So much blood shed...

A vast amount of blood has been spilled in Iraq during the past fifteen years. Beginning with our response to Iraq's invasion of Kuwait and continuing today, some five thousand American citizens and soldiers have been killed. During that same time at least 100,000 Iraqi citizens have been killed by American weapons – possibly many more.

Some of those now-dead Iraqi were soldiers or extremists engaged in battle with US military forces, but they're only a small percentage of the total.

Some of the dead were, from their perspective, simply defending their country from an invading force. They were not terrorists, not even insurgents – just people defending their homes and cities, their land and their families.

Some were seekers of vengeance – the survivors of an American assault that killed someone they loved, or who watched their child die from a lack of medical care that was once available, before the US invasion of Iraq began.

But most of the Iraqis who have died a violent death during the past decade are innocent civilians killed in bombing raids and artillery attacks against suspected targets of armed resistance. They had no role in the conflict, were not in any way violent, and usually had no idea that death was about to rain down on them from an unseen source.

Many other lives have been lost due to the consequences of US military actions on hospitals and clinics. The social fabric of the country has disintegrated as a result of the ruined infrastructure. The economy has been shattered and now lies in the hands of foreign interests with long histories of exploitation who will control any reconstruction.

About half of the dead from the Iraqi conflict were killed because our elected and appointed officials lied to the world about the justification for invasion and war. Their lies were obvious to much of the world then, but only now are being truly exposed.

The ugly reality that Iraq has become is not what those war hawks were promising when they set out to destroy Saddam Hussein. Their failure to see the inevitable outcome of their actions is just one measure of their incompetence.

Since so many human beings have died because of the failures of the Bush administration and the US Congress, those legislators must be held accountable. About a third of our Senators and Representatives face elections this year that can serve as courts of accountability; within four years we could have all those who supported this atrocity out of office.

Waiting for the 2008 presidential election is not an option for holding current White House officials accountable for their gross incompetence. They will never be tried in a civil court for the damage they have done, and will never face criminal charges for the laws they have broken and the lives they have taken. They can, at least, be impeached from office and removed from power as soon as possible.

We have filed impeachment charges against a president for dishonesty in the recent past. It is a requirement of honor towards those who have died that we bring justice to bear on those whose lies caused so much blood to be shed.

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