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Jacques Fis, Turkey
"Totally unwarranted and unprovoked"
 real 28k

Dominc J Newton, UK
"I don't think Britain should be following the US lead"
 real 28k

Dr Ali Moalla
"The attack is not justified"
 real 28k

Stevan Damjanovic, Belgrade
"Air raids won't overthrow any regime"
 real 28k

Dan Levran, Australia
"Saddam is a known terrorist"
 real 28k

Ahmed Shanine
"Attacks show double standards"
 real 28k

Al Soofi
"Who's getting hurt here?"
 real 28k

Wednesday, 28 February, 2001, 10:15 GMT
Was it right to bomb Baghdad?
Air raids on Baghdad
The US and UK have mounted an air attack on Baghdad for the first time in two years, citing "an increased threat" to air crews.

US President George W Bush claimed it was a routine enforcement of the southern no-fly zone. Others viewed it as a sign of the President showing his resolve in his first weeks in office.

International reaction was mixed, with Russia accusing the US administration of ignoring international humanitarian norms.

What do you think? Was President Bush right to authorise air raids, or was the action ill-advised?

We debated this topic LIVE in our global phone-in programme "Talking Point on Air", broadcast live on the BBC World Service and BBC News Online. Use the form at the bottom of the page to add to the debate.

Select the link below to watch Talking Point On Air.

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.

Your reaction

We (I hope the morally bound nations of the West) have two choices, continue to pursue a policy of containing a dangerous leader, or we do not. There is no middle ground. There is no way we can relax the sanctions, which although brutal, are effective; without opening the floodgates and unleashing Saddam's administration on the world again. That he was trying to shoot down our pilots should be a matter of no conjecture. Remember these are the sons and daughters of your neighbours and you friends that are being shot at. The attacks are therefore needed to prevent him in this objective. My response to an individual who claims that the attacks were uncalled for, and that the sanctions should be eased, is this: Fine, but you get to clean up the mess afterwards.
James WH MacNeil, Australia

Though Saddam Hussein's regime can easily be described as a repressive, self-serving monarchy, this can by no means justify the recent explosion of aggression shown by the Bush administration (with Blair following suit). It has by now been proven that not only the no-fly zones but also the sanctions against Iraq only reinforce Saddam in the eyes of his compatriots. US policy is clearly ineffectual and it is time for the arrogant American diplomats to listen to what the whole sensible world cries at them.
Dimitris Tsarouhas, Greece

If the UK and America wish to remove Saddam from power do it with full force

Zbigniew, Poland/ USA
No-fly zone was created by US, UK and France to protect local population from Saddam's reappraisals for the uprisings. Unfortunately it did not work. He was able to destroy any opposition and kill all the rebels. France did realise that and stopped supporting no-fly zones. If the UK and America wish to remove Saddam from power do it with full force. Unfortunately after you do that you will have to remove your forces from Middle East. How would the US be able to control the region without an army presence in the region?
Zbigniew, Poland/ USA

Appeasing an aggressor only encourages the aggression. Saddam is a tyrant and it is just a shame he was not removed back in '91. Don't forget why the sanctions were imposed: invading neighbours, launching missiles against Israel (and don't think he wouldn't have shot one at France or the UK if he had ones with that kind of range), fostering terrorism. He has not changed - the sanctions should stay.
Sean, New York, USA

With Sadam Hussein at the helm of Iraq, the world is in grave danger. In a few years he will have acquired nuclear weapons. It is a fact that this man is unstable and would use these weapons against his perceived foes - America and Israel and maybe Europe. It is thus fitting that Iraq be targeted and be seen as the main foe - since indeed Iraq is? World War III could be started by Iraq with this man at the helm. I hope that before it is to late Saddam is forcefully deposed and removed, in the interests of mankind.
Donald Megiddo, South Africa

In my opinion, the US and UK had no justifiable cause to carry out those air strikes. Nothing positive came out from it anyway, if anyone gained - it was Sadaam, as he turned the tables, so to speak, and got the innocent civilians on his side. In my opinion, the West has no power to overthrow Saddam, as long as he lives.
KD, Zambia

Unfortunately, the new Bush administration has inherited Saddam Hussein due to Bill Clinton's terribly bad Middle East policy, for he concentrated solely on the Israeli "peace accords" which didn't work out anyway, and only when he was bereft of ideas he said "let's bomb Iraq". This policy is now reaping its rewards, with the new Secretary of State going around the Middle East and sounding people out over the new administration's get tough policy. The policy is the right one, for something must be done to prevent Saddam Hussein getting his hands on weapons of mass destruction. In order to do this Colin Powell is going to make a few enemies along the way, but ultimately, and for the peace of the entire world, the Secretary of State will be proved to have undertaken the right course of action - and that includes the bombing raids
Peter Gooch, Spain

They are more interested in lucrative trading deals with Iraq and Iraqi oil when sanctions are lifted

Justin, UK
After reading some of the comments here I am utterly appalled by the support Saddam is receiving from a supposedly compassionate and moral community. Firstly, the no-fly zones were established to protect Kurds and other ethnic populations from savage air-borne attacks by the Iraqi government, as well as to offer a buffer zone for Kuwait.

Secondly, it is not international sanctions that are hurting the Iraqi people but rather the fact that any money coming into the country is immediately seized by Saddam and poured into gross projects to rebuild his military.

