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Bush reminds Americans war may be long, difficult

©Associated Press

March 23, 2003

WASHINGTON -- President Bush, meeting with his war advisers, monitored developments in Iraq on Saturday and promised Americans an unrelenting military campaign regardless of the difficulties ahead.

"Whatever is required of us, we will carry out all the duties we have accepted," Bush said in his weekly radio address.

Bush assembled his war cabinet for 90 minutes in a conference room at the Camp David presidential retreat.

New polls, meanwhile, showed about two-thirds of Americans approve Bush's handling of Iraq.

In his address, Bush praised the 250,000 U.S. troops he has arrayed around the Persian Gulf and asked friends and neighbors to lend a hand to their families in the absence of the service personnel.

"A campaign on harsh terrain in a vast country could be longer and more difficult than some have predicted. And helping Iraqis achieve a united, stable and free country will require our sustained commitment," he said, repeating themes he used earlier in the week.

"Now that conflict has come, the only way to limit its duration is to apply decisive force."

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