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Rep. John Lewis Says Bush Speech Means Stay the Course

October 25, 2006
Press Release

It was important for President Bush to talk to the American people about the war in Iraq today. This is one of the deadliest months on record since the beginning of the war. 93 service men and women have died in Iraq since Oct. 1st, and the death toll will probably reach 100 before this month comes to an end. The American people need a sign that there is a light at the end of this tunnel of death and destruction.

But the President did not offer us hope. What is the substantive difference between benchmarks and timetables? The President could not say. And though he did not use the words "stay the course," the policies he described amount to the same message. He is playing a game of semantics trying to shift the tide of American dissatisfaction before the November election. Meanwhile, the lives of our sons and daughters hang in the balance.

Because we invaded a sovereign government, we have given birth to a climate of greater extremism in the Middle East. Every intelligence report verifies that this war has created more terrorists, and it has made this world a much more dangerous place. And the longer we stay, as Iraq teeters on the brink of civil war, the longer our troops will be a focus for violence.

How many more of our young men and young women must be sacrificed on the altar of a failed policy? How many more of our young men and young women must pay the ultimate price for this ill-conceived, mismanaged war. We cannot kill all of the terrorists. We cannot shoot them all; we cannot bomb them all. We need to stop this madness and send a message that we want to bring this war to an end.

We all have one vote and by getting out and voting for members of Congress, we can vote against this war. Even decorated members of the military have said the only solution in Iraq is a political solution. We need to bring our sons and daughters home and begin the process of rebuilding, healing, and stabilizing American and Iraqi families torn apart by this war and find diplomatic ways to create a sustainable democracy in Iraq.