I think its high time people stopped accusing the USA of belligerence and started to really look at what the allies are trying to prevent. As for countries like China and Russia being the only reasonable ones, I can only think that they are more interested in lucrative trading deals with Iraq and Iraqi oil when sanctions are lifted, than they are with the safety of the region and the world.
Justin, UK

Is George W. Bush or Tony Blair ready to accept a no-fly zone over their countries? If "no" then they have no rights to do so with regards to Iraq. The way both the nations (UK and US) are trying to impose supremacy over the world is atrocious. Where are the human right activists now?
Mahesh Chatani, India/Jamaica

It comes with a heavy price

James, UK
If Saddam Hussein wishes to mess with the military and industrial might of both Great Britain and the United States he must understand that it comes with a heavy price - powerful aerial bombardment. The jets of freedom which comprise of the RAF and the USAF protect the interests of the two most powerful nations on earth. Long may it remain so, for if those countries fall the rest of the world is sure to follow.
James, UK

80% of us Americans are appalled by these actions by the American and "poodle" UK goverments. This will only create massive problems and animosity for us in the Muslim world.
Adam Jewelmann, USA

If the USA and UK want to have a no-fly zone, they should impose it over their own air space not over Iraq. Killing Iraqi people, simply means they are both cowards and have no idea on how resolve problems in the Middle East.
Benny, Amarillo, USA

Let's finish what we started in '91.
Frank Hagan, USA

These are just bullying tactics

Ashraf Helmi, UK
Britain and the US have carried out this operation with no international acknowledgement, either from the UN or Nato. These are just bullying tactics on behalf of Bush, and as usual, Britain gets 'yanked' along by the dog collar and leash.
Ashraf Helmi, UK

It's unbelievable that the UK and USA are being cast in the role of bad boys in the Middle East. 10 years ago we saved them all from being overrun by a megalomaniac who they now seem to want to defend. I think we should pull out completely, leave them to sort it out themselves and send polite regrets when they beg us to come and liberate them next time.
Chris D, UK

I think that Iraq should be left alone. I wish that there was some way in which I could meet with Tony Blair to ask him what he thinks he is doing. How dare he bomb a country and alienate half the world against Britain without the consent of its residents. The people of this country are being tarnished by an out of touch Prime Minister. If Mr Hussein is harming others then it is up to them to fight back.
Mark, Warwick, UK

If my son was a pilot patrolling the no fly zone and being shot at daily, I would like to think that he had the right to shoot back. Isn't that the right of any soldier?
Ross Smith, Canada

I firmly believe that the allies should have taken Saddam out of power when they had the chance in 1991

Khalaf Bin Ahmad, UK
I am originally from Iraq. I firmly believe that the allies should have taken Saddam out of power when they had the chance in 1991. Now, every now and again they have to go back to clean the dirt they left. Saddam will always use such bombings for his own benefit. I think that the West lacks the power and/ or the will to remove him.
Khalaf Bin Ahmad, UK

I don't particularly want to sound pro-war, but it is obvious that Desert Storm failed to stabilise the situation and far more must be done, especially militarily. When will people learn that it is just too idealistic to say that diplomacy can resolve a situation like in Iraq, and the Middle East in general at the current time?
Simon Walker, England

I wonder how much of this was Colin Powell's doing as opposed to that of the President? In any case, its been clear for years that the US does not have a clear policy on Iraq. The Americans have backed themselves into a corner, whereby they cannot compromise on the sanctions, they are failing to keep their allies onboard, and they have no means of removing the Iraqi regime. In short, they have absolutely no option but to continue the ineffective policies of the past decade. However, with anti-American feeling in the Middle East running high over what's happening in the West Bank and Gaza, added to which is the enormous suffering of the ordinary Iraqi citizens, a serious rethink is in order regarding Iraqi policy. Unfortunately, the leaders in the US and the UK are not creative and courageous enough to accomplish such a task.
Fares, Dubai

The people of Iraq are not the government, yet they are suffering

M, Canada
I would agree with the bombing if it were directly at one of Saddam's many palaces, preferably with him and all his people inside it at the time, but I cannot agree with the bombing when more innocent people keep become senseless victims. It just adds insult (bombing) to injury (sanctions). The people of Iraq are not the government, yet they are suffering.
M, Canada

The public out there has a major misconception of why America, and all the nations are against Saddam Hussein. Saddam Hussein's ultimate goal is to make weapons of mass destruction and kill off all those who oppose his ways. Anyone who sends his own people unequipped and with no chance of success to war and continue to deprive his own people of humanity needs and moral leadership is out for himself and needs to be pulled from power. Again everyone needs to open their eyes and look at the facts!
Anthony E. Neuhoff, California/USA

You better leave Saddam in power. Any support for Iraqi opposition will produce unexpected and very unpleasant consequences. Look at what happened in Afghanistan. US supported the opposition to UAAR's invasion, and now US has the Taliban to handle. Ben Laden is a direct by-product of that mistake. By the way, the UN didn't not authorise the no-fly zones and bombing the sites out of no-fly zone is even worse against international laws. Could any other nation do the same if it doesn't like what other nations do? That is international bullying!
Shawn, US

It's a shame that so many Moslems see the UK and US action as a race/religion war, rather than a war against evil. Perhaps if rather than criticising the actions of the country they were born into, they actually opened their eyes to the evil that can be committed in the name of religion, we would all be better off. Try living in a country that suppresses free speech for a while, then see how lucky you really are.
Imran Ali, UK

The bottom line is this, it is not that we are trying to cosy up to Bush or that we are bombing the Iraqi's for fun. We and America have pilots in the Gulf risking there lives everyday to protect the people in the north and south of the country. Saddam needed to be slapped down and reminded if he fires weapons at our jets he will be retaliated on. The strikes were necessary to limit Saddam's air defence network. In my opinion we should go back and finish the job we started ten years ago.
Craig Brown, Scotland.

