Tony Blair has told the BBC there have been "tough and difficult" moments during the war on Iraq but claimed allied forces have made significant progress.
President George W Bush has said that "the grip of terror around the throat of the Iraqi people is being loosened".
Speaking at a joint news conference with the prime minister on Thursday, Mr Bush said both countries were committed to freeing the people of Iraq, "however long it takes".
Mr Blair said the US and UK would seek a series of United Nations resolutions to secure the rapid delivery of humanitarian aid and the creation of an appropriate post-war administration in Iraq.
This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.
Through the UN Iraq continued to disarm until US decided to wage war on the greatly weakened country. US also took advantage of the information the UN gathered on Iraq's legal weapons and defences. The UN has a duty to do everything in its power to stop this illegitimate, unprovoked, and illegal attack. Merely expressing regret is not enough.
God liberate America from this ignorant/dump president and save the world and its economy. Not to name the sufferings of innocent Iraqi civilians and US soldiers though I don't sympathize much with Saddam's thugs.
Muali Vish, Washington D.C, USA
Obviously, UK will attempt to gauge if it can challenge the materialistic superpower from taking yet another opportune diversion from its declared objectives.
Doesn't it cause world wide vomiting to see the way Bush so bravely said "as long as it takes"? Sure he'll go one murdering the innocent Iraqi population with his cowardly attack - its takes real courage to fire a missile 400kms away.
Desmond Bradley, Germany
I feel people had unrealistic expectations regarding the length of the war. As far as who should have post-war rule in Iraq, I think it should be established by the UK and US since they have sacrificed the most resources for this conflict. The UN Security Council had their chance to be a part of the conflict, but chose not to get involved with disarming Saddam Hussein. The countries that put the most soldiers in harms way, should be in charge of the post-war rule of Iraq. In the end, the Iraqi people should be able to establish their own government once they are in a position to do so.
Bryce Prunty, USA
I hope they are there to discuss how to persuade the UN and the EU to help clear up their mess. I for one hope that France Veto any resolution on the re-building of Iraq, not that I am against the Iraqi people but since Bush and Blair seem to think they have justification to bomb the living daylights out of one country without any support well how the hell can they expect any support in re-building. I hope both countries are left to pay for the damage they have done to Iraq out of their own pockets. Might teach them a lesson about messing in other peoples affairs. Also, for the record can we stop calling the invading armies the coalition, there is just the USA and British bullies doing this, hardly much of a coalition.
I hope they are there to discuss how to persuade the UN and the EU to help clear up their mess
Aileen Walshe, Ireland
Bush and Blair should be ashamed of themselves. Launching so devastating a war on such flimsy reasons. I'm not surprised by the kind of resistance the Iraqis are putting up, as I have never believed that the Iraqi people - who are Muslim Arabs, and as such share the deep resentment of America that is common in Islamic World - would ever welcome America and its allies as liberators. I hope the battle for Baghdad does not turn into a Battle Of Stalingrad, because that might deal a serious blow to American stature in the region at a time when American influence is needed to end the remaining conflicts in the there.
The Iraqi army is resisting and it is now clear that there are no rejoicing civilians meeting the coalition. A key element of selling this war has been lost, from here on there is a serious potential to get bogged down in a terrorist relationship very similar to the Israeli Palestinian situation. The war has gone from liberation to occupation. Of course reconstruction contracts and governance of the Iraqi people is on the agenda but the focus will be finding ways to avoid tying down the coalition troops after the war. Both Bush and Blair will not want their troops to face a terrorist environment.
I have never seen such madness between these two individuals. It is hard to find logic in what these two are thinking and doing. Why can't Al Gore change his mind and run for the coming election. Among the Democrat candidate I don't see anyone who can provide the leadership for the world which is badly needed at this time. Dear Americans, the Whitehouse is the greatest office in the world, so be carefully and wise, as to whom you put in the Whitehouse. I can't understand this madness that is going on between Bush and Blair.
M. Muta, Chicago, U.S.A.
I hope the UK's citizens are proud of Mr. Blair. He is so well-spoken. Perhaps after the war in Iraq, he will have some influence on Bush, who of course has no diplomatic skills! Although I am no fan of GW Bush, I admire both Tony Blair and Colin Powell and their skills. I try to separate the message from the messenger regarding Bush. Anyone that thought this war would be easy was just silly.
I admire both Tony Blair and Colin Powell
Mr. Blair's description on their war on Iraq as "tough and difficult" only shows that Iraqi resistance is intensifying, a clear message to the coalition force that its military campaign is viewed by the Iraqi public as an aggressive invasion.
Sarreal D. Soquiño, Philippines
Tony Blair is one of the best products of Britain. Congratulations Tony keep up the good work. In the past three months the man has faced immense pressure from nearly all over the world and in his own country from the fireman's strike. This man should be Prime Minister of Britain for at least another decade.
It is a pity that Blair has surrendered his country's great past like a foot mat at the mercy of Bush. There was no provocation and no need for a war that has killed and injured thousands. This is Brutality.
If this war has gone ahead without the authorisation of the United Nations then firstly the UN should be disbanded as it has no authority, and secondly, what is the purpose of international law?
It's my conviction that the USA and Britain (coalition forces) have made the biggest mistake of the century to have taken the UN law into their own hands! Only God knows how, when and where the current ugly Gulf War will end.
They obviously had some talks on how to save their political face. Maybe even add some extra propaganda to pretend everything is going according to "plan". The reality is that you should never have an invading war like this. This is 2003! Humanity should learn to solve its problems in a more peaceful way.
