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Kerry faults Bush over Bin Laden
September 24, 2004
US Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry has accused President George W Bush of neglecting the war against terror by invading Iraq.
He said Mr Bush's strategy had made defeating terrorism more difficult.

"The invasion of Iraq was a profound diversion from the battle against our greatest enemy, al-Qaeda," Mr Kerry said in a speech in Philadelphia.

With just under 40 days until the presidential poll, Mr Kerry has stepped up his attacks on Mr Bush over Iraq.

The two candidates are due to meet in the first presidential debate on Thursday which will focus on foreign policy and homeland security.

The Massachusetts senator said if he was elected president he would "fight a tougher, smarter, more effective war on terror".

"My priority will be to find and capture or kill the terrorists before they get us," he said.

"George Bush made Saddam Hussein the priority. I would have made Osama Bin Laden the priority. I will finish the job in Iraq and I will refocus our energies on the real war on terror.

"There's just no question about it. The president's misjudgement, miscalculation and mismanagement of the war in Iraq all make the war on terror harder to win."

He said Mr Bush had refused to fully implement recommendations of the 11 September commission, had under-funded the Department of Homeland Security, and allowed nuclear dangers in Iran and North Korea to go unchecked.

Mr Kerry said he was prepared to hold bilateral talks with North Korea and fight for sanctions against Iran if it failed to suspend its uranium enrichment programme.

Earlier this week he pledged to get more help in Iraq from other countries, to take the burden off US forces.


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