The US military has admitted that stiff Iraqi resistance is slowing the progress of the invasion force as battles rage around strategic towns in the south.
The US army's senior ground commander in Iraq, General William Wallace, warned that long supply lines and Iraqi guerrilla-style tactics had reduced the chances for the swift war military planners had hoped for.
The first British supply ship carrying aid to Iraq is slowly moving into the southern port of Umm Qasr.
What are your views on the course of the war so far? Send us your comments.
This is a ninth page of your comments.
The following comments reflect the balance of views we have received:
As an ex-soldier I would like to explain to people how modern wars are fought; confusion and flexibility are all part of the plan, the side which can change quickest to the circumstances is almost always the victor. The war plans being executed by the military are fluid and changeable. A plan does not fail it simply adapts to changing circumstances on the ground. I have full confidence in the military commanders on the ground, who are in full control of the situation despite what the armchair war pundits of the media would like to make us think.
The war plans being executed by the military are fluid and changeable. A plan does not fail it simply adapts to changing circumstances
Mark English, Hexham, UK
The logic behind this war reminds me of a dialog between Henry Kissinger and a Brazilian diplomat. Kissinger argued that some countries understand only the argument of power, to which the diplomat replied: Particularly the powerful ones!
Andre Matta, Brazil
It is about time that the ceasefire be arranged and the situation is left to the UN to handle. Both powers have proved their points. It's better to stop now and talk than let things drag on out of control, which is in no-one's interest.
Israeli in Belgium
I read some comments here saying the coalition should get out of Iraq because innocent civilians are dying. Maybe they don't realize that it is the Iraqi soldiers who are attacking civilians. Moreover, before the war, Saddam's regime has killed civilians on a regular basis. Just listen to the horrific stories of Iraqi exiles.
The war has only been going for a week! The coalition forces have achieved a great deal with minimal loss of their own troops. For two days the weather made it almost impossible to fight. The British are sensibly waiting outside Basra without rushing into a trap. The US forces are destroying anything that Iraq throw's at them. The coalition will achieve their objective, it will just take a bit longer than planned
Mike, Middlesbrough, UK
I believe that Blair and Bush have got everything wrong in this war. They were saying that it would take only a few days before Baghdad would fall to the ally forces, but they said this last week. Are the Americans going to break their promise of a post-war Iraq like they did 12 years ago? What are Bush and Blair going to do about the POWs being shown on TV? When are the allies going to stop saying that the have got one part of Iraq and then say that they have not.
Paul, West Bromwich UK
Whilst the majority of comments are well-balanced and objective - I am appalled that some people are suggesting that the coalition forces should pull out and leave the Iraqi people to sort out Saddam. Whilst I agree that a political culture must evolve from within and not be imposed - it is churlish to suggest that this will happen in Iraq. Saddam (and his supporters) will stop at nothing to maintain their grip on power. The world has witnessed all to often what happens if such regimes are allowed to continue (Cambodia, Germany, Rwanda). Sanctions impoverished the Iraqi people whilst tightening Saddam's grip on power
I am appalled that some people are suggesting that the coalition forces should pull out and leave the Iraqi people to sort out Saddam
All I can say to the American people is "bring on the Democrats in November 2004". It is the only party that can heal America after the mess created by the Republicans. Another four years of Bush will not only be disaster for Blair but also for the whole world.
Alan Dunster's comments about democracy and how politicians influence our thinking were very insightful and true. however remember that it's not just the politicians who are trying to influence your thinking. This war may not be particularly honourable and/or just, but we must support our countrymen and our way of life, no matter what.
Mr Bush and his administration are doing a very good job to increase world terrorism for all of us. I condemn the US administration and its weapons of mass destruction. I just hope the US public see the light and vote him out.
Next time the UN asks a country to disarm it is possibly going to face the question "Why, to get bombarded by the US, without any defence?". The UN is making itself pathetically irrelevant by watching the massacre from the sidelines.
The UN is making itself pathetically irrelevant by watching the massacre from the sidelines
Subrata Biswas, Sunnyvale, USA
Subrata Biswas, Sunnyvale, USA
Isn't it about time the media stopped showing images of Iraqi prisoners of war? If reports are true that they are being forced to fight with the threat of execution over their families, then some families may well have been executed after seeing a fighter surrender. In that case the media have the blood of civilians on their hands.
John Airey, Peterborough, UK
Can we stop all this talk of Freedom from oppression? From what I've seen and read, the Iraqi people don't look too pleased to see the invaders at all.
