The High Cost of War

The billions needed for Iraq could exact a toll on the still-fragile economy -- and on Bush's political fortunes

The somber George W. Bush who faced TV cameras on Sept. 7 was a far cry from the jaunty leader in a pilot's jumpsuit who declared victory over Saddam Hussein just four months earlier on the deck of a U.S. aircraft carrier. Back then, Bush's victory speech was met with a banner that declared: "Mission accomplished." Now, with American casualties in Iraq mounting and chaos spreading, a President known for his optimism was forced to make a grim concession: Rebuilding war-torn Iraq would be long, hard, and costly.

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