They obviously had some talks on how to save their political face
Dirk Vandenheuvel, Belgium
Dirk Vandenheuvel, Belgium
Blair and Bush seem surprised that Iraqis are willing to defend their homeland instead of embracing their 'liberators'. This is not so much the 'American dream' as the 'American delusion', believing their way is better than everyone else's, and everyone else wants to share it.
Nicholas Britton, UK
I thought that this war was started to rid Iraq of its alleged WMD. Why in the past week has there been considerably less talk of finding these weapons and the focus now shifted to that of ridding the world of Saddam Hussein? Resolution 1441 and the other failed resolutions were meant to disarm Iraq not to invade it, bomb it and remove its leader. Why can't the B&B tag team not just come out with the truth once and for all?
The US is trying to de-legitimise the United Nations and divide the European Union. Washington regards both as potential adversaries. President Bush must surely be gloating. He has played Tony Blair like a Stradivarius. The British will soon come to understand why Mexico and Canada, America's immediate neighbours, are such staunch supporters of the United Nations.
Bush has played Tony Blair like a Stradivarius
Bush is now seeking the UN's help to clean up the mess he is creating in Iraq.
I continue to hope that this war will bring about much needed regime change. Yes Tony and George must go.
"Where are the celebrating Iraqis?" ask the bleeding heart liberals. Being mowed down by gunfire from their own troops is the answer. Is it all for oil - yes. And it will prevent the oil revenue being spent on military hardware now being used to mow their own people down.
John Alex, UK
Yesterday I was proud to have Tony Blair as PM. I may not agree with him on the war with Iraq, but he came across as someone who is a true statesman. He was intellectual, articulate and poised. Unlike George Bush, who could not seem to string two words together. You could see on Tony Blair's face that he understood the gravity of this war. Mr Bush was smirking and smiling. I commend Tony Blair for once again trying to bring in the UN, it is clear for everyone to see that the US is trying to replace the UN. We protested against the war, now it is time to protest to save the UN against US invasion.
I commend Tony Blair for once again trying to bring in the UN
It is upsetting to see Blair entangle himself with Bush. The war has already got off to such a shaky start they both must know that the clock is ticking for their political careers. Still, the PM was given a very clear indication that his country was against backing this colonialist invasion of Iraq. I'd wager even he knows what's coming down the line. Maybe he can help Bush write his resume when the hammer drops?
E Byrne, US
I am not a "war monger". However, why cannot the average person realise that if we had a UN prepared to demonstrate that it will use its "big stick", we might have a safer world!
Glyn Powell, UK
The cries of the Iraqi exiles have long been heard. Erroneously, the Bush and Blair administrations have not been keen listeners of the source of those cries. They have confused the cries as resonating from Baghdad. For this reason, we believed our military presence in Iraq would be embraced with grace by the Iraqi people. A quick clean politically correct war would result. As we suffer a higher level of unanticipated casualties, many questions regarding the wisdom of this war linger. Politically, yes, the noose may be tightening around Saddam. But at what cost? We support the troops but we do not want to see them come home in body bags. They are people's children; they are people's husbands; and they are people's wives.
Mwaura Mwembu, USA
Whatever is outcome of this war, one thing is clear the world order has changed. Now any country can be Iraq and any capital can be Baghdad. Any country that has resources should share it with USA else it will be "liberated". In the 19th century the British called it "a foreign territory", in 21st century it will be called "Operation Freedom" - it can be your country. I am sad, it has started of new type of colonial era.
One thing is clear the world order has changed
After learning about the horrors that even now Saddam's regime still inflicts on its people, I am even more convinced that this difficult job must be done for the sake of all humanity. His Fedayeen are argument enough. Thousands of Saddams are in the training. This regime must die before it can export its horrors to the world. I wish swift victory for the coalition and a lasting freedom and peace for the Iraqi people. Thank you UK for standing tall.
A Swedish aid company asked me to give some money to give food for children in Afghanistan. I asked how much? They said 30 Swedish crowns (about 3 USD) is enough for one children for 1 month! Blair and Bush are spending billions of dollars on this war, which could save all the children in Afghanistan and in many African countries for dozens of years. Or just the homeless people in their own country. But that does not seem a "just" cause for them, while this war does.
What I can see in this war is more terror around the world, more loss of life, more money is use to destroy rather than construct. End of the day there will be no winner everyone is looser.
I'm also waiting for an explanation for this attack on Iraq. Can America and Britain just bomb anyone they consider "bad" in the name of liberating the people (or is it liberating the essential resources?). And Mr. Powell's comment that the television station was giving a negative impression. War is negative. And it's certainly a much needed realist from the sensationalist western media, who are focusing on how righteous this disgraceful war is.
I support Bush and Blair over this war. For once, despots and dictators around the world will know that, unlike the inept UN, there are others who will take them head-on. Until Saddam has been deposed, there will not be any celebration on the streets of Iraq. The Iraqis are still too scared of Saddam. Remember that in 1991, the US-led coalition encouraged them to revolt, then without explanation, spared Saddam. That is why they must finish him off this time.
Once again it pains me to realize that it is far worse than the government not representing the voice of the people - the government utterly disregards the voice of the people. What is a democracy when it will not even consider dissent? Jefferson noted that dissent was essential to democracy.
Robert K., USA (currently in Paris)
More of the same spin from Mr. Blair. There is as much chance of passing a UN resolution that in any way legitimises the US-English invasion of Iraq as finding the fabled Weapons of Mass Destruction or Nessie having twin cubs. The idea that the Yanks and English can bomb Iraq to rubble, then take over the oil wells, then invite the rest of the world to pay to rehouse the peasantry, is a non-starter. Like Afghanistan, Iraq will be a long time, if ever, returning to the pre-1990's standard of living.