It's about time all the decent people around the world use this opportunity to voice their opposition to the sanctions placed upon Iraq. It seems to me that over the past ten years, only civilians have been suffering from the unjust sanctions imposed upon Iraq. Its about time that the governments of the US and UK smell the coffee and realise that the world's pendulum has shifted away from them and people are not going to accept the killing of innocent civilians just so military-industrial complex could try its new "toys".
Amir Arsalan, Australia

I am shocked by the level of support for Iraq in the UK. The bottom line is this however; given the opportunity, the Iraqi regime would simply love to run riot over the West. Can you just imagine what they would do to us if they somehow managed to gain military victory and occupy our country? Of course we are right to constantly peg them back until there is no further threat. I wonder what the French would say with a battalion of Iraqi tanks going down the Champs Elysées.
Robbo, England

As an American I am also quite sick of us playing the policeman of the world. Lets pull our people, our troops, our aircraft out of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait and let the Arab people handle their own problems. Let's get out of the Balkans to and let the EU handle it. Let's keep our financial contributions at home and watch what happens. I can hear it now! Bad, Bad USA why don't you help stop the blood baths over here.
Keith A Thompson, USA,

The bombing on Iraq looks like the last effort of the desperate leaderships in the USA and UK. The sanctions on Iraq are crumbling, former allies (Russia, China and France) condemn your actions. USA and UK could not master any support from the entire world even not from Saudi Arabia or Kuwait. The bombing backfired as a big diplomatic failure. They must understand that the sanctions are not working and only increasing the distress of the innocent Iraqi people.
Monirul Q. Mirza, Bangladesh/Canada

We forget so easily his past actions

T. Scott, USA
Iraq and the rest of the countries that are a part of the United Nations have to live by the rules the agreement they signed to when they joined. Saddam Hussein continues to get away with flying in the face of all directives from the UN with very little penalty - only toothless sanctions. There is no justification for what Iraq has done and what they do. Saddam is in the wrong, he is the one who cares nothing for his people. We forget so easily his past actions. We are talking about a man who forces civilians to occupy military buildings during the Gulf War so that he may claim "civilian" causalities!
T. Scott, USA

I am ashamed that a Labour government could succumb to Bush's need to assert his manhood. There is no moral justification for the raids. But worse still is the continuation of sanctions against the Iraqi people with total contempt for their suffering. One example of the callous nature of the sanctions regime is that equipment requested by Iraqi hospitals to treat children with leukaemia is repeatedly denied because it "could have dual civilian and military uses" - a poor excuse to condemn children to death.
Raquib S, UK

End the sanctions, and force this cruel regime out

Neil Z, USA
I for one hope this is the beginning of the "end game" in the bloody history of the present Iraqi regime. The Iraqi people, like so many others who have lived under dictatorships, have suffered long enough. End the sanctions, and force this cruel regime out. It is time.
Neil Z, USA

In short the renewed bombing of Iraq has derived very little tangible benefit. If anything, it has served to rally the population around the Iraqi leader. Maybe this was the intention of the US and UK all along, i.e. bolster the regime with a shot in the arm or in this case, a few well-directed laser guided bombs.
Ebrahim, UK

"Sanctions are only hurting the Iraqi people". Rubbish, it's Saddam and his fearful lackeys who are hurting the Iraqi people, as they have been doing for decades. The reasons for the no-fly zones are clear; the need to protect the pilots patrolling those zones is obvious; the hysterical, emotional, hypocritical and ignorant "reasoning" of most of those opposed causes concern for the future of the human race.
Mike, UK

Saddam is a tyrant and a warmonger

AC, Scotland
It seems very foolish in political terms for Blair to take this action at this time, as it makes him appear to be following Bush's lead. However, many here who think that Iraq should be left alone and that the Iraqi people would be best off that way are simply kidding themselves. Saddam is a tyrant and a warmonger. He was defeated in war and shown to be the aggressor, yet people seem ready to turn a blind eye to his defiance, lack of remorse and unwillingness to allow weapons inspectors in. This may lead to a quiet period, but the recriminations of allowing Saddam to build up his arsenal and become the aggressor once again should most certainly be taken into account. You cannot simply ignore wrongdoing and hope it goes away.
AC, Scotland

Now reports are coming in that Chinese military and civilians were working in Iraq installing fibre optic lines for Iraqi defence. The US/ UK chose a time when civilian casualties were least likely. However gentle we try to be, there will always be a risk. Still, we cannot allow what is taking place in Iraq as it concerns the stability of the entire Western world.
Sandman, USA

The US are a bunch of cowards. They could never swallow losing the war in Vietnam and now use every single occasion to demonstrate their strength. I find it hard to believe that the only reasonable nations are the communist ones (Russia and China) and that the so-called leaders of the free world are nothing more than aggressive rednecks who have lost total contact with reality.
Claude, France

As a writer I visited Baghdad last September

Frieda Groffy, Antwerp, Belgium
Not only these new air raids but the whole embargo is not justified and is a criminal act against innocent people. As a writer I visited Baghdad last September. I saw the children in the schools, I visited the hospitals and I spoke freely to the people. And I was deeply ashamed!
Frieda Groffy, Antwerp, Belgium

It's pretty simple "why" we've bombed Iraq. Tony Blair is attempting to show George W. Bush that we're all still pals and can take on the 'bad guys' together even if we have different types of government.
Matt Brown, Scotland

