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Bush Lands In Poland

This Aug. 2009 photo shows Russell Seager teaching at Bryant & Stratton College in Milwaukee. Seager was one of the victims in the shootings at Fort Hood on Nov. 5, 2009. (AP Photo/WUWM)
AP Photo/WUWM
President Bush arrived in Krakow, Poland on Friday night to begin a week of European and Mideast summitry.

But the issue of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq – or, more to the point, the lack of them – is threatening to take away some of the muscle Mr. Bush hoped his swift victory in Iraq would bring to what is his most ambitious foreign trip, CBS News Correspondent John Roberts reports.

Europe is abuzz over comments made by Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz in next month's Vanity Fair magazine, where he seemed to play down the imminent threat posed by Saddam's weapons of mass destruction, the administration's core pretext for war.

Wolfowitz said while there were many justifications for military action, "For bureaucratic reasons we settled on one issue – weapons of mass destruction – because it was the one reason everyone could agree on."

After ten weeks of searching, U.S. forces have only turned up two suspected mobile bio-weapons labs as evidence of an Iraqi weapons program. And on Friday, a top Marine general said he's surprised they haven't found more.

"We've been through virtually every ammunition supply point between the Kuwaiti border and Baghdad, but they're simply not there," said Lt. Gen. James Conway.

President Bush insists more proof will be found. His staunchest European ally rushed to his defense Friday.

"The idea that we authorized or made our intelligence agencies invent some piece of evidence is completely absurd," said British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Wolfowitz also told Vanity Fair that while it was never publicized, it was always part of the pre-war calculation that with Saddam gone the United States would be free to move its forces out of Saudi Arabia, taking enormous pressure off the Saudi royal family.

Even the perception that European allies, who were criticized for opposing the war, didn't get the full story could complicate Mr. Bush's desire to move past Iraq and get on with other pressing business during this visit.

Poland is the first stop on a European trip that will also take the president to France and Russia. He will later head to the Mideast for talks with the Israeli and Palestinian leaders.

While in Poland, Mr. Bush will tour Auschwitz, the former Nazi concentration camp where more than a million people died during the Holocaust. He'll be only the second American president to view Auschwitz, about 50 miles from the southern Polish city of Krakow.

He'll also talk about post-war Iraq with Polish leaders, and deliver a speech on the future of the trans-Atlantic alliance.

That alliance was badly frayed by Iraq. However, the Poles were staunch backers and are sending troops to Iraq to command a multi-national peace force.