George Bush claimed that the US would bring democracy to Iraq and so end the violence there. But as Iraqis voted last weekend, US war planes delivered death from the sky.
Last Sunday the US military said it had killed 20 “terrorists” in Ramadi. Local people said they were civilians. A helicopter bombed a house in the nearby village of Al-Bu Faraj, claiming it had killed 40 “insurgents”. Witnesses said at least 14 of the dead were civilians.
An Associated Press Television News video showed the dead included two children. Local people said seven other children were killed.
The response in the White House to the referendum in Iraq on the US-brokered constitution has so far been muted. Senior figures accept the resistance will continue.
Two Sunni provinces voted clearly against the constitution. Election monitors in southern provinces initially reported voter turnout as between 20 and 30 percent. This indicates bigger opposition to the break-up of the country among the Shia population than was expected.
US talk of victory in Iraq is becoming quieter. And the demand is mounting in the US, Britain and among Shias and Sunnis in Iraq for US and British troops to quit Iraq.