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Bush Continues to Make Case for US Attack Against Iraq - 2002-09-05

President Bush continued to make his case for action against Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein Thursday. Mr. Bush was on the campaign trail, raising money for Republican Congressional candidates.

President Bush says the United States must stop terrorists before they strike.

"We must anticipate problems before they occur. We must deal with threats to our security today before it can be too late," he said.

Mr. Bush wants the Iraqi leader removed from power because he says Saddam Hussein could help terrorists acquire chemical, biological or nuclear weapons.

He has opened a campaign to convince Congress and the American people of the need to act against the Iraqi leader, though Mr. Bush says he has not yet made up his mind about using force.

The president says he will cooperate with Congressional hearings on Iraq and at "the appropriate time," he will seek the legislature's approval for action.

Mr. Bush is also looking for international support ahead of his speech next week's at the United Nations. The president meets British Prime Minister Tony Blair Saturday following a round of telephone meetings Friday with the leaders of Russia, China and France.

"I will remind them that history has called us into action, that we love freedom, that we will be deliberate, patient and strong in the values that we adhere to," the president said. " But we can't let the world's worst leaders, blackmail, threaten, and hold freedom-loving nations hostage with the world's worst weapons.

Mr. Bush says the Iraqi leader has "stiffed" the international community by not following through on pledges to stop developing weapons of mass destruction.

With the exception of Prime Minister Blair, most world leaders oppose military action. France says Mr. Bush should seek authorization from the U.N. Security Council before attacking Iraq.

Germany, Sweden, China, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Russia are all urging President Bush to use restraint in deciding how to topple Saddam Hussein.