Why should US and UK be flying over Iraq North or South? They were not invited, not welcome and must leave Iraq alone. US's policy has been - never again after Cuba, never again after Iran, never again after Vietnam, and now never again after Saddam? When will this bully wake up and come to his senses that some people can be defiant beyond bombing because freedom and human dignity can be worth the price.
Jamal Ahmad, Dubai, UAE

We are stuck with a seemingly endless cat and mouse game

Ron, San Diego, USA
How has Saddam Hussein changed in the last 10 years? Is he the least bit penitent? Has he renounced his aggressive language or military build up? Has he spent his time and money on helping his own people or enriching his inner circle and pet projects? I see no reason for the US and UK to curtail our actions until Iraq shows a willingness to show a change of heart and renounce its aggressive intentions. Bush Sr. was 24 hours away from a real solution to this 10 years ago when he stopped just short of Baghdad. Now we are stuck with a seemingly endless cat and mouse game.
Ron, San Diego, USA

If he would let weapon inspectors in his pain would end. Children should not have toys of mass destruction. The fact that he won't let them in means that he has something to hide. Victors of wars determine the rules, not the losers. I can only imagine what would happen if Iraq had won and had Americans as prisoners of war. You would see a lot less sympathy.
Carlton, Los Angeles, California

Britain lost its foreign policy independence during the Thatcher era. It is now seen, internationally as USA's poodle and finds this too painful to admit. Now it is bound to loose massive contracts thus affecting jobs and the economy and stands perilously close to reprisals. Everyone with some common sense knows that this bombing was done to divert world attention from USA's worthless policy regarding Palestine's rights. Britain is paying a heavy price for the Falklands victory brought about with the USA's help.
Y.Aidaroos,UAE, Dubai,UAE

An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind - M.K. Ghandi.
C Hairs, Johannesburg, South Africa

Yet another incident in a long line of unnecessary violence against innocents; leave Saddam alone if it means making the lives of the rest of Iraq miserable in the process of your so-called global security measures. Why not start a global anti-nuclear campaign instead and start with the US and Israel?
Laaleen Sukhera, New York City, USA

It is funny how the Muslim posters want Iraq to be left alone so it can go on in peace and harmony. Hardly, what Saddam's intentions are. They support Saddam and his efforts to remove the "Jewish entity" from Israel. There is no doubt in my mind that they will not rest until the Jews are removed from Israel in total. The US/UK is letting Saddam know, in the only language he understands that he will not be allowed to escalate the conflict in Israel. My thought is this "Neglect a spark and you will have to put out a fire!"

The USA had the chance to get rid of Saddam 10 years ago and wimped out

Phil, UK
The raids are obviously just Dubya showing how heavy he is after his election (which let's face it was an appalling example of so-called democracy). As usual the UK Government back the USA even though their action is completely unjustifiable. The USA had the chance to get rid of Saddam 10 years ago and wimped out. Now they are breaking international law for no discernible gain except to appease the war-mongers of Washington and to strengthen Saddam's position if anything.
Phil, UK

Bush was right!
Neirynck, Kortrijk, Belgium

Far from protecting the lives of soldiers, Blair is endangering the life of every British citizen to acts of terrorist reprisals. People should recall how the bombing of Tripoli led to Lockerbie. Violence only serves to stoke up hatred and instability.
Dave, UK

I would like to make it clear from the start that I am no Bush supporter but I find myself in the strange position of actually defending him on this issue! I think those of you who have stated that he is flexing his muscles with this latest show of military might have actually got things a little backwards. It is in fact the Iraqis who have been putting this administration to the test. Targeting of US and UK planes by Iraqi troops over the no fly zone has increased 20 fold since January when Bush was inaugurated. Coincidence? I think not.
S. Wyllie, USA/ UK

The critics of this policy should put aside their reactionary anti-Americanism for a moment

Cyrus Kazemi, Tehran, Iran
As an Iranian war veteran I have seen first-hand the horrible atrocities that Saddam Hussein committed against Iranian, Arab and Kurdish people alike in the 1980s. Although I realise that American intentions in the Gulf have never been pure, I fully support the containment of Saddam and his vile regime. The critics of this policy should put aside their reactionary anti-Americanism for a moment and look at the 25-year record of this butcher.
Cyrus Kazemi, Tehran, Iran

Quite honestly, I don't know why "Dubyah" doesn't just move into the guest wing at the White House and let his father take up residence again. I suppose it could be worse - we could have Mark Thatcher as Prime Minister.
Guy Chapman, Reading, UK

Anyone feel they're experiencing deja-vu. A US president needs to establish some credibility with a sceptical US public, while in the UK a general election is on the cards. Meanwhile, the US looks like sliding into recession and in the UK the NHS, transport and education infrastructure is collapsing. What about a good old war to cheer up the folks at home!
A. Cutelli, UK

To quote Alex Salmond's (Ex SNP leader) reaction to the West's bombing campaign in the Balkans, the air raids on Iraq are nothing more than an "unpardonable folly". This barbaric act has absolutely nothing do to with trying to weaken Iraq - this was purely a publicity stunt by the George W Bush bandwagon, so that he is seen to be "getting tough" against Saddam. On another point, I am ashamed to be British, and can only offer my apologies to the ordinary Iraqi people, for my Government's misguided involvement in this action.
Alex, Glasgow, Scotland

