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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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Quit the posturing and empty rhetoric Bush and take a look at what is happening inside your own country.
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.
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".
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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??
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.
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!!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!!
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.
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.
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.
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!!
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?
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.
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.
08 Oct 02 | Americas
11 Sep 02 | Americas
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