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Saddam is like a wild animal which has to be tamed before it can behave well and I think the US has got a nice opportunity to do whatever it likes to do, but sometimes I wonder if he loves his own people as he claims he does. He is a symbol of the devil himself.
Stephen , Ghana

Your programme on Iraq was very insightful and informative. It seems to me however that there are some close to Saddam who are equally as nasty and as paranoid about their own futures as Saddam. Yes Saddam will probally die at the hands of a few of his General's or others close to him who feel they are next on his 'execution list' and think it better to strike out in anger first!
Gerard Jefferson-Lewis, Italy

Two years ago in the Sunday Telegraph John Simpson commented about the sanctions on Iraq "If people could hear and see what is being done in their names in Iraq, they would be outraged. But they don't, so it continues." (Sunday Telegraph, 30 April 2000). I couldn't agree more. I would like to know why John Simpson is not helping people see what is being done in their name? I would like to believe that the BBC is not just a mouthpiece for the British government but this programme convinced me otherwise.
John Rose, UK

There are governments like that, and worse, all over Africa, Asia, South America and the Far East. Should we get involved in all of these nations? Or should we go to the root of the problem and send aid to those who need it.
Richard, England

I see the programme's lazy propaganda about Saddam being a monster who stands alone outside of any historical context is being repeated here. Israel was not an innocent victim of unprovoked Iraqi aggression. If we can attack Iraq to "free" Kuwait, why can't Saddam attack Israel to free the Palestinians? The Scud attacks might just as well be seen as retaliation for the Israeli campaign of bombings, assassinations and air strikes designed to prevent the legitimate development of nuclear energy in Iraq.
Nick, UK

What is the point of entering Iraq and ousting Saddam without an exit strategy. There is no internally organised opposition within Iraq - the exiled opposition are not in any way united and the West (UN) will be left with an enormous bill to clean the country up. Oil revenues will help - but all of this will be at the cost of further alienating the Arab League and fanning the fire of Islamic fundamentalism. How can the West possibly think they can surgically remove Saddam and leave without another Afghanistan, Yugoslavia etc...happening all over again.
Philip Charsley, London

The story that you have told us about Saddam is nothing new for us...he was a product of wars and conflict that was created like today by the Advanced countries for there vested interest! Make my words, if Mr.Bush goes for war or continue this war stragey, there would be more Saddams created. what need in Middle east is not USA or Russian Made war weapons, but more health facilities and food.Please stop the history from repeating. inaz
Inaz, Maldives

Nothing new in John Simpson's reporting on Iraq, we have heard it all before. How about a programme on how many innocent civillians have died due to sanctions and the use of depleated uranium, used by US/UK, causing the cancer epidemic in Iraq?

Also what about the psychological damage with the continual threat of war? Lets have some credible witnesses such as Denis Halliday and Hans von Sponeck both UN coordinators who resigned in disgust. Alexandra,UK
Alexandra, UK

I wish I could be sure I was being told the truth; but I'm honestly not sure. Sadam would not win my vote for the Nobel Peace prize, but then neither would George Bush and friends. As a committed Quaker I'm sure a war will come to no good. It just stirs up another set of resentments and hatred.

I think the West should think very carefully about using its superior strength in arms. Might was never right, nor do the ends justify the means. But I'm not even clear they are sure what the are doing except an understandable wish to blame others for their misfortunes.
Ted Clapham, U.K.

Your programme seemed to want it both ways. Firstly we were told that Saddam had virtually no weapons left that were capable of attacking Israel. Only 18 out of date missiles that were lacking vital parts. In 1991 he had launched scud missiles against Israel, but now we are told we need not worry as he did not have the capacity to do this again.

Later however, we were told that he had unknown stock-piles of weapons of mass destruction deeply hidden. This, afterall, is the justification for an attack. If he can't reach Israel he could hardly reach here.

A further distortion was the failure to tell us anything at all about what went on with the weapons inspectors. We were just told that in 1998 'they had to leave' - not what is now publically admitted by those involved - that they had been used to spy on Saddam Hussein, and that this was why access to sensitive sights was obstructed. It was the US that withdrew them so they could embark on a bombing campaign.
Kate, UK

The biggest question remains, when is America going to give up weapons of mass distruction, they were the only users of these weapons. If we need to get rid of them we need to start from America first. It's not a good argument that I can keep those bombs which I made first, but if others even think about it they wil be 'axis of evil'.
John Wallace, England

Interesting to hear the new spin: "until the inspectors had to leave". I suppose this might be considered a clever way to avoid repeating the outrageous lie that they were "kicked out". Wouldn't it be easier and more honest just to say they were withdrawn due to evidence of CIA spying and the threat of imminent bombing raids by the US?
Nick, UK

Liked yesterday's show and the link that made you to him copying Stalin. The other historical reference that I think he's copying are the Pharoahs, ie. building of mounments to take his name into posterity, carving his name into older buildings. More than a hint of Rameses II.
Dev Raval, Northolt

