Tony Blair has demanded Iraq's "100% compliance" on disarmament in one of the most important speeches of his political career.
In an attempt to get his own MPs to back his stand on war, Mr Blair said Saddam Hussein has been given a "further final chance" to decide whether or not he is going to comply completely with the world's demands.
MPs will debate the possibility of military action on Wednesday after considering Mr Blair's case.
The prime minister has insisted that most people would support war if there was a second UN resolution.
Where do you the UK's strategy over Iraq should go from here?
This debate has closed. Thank you for your comments.
History will judge Tony Blair alongside Winston Churchill as a leader with foresight, wisdom and courage. Today no man stands higher in my admiration than Prime Minister Blair
Jerrold Trub, USA
I asked myself the question "if America wasn't beating its war drums, would our Government be contemplating this action alone? I believe the answer would be "No". I find it sad to think that our Government seems to have given up its independence to play the role as an American State. I voted for a British Prime Minister not for an American Foreign Affairs spokesman.
I voted for a British PM not for US Foreign Affairs spokesman
Gene Kemp, England
Blair and Bush will have their war for American oil. We must remember and vote against the Tory and labour parties forever after.
Tony Blair hasn't won the argument because the majority of people fundamentally believe that war is the failure of reason. Bush regime is flatly hostile to any attempts to pursue a peaceful solution. Blair's moral dilemma - that he alone has to make a decision on whether we go to war or not - illustrates the flaws in our own supposedly democratic system.
Prime Minister Blair will not win his argument on Iraq because of public opinion of anti-war and anti-American sentiment in Europe, but he should be proud of standing up for his belief and convictions. Public opinion should not be the decisive tool for government action - the Government has more information than the public.
When will the UK and USA demand that all the countries that are in continuous breach of numerous UN resolutions either comply or face military action?
The whole Iraqi episode smacks of double standards for different countries.
Also the level of priority being given by military planners to protect the oilfields of Iraq in an attack show the true reasons for this unjustified war.
The whole Iraqi episode smacks of double standards
D Harry, UK
Tony Blair will win the argument on Iraq as its in all of the British peoples' interest to get this dealt with now and not once Iraq has carried out what ever plans they have. It's to stop Saddam now before he gets more and more power - the longer we wait the stronger Iraq arms gets. As for the UN it will need to deal with Iraq now or I think more and more countries will defy them.
Iain Crabtree, Scotland
For the first time ever am/have supported Tony Blair through this. I am usually the silent majority, but am with him and behind him 100%. Also the sooner the better, that Saddam is removed for everyone's sake including the ordinary people of Iraq, who when they are sure he has been eliminated, will be out in the streets cheering.
J Reynolds, South Wales
Tony Blair is not the first prime minister to be fooled by a right wing dictator in this case George Bush. Interestingly if Blair participates in a war which has no basis in international law then one can assume that he has taken part in an unprovoked attack on a sovereign state. Would this make him and all those taking part war criminals?
The US has shown no willingness to interact with the rest of humanity (Kyoto etc.) and wishes to force its will on the rest of the world.
Surely if the US had sorted out the Israel and Palestine problem then there would be great deal more support for the Iraq problem.
All in all Blair through all his actions has proved that he is not a socialist but truly the son of Thatcher!
Blair has shown himself to be a competent leader, not one to play the populist card but one who will say what he believes and seek support for his position. This type of politician you can trust and 75% of British people do. Separately, he is the only one who has clear regard for the present suffering of the Iraqi people and prepared to do something to help them realise a better future without that hateful tyrant.
In contrast to Blair his opponents in parliament are in the main offering nothing but contemptible hand-wringing.
G Dane, UK
I fully support Tony Blair's stance on Iraq. I can't accept the idea that UK and US are trying to create a new empire. True, we could spend the money for the war on better things but conversely, we would also have a lot more money if we didn't give away so much aid to these post-colonial powers that want to run their own affairs, or so we are led to believe! The US and UK will lead the way for the Brave New World. Leave it to France, Germany, China and Russia then we'll have no solution to the world's problems
Why would anyone disarm whilst being threatened with a war? Iraq might need these weapons to defend itself against the US led attack. I know that we certainly wouldn't disarm under these conditions why should we expect Iraq to behave any differently?
David Stanley, UK
I applaud Tony Blair for standing by his principles and am embarrassed at my own government's (Canada) apathetic stance and failure to live up to its international responsibilities. Yes, war is horrible and tragic and the Iraqi people will suffer greatly in the short term. We have a collective obligation to the Iraqi people and to citizens suffering under other oppressive regimes. This obligation may necessitate diplomacy, economic sanctions, or war, depending upon the country involved. Regardless, it is our responsibility. There is no room for isolationism and apathy in a just society.
James Chase, Canada
I really think that we approach these issues with utmost maturity as war might not be too good at this stage. Great care should be taken by the US and the other super powers to douse tension in the Gulf.
