I was surprised when I heard President Bush's statement at the conclusion of his meeting with the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He actually said "I thank these men who wear our uniform for a very candid and fruitful discussion about how to secure this country and how to win a war that we now find ourselves in [emphasis added]."

The President's statement implies that this war was either accidental or that it was a war we had no choice but to wage. However, there is nothing accidental in the fact we find ourselves in this war. President Bush, from an early stage in his presidency, was intent on going to war with Iraq. The President, the Vice-President, and his war cabinet used the tragic events of September 11th to scare the American people into believing that Saddam Hussein was a greater threat to the United States than he actually was. The President was determined to invade Iraq no matter what our intelligence community told him regarding the threat posed by Saddam Hussein, the costs to our military or to our reputation in the world community.

That fateful decision to invade Iraq has cost 2,933 US troops their lives, injured 23,000 more servicemembers and cost US taxpayers more than $350 billion. The President's policy has failed. The sooner he accepts responsibility for this war and admits to the reality in Iraq, the sooner we can develop a strategy to conclude our involvement in Iraq. The President must develop and implement a plan to get us out of Iraq. It has gone on far too long.