1224.jpgAn average of more than 100 Iraqi civilians are being killed every day, the United Nations reported July 18 — the highest rate since George W. Bush launched his war. The report, based on Iraqi government figures, says 14,338 civilians — men, women and children — have died in violence in the first six months of this year — 3,149 in June alone.

1225.jpgThis unspeakable tragedy is the result of the Bush administration’s aggressive, unilateralist, militarist crusade.

The Iraqi people did not want this war. Braving the terror of the Saddam Hussein regime — which was long supported and provided with WMDs by the U.S. — Iraqi left and democratic forces had struggled for years to build a united movement and international support strong enough to oust that dictatorship. The Bush administration, in its reckless drive for war and global domination, trampled over the Iraqi people.

1226.jpgInstalling itself in Hussein’s palaces, the U.S. occupation dropped 500-ton bombs on towns and cities, unleashed unparalleled corruption and corporate looting, and deliberately promoted sectarian conflict. Meanwhile, it began building 14 permanent bases, seeking to entrench its military might in that oil-rich country and region for years to come.

Prattling about democracy and freedom, it gave us Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo. Talking about peace, it unleashed death and destruction.

1228.jpgThumbing its nose at the United Nations, international law and our Constitution, waging “pre-emptive” war, bombing civilian dwellings, torturing prisoners, locking up people without trials or lawyers — this administration has fanned violence, fueled terrorism and set back struggles for peace and democracy.

1229.jpgAs bombs fall on Lebanon today, we see the Israeli government following the example set by George W. Bush in Iraq — unilateral aggression, “shock and awe” hurled on civilians, scorning the UN and diplomacy, trampling on international law.

1231.jpgThese policies must be isolated and rejected by the world community. We Americans have a heavy responsibility, as it is our government that is spreading war and violence. Along with the rest of the world, our own lives and those of our children are endangered. It’s up to us, especially, to speak out and say “No more.”