Kerry says U.S. needs other nations’ help in Iraq

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(Host) Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry says the United States must enlist other nations to stabilize Iraq. Speaking to reporters on a conference call, Kerry said President Bush needs to reach out to the United Nations for help.

Kerry, a veteran of the Vietnam War, brushed aside a suggestion that his criticism of U.S. policy in Iraq could affect the morale of the troops.

(Kerry) “I think I’m speaking for the troops when I say their training is not to be police officers. Their training is to fight a war and win a war. And we need to bring other nations in to help protect those troops. I’m completely confident that what I’m doing in speaking out is speaking for the national security interests of my country.”

(Host) Kerry voted for a Congressional resolution that authorized the war in Iraq. He said he still believes his vote was correct, given what the Bush administration said about the threat posed by Saddam Hussein.

(Kerry) “I think my vote, based on the information that we were given was the correct vote. There’s no question in my mind that I voted for the national security interests of the country, with the expectation the president was going to do what he said, which is build the international coalition, build from a position of strength, exhaust the remedies and go as a matter of last resort.”

(Host) But Kerry says many of the administration claims are now in doubt, and that Congress needs to investigate.

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