I am astounded at the amount of 'propaganda' style programmes about Saddam on TV lately. We all know he's an evil dictator and we all know there is lots of evil dictators in the world. Why do we need to be bombarded with these programmes? Why didn't we have a programme like this, say 5 years ago? If we want to rid the world of weapons of mass destruction we should start with our own and not take advice from a country (USA) that has actually used them.
Ernest Stephenson, UK

I think the West got off pretty lightly in John Simpson's programme. For example, the way Saddam's destruction of the Iraqi resistance was orchestrated by the Americans (Bush encouraged rebellion, then did nothing to help) and then described simply as 'a mistake.' That the US is now calling for regime change beggars belief considering the fact that in this instance they were the biggest obstacle, by their inaction, to regime change.
Gareth Parry, UK

In 1991, during the Desert Storm war, Saddam's regime launched about 40 Scud missiles against Israel, although Israel had absolutely nothing to do with that war. Allow Saddam's regime stay in power a few more years, allow Iraq's current regime develop longer range missiles and effective mass destruction warheads for them, and some British, or French, or German, would repeat this post in a few years from now...
Ben, Israel, Israel

Very well made programme despite ending on the image of fear. This is Saddam's most potent weapon of all. Like all bullies and as shown by the last Gulf War, his bark is worse than his bite, particularly when confronted with a more powerful adversary. Unfortunately for the Iraqi people, bullies are also very successful at repeatedly inflicting pain, suffering and torment on those who are weaker.
Laith, U.K.

The reason given for Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait was stated as a dispute with them over his reward for his war with Iran. There was no mention that apparently North Kuwait is territory that Iraq have claimed for many years was theirs. I recollect prior to the invasion that the American Foreign Secretary was advised in advance and indicated America would not intervene or words to that effect. Am I correct and was Saddam suckered into thinking he could get away with invading Kuwait?
Bill Robertson, Scotland

As a refugee from Iraq, I have watched tonight's Panorama programme about Saddam Hussein with mixed feelings. On one hand at last someone had the courage to expose the brutality of the regime and question its legitimacy, as a living witness of Saddam Hussein's brutality I could not help shivering from trepidation from his regime total disregard to decent human behaviour.

The scene that had most effect on me is seeing those unfortunate Iraqis publicly hanged. It brought back my memories of the very first act of brutality committed by his regime. In January 1969 (some 5 months after he came to power), Saddam's regime publicly hanged and displayed the body of nine innocent Iraqi Jews (mixed ages including minors) for no other reason apart from the fact that they were Jews, easy target and sends a clear message to all that this regime means business.

Till today, I clearly remember the voice of TV broadcast calling on all Iraqis to come out in their masses, to look at the bodies of Zionist traitors, to bring their families and have a picnic. It is about time the decent world got rid of this tyrant and save the Iraqi population from further suffering.
Ronnie Dallal, UK

That was one of the most atrocious pieces of journalism I have ever witnessed, and John Simpson, should be ashamed of himself. I agree that Saddam Hussein is a dictator, who employs methods which I may feel are evil. However this documentary glossed over how much support America, and the UK have given him over the years. One of the main reasons, for America's need for a war with Iraq is its flagging economy, and a need to divert attention away from it.

Not to mention the need to control oil pipelines running on Iraqi soil. Not one shred of credible evidence was presented in this film, the use of computer game analogies was insulting, and the pathetic attempts to direct the viewers to make moral judgements, were appalling.

Saddam Hussein has done enough, for Panorama to investigate him properly, and ask questions which have not been asked before, surely this is the point of a journalist? Instead, we the viewing public are presented with puff pieces, which are designed to hide! Our own Government's true involvement with Iraq, and gloss over key events like the Basra road massacre. I feel like the propaganda I am now getting from the BBC, is only marginally more subtle than the propaganda the Iraqis receive from state television. I pay my license fee, and expect more.
Lisa Muggeridge, England

Your programme was found to be very interesting in the sense that it was a great repeat of US propaganda that is being invested in UK media to change public opinion on the war against Iraq. Surely you the BBC could come up with something new and worthwhile to tell. What about the cruelty of sanctions on Iraq and the Containment of Iraq a conspiracy involving US CIA posing as inspectors?
A Ali, England

John Simpson's report on Panorama tonight demonstrates quite clearly the danger to everybody this man is. He will quite clearly kill his own people, so he will have no qualms on killing if he thinks necessary millions of other people in the western world. With the knowledge we have got of this man, the time must now be coming to take action against him. America will win in the end, but the question is how long will it take? The longer it is left the longer it will take. Saddam Hussein is an evil man and must be stopped for the safety of us all.
Steve Fuller, England

Why wait for the destruction from Iraqi weapons of mass destruction? Get rid of them, or of Saddam Hussein before that happen. It's called preventive medicine and it is practiced every day.
Roger Da Costa, Canada

It seems incredible to me that, after WWII, after Soviet Russia, after Hannah Arendt's profound examination of totalitarianism we, in the West, allow regimes like Saddam's to thrive with barely a comment. Do we not realise that Iraq is held together by fear alone? The kind of fear that makes people fearful of what neighbours might say and of what they say in front of their children? Fear is the glue holding today's Iraq together... yet we seem to care naught.
Inna Tysoe, USA

Saddam - a warning from history


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