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Wednesday, 3 October, 2001, 16:05 GMT 17:05 UK
America at war: What role should the UK have?
Tony Blair was one of the first European leaders to pledge his full support for the USA in any action to bring to account those behind the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington.

It is believed the UK has been asked to supply small numbers of ground troops, mainly special forces. The US is also understood to have asked for reconnaissance and attack aircraft from the RAF.

The International Development Secretary, Clare Short, has said it would be unbearable if innocent people are killed in any reprisals by the US and its allies.

How far should the UK get involved in this fight against terrorism? What are your concerns as the nations prepare to fight back against those who organised last Tuesday's attack on America?

Click here to read your previous comments on the fight against terrorism.

Click here to read your previous comments on the attacks.

HAVE YOUR SAY Just a view from inside the US looking out: I am American, born and reared. I have never been to the UK. But I speak for everyone I know when I say we have always admired your tenacity and willingness to stand up for what you believe in. God bless the UK!
S. Sendelbach, USA

Tony Blair is putting British civilians and military personal at great risk by writing a blank cheque to the Bush administration. Britain should take a leading role focusing on peaceful solutions rather than being dragged into an unwinable war at the expense of more innocent civilians.
Shaid Khan, London


Perhaps out of this horrible attack some good may come

Roydibden, Tours France
I live in France where public opinion is not 100% pro-American - they feel that Americans live in a bubble, far away from the troubles. Alas the Twin Tower disaster has brought the American nation to a shuddering halt. Here in Europe we suffered under the Nazis over a period of years, not just one day. These experiences have taught us Europeans to be prudent in the way we go about things. President Bush wasn't admired in Europe until the 11th of September but his response to the attacks has been measured much to the liking of Europeans. Perhaps out of this horrible attack some good may come.
Roydibden, Tours France

Appeasement of aggressors does not work as shown throughout history. It's time for a radical change, time to put a stop to terrorist action challenging the free democratic world order. The UK and the US have the military power and intelligence to do the job. We should stand alongside our greatest ally, the USA, as we always have done, even if the rest of the world does nothing.
Martin, UK

I, like people the world over, felt outrage at the terrorist atrocities committed on September 11th in New York. "Revenge" was my initial reaction. But now I wonder just how many of the tragic victims who lost their lives would wish for more innocent people to die, whether they be Afghan citizens living their lives or members of the US or UK armed forces doing their duty. And for what reason - in the name of "justice"?
Sue Iles, UK

War on terrorism? The UK government is allowing people into the country under its lax asylum laws who have proven links to Bin Laden and similar groups. They then operate their organisations and fund-raising etc from here and openly admit the atrocities of September 11 are acceptable! The laws of this country, as any other, are to be obeyed by everyone, regardless of religion. We need to look at some of our own policies, as due to our current liberalism we seem to be offering a very safe haven for these terrorists to work from...
Dan J, UK

What concerns me is how the emotion of those events are being used to create a world with one ruler.
David, Bermuda

On a day in which I, as an American, feared for my life and we didn't know what was next, Tony Blair comforted me a in way that will never be forgotten. In my heart the USA and UK will stay united shoulder to shoulder.
Kelly, USA


It would be pointless and stupid to bomb Afghanistan

James, USA
As a former member of the British Army I spent 5 years in Iran and several in Oman. In both instances we had to contend with a lot of denial from the countries themselves. Nothing has changed in that regard. It would be pointless and stupid to bomb Afghanistan. Instead we should apply "hearts and minds" to the right people over there and go after the terrorists very quietly but ruthlessly. I hope this is happening now.
James, USA

I'm curious to know whether or not Americans are aware that the Taliban received $43m courtesy of Bush earlier this year in an attempt to dent the heroin trade?
Anne, UK

In my opinion the result of the war that the United States is about to wage on Osama Bin Laden and his aides will be to increase the incidents of terrorism on the planet. The fact that the Western world has created people who loathe the values that it stands for should be a wake up call. Hate begets hate. It's as simple as that.
Rami Ruhayel, Perth, Western Australia

Where are the women?? All I see is agitated men - which is OK but where are the girls??
Annie, England

People of Europe please wake up. This is not a war of US policy in the Middle East. These people do not want to co-exist, they want the destruction of everything that does not agree with their view of Islam.
Tony Moye, USA


Many Americans share anxieties expressed in the UK about the nature and extent of military action

