Bush defends decision to attack Iraq, says US not ''too pro-Israel''
As thousands of anti-war demonstrators protested outside Parliament, President Bush thanked Australia on Thursday for sending forces to Iraq.
Forty-one opposition lawmakers signed a letter criticizing Bush's war decision, saying the war was conducted on the basis of a clear and present danger in Iraq that did not exist. But Bush in his speech Bush said that "Saddam Hussein's regime is gone and no one should mourn its passing."
In his speech, Bush defended using force in Iraq, saying that terrorists had been trying to gain chemical, biological or nuclear weapons. "America, Australia and other nations acted in Iraq to remove a grave and gathering danger, instead of wishing and waiting while tragedy drew closer," the US leader stressed.
While no weapons of mass destruction have been found, Bush said the United States has discovered secret biological laboratories in Iraq, design work on prohibited long range missiles and a campaign to hide an illegal weapons program.
"Who can possibly think that the world would be better off with Saddam Hussein still in power?" Bush said.
According to The AP, Bush came to Australia from Indonesia where he tried to convince Muslim leaders Wednesday that America is not biased against Muslim countries.
En route to Australia, Bush told reporters on Air Force One that he told the religious leaders in Bali that he disagreed with those who claim America is anti-Islamic, and too pro-Israel. "They said the United States' policy is tilted toward Israel, and I said our policy is tilted toward peace," Bush noted, according to The AP.
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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