Speaking to a captive audience of soldiers at Fort Bragg, N.C., June 28, President George W. Bush resorted once again to his favorite lie to justify the invasion and occupation of Iraq. Five times he explicitly linked Iraq to the 9/11 terrorist attacks even though all credible sources say Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11.

He delivered this Big Lie speech because his administration is desperate. Iraq pours out a litany of bad news making Bush’s cheerful “stay-the-course” bromides sound like a loud belch in church. Polls show 60 percent of the people favor bringing all or some of the troops home. A June 28 poll found that 53 percent now believe the Iraq war was a mistake.

Even Republicans who initially backed the war are having second thoughts. Republican Rep. Walter Jones of North Carolina has joined with Democrat Dennis Kucinich as co-sponsor of the “Homeward Bound Act.” At last count, 64 lawmakers have joined Rep. Maxine Waters’ “Out of Iraq Caucus.”

In his speech, Bush said a timetable for withdrawal “would send the wrong message” to U.S. troops that they will be pulled out “before the job is done” and to insurgents that they can “wait us out.”

Bush is ignoring history. The Iraqi people have fought invaders and occupiers for centuries. They have a rich history of political and social struggle and are skillful strategists. They ousted the British imperialists and they will oust the U.S. as well.

Our soldiers are targets in a war that should never have happened. The best way to support them is to bring them home now. Reparations, starting with the corporate war profits, must be paid to rebuild Iraq from the U.S.-inflicted devastation. If the Iraqi people decide they need United Nations or other assistance with rebuilding or security, they will ask for it. But the U.S.-led occupation is the root cause of Iraq’s misery. Ending the occupation is the cure.

Write or visit your senators and representative during the July 4th recess. Ask them to bring the troops home now.