Segun Ekundayo, Nigeria
The debate is now about how evil Saddam and his regime are. The so-called "war-on-terrorism" has been hijacked by Bush Jnr's obsession with completing his father's business. This highly personal war will feed anti-US sentiment and become the single biggest recruiting aid Bin Laden and international terrorism has yet had.
David Coulthread, UK
What legal right has Blair got to go against the wishes of the British people? Isn't this un-constitutional in a democracy? Why isn't anyone doing anything to stop him? How far will he be allowed to go before he is stopped? Will parliament and the public allow him to trigger a world war with Bush and commit a vast amount of the world's population to death?
Aaron Hendricks, UK
Just watching the news and reading the papers, you'd think that Tony Blair was the only person in the UK to support the war on Iraq. We're not getting enough of the supporting views. The debate seems grossly un-balanced.
Lois Davidson, UK
Those who are constantly arguing that Blair should listen to the "public" should consider the fact that 80 % of the public in the US were against US participation in World War II. True leaders should ignore the masses when it comes to serious decisions on war and peace.
Barry Zaimov, Bulgaria
Tony Blair and the
Labour Party have been elected to govern and take tough decisions. Let them get on with it. Has everybody forgotten September 11.
Tony Blair disappointed me so badly that I will never vote for Labour again. I am so ashamed to be British. In fact I am thinking of moving to France. Unfortunately Mr Blair your time in power is as up as Mr Hussein's therefore make the best of it while you can, because this is the last time you can fool us. I question your true Christian beliefs. No to war. Please listen, people are frustrated with you.
Blair is right that inaction is more dangerous than action. In one, three or five years we will be facing a much more bloody conflict. Act now.
Isn't it obvious why EU countries must seek to avoid actual conflict? It's because they do not possess an army that trains for war (as the UK and US do). Even if military action was 100% correct in Iraq and these EU countries knew it, they would still protest against that military action and do nothing.
Conrad Bate, UK
A dictator impresses his will and beliefs upon others without listening to anyone else. Blair/Bush/Saddam - anyone know who I am talking about? Confusing isn't it!
Graeme L, Bristol, UK
How can Tony Blair ignore the overwhelming public opinion which is against any action until the UN's second resolution is passed. What worries me still further is that Blair, being a devout Christian, thinks he's on some divine mission from God to rid the world of evil, now that's scary.
I have seen the general public slowly being manipulated into war. Propaganda is very powerful and I would like to congratulate the press on their so far unbiased reports showing the two sides of the arguments. Put propaganda aside, ask why we have to get involved with every major conflict in the world so early on? Let the Americans start this one and if things get bad and we start to feel the effects in a few years then perhaps we could join in when it suits us.
The general public has been slowly manipulated into war
It sounds unreasonable to me to expect a country to give up all its weapons while it is being threatened by other countries which are fully armed. Would Tony Blair agree to disarm if President Bush demanded it? The whole thing smacks of hypocrisy - something this government seems to be very good at.
The reasons for war keep changing.Once it was regime change,then weapons romoval now the evil regime.That cribed report made me believe nothing we are told
Keith Shelley, Wolverhampton.UK
As an Iraqi ex-patriot I abhor the immoral ploicy of Mr. Blair. The UK with the help of USA has insisted on maintaining sanctions on the Iraqi people for the last 12 years. This directly makes these two states war criminals. The sanctions have not affected Saddam but directly made the life of Iraqis miserable and in many cases extinct. The fall out of this war will be catastrophic to Christians and Muslims throughout the world. The relations between Britain and Iraq has always been good and historic but Blair is damaging this.
Hazim, Reading, UK
As almost asked by Charles Kennedy - what is the chain of command for UK troops and how will that ensure that US troops face at least as much risk from gas, fire, prolonged battle as do UK and Australian troops. US friendly fire is still the greatest killer of 'coalition' troops.
Philip Mitchell, Kampala, Uganda
Our politicians have decided to sell our democracy to the United States. It is a very sad day.
Simon Berry, Portsmouth, UK
I cannot believe that everyone is so blind to the fact that this is not a war that is being proposed, but a military exercise, that will facilitate the internal removal of a violent and insane dictator. I'm quite sure that there is very little time left to Blair/Bush to aid the group of Iraqis that are earnestly awaiting some action, in order that they can overthrow Saddam.
Bush is someone I don't respect, but Blair at least has some brains, the only problem is that he's stuck between two sides. Blair has strong links with the US and Europe (well he used to have). I can understand why he is for war, and give him credit for giving the inspectors more time. What Blair needs to do is keep on good terms with Europe and it can become the next superpower, a good one, but it needs to remember one thing, it can't boss everyone about.
What Blair needs to do is keep on good terms with Europe
Mr Blair will not win the argument as there is not enough supporting evidence to back up his argument. When it comes to the moral stand, it becomes dangerous, since the moral judgement is very subjective while Blair has not had consistent moral interferences with other world issues. Blair has no monopoly on morality.
