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Friday, 13 September, 2002, 18:02 GMT 19:02 UK
Bush's UN speech: Has he got it right?
President George W. Bush has told the United Nations General Assembly that "action will be unavoidable" against Iraq, unless the UN enforces resolutions requiring Baghdad to disarm.
"If Iraq's regime defies us again, the world must move deliberately and decisively to hold Iraq to account," Bush said. "The purposes of the United States should not be doubted."
To back up the president's speech, the Bush administration released a 22-page document recording what it said was "Saddam Hussein's defiance of the United Nations".
Do you think Bush has made a case? Will the UN General Assembly be persuaded?
This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.
Thank God for world leaders who have taken such a stand against despotism in the past, and who are ready to take such stands against Saddam now! They should be supported and we should be alert to the real threats that are in our world and stop "sticking our heads in the sand."
Tall words! Bush has yet to provide solid and undeniable proof for his allegations.
I'm not a fan of George Bush, but his address to the UN was patent. Regardless of the United States ulterior motives, a stable and legitimate global governance is absolutely essential to the survival of civilization.
Adrian Mullane, Arlington, VA, USA
Very good speech, I'm sure all the usual people will disagree with what he says without even listening to what he has actually said, because of the blatant anti-Americanism these days. But people with minds and who are able to think for themselves will applaud what Bush and Blair are doing. Making it harder for terrorists to murder us!
Good speech. Whether Bush is right or wrong, respect is certainly due for his determined and unwavering approach to this very tricky situation.
Jeremy, Dallas, Texas, USA
Regardless of your viewpoint on the topic of Iraq, this was an excellent speech. Bush outlined in detail how Iraq was violating its commitments to the UN and then challenged the UN to act. There is a valid argument as to the relevance of the UN when its resolutions are ignored and Bush put that to the UN. Bush has all but forced the UN to take some sort of action by challenging the body's credibility. A sound political strategy.
Should the UN fail to enforce its own resolutions, then what good is it? The USA should leave the United Nations, keep our tax dollars at home, and defeat Hussein anyway!
Can somebody explain how killing thousands of Iraqis and reducing their country to rubble will improve their lot? Will it not simply provide another source of willing terrorists?
Bush made an excellent point, the UN passed those resolutions on Iraq. Failure not by the US, but by the UN to enforce them will set a bad precedent and make them no more valuable than the papers on which they were written.
Bush made a very strong case against Iraq which you can't take apart, unless you don't want to face reality!
Bush seems to think that he can demand everything without giving something in return. There are many millions still waiting for the US to comply with both Kyoto and the Johannesburg agreements. When they do comply they will then be considered to be able to take a major part in other world affairs.
Mark Russell, Bristol, UK
I thought the point about oppressing minorities was interesting. After all, isn't homosexuality outlawed in 39 US states?
When Bush deals with the issue of Israel's flagrant breach of numerous UN resolutions, its possession of weapons of mass destruction, and its current brutal occupation of the west bank and Gaza then - and only then - should his views be treated with any sort of respect.
How serious can you take a United Nations, which does not enforce their own resolutions? Tired of the games. I am with the "cowboy".
In spite of my reservations about the US going after Iraq alone, President Bush has made an extremely compelling argument that the time has come for action.
Reg Danford-Cordingley, Toronto, Canada
Iraq has been left to its own devices for too long now - we should have dealt with Saddam there and then in 1991, instead the UN dithered. It has no more backbone than the League of Nations before it, and is only any use as a humanitarian organisation - but that still does not give the US the right to speak for the whole world!
Adam Jama, Minnesota, USA
Bush's speech is fire for the Arab world. He insists on enforcing UN resolution vigorously against Iraq but not others. He will lose all his credibility in the region and the split between the Muslim world and the US will become bigger.
When will the US learn that killing people isn't the way to save them?
Doing nothing about Iraq is not an option. The people opposed to war are akin to those who thought Hitler was a decent chap!
If the US attacks Iraq because it is breaking UN resolutions, maybe other countries should also be attacked. What we are about to witness is double standards across the world. At the end of the day it is all about oil and self interests.
Michael Ruggiero, NYC, USA
If the UN members want to prevent a member state from enforcing the UN's own resolutions, they might as well disband the whole thing and toss it into the dustbin of history with the League of Nations.
I feel Bush made a strong point for action towards Iraq. Iraq has stalled long enough, the UN needs to ACT now.
Is Mr Bush seriously proposing that countries are entitled to attack countries whose governments they oppose? Surely that argument would justify an attack by Saddam on Israel or indeed the USA?
Todd Smith, San Diego, U.S.A.
When in history has war been waged against a sovereign nation because of its potential, as opposed to actual, actions?
I'm surprised at how clear the speech was. He made some points that may not be his real reasons for wanting to attack, but are important and worthy of consideration by the UN. If the Americans were to attack because of oil prices, etc but managed to alleviate the suffering of the people and bring democracy to Iraq in the process, would they necessarily have done a bad thing?
I thought 'cases' were made on things like 'evidence'. Going to produce any, George? I don't admire Saddam, but I deplore equally America's and Britain's belief that it has the right to squash any regime it disapproves of. If this is a 'world issue', how come it is only these two countries clamouring for an attack on Iraq?
Hugh, London, UK
If President Bush is so keen to stop countries with nukes from attacking each other, why is he not planning on attacking India and Pakistan? Could it be that India and Pakistan don't have a lot of oil under them?
I think the US/UK are spot on regarding Iraq. Are people really so naive as to think that talking to Saddam will really achieve anything? Saddam is evil, his people cannot stand up to him, and he needs to be brought under some sort of control. The Arab world will be better without him.
Nate Barker, Wichita USA
Well done Bush. He laid it out at the UN's feet. Time after time the UN has failed to act on anything at all, he made it clear that talk is cheap and that faith in the UN is on the wane. Why wait for the first bomb to drop? He made it clear that if the UN fails yet again to do anything then someone has to step forward and take action. There have been 10 years of talk from the UN with absolutely nothing done.
Mr Bush, in one of his most convincing speeches, laid out a serious case for action against the Iraqi regime. The world, and particularly the UN Security Council, will be hard pressed to deny its own inadvertent weakness for the last 10 years. Should the UN not act now, it will only diminish its own relevance in the world.
R M R Woodward, Milton Keynes, UK
Mr. Bush continues to rehash the same tired claims without offering anything new or concrete. Like his father before him he has assembled an impressive international coalition united in cause. Unfortunately for Bush junior, his coalition is united in the cause of doubting his judgement.
Tim Floyd, UK
If Bush doesn't get UN approval but goes ahead and attacks Iraq anyway, will he be liable to war crimes prosecution?
Well crafted and well delivered speech. George surprised me.
11 Sep 02 | Middle East
11 Sep 02 | Americas
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