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Kerry Calls for Major Changes in US Policies in Iraq - 2004-04-17

U.S. Senator John Kerry, the likely Democratic Party presidential candidate, has made a new appeal for major changes in U.S. policies in Iraq.

His proposals include a new United Nations mission to rebuild Iraq, with a NATO security force under U.S. command to keep order.

Mr. Kerry said in the weekly Democratic Party radio speech that President Bush's Iraq policies have "produced a tragedy of errors." The senator said the United States should not retreat from Iraq but must review its tactics, adding that "staying the course does not mean stubbornly holding to the wrong course."

Senator Kerry said the proposed United Nations mission would organize elections, restore government services and help rebuilt the Iraqi economy. He said a NATO security force under U.S. command would help remove what he called "the 'Made In America' label from the Iraqi occupation."

President Bush also has sought to put a more international face on the U.S.-led coalition. He has suggested a new U.N. resolution to help get other nations to take part.

On Friday, he welcomed a U.N. proposal to dissolve the U.S.-appointed Iraqi Governing Council and install a caretaker government that would rule until elections in January of next year.

Senator Kerry voted in 2002 to authorized the war in Iraq, but later became highly critical of the way the administration has conducted it.