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President Bush, Cabinet Discuss War Plans - 2003-03-19


President Bush Wednesday reviewed plans for military action against Iraq as his deadline nears for Saddam Hussein to leave power of face war.

President Bush met with his cabinet to discuss plans for the nearly 300,000 U.S. and British forces now prepared to attack Iraq.

White House spokesman Ari Fleischer says there is no indication that Saddam Hussein will comply with the president's demand to step down by 0100 UTC Thursday.

If he does not, the president says U.S. and British forces will invade Iraq, topple the government, and disarm the military.

Mr. Bush had no public events on his schedule as the deadline approaches. He did meet Wednesday with New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg to discuss increased risks of terrorist attacks. Mayor Bloomberg says Mr. Bush appears determined to act.

"The president has made his decision," Mayor Bloomberg said. "He said clear the other night Saddam Hussein had 48 hours to leave or we were going to take military action. And I think at this point the debate is over."

The president will again address the nation on Iraq, but the White House will not say whether that will be before or after the fighting starts.

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