Editorial

In a performance that could only be characterized as rambling, dodging, scary, ignorant and at times comical, George W. Bush put on a rare “prime time” press performance. Bush, facing increased skepticism from the American public on the war and Sept. 11, was under pressure to justify failing policies in Iraq. Lies, blunders and events have caught up with the Bush administration.

How many dead soldiers and civilians will it take before this war ends? How many more sons and daughters of the working class have to be wounded before we put our collective foot down? Enough with the lies. Enough with the “weapons of mass distraction.” Enough with the greed and incompetence. Enough with using the events of Sept. 11 to promote a war for oil and empire.

Fueled by the administration’s bungling of counter-terrorism in the months before Sept. 11, the public’s confidence in Bush on national security has plummeted. The 9/11 Commission hearings have brought to light the fact that on Aug. 6, 2001, Bush received a Presidential Daily Briefing (PDB) with the title “Osama bin Laden Determined to Strike in the U.S.,” which warned of possible hijacking of U.S. airplanes.

Bush, who has spent 40 percent of his presidency on his Crawford, Texas ranch and at Camp David, continued on vacation after receiving the bulletin. No wonder the White House sought to keep its contents secret. But National Security Adviser Condeleezza Rice was forced to disclose the title during her testimony before the commission.

The image of an administration out of touch with reality and consumed with the neo-conservative imperialist proposition to control the Middle East – rich in oil – has been indelibly burned into the public’s eye. This bunch has used the tragedy of Sept. 11 for their own narrow aims.

Bush has not backed up an inch on the big lies about Iraq: WMDs, and the alleged link to the Sept. 11 attacks. These are lies, lies and more lies.

At the press conference, Bush hinted that WMDs could still be found, perhaps under turkey farms.

White House insider and counter-terrorism chief Richard Clarke said there was absolutely no link to Sept. 11 and Iraq, and that the war on Iraq has actually undermined anti-terrorist efforts. Obviously, international cooperation is needed to end terrorism.

The Bush administration makes no bones about its allegiance to U.S. corporations and their billions of profits, especially the oil and energy monopolies, banks, and military contractors. Bush practically slobbered when he answered the question about Iraqi oil, “Well the oil revenues are – they’re bigger than we thought they would be … the revenues of the oil stream is pretty darn significant.”

This is not freedom and democracy for the masses of working people and oppressed both here at home and around the world, including in Iraq. This is a war to remake the region and the world under the domination of the “sole superpower.”

The Bush policy of regime change – also underway in Haiti – is leading down the road of massacre and mayhem. Their policies – from the military and foreign affairs, to the economy, jobs, taxes, deficits, education, civil rights and health care – all have an eerie similarity. They are reckless, anti-democratic and based on lies, deceptions and cover-ups.

So which way forward for peace and democracy? Building the anti-Bush coalition here on the ground – at the grassroots – reaching out beyond the “choir” has to continue.

Letters to the editors, reaching out to friends, family members, veterans and military families with the message that this war is wrong and innocent blood is being spilled for oil, not ending terrorism or avenging Sept. 11.

Delivering a resounding defeat to Bush in November will put the peace and democratic forces on better footing for the struggles ahead.

Broad delegations can visit, hold vigils, pickets in front of their congressional representatives during their break demanding real support for U.S. troops by bringing them home. Sending in more troops is not the answer. The United Nations has to be called in to help manage the process leading to Iraqi sovereignty and a democratic government. We have to unite and fight to end the occupation now!

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