I do sometimes worry about the intensions of the anti-war protesters. I do not actually like the concept of war but I do know that without it the Iraqi people will still suffer under the rule of Saddam. The Americans do give the impression of being a bit 'Gun ho' but surely in the longer term disposing of this guy is a benefit to the people of Iraq? As long as the participating countries stay in the region after a conflict and help to re-build the infrastructure and aid the country to its feet again, I think war is a potentially good thing.
Two things come to mind when reading the comments regarding the Iraq problem. Firstly how ill informed the Americans are. Churchill only became PM after the outbreak of war. Secondly I wonder how many "happy" Iraqis will be dancing in the streets of Baghdad; following the results of the "collateral damage" the US historically poor aim will create.
Nigel Clarke, UK
Nobody appears to have highlighted an important reason for France's anti-war stance, with 5 million Muslims, France has the largest Muslim population in Europe. The French government is terrified of the repercussions, were they to support a coalition against Saddam Hussein. At least Tony Blair has the courage of his own convictions. It is a shame that he is unable to explain them clearly to his electorate.
At least Tony Blair has the courage of his own convictions.
Although I don't fully support either President Bush's or Prime Minister Blair's position on Iraq, in my opinion he is one of the few politicians who are showing true courage. Whether or not I agree with him, Mr. Blair, unlike President Bush, Chirac, or Chancellor Shroeder, is putting his career on the line for something in which he sincerely believes. It's easy to follow the polls; it's another thing altogether to act from conviction.
Richard Banner, Gladstone, Missouri, USA
Surely nobody can call this a moral war. The acts of this evil man have been assisted by us in the past. Were it not for the West, he would never have been able to gas the Kurds, or build up much of his military machine. Why, if as our governments keep telling us this will be an easy victory when he has all these weapons of mass destruction? Why have them and not use them to defend yourself?
What has George Bush promised Tony Blair to make him go against the two powers in Europe, and throw his lot in with the USA
Why does the British public not trust Blair and his judgement on Iraq? Could they possibly be influenced by the dismal record of his government on the domestic front? What a pity. I do hope he wins the Iraq argument because for once he shows courage, vision and determination and is the politician we'd want him to be all round.
For once he shows courage, vision and determination
Many people comment on warmongering by both Mr Blair and Mr Bush and would like to see them focusing on the economy. In my view, this is unfortunately short-sighted. If the focus shifts to the economy now, without resolving the threat of terrorism, be it Iraq or elsewhere, then all of us are in danger for a repeat of Sept. 11th.
Joey Stanford, USA
Tony Blair cannot win this argument because there isn't one. As for the people who talk about the Iraqi's dancing in the streets after the fall of Saddam Hussein, one should ask the question, why is it not happening in Afghanistan? What happened to this so called rebuilding of the country that was promised by Blair and Bush?
Tahir Rehman, England
Tony Blair has stuck to his convictions over the past 12 months and been strong over the issue of Iraq. While I do not agree with him, I do think that there are times when we must trust our government.
I am against war of any type, but I believe that the anti-war movement and the French Government in particular have probably made the prognosis worse. In fact, I would think that the actions of the anti-war lobby have made war far more likely.
When you speak to those against the war like myself, no one (including the French, who for some reason see there national interest served by Saddam Hussein staying in power) has put forward a viable alternative.
Therefore, although not agreeing with Blair, it seems clear that he has already won the argument.
Tony Blair is in the difficult position of having to make a stance but having to do so against the backdrop of Bush's desire to use this war as a way of diverting attention from some rather serious domestic failures (health reforms, to name but one). I will leave the similarity with the UK situation (transport, health, schools) for the reader. There is a case for war only "after" all other avenues have been exhausted. The pressure has worked and the weapons inspectors are in, but there is no reason not to give them the time to do their job first. The global anti-war movement is mainly triggered by the unseemly haste by which both countries want to go to war. By the way, isn't it ironic that the US is "giving the UN a last chance" as reported? This from a member that is years overdue with its fees - and is allegedly fighting for what? Ah, yes, democracy...
It's amazing how so many normally clear thinking individuals have turned around the argument from dealing with a despot who murdered, and gassed his own people into an excuse for oil? Saddam is a despot who has or will soon possess weapons that will kill more innocent families. Once this evil is unleashed, will you then cry, why didn't we eliminate this regime when we had a chance? Why should we repeat the mistakes we made in the 1930s? Certainly the world is host to other truly immoral characters who rule their countries with an iron fist. If the world can unite against the foul rulers who murder and rape their neighbours as well as their own people, only then can our children live in a better world.
People say that the only reason that America wants to invade Iraq is that they are after its oil. Well the only reason France, Germany and China are against war is that their own oil deals with Iraq will be compromised. In my view, they could not care what happens to the people of Iraq. Hans Blix and his inspection team will continue to sit on the fence and offer both sides little bits of hope because the longer they can continue the inspections, the longer they will remain in highly paid jobs. Therefore with all sides trying to protect their own interests it is about time that the world woke up to the fact that every minute war is delayed is a victory for terrorists throughout the world. Remember the stronger terrorists are allowed to become the more likely it is that they will strike anywhere, not just killing tens or hundreds of people, but thousands if not tens of thousands of people. A stand must be made now without delay.
