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 August 24, 2003
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Bush defends Iraq war decision, vows to win peace, too
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White House-AP -- President Bush is defending the decision to wage war in Iraq -- and vowing to win the peace there, too.

At a joint news conference with Britain's Tony Blair, the president insisted Saddam Hussein was a menace -- not just for his chemical and biological arms, but for a nuclear program Bush maintains was being rebuilt before the war.

The White House has acknowledged Bush's State of the Union speech should not have claimed Iraq tried to buy uranium in Africa. But aides insist that wasn't the only evidence of Saddam's nuclear program.

Both Blair and Bush are vowing to stay the course in Iraq despite attacks on coalition troops. Bush says U-S enemies in Iraq "are looking for signs of hesitation", but they "will find none."

After yesterday's news conference, Bush headed to Texas for a weekend of fund-raising -- and hosting another Iraq war backer, Italy's Silvio Berlusconi, at his ranch.

Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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