Andrew Owens, United States
No one, except possibly the more radical fringe of the New York cab driving fraternity, is suggesting that a military solution alone would end the global menace of Islamic terrorism. As a UK citizen living in New York, it is also readily apparent that many Americans share some of the anxieties expressed in the UK about the nature and extent of any such military action. The idea that the US is about to willingly lead themselves, the UK and the rest of the democratic world down a road to oblivion, taking the lives of thousands of innocent Muslims on the way, is simplistic. However, in conjunction with intense diplomacy, improved intelligence gathering and better domestic security, military action is an essential part of the package. It may be uncomfortable for many liberals, but we have to recognise that there are a small number of fanatics who are absolutely committed to further atrocities across the democratic world unless they are stopped in their tracks. Those, such as Clare Short, who appear to believe that this hardcore would be persuaded in any conceivable way by a Western-style diplomatic charm offensive are dangerously na´ve, arguably irresponsible. The Americans are aware of the risks and are acting cautiously yet decisively. They deserve the support of the UK and the rest of the democratic world.
Andrew Owens, United States

As a former British soldier having been stationed in Ireland, Bosnia and Germany, I feel very angry with our Government dancing to the tune of President Bush. It is extremely upsetting and I am disgusted with the recent terrorist attacks in America, but it doesn't mean we should stand side by side and go to war and lose even more innocent lives. I wonder if George W would be as keen if his kids were in the Army. How do I tell my children that daddy (a soldier) won't be home ever again because of something that happened in America. It was OK for some American citizens to fund our terrorists for years, who murdered our soldiers and ordinary innocent people but now, just because they've been severely touched by it, everyone must do their bidding to rid the world of it. These particular terrorists will not submit and give in easily, tread carefully!
Andrea, UK

In reply to Andrea, I might ask you a similar question: how many American mothers had to explain to their children that Dad wouldn't be coming home because of something that happened in Europe? How many Americans laid down their lives for England? I seriously doubt there are many in Washington who've ignored the IRA's history; you may be sure that aspect will receive the same attention, and I'm sure the PM will remind them. With few exceptions, there are millions upon millions of Americans who would take up arms to defend Britain if needed; your comment does no justice to that common bond between our nations.
Rob Davies, USA


Shame on those who believe Americans deserve this

Chris Petty, USA
It's frustrating to read such typical opinions from our bandwagon allies. Maybe when a terrorist act of this magnitude hits home your opinions will shift. After all there were thousands of innocent citizens of the world that suffered these horrific acts not just Americans. No matter how unstable the region, or opposition to American foreign policy, innocent people should not have to pay the price. Shame on those who believe Americans deserve this and may God show mercy on your soul because Osama bin Laden will not.
Chris Petty, USA

I am really shocked at my fellow Americans' emotional responses to Britain's different viewpoints. No matter how repeatedly we are told that terrorists like Bin Laden were motivated by America's biased Middle East policy, Americans still claim terrorists hate our democracy and freedom. Wake up, Americans! Unless we face the fact that U.S. alone, not the rest of the world, is hated by Bin Laden and his followers, and try to do something to eradicate the hatred, we will continue to suffer from terrorists' attacks.
Martin, USA

I came here just to see the opinions of the British people and I have to say that I am disappointed. I see a lot of "Where was America concerning the Northern Ireland conflict?" More people died in this one attack than all the fatalities of Irish-Protestant conflict. And if I'm not mistaken, this is also the worst act of terrorism on the UK with over 250 British citizens dead. With or without the active military co-operation of the UK, the United States will do what is necessary to ensure it's own security, and eliminate the threat of international terrorism.
Benjamin, USA

No one, except possibly the more radical fringe of the New York cab driving fraternity, is suggesting that a military solution alone would end the global menace of Islamic terrorism. As a UK citizen living in New York, it is also readily apparent that many Americans share some of the anxieties expressed in the UK about the nature and extent of any such military action. The idea that the US is about to willingly lead themselves, the UK and the rest of the democratic world down a road to oblivion, taking the lives of thousands of innocent Muslims on the way, is simplistic. However, in conjunction with intense diplomacy, improved intelligence gathering and better domestic security, military action is an essential part of the package.

It may be uncomfortable for many liberals, but we have to recognise that there are a small number of fanatics who are absolutely committed to further atrocities across the democratic world unless they are stopped in their tracks. Those such as Clare Short, who appear to believe that this hardcore would be persuaded in any conceivable way by a Western-style diplomatic charm offensive are dangerously na´ve, arguably irresponsible. The Americans are aware of the risks and are acting cautiously yet decisively. They deserve the support of the UK and the rest of the democratic world.
Andrew Owens, United States

In reply to Andrea, I might ask you a similar question: how many American mothers had to explain to their children that Dad wouldn't be coming home because of something that happened in Europe? How many Americans laid down their lives for England? I seriously doubt there are many in Washington who've ignored the IRA's history; you may be sure that aspect will receive the same attention, and I'm sure the PM will remind them. With few exceptions, there are millions upon millions of Americans who would take up arms to defend Britain if needed; your comment does no justice to that common bond between our nations.
Rob Davies, USA

