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EDITIONS
Wednesday, 9 October, 2002, 08:48 GMT 09:48 UK
Bush's speech: What did you think?
President George W Bush has said time is running out for Saddam Hussein and that he must disarm Iraq or face a coalition led by the United States.

His latest warning to the Iraqi leader, whom he called a "homicidal dictator", came in a televised speech made in Cincinnati, Ohio, in the heartland of America.

In the speech Mr Bush laid out his case for military action saying that the threat from Iraq "only grows worse with time".

Meanwhile, the US and Britain are trying to convince members of the UN Security Council to support a tough resolution that would threaten military force if Baghdad backed out of its pledge to allow arms inspections.

France, Russia and China - the other veto-wielding permanent members of the 15-state Security Council - have reacted negatively to the proposed resolution.

What did you think of President Bush's speech? Has he made the case for military action against Iraq?

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


Your reaction


War should only be considered after all resources have been exhausted

Mario, USA
Bush managed to put fear in the American people. However, the US can not be the initiator of war. Inspections of all facilities must be completed including the so-called presidential palaces, which are anything but palaces. If Iraq has nothing to hide the inspectors will be allowed without boundaries. War should only be considered after all resources have been exhausted.
Mario, USA

This is a difficult situation to pass judgement on. I believe that Saddam should have been taken out the first time around. I believe that letting him stay in power and putting sanctions on the people of Iraq was wrong and even immoral. As such, it's hard to disagree with the claim that he should be removed. However, I find extremely troubling the motives behind doing it now.
N. Patterson, USA

There are other peaceful alternatives to take Saddam down. If he is truly a "murderous tyrant", then why not just arrest him and try him in the UN war tribunals like Milosevic. But I guess the "second largest oil producer in the world" is what Bush is after. Just stop the hawkish war rhetoric because it is only going to breed more terrorists, kill more innocent people and set the stage for a belligerent atmosphere.
Ishrat Jehan, USA

I personally would like to see if UN Sanctions will work one more time before the US decides to take action. I am worried about the effect a US strike will have on other countries like Israel. The general feeling is to back our president with caution. I would prefer the UN take on the massive project of policing the world. Susan
Susan Summers, USA


America has demonstrated the desire to scale down weaponry and provide inspections for the sake of peace

Jim, USA
A rule of warfare is to deny your enemy any information about your capabilities and intent. If Saddam truly wants peace, then he should satisfy the world's need for information. The initiative is Saddam's. He has the power to stop the escalating hostilities. Why does he delay and play games with the inspections? Does he have something to hide? America has demonstrated in the past the desire to scale down weaponry and provide unilateral inspections for the sake of peace. We are not a nation of warmongers, nor are we a nation of fools.
Jim, USA

If Iraq didn't have oil, it would be way down a list of problem countries. If Saddam came close to having nuclear weapons, I'd rather trust the Israelis to take action - they're much more efficient.
Alan Burns, USA

This was Bush's chance to show his evidence. His aides announced that he would, and he didn't! The US must continue working through the UN to force the inspections.
Paul Dragavon, California, USA

I remember the war in 1991. I just don't want to see any more weapons being used against civilians. Mr Bush should find another way to avoid war.
Vorze, Japan

Quit the posturing and empty rhetoric Bush and take a look at what is happening inside your own country.
Anna, USA

It seems we live in a world where we are ready to take the US president's word at face value - that if he says there are weapons of mass destruction in Iraq that this must be so. Recent satellite photos showed nothing more than bridges, not like the photos of actual missiles in Cuba 40 years ago. We should not be fooled.
Mark, The Netherlands


I think peace-loving people of the world deserve an explanation

Monirul Islam, Bangladesh
Why has it taken eleven years to conclude that Saddam has been a threat to the world? I think peace-loving people of the world deserve an explanation from George Bush and Tony Blair.
Monirul Islam, Bangladesh

Iraq is a side show, a non-issue, to take our minds off the really intractable problems in the global economy and the escalation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In particular, that conflict requires the application of international law, something the US continues to resist. Dubya's about as convincing on Iraq as Jeff Skilling used to be on the "new economy".
S. Casey, UK

If Saddam doesn't comply, we should act immediately. However, the action should be proportionate and allow time for Iraqi dissidents to deal with Saddam himself.
Vernon Moyse, UK

It's easy to say, "Go on, bring Saddam down" because the missiles will not be landing on our homes. While we sit on the comfort of our sofas and marvel on the "great" job Bush is doing, the Iraqi people will have to relive the nightmare of ten years ago.
Boks, Hong Kong


If the US did not intervene who would?

