Just last week we learned from a mortality study published in the prestigious medical journal, The Lancet, that the Iraqi death toll related to the U.S. invasion there has now risen to 655,000 at a rate increasing from 2.5% to 19%, mostly civilians. I was active in my opposition to the economic sanctions imposed on Iraq for nearly a decade prior to the invasion, because of the high levels of mortality, especially infant mortality, it caused. These percentages dwarf those, turning a humanitarian tragedy into a nightmare.

Now, with no clear victory or end in sight after 3 years of military intervention, we are trillions of dollars in public debt, the war proceeds at a cost of $9 billion a month--over $200,00 a second, and $21 billion or more is missing from the accounted funds for this war. Massive profits have accrued to a few corporations, creating an economy and federal budget without the resources to solve the pressing social problems or meet other needs here at home.

This war has also led to an unprecedented erosion of Constitutional rights, civil liberties, Posse Comitatus, privacy, rights to dissent and free speech, due process and habeas corpus principles, the Geneva Convention, United Nations accords, and many international laws and relations that have guided us and been our strength, and our source of respect around the world.

It is never easy to speak truth to power, to stand alone on conscience against the trend; but it is necessary more often that my colleagues seem to realize. One may say hindsight is easy, but foresight is not. The Washington Post recently helped to coin a new term, “hindsight bias