Harry Taggart, Scotland
History show us that leaders that are unable to lead are easier to be controlled by big economical or other interests.
It is really disastrous that such a powerful country has such a transparent president. In my view, the election of Bush Jr marked the beginning of the end for the US global domination.
Kostis Mamassis, Greece
I don't understand American citizens. How can they support Mr. Bush? Do they really believe that USA and England attacked to Iraq to bring democracy? How can you bring democracy to a country by continuously bombing and bombing and bombing children and women? By the way where are the Iraqis welcoming coalition soldiers with flowers?
Cetin Tas, Turkey
Can anybody tell me what right has the USA and UK, two countries so far away from Iraq, have to decide on what happens in Iraq after this invasion which was positively opposed by the majority of the countries in the UN Security Council. There is never a need to try to interpret any UN resolution, or law, on this matter, as it was clear that the world, through the UN, opposed the invasion. The message was, in any court of law, clear and direct.
A.P.Fernando, Hong Kong
So they've done it again: accomplished the easy task of starting a war and discovered that ending it may not prove that easy. The reluctance to learn from history (Vietnam, Afghanistan, Somalia¿) is all too obvious!
I continue to wait for a reasonable explanation for Tony Blair's support of Bush's invasion of Iraq.
I think there will be lots of disagreement between two leaders particularly over the post war government. US will dominate the UK which will not be liked by Mr Blair.
Masud, Noakhali, Bangladesh
Grab that oil and make good use of it. Get rid of Saddam. Free those people. Iraqi malnourished children will benefit most. Anti-war protesters will have their welfare benefits on time, as always.
More diplomacy should have been exercised by both Bush and Blair before going into war. President Bush's domestic agenda has crippled the US economy. Now he has destroyed Iraq. How can this inexperienced politician say the people of Iraq are better off now than before we started bombing them. I pray that the war ends now.
A. Richards, USA
We have such a poor excuse for a president. Capitalising on the 9/11 fears he has exacerbated all the bad things about America. This man will crumble when his hollowness is exposed. How can Tony Blair, a man of intelligence, wit and probably even compassion, sign on with this character?
The people of UK know this war is wrong - keep up the pressure on Tony
Jeff, Milk and Honey aka USA
The last minute attempt to involve UN is to try to legalise their colonial conquest if possible.
Edi Shi, US
Mr. Blair is eloquent, though I disagree with him. I don't always believe him, but maybe that's because I feel he has sold his soul to the devil. As for Mr. Bush, I am utterly embarrassed every time he tries to speak. I have heard more reasoned and thoughtful responses from elementary school children.
Gordon Huestis, USA
It is assumed by the media that a longer war, as suggested by Mr Bush, is a bad thing. Surely by having more troops and over a longer period, we can be more careful to avoid civilian casualties, as-well-as having time to get aid to the poor; clear mines; look for WMD and destroy arms caches.
Surely by having more troops over a longer period, we can avoid more civilian casualties
Charles Jurcich, UK
The language of G.W. Bush as well as Tony Blair is repulsive, and so is their policy. It reminds me of the arrogance of the Soviet politburo in 1968 and of the Soviet generals in Afghanistan
Navratil, Czech republic
Blair and Bush both know that their political futures are in the balance. A long and bloody war coupled with the, only recently divulged, cost of the war in dollars is an economic impact that has political implications untouched by Blair or Bush
Bush is the cause of the death of these good soldiers. Hussein is a threat to no one but his own helpless people. It is not up to US, Britain or any ONE government to say they have the right to invade another sovereign nation and start killing its people - no matter how criminal Hussein is to his own people
Philip Gregory, USA
Perhaps they were discussing where next to go on their "world tour" of liberation?
Only future generations of the human race will understand how JUST this war has been. God Bless the US the UK, and all the coalition forces in this MULTINATIONAL alliance.
Paul Christina, New York, USA
I support Bush and Blair's view and I think the war plan is still on course.
Gabriel Wong, Hong Kong
Once more Bush and Blair try to assert that they are trying to liberate the Iraqis? I thought this war was about disarmament. Then, they tell us that a US temporary military regime will be set up in Iraq. This appears to be colonialism rather than liberation. Who is fooling who?
This appears to be colonialism rather than liberation
Mr Blair has met Mr Bush in order to beg some contracts for the British Firm.
The question is what government should be installed in the US, not in Iraq, once this political and human disaster is over.
Stefaan Verdonckt, Belgium
This war is not against a nation, people or race. It is a war of Good vs Evil where Good will eventually prevail..."however long it takes". Quoting one of our ancient Emperors 'Ashoka the great'-"If you want peace, be prepared for war". President Bush and Prime Minister Blair have to be highly commended for wisely continuing with their war plans.
It seems like Bush is the one who needs a body double who can speak not Saddam.
Okan Ozel, New York, USA
In his first press conference Gen. Tommy Franks said the people of Iraq are not rallying for US as they fear Saddam. I believe people of US are rally for the war as President Bush has put the fear of Terror in there minds
There are two wars taking place. One is the propaganda war which Bush and Blair have lost hands down. The other they will probably win, but not in the immediate future.
Ed Corbett, UK
Why do people not understand the importance of UN control in a post Saddam Iraq? Are we there to liberate or to conquer? If the former is true then control must be passed on to the UN.
Are we there to liberate or to conquer?
