Barbour Visits Iraq; Talks State Budget Cuts | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Barbour Visits Iraq; Talks State Budget Cuts

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour spent Veteran's Day in Iraq visiting some of the 124,000 American troops there, including more than 3,500 from the Magnolia state, mostly from the Tupelo-based 155th Brigade Combat Team. Barbour joined fellow Republican Gov. Sonny Perdue of Georgia, and two Democrats, Wyoming Gov. Dave Freudenthal and Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski.

"I had a chance today to meet with a number of the soldiers from the 155th," Barbour said in a release. "We've come across soldiers from across Mississippi, and it's really inspiring to actually see the work they do. We're very proud of all of our men and women in the military."

In all, nearly 4,700 men and women from coalition forces have lost their lives in Iraq since 2003, with the overwhelming majority, 4,362, from the U.S., including 51 Mississippians. The 31,557 U.S. wounded through the end of October 2009 include 288 Mississippians.

During a conference call yesterday, Barbour stated that he would support President Barack Obama if Obama made a "significant increase" in the numbers of American troops in Afghanistan, per a recommendation from the commander in charge of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley McChrystal.

"I won't back stab him like the Democrats did with President Bush," Barbour told reporters, according to The Commercial Appeal in Memphis.

American troops in Afghanistan currently number 48,250, and McChrystal wants to see that number increased to 68,000. Since former President George W. Bush sent Americans into Afghanistan in 2001—nearly nine years ago—U.S. dead total 918, more than 60 percent of the 1,515 coalition troops who have died there. Mississippi counts seven dead and 34 wounded in Afghanistan.

Between the two wars, America has spent more than $930 billion, according to the National Priorities Project, and continues to spend about $7.3 billion every month in Iraq alone. The project estimates the cost to Mississippi taxpayers as $3.6 billion. Yet Barbour did not hesitate to address Mississippi's budget woes in terms of cuts to state agencies and services to Mississippians in yesterday's call, a consistent stance of the governor's since the state began seeing tax revenues drop a year ago. In a Nov. 2 statement, Barbour said revenues for the 2010 fiscal year are 7.5 percent, or $111.7 million, below estimates for the first four months of the year.

"You may see us having to find another $500 million to $600 million in savings in 2012 over this year and 2011," Barbour said.

Previous Comments


Is Gov. Barbour kidding? Does he really think that President Obama believes that he is sincere when he says that he will support him if he sends 40,000 more troups into Afganistan? This sounds like one of those old sly fox tricks to me. Haley knows that American will not tolerate the return of our young men and women, in unpresidented numbers, in body bags. He knows that this is the one issue that is sure to defeat this Administration. Barbour goes further in stating that he will not do Obama the way the Democrats did Pres. Bush. He accused the Dems. of "stabbing" Bush in his back. Does our Gov. know that Bush gave orders for a pre-emptive strike against a Country, killed hundreds of thousands of innocent people, toppled their King, killed his two sons and paraded them around the country to let the world see that they were DEAD. Does our Gov. know that there were NO WEAPONS OF MASS DISTRUCTION? A continued war might be good for the hungry oil monsters, Blackwater and Haliburton(sp): For America, it is not fair. Why should we continue to put our young men and women in harm's way to protect a country with people who are fighting US because they don't want us there? In the words of Richard Pryor, I will say to Pres. Obama, Cut and "RUNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN."


Support our reporting -- Follow the MFP.