Clinton's policy proved, inconsistent, mediocre, toothless. With this attack Bush is promising an active US policy. Muscles and power is needed with the dictator in Baghdad. Bush is doing good and he must stop any effort to rehabilitate Saddam and support fully the Iraqi opposition and demand human rights and democracy as a condition no less important than the weapons conditions set by the UN.
Mazen, UK

Why can't Bush and Blair see how pointless this bombing is, it has not achieved anything in nearly ten years so why should it achieve anything now? I have always supported the military actions this country has taken in the past but I am saddened by this pointless bombing campaign and do not support it at all. To the rest of the world the moral high ground increasingly belongs to Saddam. Saddam has also proved to be a stubborn adversary, he has seen a number of US and UK leaders come and go but his position remains as strong as ever. Britain should listen to the numerous critics and not blindly follow the USA as we so often seem to do.
Philip Butler, Fleet, England

A much better protection can be found in leaving Iraqi airspace altogether

JJ, Netherlands
The Western military operations against Iraq are inhuman, unlawful and illegitimate. This concerns the latest bombardment as well as the operations in the so-called no fly zones. If, as officials have said, the attack on Baghdad was meant to protect US and UK airmen, a much better protection can be found in leaving Iraqi airspace altogether.
JJ, Netherlands

If there was an increased risk to our pilots then of course the strikes were justified! Just think of the uproar there would be if a British airman was shot down and killed by Iraqi missile. We must allow our forces to take steps to defend themselves or withdraw altogether.
Malcolm Martin, Swindon, UK

Who gives the U.S and G.B the right to bomb other country? They are like a pair of bullies punishing someone just because they are not doing what they are told. I am a Muslim and I support Saddam all the way on this issue, these sanctions are crumbling, no one supports them anymore. These sanctions are not hurting the Iraqi regime, they are hurting the Iraqi people. Whatever the Americans do the British have to follow, Tony Blair is like the Americans own puppy dog, if the Americans say "jump" the British will say "how high"?
Khandkar Uddin, UK

Basically, we want to keep Saddam down, but not get rid of him. Bizarre logic, yes, but unfortunately, necessary. Saddam is the only thing that is keeping Iraq together - a country that has a fifth of the world's oil supplies.

If Iraq fell apart, the Kurds would want their own country, something that Turkey, Syria, and Iran would never tolerate, provoking them perhaps to attack Northern Iraq in order to keep the Kurds down (until recently, Turkey has done this on a regular basis!) The Shi'ites in Southern Iraq would also rebel to get their own way, Iranians and Saudi's wouldn't like that. Another war springs up! Also, what about Saddam's generals? Surely, all would want a crack at the presidency, and are unlikely to agree on who should that be, leading to civil war. The result for the West is that Iraqi, Iranian and Saudi/Kuwaiti oil supplies are unavailable, due to war, leading our oil dependant economy to slow or even stop, resulting in a thirties style depression. The West really don't have a choice to keep Saddam in place.
Chris, UK

A few bombs dropped on military installations: probably not very effective but better than nothing. Definitely not worth all the hysterical noise by the opponents of this action.
Ilya, New York, US

Any hope I had left in a Labour government and an ethical foreign policy have vanished. This act is one of blatant aggression, its not enough that we (its being done in our name) are starving children we are now bombing a country because it is politically expedient .I am no fan of the Iraqi dictatiorship, but the attacks 10 years ago, where a farce, the sanctions, are terrorism, and this is just more of the same. Our children will judge us on this!
Leon, Belfast,Ireland

Ultimately it's an illegal attack, motivated by politics. It plays right into Saddam's hand, gaining him both Arab and international sympathy.
John Weir, Cambridge, UK

These strikes are not enough to get rid of this tyrant; what the Iraqi people need is true assistance and support in ousting this regime. If the West truly desires to get rid of this criminal regime in Iraq, then they should reinforce the blockade and help the Iraqi opposition to wipe out this criminal regime. Iraqis are suffering not from sanctions or air strikes, but Saddam's regime that used chemical bombs on Iraqi villages and destroyed the marshes in the south.
Rose Schwan, Seattle, Washington

1) Saddam's military is built up by the U.S. to fight Iran. 2) Saddam was given permission to attack Kuwait by a U.S. ambassador. 3) U.S. easily puts Iraqi forces in their place and becomes the protector of the "friendly" Arab nations.4) Every time oil prices go up or the Israelis feel threatened or the Arab states do anything we don't like we rattle Saddam's cage to remind the Arabs that they need us. It's a hell of a way to keep oil flowing at a low price.
Bob Wolterbeek, San Francisco, U.S.A.

There is no justification for killing and bombing of innocent civilians anywhere, anytime
shihadeh kitami, Elecerito, USA

Is Tony Blair creating a warrior leader image?

John Rebecchi, England
Is Tony Blair creating a warrior leader image? What for though? The UK's contribution to the no-fly zone are 6 ageing aircraft with limited capabilities. He was not consulted prior to the attack on a city. For what purpose? Does he need a pat on the head that badly from Bush? Blair does not have the support of Parliament or the electorate for this escalation.
John Rebecchi, England

It appears that the sanctions and war against Iraq is a personal war between the American/ British leaders and the Iraqi leader. If the USA and UK are so concerned about the threat Iraq poses in the region why did they squander the chance of disarming Iraq by having an agreed timing plan and not an open-ended policy that gives the USA/ UK a freehand in attacking Iraq when it suits them politically?
Ghassan Hammodi, St. Augustin, Germany

