"JOHN Kerry yesterday launched his strongest attack yet against George BushĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s handling of Iraq, saying the invasion had created a crisis that could lead to unending war.
The Democrat contender for the White House said Mr BushĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s actions raised questions about whether his judgment is up to presidential standards.
Mr Kerry, who had backed the presidentĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s decision to go to war, said no responsible commander-in-chief would have waged the war knowing that Saddam Hussein did not possess weapons of mass destruction and was not an imminent threat to the United States.
"Yet today, President Bush tells us that he would do everything all over again, the same way. How can he possibly be serious?" the Democratic presidential candidate said at New York University.
"Is he really saying that if we knew there were no imminent threat, no weapons of mass destruction, no ties to al-Qaeda, the United States should have invaded Iraq? My answer is no because a commander-in-chiefĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s first responsibility is to make a wise and responsible decision to keep America safe," Mr Kerry said."
"Iraq was a profound diversion from [the threat of further terrorist attacks] and the battle against our greatest enemy, Osama bin Laden and the terrorists," Mr Kerry said. "Invading Iraq has created a crisis of historic proportions and, if we do not change course, there is the prospect of a war with no end in sight."
"He added: "By one count, the president offered 23 different rationales for this war. If his purpose was to confuse and mislead the American people, he succeeded."