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Opposition Democrats Not Convinced on Bush Iraq Stand - 2003-01-29

Congressional Democrats opposed to using force to disarm Iraq say President Bush's State of the Union address did not convince them that Iraq poses an imminent threat.

Senator Ted Kennedy, a Massachusetts Democrat, is among those who say they are still not convinced that Iraq poses an immediate threat to the United States or its allies.

Mr. Kennedy plans to introduce a resolution requiring Mr. Bush to present "convincing evidence of an imminent threat" before sending U.S. troops to fight in a war against Iraq.

Washington Governor Gary Locke is one Democrat who agrees Iraq does pose a threat. But he says the president did not convince him the United States should go it alone in any war against Iraq, if reluctant allies refuse to join the fight.

"We must convince the world that Saddam Hussein is not America's problem alone," he said. "He is the world's problem."

Mr. Locke delivered the official Democratic response to the president's address.

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California says that, although Congress voted last year to authorize the use of force in Iraq, it would be important for lawmakers to have an open debate about unanswered questions. Ms. Pelosi and other Democrats have pressed the administration to tell the American people about the costs and duration of any war against Iraq.