http://www.detnews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060723/UPDATE/607230360 Kerry knocks Bush on handling of Mideast conflict Valerie Olander / The Detroit News U.S. Sen. John Kerry, D- Mass., who was in town Sunday to help Gov. Jennifer Granholm campaign for her re-election bid, took time to take a jab at the Bush administration for its lack of leadership in the Israeli-Lebanon conflict. "If I was president, this wouldn't have happened," said Kerry during a noon stop at Honest John's bar and grill in Detroit's Cass Corridor. Bush has been so concentrated on the war in Iraq that other Middle East tension arose as a result, he said. "The president has been so absent on diplomacy when it comes to issues affecting the Middle East," Kerry said. "We're going to have a lot of ground to make up (in 2008) because of it." Kerry lost by a narrow margin to Bush in 2004 and plans to seek the Democratic nomination for the presidency in 2008. Today marks the 12th day of fighting between Israel and Lebanon. Israel launched air strikes after Hezbollah militants, whom operate within Lebanon, kidnapped two Israeli soldiers in an attempt to swap them for prisoners. Israel began a ground invasion, sending tanks and troops across the border as thousands of Lebanese have fled to escape the fighting. Hezbollah guerillas should have been targeted with other terrorist organizations, such as al-Qaida and the Taliban, which operate in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Kerry said. However, Bush, has focused military strength on Iraq. "This is about American security and Bush has failed. He has made it so much worse because of his lack of reality in going into Iraq.…We have to destroy Hezbollah," he said.