U.S. President George Bush says he regrets that the way he spoke ahead of the Iraq invasion made him appear as a "guy really anxious for war."
In an interview published Wednesday in the British daily The Times Mr. Bush said that, in retrospect, he could have used "a different tone, a different rhetoric."
The U.S. president said that such phrases as "dead or alive" and "bring them on" let people think he was "not a man of peace."
Mr. Bush had used the language in reference to al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden and insurgents in Iraq.
Mr. Bush also said he was troubled about how the United States had been misunderstood ahead of the 2003 invasion, and he expressed regret about divisions caused by the war.
He also said it is very painful to put young people "in harm's way" and that he tries to meet with as many of the families of fallen soldiers as possible.
Mr. Bush told The Times he will use the last months of his final term in office to secure agreement on issues such as establishing a Palestinian state. Mr. Bush said he hopes to leave behind a series of structures that will make things easier for the next U.S. president.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.