WASHINGTON -- The Bush administration's failure to shut down
al-Qaida and rebuild Iraq have fueled the insurgency and made the
United States more vulnerable to a nuclear attack by terrorists,
Sen. Edward M. Kennedy said Sunday.
In a speech prepared for delivery at George Washington
University on Monday, Kennedy said that by shifting attention from
Osama bin Laden to Iraq, Bush has increased the danger of a
''The war in Iraq has made the mushroom cloud more likely, not
less likely,'' he said in the remarks released late Sunday.
Expanding on earlier suggestions that Iraq is Bush's Vietnam,
Kennedy said U.S. soldiers are bogged down in a quagmire with no
end in sight.
He said it was a good thing Bush was not in charge during the
Cuban missile crisis, one of the darker periods of his late
brother's John Kennedy's time as president.
On the economic front, he said the administration's failures to
distribute billions of dollars in reconstruction funds and create
enough local Iraqi jobs may have been the biggest factors leading
to the rise of the insurgency there.
Kennedy has been pummeling the Bush administration in daily
speeches in the Senate, serving as one of the most aggressive
flame-throwers for Democrat John Kerry's presidential campaign.
Bush, meanwhile, has charged Kerry with flip-flopping on Iraq.
In defense of Bush's policies, Sen. Lindsay Graham, R-S.C.,
appearing Sunday on CBS' ''Face the Nation'' along with Kennedy,
said the United States must stay the course in Iraq until the fight
is done, and that criticism of the war like that coming from
Kennedy will hurt the cause in the Middle East.
Kennedy's Monday speech details 13 reasons why Bush's policies
have not made the United States safer from terrorism. Among other
things, he said the war in Iraq created a new breeding ground for
terrorists, distracted from efforts to eliminate al-Qaida,
alienated America's allies and allowed North Korea and Iran to
pursue nuclear weapons.
© 2004 Boston Globe