Much has been said and written about the 1,000 plus Americans who gave their lives for an increasingly questionable war in Iraq but little attention is paid to the thousands upon thousands of Iraqis who die not only from American military action but also at the hands of terrorists because our soldiers cannot protect them.

We don’t know how many have died because the Pentagon cover up of what’s really happening in Iraq prevents release of the death tolls of Iraqis — either combat or civilian.

Executed Iraqi recruit<i>(AFP Photo)</i>

Executed Iraqi recruit(AFP Photo)

As the occupier of this foreign land we have an obligation to protect the citizens but we cannot. The execution of 49 recently-trained recruits in the Iraqi Reserve underscores just how little control we have of the situation in that beleaguered country.

President Bush justified his invasion of Iraq on a number of lies. Bush said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. He didn’t. Bush said his administration had proof of a link between Hussein and the 9/11 attacks on America. The proof didn’t exist and the CIA says it doubts it can ever prove such a link. And Bush said the invasion would free Iraqis from the tyranny of Saddam Hussein. Yet all we have done is replace one form of tyranny with another.

An internal memo circulating at CIA headquarters at Langley says more Iraqi civilians have died since the American invasion than died at the hands of Saddam Hussein over the past decade.

If the power of the American military cannot keep an occupied country safe how can we believe Bush when he says America itself is safer today under his leadership?

We can’t. Bush lies. That’s a documented, proven fact. His lies have cost more than 1,000 Americans their lives in an unnecessary war. His lies have created more enemies of America and left this nation more vulnerable to attack. And his lies have divided this nation into a society where bitter partisanship has replaced love of country and political expedience is substituted for honesty.

Tyranny can come in many forms. It can exist under many flags — including an American one. How many more Americans and Iraqis have to die before we realize the real war criminal may live at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue?