Editor, Daily Nexus,

It is now safe to say that Iraq is a complete disaster. No weapons have been found or even proved to have existed by the administration. The only one who refuses to admit that he made a colossal error in judgment is George W. Bush. He invaded Iraq with no clear exit strategy in mind, and now our military is stuck there for who knows how long.

California is suffering from the cost of war. According to the nonprofit organization National Priorities Project, since the fighting began, 120 California soldiers have died in Iraq and another 752 have been wounded. On the whole, California has contributed $19.5 billion to the effort, which breaks down to about an average of $575.86 per citizen. Also, for every $50 billion more that our country spends on the war, California will give approximately $6.4 billion. If you think our economy is bad now with increased deficits and job losses, imagine what it will be like in another four years if this spending continues.

I urge Californians to access the National Priorities Project website (www.nationalpriorities.org) and see just how much Iraq could cost us. The total cost of the war has exceeded $150 billion. This money could have been spent on education and health care for our citizens. Instead, we poured it into an effort that is failing, and our state now has 7,453 National Guard and Reserve members in Iraq.

Bush has already made it clear that if he is re-elected the plan in Iraq will be “more of the same.” So if you decide on Election Day that, as a Californian, you want to spend more on the effort, ship more of our troops to hostile territory and see the death toll rise, vote for Dubya. But if you want to see change in this policy and get America back to being the respected nation it once was, choose someone else for the White House.