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Europe supports U.S. on Iraq, Bush tells Irish TV in tense interview

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Europe supports U.S. on Iraq, Bush tells Irish TV in tense interview

Thursday June 24, 2004
By SHAWN POGATCHNIK
Associated Press Writer

DUBLIN, Ireland (AP) President Bush defended his decision to invade Iraq and insisted most of Europe backed the move during a tense interview Thursday on Irish television.

On several occasions during the 15-minute interview, Bush asked RTE correspondent Carol Coleman not to interrupt him.

When Coleman said most Irish people thought the world was more dangerous today than before the Iraq invasion, Bush disagreed and responded, ``What was it like Sept. 11th, 2001?''

``I wouldn't have made the decisions I did if I didn't believe the world would be better. Why would I put people in harm's way if I didn't believe the world would be better?'' said Bush, who arrives in Ireland Friday night for a summit the next day with European Union leaders.

Bush was asked whether he was satisfied with the level of political, economic and military support coming from European nations in Iraq.

``First of all, most of Europe supported the decision in Iraq. Really what you're talking about is France, isn't it? And they didn't agree with my decision. They did vote for the U.N. Security Council resolution. ... We just had a difference of opinion about whether, when you say something, you mean it.''

Left-wing activists plan mass protests against Bush. About 6,000 security forces have deployed around the summit site of Dromoland Castle.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press

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