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  • America Votes

    Election news from across the Knight Ridder network and the Web

    Friday, February 27, 2004

    Kerry slams Bush on Iraq 

    Sen. John Kerry accused President Bush of leaving Iraq in "disarray" and said U.S. troops in the country had "no exit in sight" as he gave a wide-ranging critique of the Bush administration's national-security policies.

    Kerry challenged Bush's policy of orchestrating Iraq's transition to democracy alone, an approach that's had repeated setbacks as one group of Iraqis after another rejects the U.S. vision of how to proceed. Kerry endorsed reliance upon the United Nations instead. "We must offer the U.N. the lead role in assisting Iraq with the development of new political institutions," Kerry said. "And we must stay in Iraq until the job is finished."

    The speech in Los Angeles was in many ways a counterattack, responding to Republican criticism that Kerry's voting record has been weak on security and defense. But it was also a way for Kerry to distinguish himself from Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina, his rival for the Democratic presidential nomination, and to showcase his grasp of foreign policy after 19 years in the Senate and senior membership on its Foreign Relations Committee.

    - James Kuhnhenn, Knight Ridder Washington Bureau

    posted by Jim Van Nostrand at 6:39 PM



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