It's frustrating to read such typical opinions from our bandwagon allies. Maybe when a terrorist act of this magnitude hits home your opinions will shift. After all there were thousands of innocent citizens of the world that suffered these horrific acts not just Americans. No matter how unstable the region, or opposition to American foreign policy, innocent people should not have to pay the price. Shame on those who believe Americans deserve this and may God show mercy on your soul because Osama bin Laden will not.
Chris Petty, USA

I am really shocked at my fellow Americans' emotional responses to Britain's different viewpoints. No matter how repeatedly we are told that terrorists like Bin Laden were motivated by America's biased Middle East policy, Americans still claim terrorists hate our democracy and freedom. Wake up, Americans! Unless we face the fact that U.S. alone, not the rest of the world, is hated by Bin Laden and his followers, and try to do something to eradicate the hatred, we will continue to suffer from terrorists' attacks.
Martin, USA

I came here just to see the opinions of the British people and I have to say that I am disappointed. I see a lot of "Where was America concerning the Northern Ireland conflict?" More people died in this one attack than all the fatalities of Irish-Protestant conflict. And if I'm not mistaken, this is also the worst act of terrorism on the UK with over 250 British citizens dead. With or without the active military co-operation of the UK, the United States will do what is necessary to ensure it's own security, and eliminate the threat of international terrorism.
Benjamin, USA


I am completely and utterly behind the US in whatever actions they take

Mark, Scotland, UK
I am completely and utterly behind the US in whatever actions they take. We all need to work together in the face of global terror. There can be no half-way support on this matter. We all know what it is like to be a country which lives in the threat of terrorism and why should we stand by and allow our children to grow up in fear?
Mark, Scotland, UK

As a British citizen who has many friends in the USA I am horrified by some of the comments posted already. I came very close to losing friends and family in the attack and having stood at the WTC a year ago to the day, I was very shaken. There should be no doubt this is a war. I for one trust Tony Blair and George Bush. These terrorists are not true Muslims. I have many Muslim friends (I am Jewish) and they all are disgusted by these actions. There is also no room for negotiation or discussion with these people. They fervently believe they are fighting for God and therefore will not stop until they feel that Western culture (the real enemy, not Israel or America) has been destroyed.
Andrew Marks, UK

I fail to see what attacking some of the poorest people in the world will achieve, quite frankly. Already, there are estimates of 20 million people facing starvation because war is threatened. By far the most sensible thing that the US has done to date is to freeze terrorist assets - which begs the question, "Why didn't they do it before?" The UK's role should be to persuade the US to concentrate on the terrorists and the truly guilty parties, not to target the innocent just because that's the easy option.
Julie, UK

The 'if you're not for us you're against us' argument is tosh. The UK is the USA's friend and like any true friend we will help when the need arises. Help comes in many forms and includes wise counsel. This can be provided from a less impassioned perspective than that which, for the moment, colours the American view.
Nigel Drake, UK

Everyone is using the term "terrorist" as if there is some universal definition of one. There is not. Most notably, the Palestinians are freedom fighters to many Arabs and it's the Israelis that are the "terrorists". Indeed, the US is undoubtedly perceived by many countries as a "terrorist" too. A global coalition against terrorism is therefore a ludicrous idea, the aim of this campaign should be to convict Bin Laden (or whoever did it) of a crime; and try him in such a way that it completely discredits his claim that he is representing Islam. Acts of extreme violence like the one in the US are symptomatic of very deep rooted and complicated problems, most of them are insoluble without levels of compromise, cooperation, understanding, tolerance, humility and humanity that are conspicuously lacking from most of the world's leaders.
Leigh, USA (UK originally)


Appeasement failed then and it has failed now

Bill Douglass, USA
Many of the comments made on this board are simply stunning. I never thought the memory of Hitler would ever fade in the minds of the British. Appeasement failed then and it has failed now. There is no opportunity for peace with these terrorist organizations.
Bill Douglass, USA

Unfortunately I think it is right that we support our closest ally in their current dilemma. Whether it is a about terrorism, justice or reprisals, we are duty bound to defend our freedom. If it is about ending terrorism, which Mr Bush seems very keen to assure us, then I look forward to him cracking down on the IRA, The Real IRA and the Continuity IRA and any other Irish terrorist groups there are. Freeze their assets, ban their fund-raising and any association with them.
Chris, UK