The modern media causes us to assume that we can know everything all of the time about government issues. This clearly isn't the case when it comes to war, and this, along with the reporting restrictions in Iraq, lends me to believe that there are times when we have no choice but to trust the government. Blair's failure to persuade the public on Iraq says more about the public's instinctive response to this spin-ridden government than the actual issue at hand.
Mr Blair cannot win the argument over war because Mr Blair has changed the reasons for going to war so many times. It's been WMD, regime change, terrorism and now morality. Every one knows Iraq is weak and Saddam's regime is crippled under misrule and sanctions. Who knows why Bush and Blair think this war is justified because most people do not see any sense in creating chaos out of already crazy situation.
Z Ali, UK
Tony Blair has stuck to his convictions over the past 12 months. For all the doubts that I have about him, and I have many, at least he can be lauded for his consistency and preparedness to buck public opinion on this issue.
Despite his convictions, throughout much of that period, he has not used arguments which hold much water with the British people.
Most of us agree that Saddam Hussein is an evil man without whom the world would not suffer unduly. But we have no clear beliefs that he is in league with Osama bin Laden, - in fact, I would hazard a guess that the two of them can't stand each other.
At least he can be lauded for his consistency and preparedness to buck public opinion on this issue
The big problem is: there is no way that Saddam will use those weapons against us, because if he does, the US will bomb him to bits.
He may represent a threat to Israel. And here is another credibility issue: the argument that Iraq has ignored UN resolutions for 11 years can equally be applied to the state of Israel.
Nobody can stop Blair going into Iraq, because Parliament is spineless and without the ability to censure his grossly disreputable neutering of the visible embodiment of British Democracy.
Unless Parliamentarians apply the same sort of domestic political sanctions to Blair that he and Bush are applying to Saddam, then we might as well privatise the House of Commons, for all the good that it is going to do us all.
Rhys Jaggar, UK
If the US goes in without a second resolution, then surely every country in the world that has a differing opinion to Bush, might as well expect an invasion. Yes Saddam needs to be removed, but destroying an entire country to remove a man is overkill.
Destroying an entire country to remove a man is overkill
How can Blair win the argument when he has no argument? How can he win when he contradicts himself? When his position changes every day and when his reasoning is so fundamentally flawed. Power does strange things to people. History has taught us that, and today is tomorrow's history.
The gung ho attitude of the American and British governments is frightening indeed. Have they even considered the multitude of repercussions their actions would bring? Do they even have a well-conceived and viable plan to ensure that long term peace can be maintained in Iraq after the invasion? Can they be sure that the whole of Middle East would not be destabilized and plunged into political and economic turmoil by their actions?
How can Mr Blair convince the world to agree on accepting a war on Iraq as long as he is providing politics of double standards? Israel, the main ally of the USA has ignored all UN resolutions and Mr Blair can't find enough energy to force Israel to comply with those resolutions. Isn't he full of hypocrisy?
Bilal Q., Poland
Blair's moral argument fails because of his claim that the world has waited for twelve years for Saddam to mend his ways. What about the three previous years after Halabja? Statesmen who are suddenly converted to see the moral downside of events long after they happen are manipulative hypocrites!
History will judge us all, and Mr Bush and Mr Blair are on the side of right. I hope the gutless and peace-through-appeasement crowd will have the decency to thank the two of them for giving them the opportunity to live to protest another day.
Tony Blair cannot win the argument for war on Iraq but he can win the war itself, together with Bush. Incidentally, I am sure that in l939 Churchill would not win the argument on war with Germany either.
What a sham to invade another country on the pretext that one leader is not doing what both Bush and Blair want is just ludicrous! Blair will be guilty of mutilating and defiling many innocent people for OIL. Ask him if his children were there would he let the bombs drop. He will never wash his hands clean of this, the actions of a failed statesman.
John, New Zealand
When the time comes, we will all be thankful of Tony's hard line stance. The problem these days is that nobody is prepared to stand up and fight, and that if you either leave it, or appease it, then it will go away on its own accord. I don't think much of the governments record to date - in fact it stinks - but Mr Blair does get my support on the war issue.
The problem these days is that nobody is prepared to stand up and fight
The argument about why and when we should go to war has already been won. The PM has done a fantastic job on foreign affairs so far, he's been proved right on Kosovo, Afghanistan... etc, so why do we think he is wrong now? If the Prime Minister was to back out of war now, Saddam's hand will be strengthened and so will his arsenal. To do nothing as the French will have it is not an option.
The British Prime Minister has disastrously undermined his own Government's position by sanctioning the publication of fabricated intelligence reports. I am sure I speak for many when I express the view that little that our Prime Minister says will be taken at face value by a substantial section of the British public.
