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Speaker Pelosi on the Costs of War: October 10, 2002

Posted on by Jesse Lee

Speaker Nancy Pelosi, then Democratic Whip, spoke on the costs of the Iraq War during debate on the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002, which she voted against:

Rep. Pelosi: “Another cost is to our economy. The markets do not like war, they do not like the uncertainty of war. Our economy if fragile as it is. The President has spoken, in his speech the other night he talked about rebuilding Iraq’s economy after our invasion. We have problems with our own economy, we must focus on building our own economy before we worry about Iraq’s economy after we invade Iraq. So let’s do what is proportionate, what is appropriate, which mitigates the risk for our young people. Another cost in addition to human lives, costs to terrorism, costs to our economy, another cost is to our budget. This cost can be unlimited, unlimited. There is no political solution on the ground in Iraq. Let’s not be fooled by that. So when we go in, the occupation, which is now being called liberation, could be interminable, and so could the amount of money, unlimited, that it will cost — one hundred, two hundred billion dollars. We’ll pay any price to protect the American people, but is this the right way to go? To jeopardize in a serious way our young people when that can be avoided? We respect the judgments of our military leaders, it is a civilian decision to go to war, but military leaders present us with options which they know are to be a last resort. These costs, to the war on terrorism, the loss of life, the cost to our economy, the cost in dollars to our budget, these costs must be answered for. If we go in, certainly we can show our power to Saddam Hussein, if we resolve this issue diplomatically we can show our strength as a great country. As a great country. Let us show our greatness, vote no on this resolution.”

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