Matthew Preston, England
When Tony Blair speaks, he is so eloquent and precise, that I find hard to believe he is allied to the US in this unnecessary war. When George W. Bush speaks, I get the feeling he is more ignorant than most people think, and I find hard to believe that he is the President of the only remaining "super-power".
G. Mae Justice, Cape Town, South Africa
Thank god that the world has the Americans and British. At last we have the will and determination to rid the world of the murderous Iraqi 'thugocracy.' Can anyone seriously believe that the 21st Century will be anything but anarchy with terror states like Iraq existing amongst us?
All the talk of the UN on here is a farce. The UN council is an abhorrent joke. While I don't condone war, I certainly support the UK and the US troops doing the work that needed to be done years ago.
Michael Young, USA.
So it's official - Britain is just an outpost of USA Inc. I hope that our friends in France and Germany will launch Operation Freedom for Britain to rid us of American tyranny!
Our leaders talk of a war of liberation. Where are the celebrating Iraqis? Have we stuck our nose where it is not wanted? I hope that Bush and Blair move carefully to earn the trust of the Iraqi people and all those that question their motives.
Michael Saffel, USA
US and Britain should set good examples or else its pure opportunistic abuse of power. An even handed approach to all problems in this global village is needed. Rwanda and Palestine are not on Mars.
An even handed approach to all problems in this global village is needed
God bless you, Tony Blair. At this very moment, the UK is handling Basra. We could not perform this operation without the UK's help.
Marc Atkinson, USA
What a shameful display of PR. The confidence they have in their slick recital of clichés "liberation", "regime change", "Operation Iraqi Freedom", littered with references to God and justice, just goes to show how gullible and undiscerning the public are if they are buy into this marketing dross en masse.
The ridiculous comments about Bush and Blair dividing up the spoils of war make me sick. Outsiders would rather leave the Iraqis to suffer under Saddam than have the US/UK forces help them. Who else has the ability to remove Saddam? The Iraqis cannot do it themselves or they would have already. Bush and Blair have no designs on Iraqi oil and have made that clear yet some would rather criticize them than actually listen to what they are saying.
This is only a waste of time and it is just to convince the world that they are on the correct path. Why do not they concentrate on the other dictators like Musharraf who is more dangerous than Saddam Hussein and also Saudi Arabia which produces more terrorists in the world along with Pakistan?
I think both leaders should be commended for this courage and effort. I just wish that more countries would have the courage to do what's right versus what's politically correct.
I think both leaders should be commended for this courage and effort
No matter what Blair says it is clear now that the Bush administration has dragged Britain into an unwanted war and whatever happens we have egg on our face in the eyes of the rest of the world. The lesson we have learnt is that the great British public are not bunch of peasants and their views should be the pillar of Britain's policies and not the conviction of the individuals.
I think that a lot of people out there are very quick to judge Bush and bad mouth him! Bush is doing all he can to make peace in such a barbaric regime and people have the nerve to put him down for every little thing that goes wrong. You people talk as if you would be able to do a better job, I'd like to see that
Tony Blair is such an eloquent, honest and lucid speaker and his conviction to freedom and the long term protection of the world really comes through. He is someone who I really trust and appreciate. I also appreciate all he UK servicemen. The most dangerous WMD in Iraq is clearly Iraqi regime and Saddam Hussein himself.
Pres. Bush's performances in this news conference and after the Azores summit really have been disturbing. This is not a competent commander-in-chief. He seems emotionally "on the edge," and woefully uninformed and inarticulate. Mr Blair looked very strong in comparison, but of course it's all relative.
Bush seems emotionally "on the edge," and woefully uninformed and inarticulate
I think Blair should run for US president. Maybe Bush could be his water boy or something.
Jeff Finlay, US
The Blair-Bush summit reinforced the correctness of the military action. The anti-war protesters are wrong: short-sighted in their rationale, ineffective in their support of the Iraqi people, and hypocritical in their use of their rights in a democracy. Blocking a New York street, for example, does nothing to change a ruthless regime. It takes away the freedom of others to pursue their daily lives.
William Gooch, Canada
If there is proof that the UK soldiers were executed, why hasn't this proof been presented to the public? My distrust of the Bush regime leads me to think that just maybe they have sold this idea to gullible Blair and so keep him backing the US as opposed to promoting the UN or Europe.
The thought of allowing the UN have a role in post war Iraq makes me sick! Not only does the UN have a record of failure in post war countries, they have offered no assistance in the liberation of the Iraqi people. This war is being fought at the expense of both the US and UK. Let them decide the extent to which the UN plays a part in post war Iraq.
The news conference was amusing in its promotion of the daily propaganda being fed daily to the U.S. population. Even more amusing was the "walk out" at the U.N. by the U.S. Ambassador, Negroponte, from the Iraqi Ambassador's "insults." Though our British allies may not know who Negroponte is, many Americans remember him as a notorious Reagan Iran/Contra Scandal. With his history, it is surprising that anything said by anyone might "insult" him, but then he is in similar company in the Bush Administration with others who were actually convicted of crimes during that period.
With Negroponte's history, it is surprising that anything said by anyone might "insult" him
The thing which annoys me today is that Mr. Blair and Mr. Bush are talking about liberating Iraq !!? What ? All this campaign is for that or for weapons of mass destruction or for Oil !? If it is for liberation, I think there are a lot of people around the world who needs liberation! So let us go and liberate them after this
I think Blair will put substantial pressure on Bush to give the UN a lead role in the aftermath of the war in Iraq. Blair knows he's taken serious risks in going to war without UN backing and he recognizes the need to maintain the UN's integrity. Although I believe going to war without UN backing was a very serious mistake, at least Blair recognizes the importance of international opinion.