Ed Randall, England
Blair can only win his claim on moral motivation by material evidence. Unfortunately, he seems incapable of providing anything other than a US scheme to split oil fields in the "post-Saddam" era.
Blair is definitely hanging his neck out but I believe it is worth it. If the war goes well, which it probably will, and it ends swiftly, then I am sure his popularity ratings will rise enormously. He may even end up more powerful than ever before.
Roopesh Joshi, Nepal
I'm not sure which is more worrying - that his support for the war is a cynical ploy or that Tony Blair genuinely believes he is on, as George Bush so foolishly puts it, some kind of crusade.
He has lost the plot if he thinks peace will follow such a blatant attempt to impose a western philosophy on the Middle East.
He will certainly lose the Scottish Parliament for Labour come May and richly deserves the lesson in humility such a defeat will hand him.
As an ex-serviemen myself, with a son now in the armed forces, I am extremely reluctant to comit to war against a country that does not pose a direct threat to the UK itself.
However, my conscience tells me that we will live to regret it if Saddam's regime is not destroyed if not directly, as a result of others of his ilk being encouraged by the weakness of democracies in defending themselves.
John C, UK
Even though Blair is the elected Prime Minister, he shouldn't be doing what the majority of UK citizens oppose. Are we still living in a democracy? Blair has got too big for his boots and is acting on what he perceives to be in the world's best interests.
In response to Lucy. ..."he is actually displaying a tough 'moral' stance and is displaying a 'principled' stand in the face of adverse public opinion.." How dare he not listen to the opinion of the public that has elected him to represent their interests home and abroad!
Tony cannot win the argument on Iraq. Unfortunately, his position is enabling him to dismiss the views of the overwhelming majority who disagree with him. The morality of this is as doubtful as the case for war itself.
Mike Austin, Bristol, UK
Charles Kennedy says that people will be offended at Blair's suggestion that his (and my) view on the war in Iraq is more moral than theirs. But I am offended at the "peace marchers" claim that their view on the war is more moral than mine!
I never voted for Tony Blair but Im with him all the way on this issue.The attitude of the French and Germans disgusts me - witholding their support simply to advantage themselves in the hope the USA will buy them off. For once in his life Blair is taking a principled stand against a ruthless, murdering dictator who carries out genocide in his own country and threatens the security of the west.
Michael Keegan, UK
I find it inconceivable that Blair (and many in his government)is pre-occupied with war when every aspect of domestic policy is crumbling, with no sign of improvement
During the 1990's a pressure group wrote to Bill Clinton urging him to make toppling Saddam US policy. This letter was signed by all of the Hawks currently runnning the US Government who, by some strange coincidence have interests in the oil and defence industry.
Why aren't the British and US planning war against Zimbabwe? Why aren't they doing their best to find Osama Binladen? Why is it that 10 years after the first Iraq war that they feel the need to go after Saddam again? It seems to me that the US's are trying to save domestic and international face in their inability to bring in OSL "dead or alive". They failed to bring Al-Queda down and now they are throwing their weight around in other areas so as to not look weak to the rest of the world...oh and of course let's not forget OIL!!!
Lyn Hudson, Hong Kong
You only have to watch the US news networks to see how the Bush admin is engineering this war. The American public are being brainwashed on mass by a very clever PR campaign.
John Davies, UK
Tony Blair has already lost the argument morally and economically. But his arrogant refusal to admit that fact, is consistent with his stance following all of the bungled crises of his Premiership: not once has he ever admitted he is wrong or at fault.
On that basis, how does he expect to win any argument, least of all an argument as important as the one about Iraq.
All these people that are attacking Mr Blair for being unprincipled are those that would attack him anyway, no matter what he did. The truth is, he is actually displaying a tough 'moral' stance and is displaying a 'principled' stand in the face of adverse public opinion, so how therefore, can he be accused of spin and going for popular opinion? What a pity there are not that many other principled leaders in Europe, but no doubt the French and Germans will be in the front line AFTER the event trying to bask in the reflected glory of those Iraqi's that will be dancing in the streets with their new found liberation.
UK PM doesn't taking people in to confidence about his approach towards Iraq as we see massive rallies in UK and other parts of Europe demonstrates the anti-war feeling, and this very reasonable within their own terms, so Mr Blair have to take these consideration,for his political future as within his own part they are ample amount of opposition.
I fully support Tony Blair in his stance on Iraq. Saddam Hussein is a tyrant and needs to be removed. Nothing is humane about leaving Saddam in power.
Matt Forde, UK
Why do the UK always have to get involved in everyone elses issues when we have age old problems of our own. Our TAXES are going to pay for this war. Don't we have some better use for the money like schools, hospitals, fire services. The man in the street always pays no matter what. I don't want to pay for Blair's glory trip, do you?
War never brings any good to human beings. 1st and 2nd world war is a live example to us. So war is not right thing to do.