I've heard many comments from people in the UK, begging to address this catastrophe as criminal instead of war. The problem with this approach, is that criminal prosecution operates after the crime has been committed. What is required now, is pre-emptive in nature, and thus requiring military instead of police action. Having said that I also acknowledge that this "war on terrorism" should indeed have begun years ago, organizations like Hamas in Israel, and the IRA of Europe, have been operating for decades. However let's not let our ignorance of the past, enforce ignorance in the future. Let us all stand together and end this type of behaviour permanently, in all its forms, throughout the war.
Max Pfeferman, USA

"I queued for an hour in Grosvenor Square to sign the book of condolence and express sympathy and solidarity with the American people but I will not "stand shoulder to shoulder" with them in any military action" Thanks Tim, but your words are hollow. One either helps or resists - neutrality is resistance. You're part of the problem.
Curt D, USA

As a UK citizen living in the US, I believe the response of the US government is appropriate. In WW2 the allies confronted an enemy that didn't abide by the rules. The atrocities committed, created a situation, where war was necessary to combat evil. Although few people would argue that this was a necessary course of action, it remains true that many innocent lives were lost on both sides. This was unfortunate but unavoidable. We are again faced with an evil that must be challenged, and although innocent lives will be lost, it is an unfortunate consequence of the nations that allow their governments to support and protect terrorists.
Paul, US

Like most Brits I feel very sad/sympathetic etc for the people of the US following the events of the 11th. However, the message from a number of US and UK contributors that we, and the rest of Europe for that matter, should blindly support the US is disturbing.

Yes, they have helped us out in two world wars, but on both occasions halfway through after a lot of squirming, and because of events directly affecting them, (Lusitania and Pearl Harbour). Also of grave concern is that the US ended their part of WW2 by killing about 200,000 civilians with atom bombs. Not something many of us would want to be part of. This "conflict" ought to be pursued legally, as the people concerned are criminals and deserve to be treated as such. Or do our lauded democratic principles only exist for the selected few living in the West?
Daisybelle, Scotland

The outraged US correspondents I've just read bemoaning the more balanced and considered views from other parts of the world makes me despair. Yes the Twin Towers was an act of evil but it was an act against the world not America. As many nations as possible must be brought on-side to combat this kind of evil. There are too many issues to bridge for an all out conflict, with inherent dangers of backlash, if the military response is not correct.

America is a powerful nation whose power has been wielded unwisely in the past, causing resentment against them. Their power has not always been effective; remember Vietnam. They also seem to forget how many years WW2 had been in progress before Pearl Harbour brought them into the real world.
Stuart Nurse, UK

I'm so tired of hearing scared individuals who like the joys and benefits of freedom, but want to do nothing with its defence. If we (the Free world) do not set an example regardless of the cost in lives, soldiers or otherwise, we better get used to chaos and unending terror like that which took place on September 11th in NY. The US needs nothing more than the moral support of the UK and our Nato allies. It is upsetting to me that so many of you in the UK feel as though you want nothing to do with "our" current struggle. Remember Hitler who could have been stopped but people in England and France stop him when they could have. I think they called it appeasement? We must stop terrorism with merciless blows to any that support it. The only thing those demons understand is violence.
John DiGioia, New York, USA

Wake-up! If you do not like the actions of your leaders, where were you during the elections? If this is war, do not expect the leadership to reveal the intelligence, since they know much more than you do, give them your support. If this is not war, why are the terrorist using weapons and training camps sponsored by governments? Yes the USA has made some errors in the Middle East; did you forget your colonies and your mistakes? My heart goes to all the people in the world that suffer from our indifference and ignorance.
Daniel Monnet, USA/France

Many of my countrymen, including myself, do not buy America's argument that terrorism and the recent attacks on America are the world's problems. These attacks stem from America's irrational foreign policy and their unwavering support of Israel. It should be no surprise to America that the chickens have come home to roost.

I have heard many comments from Americans such as, "We were there for you in the World Wars" or "If it were not for us, you would be speaking German now". It appears that Americans feel that they won the wars for us. Do the Americans not realize that they did not get involved in the wars for two years while the Canadians and English were fighting and dying?
Dave Goyette, Canada

I was totally appalled by the tragic events in New York and extend my deepest sympathies to all Americans, Britons and every other nationality who have suffered from it. I also agree that the UK should stand by the US and offer support. Unfortunately, I do think that it will be necessary for military force to find a resolution, although I do hope that this will be carefully thought out so that it is not just a revenge attack but a move to try to eradicate terrorism.