Erik Petersen, Basel, Switzerland
How magnanimous of Bush to ask for UN resolutions when its convenient. Just another example of changing things to suit his own agenda.
Jason (Brit), CT. US
I have to say that while I voted for Bush and will vote for him again in the next election if he handles this correctly, clearly the more impressive of the two leaders is Tony Blair. England be proud of your PM and be assured most people in America are damn proud to have him on our side. Hopefully he'll blunt President Bush's relatively abrasive UN stance, and we can go on with peace once this conflict is over.
J.P. Skelton, USA
I am not in favour of this war, although I support the coalition troops and keep them, as well as, the Iraqi people in my prayers. That being said, I think Tony Blair is a very strong leader, and I only wish he was the one leading this war, instead of Bush. I cringed to hear Bush speak this morning. He can't seem to put a sentence together and he seems to like to come across as John Wayne. Would Bush step aside and let Blair at least do all of the talking, if not the decision making!
Would Bush step aside and let Blair do all of the talking, if not the decision making!
Rebecca Putna, USA
They will publish the "road map" soon! Shall I ask them a couple of questions please: how soon is "their" soon? When Israel confiscates more of Palestinian's land to extend settlements and build that wall? When it kills the rest of Palestinians? And, what humanitarian aids they wish to deliver to Iraqi people? Mr. Bush you've just confiscated the Iraqi's assets in the American banks, would you use this money to fund your immoral military action against them?
It is obvious Bush & Blair were discussing how best to split the oil wells between them!!!
Mr. Bush would like the U.N. to help pay for humanitarian aid, and perhaps offer a sort of post-aggression sanctioning of his war, but that's the extent of it. Anyone who truly believes that this man would cede control of an oil rich nation to anyone but his own corporate cronies is deluding themselves.
According to the newspapers here in the US the Administration already has plans and has picked a military leader to be in control of Iraq. I think it is a good PR demonstration. Surely, no one believes that the US would involve anyone else in the decision making process.
Jay Anderson, Texas, USA
I support our coalition troops, but...Tony Blair carried the show with his frankness and eloquence. I wish we had him over here. Mr. G W. Bush is lost for words and cerebral content.
Mr. G W. Bush is lost for words and cerebral content
This is a defining moment for Britain and America. If Blair can persuade Bush that the UN should manage the reconstruction and the creation of the new independent democratic Iraqi state, there's hope for the region.
If he cannot, the US will never be able to convince anyone that they meant to treat the Iraqi's fairly all along. Whatever the outcome of the fighting, the coalition will have lost.
James, USA (British ex-pat)
To Ukko from Finland - a ceasefire was declared in 1991 and Saddam Hussein proceeded to defy all the rules of that ceasefire, plus all 17 resolutions during the following 12 years. The only ceasefire can be when he and his regime have been removed.
Margaret E. Smith, USA
At least they're under the same roof. It should make capturing them and taking them to court easier, eh Kofi?
Maybe Bush is finally telling Blair what is really going on. After all, Blair wasn't even informed that the war had begun. So much for being equal partners....
Poor Mr. Bush. He couldn't name a single country from the list of 48 members of the 'Coalition of the Willing'. He started to try to name some, but quickly retreated into more vagaries and generalities. Mr. Blair was too embarrassed to come to his aid. Presumably, Blair didn't want to reduce the news conference to laughter by having to name Afghanistan, The Marshall Islands, Pallau, etc. If it weren't so tragically sad, it would be funny.
Richard Smith, USA
If Tony Blair's political career is over in the UK, he can move to the US and be the running mate of George Bush in the next election. I would vote for both in a heartbeat. They demonstrate the type of leadership the world desperately needs in a time when a regime such as Saddam's is allowed to exist.
They demonstrate the type of leadership the world desperately needs in a time when a regime such as Saddam's is allowed to exist
At their press conference George Bush and Tony Blair said that their prayers were for those American and British families who had lost loved ones. Amen to that. But they pointedly failed to mention that their prayers were also for those who have lost their loved ones in Iraq - such as the families of those killed in the recent missile strike in Baghdad. Why is this?
What should, and probably is on the US agenda, is how to keep the French appeasers out of a post-conflict Iraq. The French, and to a limited point the UN, should be restricted to whatever the US/UK deems is appropriate for them in a post-conflict Iraq. Obviously, the main reason for this is that the French/UN move too slowly when it comes to diplomatic endeavours.
Brian O'Hare, New York, USA
I think Bush and Blair should be writing an apology and crafting an immediate withdrawal from Iraq. Let's face it we haven't beaten them in five or six days, we haven't found WMD in five or six days. In fact we haven't done in five or six days what the UN hasn't been able to do in over 12 years. I don't know what they were thinking.
They should be writing an apology and crafting an immediate withdrawal from Iraq
This summit is a complete waste of time and is purely an opportunity for a publicity shot. They are merely paying lip service. Mr Blair come home, the health service is creaking at the seams, the transport infrastructure is falling apart and the level of street violence is increasing.
Dr Preetinder Cheemaland,
What they should and probably will be discussing are: How to bring an end to Saddam's tyranny as soon as possible with as few dead as possible, how to provide security in the aftermath so that aid supplies can de delivered effectively, what form of government will deliver the best for Iraqi's diverse ethnic groups and, finally, they will probably talk about how this crisis has fundamentally changed the world order.
