Aspen - A polarizing figure, presidential adviser Karl Rove is accustomed to criticism. He is also used to getting laughs. Speaking in liberal Aspen at the annual Aspen Ideas Festival, Rove encountered his share of cynics.

But Rove expressed no regret about the widely unpopular war in Iraq.

"I make no apologies," Rove said when an audience member asked how personally responsible he felt for the war. "It was the right thing to do. The world is better off with (Saddam Hussein) gone. We all thought he had weapons of mass destruction. The whole world did. He didn't. ...

"In the aftermath of the removal of the regime, al-Qaeda decided to make its stand in Iraq. And we have got to, in my opinion, fight 'em and beat 'em there; otherwise we are going to face them somewhere else."

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