US and UK hands are tied on this matter. At the end of the Gulf War the intention of the coalition was to prevent Saddam from committing acts of aggression, but now only two countries remain committed. If they now stepped back form this situation they would be accused of sliding out from under their military agreement. Also if they attempted to forcibly "remove" Saddam the political implications would be horrendous, you can't be seen to be killing world leaders no matter how immoral their leadership is. The alternative is to try and deny Saddam the means to wage war on his neighbours and internal minorities.
Michael Munt, Portsmouth, UK

Why have we bombed Iraq? There is no way that one can convince anyone to do anything in such a climate. The weapons of mass destruction will always be with us if we intend to kill in order to get rid of them. I dislike being part of a US initiative where weapons and Islam are mixed together - I am a Christian and would prefer to take a more diplomatic route.
Bruce Stafford, UK

Saddam Hussein is a tyrant; he is solely concerned and indulged in his own power. If he had a speck of morality and humanity in him, he would not brainwash his nation and he would capitulate his power. The civilians of Iraq do not know any better than to succumb to the their tyrant's sermons. If a country's leader has reasoning deficiency, he should not have the power of millions of people. Bush yearns to end his ill regime, and since Hussein will never capitulate, we must take action.
Rosa Rodriguez, Miami, USA

The blind militarism of the Iraqi government, and her expansionist aims should be crushed as soon as possible. Economic sanctions do not work, perhaps it is time to utilise America's formidable military advantage to secure prosperity and peace for the Iraqi people and the region.
Edward Evans, London, England

An immoral act of aggression

Fares Braizat, Canterbury

This attack against Iraq is an immoral act of aggression. GB and USA have to stop the double standards when dealing with international issues.
Fares Braizat, Canterbury

If it is the west that kills people then it is right and for the good of the world. If the east kills people then they are a bunch of thugs and terrorists. Hope better sense prevails for all the people involved in the discussion.
Dr.SAM, Toronto, Canada

I am deeply appalled by this renewed act of violence against the Iraqi people, which, admittedly, comes as no surprise from G.W.Bush, who has an awful human rights track record. This aside, the fact that the British government is quick to get involved in this shambolic propaganda is simply disgusting.
Johannes Hoffmann, London, UK

The air raids are justified morally considering what the international community knows Saddam is capable of

Christopher Teh, Australia
The air raids are justified morally (if not by international law) considering what the international community knows Saddam is capable of. He will 'push the envelope' as far as he can and needs to be shown that the resolve of the Western allies is as strong as it was during the Gulf War period. The air raids appear to be a well-measured and appropriate use of force to achieve the goal of being able to enforce the no fly zones safely.
Christopher Teh Adelaide, Australia

These air raids would not be necessary if the allies had taken Baghdad during the gulf war and arrested Saddam Hussein. The war was not concluded satisfactorily, and now it is time for the United States and Britain to accept that fact. They will have to come to terms with the fact that Hussein is still in power, and stop terrorizing the people of Iraq with these sanctions and air raids.
Lindsay Ashford

To be cynical (and it's difficult not to be), we should perhaps remember that George W is not just Daddy's Boy (a chip of the old shoulder), but a Texan client of Big Oil, who funded his election campaign. Who stands to benefit from a rise in the (now falling) oil price as a result of Middle-East tension?
Martin Joughin

These are the sort of premature strikes by west that creates those frustrated people who become so called terrorists. US should now try to make allies and not more foes.
Shumal Khan

The wrong people are being targeted

Reza Zain Jaufeerally, Canterbury ,Kent
The wrong people are being targeted. Saddam Hussein has become stronger thanks to the embargo
Reza Zain Jaufeerally, Kent

Saddam Hussein is clearly still a belligerent bully threatening Israel and undoubtedly would reinvade Kuwait if he thought he could get away with it. The American policy of doing what is right and necessary and not bowing submissively to Saddam and his fellow Arab dictators is a very positive thing. The Arabs should be made to understand that they are wrong to support Saddam and his ilk.
Ian Kazin, Caesaria, Israel

It's a simple fact that France was and still is against any bombing rates against Iraq because Total Fina and Elf Aquitaine have reasons for not allowimng any attasks against this nation as they as up to their neck's involved in oil contrats. As far as reactions from Russia and China, those two countries both have many a weapon contract to loose when Sadam is thrown out.
Richard, Asssen, Holland

I was totally horrified to learn that we had complied with this act of complete barbarism. We in the west claim a moral high ground on what basis? The policies and actions of this leader may be unacceptable to us, our interpretation of the hardship and horrors he visits upon his people correct. However, if these interpretations are so accurate, what are we doing about it for these people? Nothing. Our sanctions are damaging only to the people. The raids we visit upon them terrorise the people, even if they are targeted as accurately as is claimed. If I were an average citizen in that country looking at the actions of the west, I would see an outrageous and murderous intrusion into my life from an unwelcome source.
Josie, Nottingham

I support President Bush completely. President Bush and the UK's Tony Blair are wisely addressing the Iraq problem. This attack on Iraq to protect our pilots was long overdue. What is wrong with all of you posting your protests? How soon you forget. Remember Iraq kicked out UN weapons inspectors several years ago who had been monitoring Iraq's attempts to manufacture chemical and biological weapons. Recently, Saddam Hussein has been threatening to "destroy Israel." He has been sending troops to the Jordanian border and has funded Lebanese Hezbollah attacks on Israel. Iraq is not some innocent country that should be left alone.
Catherine, USA

Yes, Saddam pushes the boundaries all the time and until the world says this far and no further, he will continue. His peoples' suffering is of no interest to him apart from how he can use it to skew world opinion to his advantage.
David Pyke, Stockport UK