Ben Nelson, South Wirral, UK
I can not believe that the Middle East would put up with such a thug as Saddam. The Muslim countries should be glad the USA and the Brits are taking it on their shoulders to rid his regime from further pillage of their country brethrens. And yet it seems that most want to criticize and protest something they should have taken care of themselves long ago.
Anon, Texas USA
It seems the world as a whole is saying the US is wrong in engaging the sadistic regime of Saddam Hussein. I along with 70% of my fellow Americans, absolutely support this action, and furthermore, support our troops. I praise President Bush and Prime Minister Blair for staying the course in the name of peace and security.
Chris, Des Moines, IA, USA
My heart goes out to the children that have died and those that are in shock over this war. I hope the people of the world care for the psychological wounds after the war is over.
Kambiz, Mesa, Arizona, USA
We are going to major cause uproar amongst the Arab nations once the war on Iraq is done and dusted. We did not catch Bin Laden as hoped in the war against Afghanistan, and the chances of us getting Saddam in a 'quick war' will be just as bad.
Kelly Norris, Dartford, Kent
As an ex-serviceman, I have been involved in my share of conflicts. I cannot begin to convey the sense of loss and pain felt when a fellow soldier loses his life in the course of his duty. Nowhere is that loss and pain more acutely felt than with the family of those servicemen.
When Mr Blair stood up yesterday and announced to the world that the two British soldiers that had just lost their lives had been 'executed', he condemned their families to a life of pain, forever having to live with the fact that their son, brother or father was cruelly executed. Did Mr Blair really have to use this tragic event to make Saddam Hussein and his regime that little bit more evil?
When politicians stop listening to the very people that they represent, and instead, start telling the people what they believe the people should be thinking, then we can no longer claim to live in a free democracy.
I cannot begin to convey the sense of loss and pain felt when a fellow soldier loses his life
Saddam Hussein had the opportunity of going into exile but turned it down. At the end of the day he has caused the death of so many Iraqis just to hang on to power which he will still lose. It is unfortunate. This reminds me of African leaders who enjoy oppressing their citizens and still want to rule for ever. God will save the world of dictators.
Robert Ajiamah, Abuja
There is also a media war going on, but thanks to al-Jazeera the world can see the vision of the Arabic world, however we like it or not. They have the same right as CNN and BBC to show the world what they want.
Too often Americans enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thinking. Nobody here is saying that Saddam is a good man and is not a threat to the world, but so
are Jiang Zemin and Kim Jong Il. They all oppress, kill and torture their people.
Both countries are well known to have a Nuclear Bombs which Saddam doesn't have, thus making them more of a danger to the world. But why are their countries aren't attacked
by the US yet?
Ib Balicanta, Philippines
If Saddam continues to use PoWs for propaganda purposes and threatens to use chemical or biological weapons of mass destruction, I would rather have the allied forces use nuclear weapon on Baghdad. This will no doubt shorten the war and save more lives. Saddam is driving his country to total destruction anyway and hoping to bring down the whole world with him. The sooner we get rid of Saddam the better.
I would rather have the allied forces use nuclear weapon on Baghdad
Wilson Chong, Hong Kong
Saddam has been in power for decades and has had total control of the media. People that have grown up in such conditions are unlikely to understand the American attack as an act of liberation. They will be even less likely to feel liberated when America will start exploiting their oil and establishing its own military regime in the region. Bush will be seen as a new dictator and not even a Muslim one.
If the only aim of this war is to get rid of Saddam, surely the CIA or the UK secret service could have done the job without involving so much human loss? Or is it that this war has come up because these agencies failed to do so? I would only advise the allied forces to remain outside the cities - the locals do not like them and the Iraqi army will instil too many casualties on them through their guerrilla tactics.
V. Joshi, India
Americans fear Saddam would attack them in future. The best defence that the Americans could put up against its current and future enemies is to try and win their hearts so that these people do not harbour evil intentions against them. Bombing is not such a formula. Remember that where there is a will there is always a way.
The best defence that the Americans could put up is to try and win their hearts
Mark Lisa, Maseru, Lesotho
I wonder what Iraq govt means when they say that peasant farmer shot down an Apache Helicopter. To me, I think they are telling the Coalition soldiers that every Iraqi is a soldier and therefore should be a military target of the coalition forces
Richard Omolo Midigo, Nairobi
Some people are suggesting that we should pull our troops out of Iraq. This would be utterly catastrophic for Iraq. Saddam would immediately gas, bomb, shoot or torture any citizens he thought spoke out against him. As there was a suspected uprising in Basra this would the first place on his hit list. I do not believe he would be selective either. Gassing the entire city would be much easier for Saddam as we have seen in the past.
