Two years after he made a case
against Iraq over unconventional weapons that were never found,
President Bush faces global critics at the United Nations this
week to argue it is essential that war-ravaged Iraq become a
Bush makes his annual trek to New York to speak to the U.N.
General Assembly on Tuesday. His remarks are likely to be seen
in an election-year context, at a time of rising casualties in
Iraq, fears of civil war and questions about whether national
elections can be held in January as scheduled.
Before getting to New York, Bush will attend a campaign
rally on Monday in Derry, New Hampshire, where Bush campaign
officials said he will step up attacks on Democratic challenger
John Kerry's Iraq policy, taking advantage of what the campaign
calls Kerry's shifting positions.
Campaign officials said Bush would react to comments made
last week by a Kerry military adviser, retired Adm. William
Crowe, in which Crowe reportedly blasted Bush over Iraq and
said the United States must reconsider its military efforts
Bush will attack Kerry for a policy of "defeat and
retreat," campaign spokesman Scott Stanzel said. He will also
launch a new advertisement on cable television promoting the
president's proposals to create a national terrorism center and
transform the U.S. military to fight terrorism.
Bush's U.N. speech will be a mixture of talking up his
hopes for success in Iraq and Afghanistan -- where a struggle
is taking place to hold elections on Oct. 9 -- and emphasizing
U.S. efforts to assist the global fight against AIDS, hunger,
illiteracy and poverty.
"All the world can be certain: America and our allies will
keep our commitments to the Afghan and Iraqi people. Our
long-term security -- the safety of our children and
grandchildren -- will be served when the broader Middle East is
home to stable, democratic governments that fight terror," Bush
said in his weekly radio address on Saturday.
SKEPTICS IN THE AUDIENCE
Many world leaders who opposed Bush on Iraq will be
listening carefully to what he says about the situation there.
He will be able to point to Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi as
an example of a new generation of Iraqi leadership. He will
meet Allawi at the White House on Thursday.
"He's a tough guy," Bush said at a campaign event on
Friday. "He believes that Iraq should be free and he cares
about the hopes and aspirations of the Iraqi people."
But there are likely to be some skeptics in the U.N.
audience. U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said last week he
believes the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq was a violation of
It was two years ago at the U.N. General Assembly that Bush
challenged world leaders to back up sanctions against Iraq with
the threat of severe consequences for Saddam Hussein if he did
not disarm, and the Security Council responded with a unanimous
But months later, after U.N. weapons inspectors failed to
find weapons of mass destruction, the United Nations refused to
back Bush's call for war, and Bush launched the conflict with
support from 35 nations. That coalition is now dwindling even
as an Iraqi insurgency increases attacks.
A key argument Bush is making on the campaign trail is that
Iraq is better off without Saddam in power. The CIA has warned
of the possibility that Iraq could descend into civil war.
Kerry has been stepping up his attacks on Bush over the
war. He accused Bush last week of "living in a fantasy world of
spin" and failing to tell the truth about chaos and violence in
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