In the run up to the American presidential elections we will be asking a panel of voters - selected from as wide a cross-section of people as possible across the US - to share their views on the key issues.
MEET THE PANEL
Name: Rhonda Buie
Lives: San Diego, California
In 10 words or less:
"Wife, student, amateur artist, imperfect and independent observer"
Though I am a registered independent, I will be voting for John Kerry in this year's election.
I see him as the only alternative to President Bush.
As the wife of a military man, I have felt that I couldn't speak my mind about the action taken by the Bush Administration in Iraq.
I felt from the start that this was a war that was built on a lack of evidence, that was poorly handled and totally haphazard in its execution.
We promised to liberate Iraq but it has just deteriorated into a state of chaos.
The Bush Administration tried to convince us that the handover of power in Iraq would be a good thing.
But it still isn't stable. It's like we're handing the Iraqis their country back and saying: "We messed it up, but here you go."
The US military was not given enough time to carry out the task asked of it by the Bush Administration before the handover.
I also think that we have committed our troops there for a long term effort.
My husband serves in the Navy and I am concerned that he will eventually be sent out there. I also have an uncle who may have been re-drafted for active duty in Iraq over the last couple of days.
All this, and we still don't feel any safer in the US. If another terrorist attack happened, we couldn't be surprised.
From BBCArabic.com: Iraq was liberated and I think that the state of chaos existed long before the invasion because the regime in Iraq was busy in matters not related to the Iraqi people. As for now the new government is gradually regaining stability. I assure you that you don't have to fear from Iraqis for the safety of your husband and uncle in Iraq. The ones that you have to fear are the terrorists who if you don't face now in Iraq, you will tomorrow in the USA.
Sarmad Al Iraqi, Germany
From BBCArabic.com: Why was the war waged? To destroy the WMDs (that after long searches, have never been found)? Or to get rid of a dictatorship led by Saddam and the liberation of Iraq?
Does freedom permit the occupation of a country?
Ahmad Hatab, Cairo, Egypt
I'm sorry that you felt being a military wife meant you had a self-imposed gag order against political dissent. I hope you have since changed your mind. You who serve our in our military are even more deserving of your right to free speech and democracy-nourishing criticism as you're the ones putting your lives where your mouths are.
Summer Mondeau, Napa, CA, USA
Bush is a strategic visionary and I admire him and Tony Blair for sticking by the right thing even though it was not popular. Election victory or not, history and especially future generations of Arabs will remember the American-led action as the one that drove the last nail through the coffins of terror regimes worldwide.
Anil Cherian, Linkoping, Sweden
Mr Anil Cherian, who in his right mind could say that Bush is a strategic visionary? Bush is a complete disaster to world order. I can't stand hearing him say that this war is about freedom. Liberty has nothing to do with this war.
Simon Madore, Toronto, Canada
I fully agree with this lady and her description of the Iraqi affairs. Also I agree with Saddam that he is not the culprit but some one else. History shall decide itself
Waheed, Lahore. Pakistan
Although I now live in England, I'm an American with family in the US Navy. I agree with much of what Rhonda expresses so well here: the pretext for the war was false, its execution dreadful, and we have brought more suffering to the already long-suffering people of Iraq. My hopes are that those people will be able to rebuilt their lives and their country and that they will forgive the West both for its long support of Saddam (which has been airbrushed out of history) and the unnecessary bloodshed we inflicted in the process of removing him. And Rhonda is right when she says we are no safer from terrorism than we were before the whole misguided escapade
Tim, St. Albans, England
I agree with Rhonda's term "haphazard" in the Bush administration's approach to Iraq. However, I'm wondering what she thinks John Kerry will do with the war on terror? He hasn't given any tangible information to convince me he can handle it any better. As a matter of fact, I don't see that the man can make a firm decision on his own. Unfortunately, the Democratic Party hasn't provided us with a viable alternative, in my opinion.
Jenna, Harrisburg, IL USA
Contradict yourself a little bit more Rhonda. You say that US troops were not given enough time to carry out the task before the hand over then immediately complain that you think we have committed our troops to a long term effort. It is a long term effort and war is a state of chaos and we are not abandoning the new Iraqi government at this point because our troops remain. If your husband has to do the job he willingly signed up for when he joined the service which is to protect America's people, prosperity and interests overseas. Then I will pray for his safe return and much success wherever he may be stationed during his tenure in the service.
Phil, Fairfax, VA USA
Phil, since when has protecting people involved killing innocents and abusing prisoners? Does protecting the people of your country mean that you must invade every country that disagrees with the US?
Tony Caban, Stevenage, Herts, UK
Rhonda, I completely agree with you. Your point of view is refreshing considering you have loved ones who serve our country.
Kris Mayer, Newburgh, New York, USA