The UK has had a calming affect on the United States. Prime Minister Blair has a lot of influence in Washington and I am sure he will use his powers of persuasion to ensure that the US will return to the UN when this war is won. What role the "others" will play in rebuilding Iraq is and will remain debatable.
Blair has a lot of influence in Washington and I am sure he will use his powers of persuasion to ensure that the US will return to the UN
I hope they are discussing how best to establish a government system that will be run by the Iraqi people. My hope is that it will be similar to how things were done in Afghanistan after the Taliban were dispelled. Although I support the war now, I would not support an all-American run government in Iraq with an American general in charge. That would be a disaster. I would like to see the UN get some role - it does have some uses.
What do we expect from the leaders who justify war in 21st century against a very weak or non matching opponent? Probably their agenda must be focussing on the next frontier. I don't expect kind democracy or something constructive from them because these two leaders have dictated the terms of their own people for going to war.
As the US and Britain are the only countries to have the guts to take on and topple Saddam, they should govern Iraq for an interim period until a new democratic government can be put into place. The French should no longer have any say in international affairs following their disgraceful behaviour over Iraq.
If these leaders were realistic, they would seek to have a cease-fire soon so as to negotiate a way out of this crisis. This should be done soon, as soon as possible, since too much is at stake - the least of which is the political future of these two men. However, I do not believe for a moment that any of this is going to be on the agenda.
If these leaders were realistic, they would seek to have a cease-fire soon
After the fighting is over, there will be a time during which it will be necessary to find, try and punish war criminals and those previously in authority who have treated Iraqi civilians with brutality.
Until this is done, or nearly done, and the last vestiges of the Hussein regime have been removed, it would be folly to confide the government of Iraq to the UN, which appears not to have the collective will to do anything constructive about the Iraq problem.
It would be far better to find Iraqi nationals able to assume positions of responsibility within a transitional partnership government, to avoid the stigma of "conquerors rule".
John Lloyd, Brazil
They are probably discussing how best to 'spin' the difference between Iraqis legitimately fighting to protect their country from invasion and those fighting because they are loyal to Saddam. In order to justify the (now unavoidable) endgame of surrounding cities and bombing them into submission, they will no doubt be quick to conclude that all Iraqi resistance falls into the latter category.
It matters not what Blair says to Bush as Bush has his own agenda. Everyone keeps stating that Blair has had a big influence on Bush, but it is clearly the other way around as Blair kept changing his views to the suit a US led invasion. The US is now clearly empire building so that greedy Corporate America can not only makes billions through oil, but also through rebuilding Iraq. No wonder they are bombing the hell out of it, the more damage they cause the more money they make.
Everyone keeps stating that Blair has had a big influence on Bush, but it is clearly the other way around
David, Glasgow, Scotland
I would like to think that Blair has the guts to stick to his guns and not back down over including the UN in rebuilding Iraq. If Bush refuses this option I think that Blair should simply pull all the UK forces out of Iraq straight away with no further discussion with US authorities. Let the US sort the mess out themselves.
Alistair Johnson, England
I'm extremely concerned that we've gone to war without properly planning what's going to happen if and when we win? Surely if liberating Iraq was the real motivation behind this war Blair and Bush would've come up with a clear strategy for rebuilding the country before going to war. They don't seem to have done this at all.
Robert Clarke, UK
It is important that the UN is given full power in Iraq after the war. If any one country is left in control they would obviously run the country to serve their best interests, which is only human nature. Once stability has been restored it would only be proper for the Iraqi people to elect their own government. It should be enough for us in the coalition countries to know that we have freed the people of Iraq.
Let's hope they discuss helping the Iraqis to set up their own democratic government in their own country. The worst thing that could happen is that Iraq becomes another US puppet state in the Middle East. Give Iraq back to the Iraqis with no US led administration, with no US corporations managing any of Iraq's resources. Hey sorry, I was dreaming of a better world. We all know that US will be firmly planted in Iraq once the war is over, the reason they went to war was to have a stronghold in the Middle East.
Let's hope they discuss helping the Iraqis to set up their own democratic government
I hope Bush persuades Blair not to follow a UN led approach to a political settlement and limits their role to humanitarian relief only. The UN has a poor record in my view and the diplomatic games played out in its name substitute words for action. My faith is the UN has now gone - I hope Tony takes a more realistic view after he fell victim to the UN/ French ambush on the second resolution.
Michael Keegan, UK
I'm sure they are going to be discussing post-war Iraq. They will discuss how to set up an interim government. Another key issue to be discussed is the oil fields. Bush has already said that the Iraqis will control their own oil. Now, they have to figure out exactly how to do that.
Why do people think that things are going wrong, just because Tony Blair has Gone to see president Bush? Maybe they're just discussing the progress of the war? Not anything more sinister. At last this country has a modern day politician who has courage and honour.
Ross Jack, UK
It would be nice to think they will be discussing helping Iraq to implement free elections. However, seeing as they have already announced that an American general is to be the "administrator" and that an American company has won the contract for running the only major port in the country, it looks like the Iraqis will have just swapped one imposed regime for another.
It would be nice to think they will be discussing helping Iraq to implement free elections
If Blair can manage to convince Bush about the role of the UN, and more importantly about handing the country immediately back to the Iraqis. If these two countries have gone into Iraq as liberators, they should leave as soon as the country is rid of the present regime and leave the rebuilding of Iraq to its people. If it's all about sealing oil to rebuild the country surely the Iraqis can do it themselves and also, more importantly decide, how and by whom they wish to be governed.
