Editorial: Keep the pressure on

President George W. Bush is continuing his lies to justify the unjustifiable. In a Nov. 30 speech crafted to contain a brewing rebellion against his failed Iraq policy, he led off with a long-discredited whopper, alluding to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and linking them to the Iraq “battlefront.” As we know, there was no Iraqi involvement in 9/11. But since the U.S. invasion of Iraq, terrorist attacks have increased worldwide, especially against Iraqi civilians.

He repeated his refrain of “bringing democracy” to Iraq — another big lie, unless the Bush administration’s definition of democracy is torture, military occupation, war crimes, scheming and arm-twisting.

The president then offered up his old “stay the course” pap, with a twist. In articulating his view of what it will take to get Iraqi forces up and running “on their own,” he detailed an endless quagmire that will suck up billions more dollars and military personnel for years to come. The needs of the U.S. people for rebuilding the Gulf Coast, health care, heat, food, and jobs will all be sacrificed for the war and those who profit from it.

Rep. John Murtha, a pro-war Democrat from Pennsylvania, rocked the White House last week with his call for a prompt withdrawal of troops, charging that the Bush policy is a “flawed policy wrapped in illusion.” Murtha is a highly decorated Marine veteran and sits on the House Armed Services Committee. He reportedly has close ties to the military. Murtha is able to say things the generals and enlisted soldiers cannot. It indicates a significant section of Bush’s base is questioning the president’s “stay the course” bromides.

Bush’s speech was designed to quell the growing congressional dissent, which reaches across both sides of the aisle.

The majority dissatisfaction of the American people with Bush’s Iraq policy is fueling the shifts in Congress and framing the 2006 election landscape. This is a moment when mass pressure on Congress to bring the troops home can block and reverse this bloody, “flawed policy wrapped in illusion.” Keep the pressure on.