To John, Australia: How can you possibly say that war never did any good for human beings. Would you say that to all of those saved from execution at the hands of the fascist nazi regime. No, I don't think so. I admire Tony Blair a great deal for his courage. It is truly courageous to stand up for what you know to be right, even while your patriotic countrymen want to sweep the problem of Sadaam under the rug. Blair and Bush will win this argument when the war is over and it is proven to the world what Sadaam had and the terrible things he could have done.
With a second resolution support should rise, but what will it achieve? However desirable it is to curtail Saddam, the future broader muslem/christian situation and potential conflict should never be overlooked.
Anne Fisher, UK
Tony Blair should understand that he is only the peoples' elected representative.
He cannot moralise on behalf of the nation. Where is the
voice of Parliament
in this debate?
What has happened to
balanced reporting in
the news media ?
It would appear that since the tragic events of the 11th september we have lost faith in our democracy.
Last weeks worldwide
anti war demonstrations should
show Tony Blair that
the people are not
convinced by the moral or legal case.
Saddam should have been removed when he gases the Kurds in the north. That was very inhuman and unacceptable. Why did the world wait for so long after that?
Justin Rwema, Rwanda
Attacking Iraq makes us no better than the terrorists who threaten us from elsewhere in the world. There has been enough war! Your average westerner doesn't want to feel any more guilt than they have already endured.
Every country has the right to defend itself, but why go starting trouble.
I do not believe that Iraq would dare to start another war with any of it's neighbours.
Personally I am not that much in favour either of war, I'd welcome a peaceful solution but I believe it is beyond that. I really object to having the cause hijacked by the malcontents and the media to attack the government, these mass protests are "organised" as were the fuel tax protests and the countryside protests, they are really quite good at it.
Yes Tony can Win the Argument , Saddam does have WMD , we all know it, its just some appeasers would not go to war if a gun was stuck at their head , more people protested over the second world war that's why we looked like idiots after the farce at Berlin with a little piece of paper " peace in our time " .
David Lovelace, UK
The problem here is that there has been so much spin and outright lies. I think the English people will support our troops if they go to war but this really has nothing to do with Tony Blair's influence. I personally support war with Iraq.
Martin Jones, England
No, I don´t believe Tony Blair can win the argument. The British people are not as daft, as some politicians would like to believe. I used to be a supporter of Mr. Blair, but now he simply makes me ill.
Has everyone gone mad? Why do we need to justify war against a tyrant? We *must* go to war and defeat Saddam ... the alternative is too horrific to contemplate.
The question neither Tony Blair nor George W. Bush have answered is: Why rush to war? We successfully contained Saddam for 12 years: no invasions of neighbours, no use of chemical weapons, no arming of terrorists with WMD. Send in more inspectors and give them plenty of time. Build on a policy of containment that has worked, rather than start a Mideast war with
David Van Wie
Isn't it ironic how after 12 years of sanctions, Tony Blair has suddenly had a moral awakening and decided that he wants to "rescue" the iraqi people.What a joke!
I have always voted Labour and used to be an active member of the Labour party. However, I cannot support Tony Blair in his slavish attachment to George Bush who is fronting one of the most unpleasant governments ever to seize control of the USA. I would like to see the back of Saddam Hussein, Kim Jong Il, Ariel Sharon, George Bush, Robert Mugabe, Tony Blair, Silvio Berlusconi and many other political leaders. But I don't support going to war to achieve this.
I cannot support Tony Blair
Brendan Quinn, England
I ripped up my Labour Party membership card before the 1997 general election and, whilst delighted that the Tories were well beaten I can see why my judgement on Blair and his acolytes was well founded.
A war? What a wonderful opportunity for Blair to divert public attention from the abject mess his sorry excuse for a government has made of the UK since coming to power.
Phil Watson, England
I know I am part of the minority in believing this will be a just war but minority often arises out of difficult situations requiring difficult decisions. Mr Blair is in that place right now. Only history books can draw accurate lines between what is right and what was wrong and one day I may well have to hold up my hands and say I was wrong. Until then, Tony Blair must make whatever decisions he believes right, and what we think is something of an irrelevance.
Tony Blair must make whatever decisions he believes right, and what we think is something of an irrelevance
Steve Pearson, Manchester, UK
Steve Pearson, Manchester, UK
At least Blair has the courage of his own convictions, it's just a shame he doesn't reflect those of his electorate. The PM now sadly grasps at any straw to persuade of his case to invade Iraq. However his past performance of lies, confabulation and spin has led to his downfall. Perhaps he should now stand for the US senate.
Ken Patterson, Bristol, UK
The Bush and Blair argument for war is - decide to have a war, and then try to find evidence to justify it. First try finding links with al-Qaeda (none found so far) so try finding weapons of mass destruction, (negative) so then try to justify your war on moral grounds - i.e. Saddam Hussein is a very bad man. Is it any wonder Mr Blair is losing the argument?