However, I hope the Americans realise there is some hypocrisy in their call for a war on terrorism, when some of them have been supporting the IRA both financially and politically for years whilst never previously suggesting everyone unite in a war against terrorism.
Liz, UK


Great Britain is already in this war and British citizens have a choice of either being loyal or not

John Morgan, Montgomery, AL, USA
Great Britain is already in this war and British citizens have a choice of either being loyal or not. Churchill would be proud of Tony Blair. The United States and Britain need no UN advice or permission to wage this war. Without the US and Britain, there is no UN. Britain will play a key role in the rout of the Taleban and the removal of Bin Laden from this planet.
John Morgan, Montgomery, AL, USA

Initially Britain must play a vital moderating role on America. In the end, like it or not, we are second in the firing line whatever happens; we must do what's right for Britons and eliminate the risks that we cannot mitigate against. Top on the list of those risks is terrorism.
Ian M Evans, UK

I am proud to be an American, and now a world citizen with countries such as Great Britain. The events of "black Tuesday" are unbelievable still and have left us stunned. What we all need to do is take time, review evidence and act as a unified world against evil. I am confident that this will be our best moment and our generation's chance to show the world that we did learn from the horrible acts of WWII and have chosen not to let history repeat itself. I am still confident that with friends like you in England, we will find a way as a new world community to resolve this unthinkable situation that we are all currently experiencing.
Sam, California, USA


I think Tony Blair realises now that the US needs the UK and the rest of the NATO alliance

Jeannine O'Neal, USA
I am disheartened to see the lack of support for the US from the citizens of the UK. The Brits have been the targets of terrorist attacks in the past, as have Americans. But this was an act of war on our nation and the people of the free world. This attack went way beyond anything terrorists have done anywhere. The US has been wounded. As the world's only remaining superpower, we must prevail in our new war so that the rest of the world's free democracies can prevail. I think Tony Blair realises now that the US needs the UK and the rest of the NATO alliance.
Jeannine O'Neal, USA

It's great to get so much perspective and insight into the minds of so many different people. Some believe that the UK should take an active role and others believe that it should stand down. Whatever your beliefs at least you can still express them freely. It's just a matter of time before your more basic freedoms are imposed upon. No more freedom of speech, no more freedom of religion, no more freedom to do much. I think the best solution is to realize that we are all human, whether we are English, French, American or Muslim. This was an attack on humanity, not the US, but because it happened on US soil it is our problem. We can handle our problems and if you don't want to be a part of the solution, then don't slander us when we try to defend the very meaning of America. Freedom.
John B, USA

Britain should not be involved in military action. This is not a war against terrorism. If it is, why are we not poised to invade Northern Ireland or Spain? The war is an unjust act of terrorism in itself and Britain should, as a result not be involved.
Mark, UK

This is not - as some people prefer to imagine - a conflict between Christianity and Islam. On our part, it is not a religious issue at all. This is, however, a necessary attempt to rid the world of murderous fanatics who use religion as a platform to commit habitual mass homicide. On that basis, if the UK chose to abstain from any action against the breeding grounds of terrorism, we would be ignoring our responsibility to our own people and those of our allies.
Chris Bingham-Hunter, England


Your support is a relief during these traumatic times

Alexander Lenard, USA
Our countries have a long and intertwined history. Not perfect harmony, but two very closely related nations. I understand some of your citizens' hesitance on many levels, from IRA issues to American arrogance. Doesn't this tragedy go beyond that? Do we not need you? No nation enables our military better than Britain. British intelligence, deception, and special forces (SAS)are the perfect and essential complement to American brute force. Despite your reserve, your support is a relief during these traumatic times.
Alexander Lenard, USA

This is not a general war against terrorism, it's a retaliation for the horrific events of September 11th. Either way the US lose, in the worst case Bin Laden becomes a martyr. There is a risk of destabilising an already explosive region of the world and the US, which is an insular society fuelled by extreme patriotism, is least qualified to bring these terrorist cells to justice and to eliminate the root cause of hate. The Muslim community should be given a chance to declare Bin Laden and such groups as un-Islamic and dispense appropriate justice against those who defile the Islamic religion.
Paul, UK

Could we stop using the terms 'Muslims' and 'Muslim Fundamentalists' and start using the correct term 'terrorists'? No true Muslim condones either terrorism or suicide. The lunatic fringe that appears to support the atrocities in America are not representative of the international Muslim community any more than the atrocities perpetrated by Irish terrorists are representative of either the Catholic or Irish communities.
Justina, UK

God bless America. God save the Queen. God bless Tony Blair
William, USA

Britain should dissociate itself from any form of direct military intervention in the region. The US attack was a direct consequence of the US's irrational Middle East policy and their unconditional support for Israel.
Are British taxpayers prepared to pick up the bill for embarking on this rather costly US military crusade?
George Santos, Portugal

I personally feel that Britain should not get involved in this senseless war, which will no doubt "produce" more innocent victims in Afghanistan or whoever else the U. S. decides to target. BR> Steuart Harrison, Austria/Scotland


