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Bush to Discuss Iraq During Annual State of Union Speech - 2003-01-28


President Bush goes before the American people in just a few hours from now to deliver his State of the Union address. He will make the case for action to disarm Iraq, but will not issue an ultimatum or a declaration of war.

The president will tell Congress and the nation that Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein has shown utter contempt for the United Nations and international opinion. And he will stress that America must hold him to account.

In excerpts of the speech released by the White House, Mr. Bush says bluntly "The dictator of Iraq is not disarming. To the contrary, he is deceiving."

In his speech, the president will link Iraq to the ongoing war on terrorism, saying once again that the greatest danger facing America and the world is the possibility that outlaw regimes that seek and possess weapons of mass destruction could pass them on to terrorists.

The comments on Iraq and foreign policy are expected to make up the second half of the address. The president will begin the speech by talking at length about the nation's domestic problems most notably the economy and the high cost of health care.

He will emphasize that America faces many challenges that cannot be ignored. And he will say that the United States will confront them with "focus, clarity, and courage."

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