Surely this just adds to the evidence that the government is being influenced by political pressures from the USA to go to war with little legal justification. The people of this country are not stupid and obviously realise this! Mr Blair should practise the democracy he preaches and not be swayed by Mr Bush's strange obsession with hypocritically murdering whoever he pleases.
Shaun Murdoch, United Kingdom
Blair and Saddam share at least one common attribute: both of them they do not listen to their people!
Tasos Kostrivas, Cambridge, UK
It's the little boy who cried wolf! So much spin and so little substance in the past has left Blair with little credibility or trust among UK voters. I doubt if he can win the argument now. People just don't trust his motives for war and rightly so.
So much spin and so little substance in the past has left Blair with little credibility or trust among UK voters
Philip Cleveland, UK
Blair's constantly shifting position means that he cannot possibly win the argument. For months he has maintained a position that Saddam could end the risk of invasion by complying with 1441. Now he has explicitly said that it would be immoral to leave Saddam in power: In other words he will support a US invasion no matter what the outcome of the inspections is.
Charles Moore, Scotland
How on earth can Tony Blair win any arguments now? On the 7th February it was revealed that the "Blair Dossier" was a lie, dictators tend to do this. He now keeps finding some other reasons to justify his stance and we do not believe him. Why should we?
Great Britain Scotland
Good God, has Saddam Hussein not killed enough people already? Is 500,000 dead, in his own nation, murdered by his hand, not enough to convince the world that he intends to use the evil weapons of mass destruction he has collected? Tony Blair, please help President Bush save the world from the evil Saddam Hussein, free the Iraqi people, and free the world from the tyrannical terrorist network.
Freda Saul, USA
The people who have spent the past six years accusing Tony Blair of being an unprincipled follower of opinion polls and focus groups are the same people who are now attacking him for leading an unpopular cause. When the war on Iraq goes ahead and is completed swiftly and successfully, I hope that the morally deluded Stop the War crowd will have the dignity to stick with their position instead of back-tracking with all the usual excuses like "I only opposed the tactics" and "I just don't like cluster bombs" that they came out with after Kosovo and Afghanistan.
The people accusing Tony Blair of being an unprincipled follower of opinion polls are the same people who are now attacking him for leading an unpopular cause.
Our country is going down the drain. Our public services are extremely poor. Let's put the money needed for a war into our own country. There is no need to raise council tax, national insurance and student fees if we can waste money bombing innocents.
Adam Knight, London, UK
Even when they tell the truth many people simply denounce it as spin just because it's from a politician. But perversely they'll believe anything printed in the tabloids no matter how flimsy or patently untrue. That's why Blair won't win the argument. Not because he isn't right but because too many people are too easily lead and want to believe whatever lets them keep their naivety and their sense of conscience.
Graham Haywood, Sheffield, UK
This fiasco is going to cost Blair the leadership and a good thing too. Blair thinks he can walk on water, I'm sure he thinks he has a mandate from God himself. He should go before he is pushed.
Rick Remlane, UK
Iraq comes down to a basic question, do we want to put our trust in Europe or the US. USA don't need us but they want us, Europe don't want us but they need us.
This is a crunch time; I believe that in the long run the UK's best interest lies in supporting the USA, and so does Tony Blair.
In the long run the UK's best interest lies in supporting the USA
Mike, Middlesbrough, England
Mike, Middlesbrough, England
Nice to see messages from the US supporting Blair, perhaps you could find him a job working for Bush (Should not be difficult!), so that we can reclaim the Labour Party from this charlatan.
John C, UK
How far will he go in his bellicose stance? I am experiencing cold anger at the fact that he completely ignored the public's veto to war.
At least Blair has the courage of his own convictions, and has the best interest of his country at heart, even if it is at the cost of his own popularity. I would much rather have Blair running our country, than the likes of Chirac or Schroeder, who play to their own domestic audiences, at the expense of the worlds best interests. Carry on Tony, I believe that you are doing a good job, even though I am a Tory voter.
Tony Blair no longer speaks for the people who voted him into power.
France and Germany have realised the destruction that imperialism causes, they have matured as societies. The US is the spoiled brat of the world, and the UK should know better than to follow it blindly.
Tony knows the war is wrong, he can still back down... better to look a fool than a tyrant.
Tony Blair no longer speaks for the people who voted him into power.
Graeme Stewart, Scotland
Tony Blair would do well to remember that the UK is both geographically and legally part of Europe. He should be speaking of our EU colleagues as allies as fervently as he does of the US. The latest popularity ratings reflect the fact that many people in the UK do not believe that the opinions of the UK voting public or our European partners have any relevance if they are at odds with the pronouncements of George W Bush. I find it hard to comprehend that Tony Blair can speak of a moral case for war while ignoring the plight of the Palestinians.
He's already won the argument, because the other side is simply wrong, and that's all there is to it. You want to vote him out? Then by all means, do so at the next election. Until then, it's his way, and fortunately he's right. I should warn you, however, that his campaign ads in 2006 or whenever the next election is, will have plenty of cheering Iraqis supporting him, and it will be pretty hard for the Tories or the Trots to run against that.