The people of Iraq have been put to in-explainable sufferings for the last ten years. Tens of thousands of children have been murdered by US/UK bombings and are still suffering the effects of depleted uranium as recorded by various agencies. The main stay of American economy is military hardware. The stockpile needed to be used to boost production thus the sagging economy. Who has established the 'no fly zone' anyway? Civilised people should express their disgust against this kind of barbarism.
K.Varghese, Canada

Isn't it about time the west changed their tactics when to comes to Iraq? After 10 years nothing has changed, so why should killing residents of Baghdad work now? Bush is just playing with his "toy" solders and Blair should feel ashamed to have got involved. Sadam will never leave, everybody knows that. The time has come for the various parties to initiate some dialogue. They will have to eventually, so why not now?
David Minnie, East London

Iraq has been firing missiles at allied aircraft on a regular basis since the gulf war ended. These missiles have been increasing in their sophistication and reaching dangerously close to allied planes. These limited airstrikes were completely necessary to protect allied airman from doing their jobs, which is to police the no fly zone. These strikes were on military installations away from any suburbs, contrary to Iraqi propaganda.
David Pancott, Stevenage Herts

Recent US and British bombings in Iraq are criminal offences which harm innocent people while providing yet more material to strengthen Saddam Hussein's position with his people. US policy toward Iraq is not only immoral but it has failed to achieve any desired objective. I regret President Bush, along with Powell, and Chaney are unwilling to find more peaceful and intelligent means of solving this and other situations internationally where there are differences of belief.
Alan Feltus, Italy

Who gave the rights to USA & UK to govern the world?

Mano, Yokohama, Japan
There is no way to justify this attack. Who gave the rights to USA & UK to govern the world? Stop this aggression.
Mano, Yokohama, Japan

The bombing against Iraq was an act of terrorism. Ensuring the safety of their pilots? Give me a break. It is absolute rubbish. British and US fighter planes fly over Iraq's territory without its and UN's permission and expect not to be targeted at by Iraq's missile. What a ridiculous logic that is. Innocent people were killed by the bombing.
Liang Ji, leeds uk

Whilst I, and many, agree that Saddam Hussein and the oppressive Iraqi dictatorship need to be overthrown, throwing world stability into doubt is out of the question. That 90% of our allies, including Russia and most of Europe, came out to condemn our attacks is proof enough that the decision to bomb Baghdad was ill-advised. How long before a Western country turns to support Iraq? How long before Nuclear warheads are used in conflict for the first time? To avoid a war of bibilical proportions the West must act NOW to stop all attacks, to begin talks with the Arab nations, and to unite once and for all to bring Peace On Earth.
David Wright, London, England

I am looking forward to the time when the American political and military positions on Iraq come under the serious scrutiny of NATO and others. Only when America finds itself alone in its position of aggression towards Iraq will they seriously consider continuing. It's a pity that the UK is towing the line.
Donald, Detroit, Michigan, USA

I am saddened and disgusted by Blair's stand with the US on the blatant attack on a country which has been suffering from sanctions for a decade. They have lost 1.5m people, the infrastructure of the country is breaking down, their assets are frozen illegally overseas. Yet they are still considered a threat? Come on Blair, stop being the dog of the US fetching the stick everytime it's thrown!
Suhail Maqsood, San Francisco, US

It is unfortunate that Britain, which was once highly regarded in the Arab world has lost credibility. The slavish following of US policy plays into the hands of extremists both Jewish and Moslem who do not want peace in the Middle East. Secondly, when is Britain going to understand that the so called 'special relationship' with the US makes it look like an American lackey, perhaps instead of entering Europe they should become another state of the US.
Terry Duplock, Kuwait

We did the right thing! I don't see why you people disagree, after all we don't want another world war do we?
Mantas, Aberdeen, UK

Well, Mr. Bush wants to show his muscles and tells the rest of the world that he is the son of Bush. To deal with the upcoming recession waging a war is his best answer, and of course the hiking price of oil will help to finance the war since the Arab counties will pay the bill. People might get killed but may be they are not as human as the American. This is nothing but BUSINESS of WAR
K. Adam, Ottawa, Canada

The US economy is on the way down and at the same time there is a need to attack a country. Hmmm ... interesting ... see any relation?
Sean, London

The decision made by the administrations of the UK/USA to attack the radar sites near Baghdad was appropriate. Unless of course we choose to forget the lesssons of WW2, The Battle of Britain, and the Arab Oil Embargo!
Mark Nicholson, Manchester, New Hampshire, USA

It is no coincidence that the raids came so soon after GWB took power. While there may be legitimate military reasons to strike, we have not heard of Iraq actually being able to shoot down any planes since the Gulf War. It seems that the USAF/RAF can adequately protect themselves already. This is a macho provocative act by a politically inept US President. It is a shame that the UK foolishly got involved.
Paul Williams, UK citizen in Hong Kong

No matter what anyone says the action was right. Pity they couldn't nuke 'em all!
Jack, UK

I believe this was the right move, because we should try and minimise the risk that our and the American pilots put themselves in. I mean what would have happened if one of our planes were hit we would all want to know why and why it wasn't avoided.
David, UK

Saddam Hussein deserved the Gulf War. The people of Iraq did not. Saddam Hussein deserved to be bombed. The people of Iraq did not. If the governments of Little Britain and the Divided States wish to get rid of Saddam Hussein, why not just assassinate him. They have the weapons; they have the personnel; and they have the necessary training to accomplish the task. More significantly, they have vast experience and a well-documented history with this particular methodology. Maybe if these governments end this charade, the people of Iraq will finally find the peace they truly need.
Richard M, USA