Reid Warren, USA
While most European and Middle-Eastern countries and the UN dither, a vacuum of what appears to be indifference exists. If the US did not intervene who would? Are most of the world's other countries quite comfortable with what very likely is going on in Iraq, or do they prefer to have their heads in the sands?
Reid Warren, USA

If Bush says that any country that harbours terrorists or provides support for terrorists is a terrorist nation, I would also say any developed country like US can also be counted as a similar nation like Iraq. The US provided arms and chemical weapons to all these nations. The US supported Iraq whey they attacked Iran. Let's stop manufacturing all these dangerous weapons for a better world.
Abhi, India

His case is and has been extremely weak. He is taking advantage of the insecurity of American people caused by the 9/11 events, otherwise Americans would realise he is looking desperately for an excuse to start a war. Hussein is no a saint, but Iraq has been careful enough to avoid any hostility towards America since the Gulf War.
Francisco Bernal, Mexico


Bush needs to garner strong support from the UN

Phillip, USA
I believe President Bush needs to garner strong support from the UN. Bush may have US law behind him to order military action without Senate and Congressional approval. But in an increasingly interconnected world, Bush needs to pull in UN support. It gives a message to the world that we are not lone-rangers, that we are in fact concerned about others' opinions and circumstances. It takes more effort in the short-term, but in the long-term global relations and diplomatic influence improve.
Phillip, USA

Iraq attacked Kuwait. Iraq never attacked America. After September 11, Americans would likely support any attack on any Arab state - it's a revenge feeling that many people wouldn't admit. An attack on Iraq with heavy civilian casualties would only radicalise the Arab world against America. It's time to leave those people alone.
Karim Zamani, Morocco

Well Bush has managed to gain applause once again by simply supplying clichés in his speech rather than actual argument, proof or evidence. Saddam is definitely NOT a good leader, but who is to say that Bush is??
Adil B, Lahore

Imminent war would be acceptable if there was an imminent threat. And threat is made up of capabilities and intent. I believe that Saddam has certain nasty weapons, but there is no evidence that he can actually deliver them to the US or has a direct will to do that.
Robert, London, UK


The key word here is Iraq

Steven Soper, USA
It seems to me that the issue is less where the burden of proof lies - most would concede that Iraq possess some pretty nasty weapons and are willing to use them - but rather whether we are willing to go to war with Iraq. The key word here is Iraq, not Hussein, not a small group of men, but with the entire nation. Has Bush in fact convinced Americans that it will be necessary to kill possibly thousands if not tens of thousands of men, women and children? What has not been talked about in the US, certainly not in the general media, is that war involves killing, usually the killing of a great many people we would usually deem innocent. If that is acceptable, then so be it.
Steven Soper, USA

There were plenty of facts in the speech; just none of them were from recent times. Something does need to be done about Saddam. If the UN applies pressure on Iraq to let inspectors back in and if Iraq fails to comply then I agree: a coalition may make their move to disarm Iraq. But it is horribly wrong if the US were to invade Iraq just because Bush thinks they are a threat. That would be unprecedented and open a scary new chapter US history. I think Bush has finally agreed to relax and give Iraq a chance to let in inspectors first. And of course these inspectors must be unrestricted otherwise its useless to have them there. Give Iraq a chance to comply!!
Brian, USA


We cannot assume that other countries pose imminent threats

Roseanne Singer, USA
Apart from toned down rhetoric, nothing George Bush said yesterday justified his urgent need to attack Iraq and risk spilling the blood of our young men and women in the military, and also the blood of innocent Iraqi people. We cannot assume that other countries pose imminent threats and start a war with them at our convenience. We need concrete proof.
Roseanne Singer, USA

Unilateral military action by anyone against any other state is a violation of international law; you can read just a few sentences of the UN Charter and any layman can see that is the case. Therefore, if the US does pursue unilateral military action, they will be completely in the wrong. It really is that simple.
Nick Ashton-Hart, UK

It is beyond me how anyone who actually sat and listened to Bush's speech can fail to be convinced by what he said. Will it really take another terrorist incident and thousands of deaths, to make people stop blindly attacking the US and it's president with a blinkered anti-American posture? Being lectured to by such people, while sitting here just yards from the site of the WTC attack - still mourning lost friends, is infuriating.
Steve, USA (ex-UK)


The world should be relieved the US leadership is brave enough to stand up for the democracies of the world

