- The U.S. now has nearly 100,000 troops, 100,000 mercenaries/contractors and some 50,000 additional NATO forces under its command in that country.
- By the end of next year, after the "big drawdown," the U.S. will have nearly twice as many troops there as were present when Obama took office, and nothing was said about how many mercenaries will be used to continue the war.
- To date, the war has cost $426 billion, and no mention was was made of reducing the $118 billion war expenditures included in pending budget legislation.
- Since 2001, 1,633 U.S. troops have been killed, including 187 this year. An additional 12,000 soldiers have been wounded in action.
- Polls now indicate that 64 percent of the U.S. public oppose the war. However, when a reporter asked the president about such opposition, he replied that public opinion "really doesn't play a role" in his decision making.
- At one point, he said, "... The light of a secure peace can be seen." That statement is very similar to U.S. General William Westmoreland's 1967 "light at the end of the tunnel" statement regarding Vietnam. It took eight additional years of killing before that tunnel fully collapsed.
Now is the time to stop all the killing.
Bill Wickersham lives in Columbia.