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Bush Set for Iraq Speech to American People

President Bush goes before the American people shortly to call for support in Iraq and the war on terrorism. He will call for more international involvement in Iraq and detail the cost for the United States in dollars and cents.

Just prior to the speech, the White House released excerpts of the text, focusing on sections dealing with terrorism, sacrifice and the role of the United Nations. The president reaffirms America's commitment to democracy and freedom on Iraq, saying the United States will do what is necessary and spend what is necessary. He calls Iraq the "central front" in the war on terrorism, stressing too much is at stake to turn away.

Mr. Bush also calls on the international community to contribute to reconstruction efforts in Iraq, and help the Iraqi people through a transition period to self-government. He says the members of the United Nations now have an opportunity and a responsibility to assume a broader role.

This is the president's first prime-time televised speech from the White House on Iraq since the start of hostilities in March, and his first broadcast address to the American people on the subject since May, when he announced an end to major combat operations.

Since then, there have been both mounting casualties and escalating costs for the United States. And a major theme of the president's upcoming address is expected to be the need for moral, financial and military support both at home and abroad.