Tony Blair, like Winston Churchill before him, will win this argument after not before the war. Once the Iraqis dance in the liberated streets of Baghdad and inspectors find more and more dangerous weapons of mass destruction than anyone now dares think can anyone truly believe that the British public will NOT back Blair?
Inna Tysoe, USA
Make or break time for Blair now. As he is someone who is obsessed with his popularity it will be interesting to see who he is willing to offend first, Bush or the British public. This sudden announcement that war may be a long way off proves that he has listened to the protests over here but is he capable of making a decision without consulting an opinion poll?
Is he capable of making a decision without consulting an opinion poll?
Why does he need to win the argument? It's not like he's going to call a referendum on the matter. Let's get back to UK issues and save some time and energy, what happens in Iraq isn't the decision of just one nation.
I think this poll is unfair as I think Blair is doing a great job. Nobody, including Blair, wants a war. I wish people would stop bickering on, accusing him and Bush of being war-wishers in it purely for the oil when it's Saddam who should be the guy we need to get rid of!!
Right Prime Minister, Right Time, Right Decision - wrong electorate ... sometimes the majority get it wrong - and in this case they most certainly have - I do wonder what the UK public are thinking right now?!
I do wonder what the UK public are thinking right now?
Jeff Duncan, UK
To win the argument Mr Blair is going to have to explain just what it is that causes all British Prime Ministers to blindly obey all U.S. presidents. What goes on behind those closed doors? What is the "Special Relationship"? What pressure is Mr Bush putting on you Tony? Just what did he say to you that makes you risk losing everything you fought for during eighteen years of Tory rule? It must be pretty scary. I am as worried about this as any threat from Iraq.
Saddam is weakening - there is much more free talk in Iraq, and dissident groups are becoming bolder. The trouble is that they are getting little encouragement from the UK or the US who are too intent on war. The Iraqi regime could collapse just as did the communist regime in Russia with a little more help from the West.
John Ward, UK
England is fortunate to have Tony Blair as their leader. Would anyone honestly prefer any of the other party leaders at this crucial point in time? As an American, I am grateful for his support and the ability to communicate facts in a clear and concise manner.
England is fortunate to have Tony Blair as their leader.
Why do these people think Blair is going to get ousted? Will it really take Saddams horrid action on the US or the UK for the peace rally supporters to think, oh dear, we were so wrong. That is what will happen if no action is taken.
Tony Walker, Port Talbot, West Glamorgan
Keep sending the message you're sending, we're doing the right thing.
Paul McCabe, Johnson City, TN
Does Mr. Blair not think that there is a possibility of some third course of action other than war or continuing sanctions?
Does Mr. Blair not think that there is a possibility of some third course of action
Dave Hamilton, Hove, Sussex
This rhetoric of war by president Bush makes me wonder who is a real threat to world peace - is that president Bush or Saddam Hussein?
P K Purkayastha, England
What exactly will the UK response plan if the government were fatally incapacitated by a terror attack - who would take over, and how is this planned for?
Ask the man on the street about the war and the answer is -OIL-!!
Keirsebelik Norbert, Belgium
I have friends serving at the moment. The morale within our troops is quite poor, is this war really necessary?
Jessica Tarr, Exeter, England
The EU rift is a healthy thing, and apart from anything else it demonstrates that the majority of Europeans are against war because they are under no illusions why the US government wants in to Iraq.
Dan M, UK
I think France's blackmail of the smaller EU hopefuls is disgraceful.
Does Mr Blair think he will remain prime minister for long if he defies public opinion and attacks Iraq without a second UN resolution?
Does Mr Blair think he will remain prime minister for long?
Stuart, Glasgow, UK
Having read the EU declaration, what is very clear is that no one in Europe wants a war in Iraq.
In respect on of the apparently imminent terrorist attack, the IRA spread fear and panic but we did not yield. Again we shall use the same steely resolve to carry on our British way of life, terrorism is not a new thing!
Paul McGhee, Nottingham, England
How can we justify an attack on Iraq while we have still not begun to apply proper resources to the issue of immigration and our harbouring of increasing numbers of extremists? The advent of another war can surely only exacerbate an already unsustainable situation. Better to use the £5 billion projected cost to get our own house in order.
I support a war on Iraq purely because Saddam is laughing at the authority of the UN, however I have serious problems with the USA's hypocritical Foreign policy towards Israel
To leave Saddam in power is morally wrong. He has used biological weapons on his own people, he lives in luxury whilst millions starve. Is that fair and right?
Owen, Oakham, UK
Enough of French grandstanding please, there is a serious problem here. If we stick our heads in the sand we will get bitten on the rear.
Let's rid Britain of Tony Blair before disarming Iraq.
Zeshan Ashiq, London
Why can't the politicians just tell the truth, rather than trying to justify the war with spin?
Julian DaJy, Exeter,UK