William, Chicago
Let us rise above the rhetoric. From President Bush's speech the World should now know that it will be Saddam who will dictate war, not the USA. All that has to be accomplished is for Saddam to comply with the UN demands. The anti-US, rhetoric is not justified. Are we saying that if Saddam doesn't comply, disarm and come clean that there will be no repercussions? The world should be relieved the US leadership is brave enough to stand up for the democracies of the world and provides muscle to the flaccid, do-nothing UN organization. The opinion the U.S. wants this war is flawed. Why would any democratic nation want to send their own citizens into a war if it wasn't justified? The U.S. congress has thrown its support to our President, the U.S. Senate will soon follow suit.
William, Chicago, USA

Yes. Mr Bush has made his case. The threat of war is not a bluff. It is unacceptable that this dictator gets his hands on these powerful weapons.
Peter Will, South Africa


President Bush needs neither Congressional nor World approval to attack Iraq

Eric, USA
Our President takes an oath to defend the Constitution of the United States. The Constitution makes the President the Commander-In-Chief of all our armed forces. Under the law as it is laid out, President Bush needs neither Congressional nor World approval to attack Iraq under the ceasefire agreement of 1991. This is strictly a military affair which the Democrats and Liberal news media in our Country have made into a political issue to save their own worthless agenda.
Eric, USA

The critical choice that faces humanity at this stage of the nuclear age is to ensure that nuclear weapons are under institutional control, not personal control. Anybody who thinks that it is simply ok for Hussein (and other evil dictators) to hold the power of the sun in their hands, and consequently the future of the world, has lost his/her faculties.
Ian Isemonger, Japan (South African Expat)

War... I hate this word! War destroys the world. Furthermore, war is killing innocent, women and children. Why? To me, avoiding war is possible. But only with the good will of everyone. We must mobilise as one voice and say: "Stop the war now!!!". If we want the peace, we must make the peace with everyone. And about Iraq and the USA, I wonder who is the most dangerous, Bush or Saddam Hussein? They are both mistaken if war begins!!
Isabelle Spiette, Belgium

Although I am for a measured response to the Iraq issue, I think Bush with Blair steering in the right direction is right to put more pressure on Iraq. Call their bluff. I think Iraq will cave in and let the inspectors in, with a new UN resolution in place just in case.
Jig, China


Bush has resorted to empty rhetoric

Oliver Loode, Estonia
Clearly, Bush has resorted to empty rhetoric, not having gathered enough solid proof that Iraq is an imminent threat. This is not the level of seriousness that is needed in this kind of situation that, if handled frivolously, could lead to a regional or even world war.
Oliver Loode, Estonia

It is not that Mr Bush is not telling us the truth. We must trust that he is. The real question, in this region, is whether or not he is going to repeat his father's action and snatch defeat from the jaws of victory and leave us all with egg on our faces. Hollywood sequels always leave the story open for another sequel don't they? Hopefully the son will finish off what the father failed to do in 1991.
George, Bahrain

Bush always had war with Iraq on the agenda - he's just providing the "filling" now to make the "sandwich" appealing to the American public.
Salman A, UK


President Bush has complete support to do what needs to be done

Bill, USA
He is now authorised to use any means necessary to protect American interests. If Ex-President Clinton had only had the courage to step up and do the same thing then September 11 would have never happened. By far, President Bush has complete support to do what needs to be done.
Bill, USA

Yet again pres Bush tells the truth, but will the liberal, head-in-the-sand pacifists believe him? No way, they just want to wait until they strike the West with nuclear or bio weapons. Act now!!
Mike, England

Bush was always going to attack Iraq regardless of the UN and the Security Council. What is interesting though is the reference to "an American-led coalition". So, if he hasn't got UN backing, which is likely due to the China, France and Russia stance, has the UK and maybe other countries already signed up?
ah, uk


Conclusions, no facts.

Bernadette Foley, USA in Russia
Conclusions, no facts. He risks alienating the world and setting back the rule of law. He presses for war, not a peaceful, firm way of resolution.
Bernadette Foley, USA in Russia

He said that if we wait for proof, it could come in the form of a mushroom cloud. But if we're going to speculate wildly then I think it could it also come in the form of a giant panda with a hand grenade strapped to its underbelly. With only extinction to look forward to, the giant panda makes an ideal al-Qaeda recruit.
Simon, Belgium

Bush's speech was another feeble attempt to convince the public that the US has to act pre-emptively in order to avert an imminent Iraqi attack against the US. Why now and where is the evidence? He certainly did not make the case. If he wants to avenge the failed assassination attempt on his father's life he should go himself instead of sending thousands of young men and women to Iraq.
Abdelali Dahrouch, USA


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08 Oct 02 | Americas
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