How will we know when it's over? If Bin Laden is eliminated, there will be many to take his place

Mark James, UK
What concerns me is that no one seems to be able to say what the ultimate aim of a war will be. How will we know when it's over? If Bin Laden is eliminated, there will be many to take his place. This will turn into WW3 simply because there is no 'exit strategy' and, in the eyes of many, it has already become a Christian vs Muslim 'Holy War'
How far will Bush and Blair take us?
Mark James, UK

This problem needs to be resolved by whatever means is necessary as it will not go away by itself. The UK and USA are the obvious choice to sort this mess out. The USA has the money and hardware and the UK has the skill and intelligence.
What is annoying is reading the little digs at who owes who what! We owe this to ourselves, so why don't we forget the past and our differences in culture and destroy this evil united. We don't need the rest of the world sticking their nose in (there support is all we require).
The two great nations come to the rescue again!
Thore Donner, England

The first thing UK should do is to stop USA from attacks on Afghanistan and stop killing of innocent people to catch few persons.
Jaan Lucky, India

To those British citizens who back us, thank you for your support. We really appreciate it. Terrorism is the entire world's problem, and it will serve the entire world to eradicate it. To those of you who think you shouldn't get involved or that this has nothing to do with you... just remember that if it wasn't for the US, you would be speaking German right now. We have always been there for you when it has counted.
Z, New York, USA


The UK should not follow the US blindly into a war

Ashraf, Rome, Italy
UK should not follow US blindly into a war with a third world country. Such a crusade against a religion is reminiscent of the Roman armies campaign against the Christians and the role of Jewish authorities who helped them since it was in their interest.
Ashraf, Rome, Italy

Mr Blair is scarifying our soldiers for American self-gratification. I think that we should be looking very closely at the current situation and try to solve the problem facing the world instead of throwing lives and money at the problem.
Richard Fraser, UK

Since Blair has followed Dubya's lead so closely, he has made the UK even more of a terrorist target than it was previously. It seems to be the USA dictating what it wants after refusing to cooperate with the rest of the world of Kyoto, environmental and other issues. And I don't recall any concerts by Hollywood for victims in other countries.
Jerry Pomfrett, USA

The UK should stand 100% on the side of the USA to fight the Muslim terrorists. In my opinion there will be no peace on earth before the Muslims stop their terrorism against the civilized world. In the meantime, we should give the Muslims a lesson not to be forgotten.
David Cohen, Liverpool, UK

We should not get involved with the USA just to fuel Tony Blair's pride. We should do what Britain is best at - mediation. After all, no one else seems to trying to defuse the situation.
RK, UK


The UK should assume a diplomatic role, rather than provide military assistance

Brian, UK
The antagonistic rhetoric of George W Bush will only serve to exacerbate an already volatile situation in the Middle East. Whilst I agree that action needs to be taken to prevent further terrorist atrocities, the UK should assume a diplomatic role, rather than provide military assistance. The public displays of sympathy from UK citizens and institutions are commendable, however, I doubt that we would be afforded the same respect if the situation were reversed.

The US must start to take some responsibility for breeding such hatred in Islamic countries, and various other parts of the world. The blind patriotism exhibited by Americans is a danger in itself, and whilst none of us will ever forget the heart-rending images of the past week, the US would be better served by restraint and reflection, than revenge.
Brian, UK

After reading so many comments from European countries, it angers me to see that when the U.S. needs help, you all want to run and hide. The U.S. has helped most of you out in one way or another since WW1. What have any of you done for the U.S.? Take, take, take. It's time to pull your weight.
Brian M, US

Thatcher engineered and used the Falklands war in get back in power. Blair is just copying her.
Alan, England

I think Blair is a class act. His support of the US is a statement against the atrocities that occurred September 11th. How can anyone in the UK question involvement? If this action occurred in the UK, would you expect no less than the full support of the US? As a "pacifist child of the sixties" I abhor war, but cannot seem to turn my back on the senseless slaughter of 6,000 innocents. To remain silent or noncommittal is tacit approval. There comes a time to stand up and say no more. Blair stood up.
Sheila Mcmann, USA


I am disappointed and hurt that the UK people feel this way

Jody Greene, USA
I come here to get a perspective of the UK's opinions and I see so many of you crawling back in your corners from fear from an attack on us all. The USA Government and the American people would stand by your side and die by your side if this happened to you. Your elected Government is standing side by side with us Americans. This shows that you have elected some fine leaders but when I read the common mans post that says, "I love America but we should not help them fight a war on terror with them" I am disappointed and hurt that the UK people feel this way. I thank God your leaders see the correct path to follow. J.Greene, USA
Jody Greene, USA

