The US leader made the remarks on Wednesday in a keynote speech during a three-day state visit to London, marked by deep public opposition to the US-led occupation of Iraq.

Some observers said Bush presented nothing concrete on what he plans to do next in Baghdad.

“There was no indication whatsoever in a change of policy-and that is what is worrying,” said Georges Le Guelte of the French Institute for International and Strategic Relations.

“He is still focused on the ‘war against terrorism’ and is still in the same mindset which has led to the mistakes and failures this far,” he said.

World body

As for his comments on the United Nations, Marc Schattenmann of Germany’s Erfurt School of Public Policy, said the president was only partially right when he discussed the use of force.

“The UN charter allows for the use of force in self-defence, to help others in emergencies and where the Security Council approves it. That wasn’t the case in Iraq or in Kosovo,” he said.

Others saw the address as delivering a “very friendly message”.

Bush began his speech by recalling the 11 September, 2001 attacks and built the address from there.

“He continues to make links between the September 11 attacks and those elsewhere - for example in Morocco - which had completely different causes. It is designed to instil fear into public opinion,” said Le Guelte.