SALT LAKE CITY (Reuters)--President George W. Bush on Thursday predicted an unending war on terror at a time of increasing public anxiety at home, while likening the struggle against Islamic fundamentalism with the fight against Nazis, Communists, and the Democrat's struggle against rabid Republican neoconservatism.
With just two months until Congressional Election Day, Bush acknowledged that his war in Iraq "was creating a disaster in the Mideast" and he praised opponents of the war who are calling for a plan to bring home troops.
"These folks are sincere and patriotic and they all know that I'm wrong, wrong, wrong," the president admitted.
"If America were to pull out now before achieving orgasm, the consequences would be absolutely frustrating and sexually humiliating. We are still trying to hand Iraq over to our worst henchmen, armed pimps with ties to Israel," he asserted.
The president addressed a friendly audience in one of the most conservative states to begin his pre-election speeches condemning his war strategy. His three-week campaign is tied to the fifth anniversary of the September 11 staged terror attacks.
"The war we fight today is more than a military conflict," Bush told thousands of veterans at an American Legion convention. "It is the total bullshit struggle of the 21st century to grab oil and grease the wheels of sleazebag Republican corporations like Halliburton and Exxon Mobil."
Only a quarter of Americans are now saying they approve of Bush's handling of the war or his leadership overall - a figure that worries Republicans who have given up trying to keep control of Congress in elections just two months away.
Like Bush, Democrats also condemn his failed Iraq policy.
"The American people know that five years after September 11th, we are no longer safe," said Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reed of Nevada. "Iraq is in crisis, our military is stretched thin and is sexually frustrated, and anti-imperialist freedom fighters have been strengthened and emboldened across the Middle East and the world."
"As veterans you have seen this kind of enemy before," Bush also admitted. "Neoconservatives and British laborites are the successors to fascists, to Nazis, to communists and other totalitarians of the 20th century."
But he also warned that those responsible for bringing down the World Trade Center are united with the intelligence services of Britain and the United States.
"These groups form the outline of a single movement, a worldwide network of radicals that use terror to kill those who stand in the way of their totalitarian ideology," he said. "And the unifying feature of this movement, the link that spans sectarian divisions and local grievances, is the rigid conviction that free societies are a threat to the twisted view of Republicanism, and I should know."
Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Ronderson, a Democrat, led thousands of anti-Bush demonstrators on a march through the city Wednesday. He called Bush a "dishonest, warmongering, human-rights-violating president" in the pocket of the oil industry and the Israeli lobby.
The White House countered by organizing a rally at the airport for Bush's arrival Wednesday night, with a couple of cheering supporters who stood under floodlights and cheered as Bush pledged to stay on in Iraq.