I am perplexed as to why so many people in the West are against the use of military action or a 'war' on terrorists to punish/retaliate/seek revenge/demand justice, whatever you want to call it. These people do not seem to realise that their right to hold and express these liberal views are directly in jeopardy through being complacent and 'hoping' that goodness will prevail. Wake up and welcome to the real world people. Nothing is going to stop these terrorists other than total determination to wipe them out. Terrorist groups seek to take away people's right to freedom of expression and choosing the way we wish to lead our lives. It is this that democracies such as our own should and will defend most rigorously.
Duncan, England

I know that many Europeans feel inferior to the United States and try to form their identity by disagreeing with US policy. But come on. How could one disagree on surgical attacks on terrorist. If one does, then he supports the terrorist.
Jeff Jones, United States

Throughout all of the comments and concerns about the UK's involvement in a future action, one thing is present, that the UK's hearts are with us. I want to thank you as a nation. I am glad that in this world we do have friends, good friends across the pond. Thank you so much, I don't know what we did to deserve friends like you, but I am glad we did.
Anthony Pitts, USA


The coalition of governments against terrorism is to be commended

Dave Green, England
I could not believe the horror unfolding last Tuesday. The person or country responsible for this terrible atrocity has to be held to account. Underpinning this strategy is the need to provide evidence who are the guilty parties. There is a gut feeling that this is Bin Laden but this has not been supported by hard evidence. Before action is taken against Afghan or Bin Laden it is essential that the evidence is made public.

The coalition of governments against terrorism is to be commended and is the key to providing a long-term solution to the problem. America cannot do this alone. Any attack either on Afghanistan or Bin Laden would benefit from having Muslim allies supporting on the ground. The ball is very much in President Bush's court. The guilty must be held to account but with limited collateral damage which must be balanced against the risk of future atrocities. Following this there must be a concerted affort to reduce terrorism from the globe. Tony Blair's immediate support has to be commended but now it must be tempered with caution. There is a global willingness to stamp out terrorism; the opportunity must not be wasted.
Dave Green, England

I am a citizen of the U.S. I witnessed these attacks while working from home. I have friends who witnessed these horrible acts in person. They targeted the World Trade Center. Not the American Trade Center. There were hundreds of citizens from around the world. This involves everyone, not just us. I too pray the people of Afghanistan are not targeted. They are not responsible for these acts.

The Governments who sanction and support terrorists should be brought to justice. I am not qualified to say how or what punishment is suitable. This is a Global issue. The terrorists have raised the stakes. It's time we address the "Why's" and "Who's". The way all of us live has now been irrevocably changed. Thank you to the Brits and many Citizens from around the world who have displayed their respect and kindness.
James Rainey, USA


Britain should have a major role second only to the US's

William, UK
Britain should have a major role second only to the US's. But, other EU nations need to put equal resources to the cause as well, as this problem is something shared by all of us, not just the United States and Britain, it is a global problem that needs to be sorted and sorted quickly. No longer can the 'modern' world expect to endure such acts of terror.
William, UK

The suicide crashes were not "acts of war," they were crimes, and should be treated as such. The world would approve wholeheartedly of the investigation and prosecution of the terrorists if the USA were to use the International Criminal Court to resolve the matter. The British government's role must be to persuade the US government to adopt this solution.
Brian Leyden, Oxford

Living in both countries, I have been very afraid of how America was going to react and handle this situation. Watching Prime Minister Tony Blair today with President Bush, I was hopeful. Let us pray around the world for peace and help for all countries.
Sharyn Whiting, USA/UK

I think the UK should be there for the US, since the Americans have been there for the British in the past.
Terry Kusi, U.S.A.

I have noticed that a lot of American citizens have been condemning us for some of our negative responses and a lot have made comments such as "if it was you then we would back you". My question to them is "where have you been for the last 25-30 years when the British citizens have had to live with terrorism which a lot of Americans have openly supported?"

Can I just add that I don't in any way belittle the devastation that has been caused by this act of terror and my heart goes out to the many people of this world who have lost someone dear to them.
SN, UK


Relatively simple solutions are more often than not the key to intractable problems

Richard, UK
The United States' partners within NATO are vital in providing intelligence and, in particular, military knowledge of the solutions most likely to achieve long-term objectives. The UK's Special Operations community are best placed for delivering such assistance to their colleagues in the US. As UKSF have extensive experience of counter-terrorism operations (with particular reference to Northern Ireland), the Prime Minister should offer the director of UKSF and his colleagues within the British intelligence community "carte blanche" to pursue terrorist organisations implicated in the WTC and Pentagon strikes.