USA needs a woman for president!
T Rice, Australia

Saddam Hussein is right in calling George W Bush the son of a snake. He is a deceiving creature who is misleading both the US and the UK. The US doesn't want to topple Saddam. Far from it. Without Saddam, the country would disintegrate. The majority Shi'te population would naturally want to merge with Iran and the US will never allow a more powerful Iran with more oil reserves. There is also the issue of the northern Kurds, whose oppresion by Saddam is smiled upon by Turkey, a close US ally. Without this oppresion they would likely concentrate their resources on establishing an independant Kurdistan, something that Turkey has tried for decades to prevent. So don't think the US wants Saddam gone. They will keep this game of cat and mouse going for another decade at least .. probably until he dies.
Michael Nelson, Brisbane, Australia

Although I agree that Iraq (and any other countries that are believed to be building forces with the intention to attack) should be monitored, I feel that Bush's trigger happy eagerness is cause for great concern. Most people in Australia were horrified that Bush was "voted" in, and are very concerned at how quickly he has exercised aggressive tactics. It doesn't really matter who the target is, we should all be concerned that he doesn't start world war three in an effort to please his father.
Liz Hooper, Cairns, Australia

It is easy for people to be critical of the action taken by the US and Britain, but neither do they offer an alternative. They conveniently forget that Saddam is an active force in shaping this world, not a helpless newborn lamb. The problem seems to have started when the combined armies of Afghanistan, Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belgium, Canada, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Honduras, Italy, Kuwait, Morocco, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Niger, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, South Korea, Spain, Syria, Turkey, The United Arab Emirates, The United Kingdom, and the United States all stopped short of deposing Saddam Hussein. It is strange that people only seem to blame the U.S. for this problem. The Arab Countries should patrol the no-fly zone and be stationed, on the ground, in the northern and southern sectors as peace keepers.
Eric Grote, Saint Louis, USA

This action was done to save lives in the near future. Open your eyes world.
Scott L. Webb, USA

How quickly people forget why those no fly zones are there. I am amazed what short memories some people have. I am ashamed that the same people who are against what the US/UK did would be mortified if they dismantled the no fly zones and watched Saddam massacre and destroy more people with a smile on his face. You would all be singing a very different tune then wouldn't you?
Robin, UAE

The bombings are barbaric & nothing can justify the suffering & killing of human beings. The UN sanctions affects the innocent people not Saddam - he still has food to eat, clothes to wear & shelter over his head! As for the person commenting on Arabs & "freedom of speech" - how can you be so sure that we are not Americans? I'm not ashamed of mu heritage, but I'm a true supporter of "human rights!"
Fatema Haji, Minnesota, USA

Bush and Blair acted selfishly. The fact that bombs exploded in south of Baghdad without informing the coalition members have stained the whole UN's efforts in Iraq. For the first time, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Turkey have set a differing opinion towards US & UK. It's high time these two nations face reality on the ground and stop their day dreaming in thinking that everyone will be behind them. France, China and Russia are also in the security council and are disturbed by the two English speaking leadership of the world.
Feisal Amour, Nairobi, Kenya

This was a mistake. It plays right into the hands of the detractors. You cannot influence a dictator by blowing up a few military installations. Any moron can see that Saddam Hussein's attitude was not improved by the Gulf War in which his army and air forces were effectively destroyed. The sanctions are stupid. They inconvenience Saddam and his henchmen and ruin the lives of the people he oppresses. That is hitting the wrong target and ought to be stopped. The only way to deal with a tyrant or a tyrannical government is to either leave them alone and let them continue molesting their people and their neighbors, or to kill them outright. In the case of Saddam, I am in favor of the latter.
S. Hyman Schwartz, Michigan Bluff, USA

This action of Bush proves his inability to govern a nation. A true democracy never uses force against a third world nation. US president is nothing but a dictator who is dictating upon world to force their interest upon others. In the long run US and others who use force are plain losers.
Marshall Akbari, San Francisco, USA

I think the bombing was ill-advised, and I deplore these aggressive tactics on the part of President Bush and Tony Blair. It is not Saddam Hussein who will suffer, but the people of Iraq. Whoever the people are who are advising Bush and Blair should have their heads examined!
R. Edlind, So. Hempstead, U.S.A.

Sanctions that are only supported by the US and the UK have caused more deaths than Saddam Hussein's brutal policies. The United Nations estimate suggests that about 1.5 million people, largely children and the elderly, have died in Iraq over the past decade as a direct result of the sanctions. This is clearly the worst genocide in modern history. What's more alarming is that it is being carried out by the so-called champions of human rights. 10 years of punishment is enough, I urge the governments of the US and the UK to forgive the people of Iraq for having a dictator as their leader and allow the Iraqi people to live in peace just like us in the West.
Jeaur Rahman, London, UK

These attacks were easily justified. Iraq wouldn't think twice about attacking its neighbours, especially israel. The only reason they haven't attacked other countries is because of the US and UK being in the area. The only sad thing about these air raids is that none of the bombs hit Saddam Hussein.
Jon, Wolverhampton, UK

Until such time as the leadership in Iraq changes, or they surrender to the wishes of the Allied powers, they will (and should) continue to be forced into compliance by military means. To describe US/UK as "barbaric" is to fail to understand just how evil the Iraqi government really is. Saddam needs to understand: He lost and he shall not be permitted to simply ignore our wishes ... period!
Mark M. Newdick, USA/UK

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18 Feb 01 | Middle East
News Online users condemn Baghdad raids

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