Now we'll see if Mr Bush is a man of his word, Mr Blair has acted with good intentions so far and is key to gaining UN support post war. Mr Blair will need to use all of his diplomatic persuasion skills to patch up some of the wounds this war has created. There are no perfect men in the world, only perfect intentions.
They should be congratulating each other for being such great leaders, for having the courage to stand up to terrorism and not acting like those useless, corrupt and coward Europeans, mainly France and Russia. Thank God we have people like them in this world to protect us from evil people like Saddam.
George K, UK
I hope, but doubt, Tony Blair will finally say "enough is enough" to Bush. The western democracies have stood by as the USA have built up the wealthiest and most powerful empire the world has ever seen, at the expense of the poor people of the world. Surely after all the support he's received from our government since September 11 it's time for Blair to stand up to Bush and insist on a democratically elected Iraqi government organised by the UN, and not the installation of another American puppet-state.
it's time for Blair to stand up to Bush and insist on a democratically elected Iraqi government organised by the UN
Graham Bates, England
The US and UK should forget the UN when it comes to a post-Saddam Iraq. We're the ones who've got our hands dirty to sort out the country, so we should have the say-so when it comes to rebuilding. I sincerely hope that France won't even get its foot in the door, after its spineless and self-serving approach so far.
Now is Blair's chance to shine and prove doubters like me wrong. He has got to persuade Bush we must give the Iraqi people the chance to choose their own destiny. If that means the Shia majority wanting to get together with Iran, then however distasteful that may be to the US and UK, that has to be permitted. Likewise, let the Kurds decide what they want to do. Years of botched foreign policy and diplomacy, notably by the US and the UK, have helped create the current mess in Iraq. We owe it to them to help them to a better future.
Guy Butler, United Kingdom
Mr Blair might tell Mr Bush "either the UN rules Iraq and not US (if we win the war) or I'm getting out of this mess while I can. Follow me this time as I followed you into this mess, or are you trying to dictate even to me?"
George T, Stockholm, Sweden
I hope that they answer the following: 1) Can they substantiate any sound reason for a pre-emptive invasion of a sovereign state? 2) Can they justify awarding contracts to multinationals for managing the natural resources of a sovereign state without that sovereign states' permission? 3) Can Blair and Bush define where responsibility for the thousand odd of Iraqi military casualties, UK and US casualties and Iraqi civilian casualties will lie? I believe these are important questions for which to date there has been no satisfactory answer.
Mr Blair remains caught between a rock and a hard place; maintain the historically close ties with the US upon which much of the UK's financial prosperity and security is linked, and at the same time being seen to be supportive of the UN (effectively our European ties.) Our forces are now committed regardless and therefore I feel he will continue to back Bush and the US to the end of this war, the end probably being US controlled administration in Baghdad and many more casualties of War along the way.
Mr Blair remains caught between a rock and a hard place
Matt Brown, Shropshire, UK
Matt Brown, Shropshire, UK
Before the invasion, the politicians went to great lengths to tell us just how straightforward an operation this was going to be, while their military advisers must have been telling them different. Bush and Blair are probably getting their stories straight about who is to blame for the casualties and difficulties encountered so far. Not them of course.
Bush and Blair started this whole drama, I hope they will both be man enough to live to see the end of it. Rebuilding Iraq, Who ravaged it? - Let them that destroyed it do it!
They should be discussing how Britain could sever links with Europe and how to develop closer economic ties with the USA. We are not culturally part of Europe, never have been. If you doubt this ask yourself this question, do I prefer American TV shows and films or French and German? Thank your lucky stars we are not in the Euro.
Garry H, England
This is a timely meeting. With the progress of the campaign going well, now is the time to confirm or adjust plans for post war Iraq and how to build bridges again with the UN. It was done before - after Bosnia and Kosovo, when other "coalitions" had to rectify UN Mistakes. Maybe the UN can be bought into the discussion now - but probably it is too early given the polarised opinions. Authoritative resolutions are beyond the political divide that exists in the Security Council for the near future.
Tony Bosten, Netherlands
I think there will be a fundamental disagreement about the role of the UN in post-Saddam Iraq. I hope Mr Blair will have the courage to say to Mr Bush that he will not support a post-war US administration. I am not a natural supporter of Mr Blair in this war - but if he can influence the US to follow the UN process he will have my support.
I think there will be a fundamental disagreement about the role of the UN in post-Saddam Iraq
Nick Fraser, Berlin, Germany
Supper at Camp David sounds rather nice; a good cognac by the fire, then off to play cowboys and Indians - for real!
Robert, West Midlands, UK
I think the mood will be very sombre. Chest beatings are over and they are in a political deep well and have to find a way out. They may propose some Israeli withdrawals from the occupied territories to prove a point.
Siva Brabaakaran, Australia
The main item will be Bush informing Blair that US military advisers now recognise that this will be a long war, and that he should start positioning the British people for a long and expensive campaign.
Chris Collins, Belgium
The Prime Minister and President should discuss minimising to the greatest degree possible the role of the UN in rebuilding Iraq.
Just look at the record anytime the UN have been given real responsibility over people's lives. Rwanda? Srebrenica?
Sadly the UN has become synonymous with fatal failure.
As leaders of powerful nations, first
bring back the relevance of the UN.
It is a shame that the US has to seek
a role for an international organization
(cf. Collin Powell's statement). Learn
to be part of the world, rather than
considering yourself above it.
to be part of the world, rather than
considering yourself above it
Blair would be talking to Bush regarding the share of the reconstruction contracts UK has to get. Since the attack on Iraq is "planned", I don't think they would be discussing on the war.