High-tech, standoff responses to terrorism simply don't work. Relatively simple solutions are more often than not the key to intractable problems. The UKSF are well acquainted with this arena. Reliable and timely intelligence, in the hands of these most professional soldiers (and their NATO colleagues), is likely to be the most effective riposte. No massed cruise missile strikes or US armoured brigades streaming across the Kabul plain are required: set a thief to catch a thief.
Richard, UK

As an American citizen whose family heritage includes many American relatives who shed their blood and ultimately paid the highest price...their life, I am saddened by the majority of the feedback I have read from UK citizens as it relates to joining America in the war on evil. History has proven that America...be it ever so arrogant...has always demonstrated true and just character in its defining moment. Having visited your wonderful city as recently as two months ago, I was greatly touched by the monuments that were erected to Americans who helped the UK and the rest of Europe in their time of need...this is our time of need. Please stand up and be counted.
Chris, Charlotte, NC USA


War on terrorism is a pretty weak cover for revenge

Victoria Swaile, UK
Despite what politicians are saying in a battle of who can support America most, there many people, like me, who feel that a war on terrorism is a pretty weak cover for revenge. Americans don't care that much about the effects of terrorism when they fund the IRA. Why should more innocent people die just so that Bush can show 'you can't do that to Americans'?
Victoria Swaile, UK

Forget Macedonia and Kosovo, it's time to help people who genuinely need it and right now, the Americans need all the help and support we can give them. If America wants to go to war over this, then we should support them absolutely! If the attacks had been on Britain, I would like to think the US would help us to the full.
Leon, U.K.


We are dealing with the effect and not the cause

P, UK
I hope that the UK will play the role of providing common sense. We should try to deal with the terrorist problem in a democratic way and within international law without resorting to violence. We are dealing with the effect and not the cause. Maybe a more forward-thinking approach should be undertaken dealing with why these terrorists are resorting to extreme violence, rather than blowing them up!! Remember there will always be someone else to take their place.
P, UK

What happened in America was horrendous I feel it like everybody else. But why do I get the feeling that we are following America like stupid lapdogs? It does annoy me to think we just do anything we are asked as if we have no will of our own. Are our government leaders just puppets?
CW, UK


The Taleban have abused their own people

Malcolm Butler, UK
If our armed forces go into Afghanistan to fight against the Taleban, we will be fighting a war against terror, but we mustn't forget the terror that has plagued the Afghan people for 23 years. We should not fight against the Afghan people, much the opposite in fact. We should respect their culture and beliefs. That is the only way we can ever hope to win a fourth Afghan war. We must not use excessive force, we must not seek revenge and we must not ignore the Afghan terrain. We should plan everything and understand that the Taleban have abused their own people. If we can do this, then there is a chance to stabilise Afghanistan and end the anarchy that has terrorised the Afghan people for over 20 years. Perhaps while we are recognising the atrocities of the Taleban, we may notice similar atrocities carried out by the Israeli armed forces against the Palestinians. If we recognised this earlier and acted, many lives could have been saved in the Middle East, and maybe New York.
Malcolm Butler, UK

I am getting fed up with seeing Tony Blair pronouncing against terrorism. This from the man who is responsible for numbers of convicted terrorists being released. I wonder he has the nerve to go the World Trade Center to honour the Britons killed there, he hasn't shown any concern for the Britons killed in the UK over the last few years.
JJ, UK


Bin Laden and Hussein must be laughing at the lot of us

Deb, Germany, BFPO
The UK should not go to war. The BBC hype is feeding nightmares. Yes, the UK lost people in the US but more dying will not bring them back. America talks of the sacrifice of troops; it could be argued that the mentality is not so different from the hijackers who sacrificed lives for a cause. Death should stop here because no amount of more lives lost can bring back those already gone. It would be better solved by political means and the money saved put into extra security in the UK to avoid a repeat of the disaster. Bin Laden and Hussein must be laughing at the lot of us, the world has played right into their hands.
Deb, Germany, BFPO

Sad as I feel about this whole sick affair, the US has never been too quick to back us, or for that matter anyone else until that problem lands squarely on their doorstep, then they expect a full commitment from us.
Kath Bennett, England

My observation is simply that no matter how the US deploys its forces, people (mainly innocent) are going to get killed. You cannot punish the many for the crimes of the few. For the UK government to state that we are at war makes me feel very afraid indeed. It smacks of this government attempting to increase its world standing. We are no longer a superpower and I think that it is time that this government ended its slavish devotion towards Europe and the US.
Andrew, UK


I'm still waiting for the... evidence

Rob, Netherlands
"Osama Bin Laden did it" so they tell me. The newspapers tell me, the TV news tells me, Mr Bush tells me. But I'm still waiting for the crucial statement "and here's the evidence...". Perhaps Mr Blair should do the same.
Rob, Netherlands

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