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Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Edwards slams notion of 'War on Terror'

Edwards s repudiated the notion that there is a "global war on terror" Wednesday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Former Sen. John Edwards, D-North Carolina, criticized President Bush Wednesday for using the phrase "War on Terror" to justify the war in Iraq, saying that the president uses these "ideological policies" as weapons against his political opponents.

"The war on terror is a slogan designed only for politics, not a strategy to make America safe," Edwards said in a speech to the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City. "It's a bumper sticker, not a plan."

He added, "Whether by manipulating threat levels leading up to elections, or by deeming opponents 'weak on terror,' they have shown no hesitation whatsoever about using fear to divide."

Edwards said that Bush's plan to call it a war has "backfired" and caused a rise in terrorist activities, because the term conveys the message to them that the United States is "engaged in some kind of clash of civilizations and a war against Islam."

Edwards promised to strengthen the military and listed guidelines for when the United States should use force against another country, if he is elected president.

Edwards also criticized the Democrats in Congress for dropping their demand for a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq from their war funding bill.

"Any compromise that funds the war through the end of the fiscal year isn't a compromise at all, it's a capitulation," Edwards charged. "As I have said repeatedly, Congress should send the president the same bill he vetoed again and again until he realizes he has no choice but to start bringing our troops home."

-- CNN Associate Producer Lauren Kornreich

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