It has been talked about that Bush will want to keep the UN out of the rebuilding (via MSNBC). I am hoping that Bush will want to separate completely from the UN. With the UN's constant act of non-support and attitude on the Iraq issue, they should have nothing to do with this.
As it is, France has earned no rights to show its face in anything of the rebuilding or say in the Iraq issue.
Some call President Bush a cowboy, but I'd call him bull-headed. I don't think Mr. Blair can do much to influence the American agenda. Once our President has made up his mind, no amount of evidence or logic can sway him.
Michael Jered Kopp, United States
Mr Blair wants post-war rule in Iraq to be established by the UN rather than the USA? Shouldn't he have thought about that before he got the UK involved in the first place?
Lelystad, The Netherlands
Bush has declared that he is willing to act with or without the UN. Blair has pledged support.
We now know that "regime change" in Iraq is the objective of the war. I hope and pray that Blair points out one fact to Bush: if he goes ahead with "regime change" without UN approval, he will be literally setting himself up as the first dictator of the entire world. The prospect is utterly horrifying.
Edmund Burke, England
Hopefully, Blair will be unmoveable on the UN's involvement in setting up a post-war Iraqi government. This is the perfect opportunity for Bush to prove to the world that he is truly interested in creating a democratic Iraq. If he persists in his plans to set up a purely American government, it will be painfully obvious to the whole world that he is annexing Iraq for his oil buddies.
This is Blair's opportunity to become one of Britain's great Prime Ministers; to put his foot down and get this thing done right. The end may not justify the means, but if he can ensure a UN rebuilt Iraq, it will put Britain on a much more equal footing in Europe and the rest of the world.
Robin Holden, Los Angeles, USA (English ex-patriot)
Nothing will come out of it. Bush will probably have persuaded Blair that the UK will have a fair share of the "spoils of war". If Tony knew more about the US he would have taken any such assurances with a very large pinch of salt. The US has only one friend - itself. Ask any Canadian.
Nothing will come out of it
Kevin Sheerstone, Brit in Canada
Kevin Sheerstone, Brit in Canada
I hope they will discuss their respective resignations.
Malcolm Brookes, UK
As Blair and Bush took their decision to wage war on Iraq without the backing of the UN, one suspects that this meeting will be primarily about how the US and UK can rebuild Iraq together with the least aide from the UN as possible.
Graham McEwen, UK
Blair is clever and a deep thinker. Blair will tell Bush that the starting point to repairing the rift this Iraqi fiasco has created is to immediately start talking to the UN about its involvement in the affairs of Iraq. America has money and power, but it lacks credibility, and that is what is needed most at this time. It's only the UN that can provide this. I hope Bush will listen to Blair.
Stephen Manah, USA/Sierra Leone
The war is going well for the Allies, a diplomatic solution forged by the UN would have been possible because of France, the UN has clearly failed in its duty to resolve conflicts. I'm opposed to war, but this has to be done. I hope they get it over with quickly and minimise casualties. The price of peace sometimes costs lives, and diplomatic solutions sometimes cost lives. Find the best way and implement it.
This is essentially the end of all diplomatic relations worldwide. The Bush administration has opened the floodgates to a new era of unilateral action rather than diplomatic action. I believe that no country will give credibility to an administration that tries to regulate peace.
This is essentially the end of all diplomatic relations worldwide
Who are Bush and Blair to decide what happens in Iraq? If this war is all about democracy, then they should be talking to the people that Iraq belongs to, not imposing their will on a country and culture they do not understand. Shame on them.
James, Berlin, Germany
Tony Blair has arrived at Camp David to get instructions from his boss George Bush. On agenda: a possible deployment of additional British troops in most dangerous places and the eventual transition of the UK to the 51st state of the USA!
Do we really understand the needs of the Iraq people? Look at those that we have so far liberated in the South, even in the presence of US/UK troops, they are still chanting "Saddam" and not "Bush and Blair"!
Karangu Juhu, Kenya
We are in the year 2003 and Bush and Blair should have shown the world that you do not need to resort to violence to make your point - if they could have done this imagine the global re respect they would have received.
James Lander, Manchester
Mr Blair, your friend Mr Bush will never agree with your proposal of post-war rule in Iraq by the UN.
Mohammed Younus A. S., Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
What do you think will come out of the talks?...Nothing but spin.
Is their plan still on course?... This assumes they had a plan in the first place. There is still no sign of WMD and Saddam is still in control of Iraq - so an emphatic NO.
Besides the humanitarian situation in Iraq, the priority should be to the roadmap of peace in Israel and repairing relations with the UN. These two aspects are very important in ensuring a peaceful world and a coherent voice to deal with future problems and areas of instability
Besides the humanitarian situation in Iraq, the priority should be to the roadmap of peace in Israel and repairing relations with the UN
Imran, London, UK
I am hoping Bush explains to Blair the UN route was and will always be a failure.
Both of them will realise that this shameful and unjustified war against Iraq looks very, very different in reality than it looked a few weeks ago from the White House and Downing Street!
They should talk about how to improve this serious diplomatic miscalculation and save the lives of thousands of servicemen (if they did not think of lives of innocent civilians!).
I would say to them, first let us go on a trip to all of the other beautiful democracies that the US has established. How about a vacation to Panama, Bosnia, or maybe we can bring the family to Vietnam. When will they realize that America has left a trail of poverty and cultural perversion in all its attempt to "Liberate."
They should discuss whether this is America's own moral and political ground zero, whether the obscene spending on death will improve the standing of their countries in the world and why Iraq is the nemesis of the entire Bush family.
Phil, Hong Kong