Facts Are Inconvenient (With Props To Al Gore)
especially if you’re an event-challenged president giving a State of the Union address to cap off a failed administration.
Let’s take a look, shall we?
“Thanks to the courage of these military and civilian personnel, a nation that was once a safe haven for al Qaida is now a young democracy where boys and girls are going to school, new roads and hospitals are being built, and people are looking to the future with new hope.”
However, as David Ignatius wrote in the Washington Post on January 27:
“A reality check for me was to talk in Kabul with Mohammad Hanif Atmar, the country’s bright young minister of education. He said that Taliban terrorist attacks killed 147 students and teachers over the past 10 months and seriously injured another 200. This campaign of intimidation closed 590 schools last year, up from 350 the year before. In areas where students are too scared to go to school, stability and security are still distant goals. You can see in Jalalabad what success would look like; the challenge is to make that picture real across Afghanistan.”
The National Security Network has more. And here are some more hard numbers that hurt:
Average price of a gallon of home heating oil in Jan. 2000: $1.40
Average price of a gallon of home heating oil in Jan. 2008: $3.39 [U.S. Energy Information Administration]
Americans without health insurance in 2000: 38.4 million
Americans without health insurance in 2006: 46.9 million [U.S. Census Bureau, Aug. 2007]
Number of U.S. troops killed in Iraq before the “Mission Accomplished” speech in 2003: 139
Number of US troops killed in Iraq as of Jan. 2008: 3,907
Number of Iraqi deaths after U.S. invasion: 1,139,602 [iCasualties.org., Jan. 3, 2008.]
Number of US troops wounded in Iraq before the “Mission Accomplished” speech: 542
Number of U.S. troops wounded in Iraq as of Jan. 2008: 28,661 [iCasualties.org, Jan. 3, 2008]
The national debt in 2001: $5.7 trillion
The national debt in Jan. 2008: $9.2 trillion [U.S. Dept. of the Treasury]
U.S. budget surplus in 2000: +$236 billion
U.S. budget deficit in 2007: -$354 billion [House Office of Management and Budget]
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