Notes: The George W. Bush wants the United Nations to "show some backbone" on the Iraq issue and take up the United States' cause. In a remarkable turn-around, some countries are softening in their criticism of the Bush administration on Iraq. Just before his speech to the U.N., someone on the Bush team scrapped Donald Rumsfeld's opinion piece on preemptive attack and pulled it from the Washington Post before publication. The new approach in the Bush U.N. speech was that the U.N. must act to preserve the U.N.'s integrity in the face of Iraq's failure to abide by previous U.N. resolutions. I think this was a brilliant bit of political strategy.

The November elections are just around the corner. At this writing, Republicans are silently chortling about their popularity gains because of the Iraq issue. Meanwhile, many Democrats are scrambling to "show some backbone" on the Iraq matter for fear of losing the election in which they had dreams of gaining control of Congress.

I don't think either party or the president should be thinking of elections when dealing with issues as serious as war. But, hey, that's politics.