against authorizing then-President George W. Bush to go to war, co-authoring a resolution that would have required the administration to have fully exhausted all diplomatic options before taking military action.
“There were not weapons of mass destruction, he lacked an exit strategy, and in fact a realistic plan to stabilize and rebuild the country once Saddam was removed from power,” said Moran, who worries that the ultimate victor of the Iraq war “will in fact be Iran.”
The war, Moran said, has cost the United States more than $800 billion – “too high a price, not only in treasure, but in blood,” he said, noting the loss of more than 4,500 American lives.
“No more lives will be lost, but we will still spend another trillion dollars, and I hope we spend that much, on our physically and emotionally injured veterans. We owe them that,” Moran said.