The comments on this board continue to reflect a basic misconception on the part of the pro-war lobby (particularly in the USA). Please realise that the vast majority of anti-war campaigners agree that Saddam is evil and has mistreated his own people. In fact, many of them were campaigning against arms sales to Iraq 20 years ago, for that very reason. It's the means we're disagreeing with, not the ends.
It's the means we're disagreeing with, not the ends
Alan, Chelmsford, UK
History should have taught the US and the UK that the people under a brutal regime are no less patriotic than people under a democratic regime. This painful lesson was learned by the Germans during the invasion of the Soviet Union, Barbarossa. This is a lesson which the US should also have learned in Vietnam.
Arni Davidsson, Kopavogur, Iceland
Every Arab in the world, even those that oppose the Hussein government, should be so proud of the way this tenth rate army is performing against the mightiest army the world has ever seen. They are not quite up to Ho Chi Min's standard, but then his was a fifth rate army.
Philip Waldock, Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia
The allied forces were very ill prepared. They must recognise that Saddam fought an 8 year war and he is no fool. Drawing the allied forces into urban warfare will be Saddam's strength, as he has said. Current reinforcements will need to be strategically placed as they follow what maybe Saddam's lure - that deadly urban warfare!!!
Peter Mukalula, Kitwe, Zambia
The Iraqis, and all other countries in this region should be simply left alone - completely - to get on with their own lives their own way! It is obvious they do not appreciate anything from the outside world, especially from the West. This is not to say that they should be isolated from the World, but simply left to conduct their own affairs their own way. At the same time we, in the West, should be reducing the influence we seem to think we should exert on this region, and break away from the reliance of the resources (i.e. Oil) that seems to be the main cause all the political conflicts.
Anyone who is used to working in the oil industry would know that the gas masks and chemical protection suits found at the Rumaila oil field - would not be surprising. One of the primary hazards of oil production is the release of lethal H2S gas, and there are many other chemical hazards associated with oil production. The equipment may have a military purpose but it also may well be standard oilfield safety equipment. Certainly it is not the sought-after 'smoking gun'.
Anyone who is used to working in the oil industry would know that the gas masks and chemical protection suits found at the Rumaila oil field - would not be surprising
Grant Butler, Surat, India
Grant Butler, Surat, India
I have just read that the Americans have awarded the contract for the running of the port of Umm Qasr to a US company rather than the local officials, who are apparently, there on the ground. This helps my belief that this is about American imperialism and was an ill-thought out and wrong war.
The longer this continues the worse the civilian and military casualties are going to be. A real sign of a true leader would be to acknowledge that we have bitten off more than we can chew, admit that we are at fault, withdraw troops and attempt - through the UN - to rectify the injury and destruction that we have done to the innocent people of a country, as well as the international community.
Pulling out now wouldn't be a sign of weakness - it would be the only thing that stands any chance of us regaining any kind of moral high ground. The PMs cheap trick of saying "we won't let you down again" is more government spin - I'm not sure that killing innocent people is "not letting them down."
Simon, Oxford, UK
There is no such thing as a good war. This one, which never should have happened at all, is proving to be disastrous for both invading troops and Iraqi people alike. I don't know about the British troops, but the Americans were not adequately trained and psychologically prepared for the "stiff resistance" they have encountered. There also are not enough of them.
I lay the responsibility for this on Mr. Rumsfeld, who has continually understated the dangers to which both U.S - British forces and the Iraqi people would be exposed.
Our isolationist bully president must not be allowed to ignore the plans of the UN to restart the food-for-oil program
Now that we are engaged in this debacle I pray that our troops will be adequately reinforced, and that the Iraqi people, already made vulnerable through years of deprivation, will be well-supplied with food, water, and medicines.
Our isolationist bully president must not be allowed to ignore the plans of the UN to restart the food-for-oil program and prepare for the future governing of Iraq. I count on Prime Minister Blair to push Mr. Bush into compliance with these and other UN policies regarding the Middle East.
The US failed to carry out an in depth analysis of Iraq's socio- political culture and has run into a quagmire. This is not only counterproductive to US interests but will result into deaths and unimagined miseries to the Iraqi populace. As against the military leaders of 1991 war, this time Mr Rumsfeld appears to have hired too obsequious subordinates who appear to lack strategic genius. I personally feel that the US will have to change it's field commanders to attain it's stated objectives. I am commenting from purely military point of view not withstanding the inherent moral and political implications. The US , if wants to win, it has to make it fast, otherwise, it will be another Vietnam.
Gulzar Khan, Pakistan
I agree with most, if not all ,of the basic facts: that Saddam is a monstrous person with nothing to his credit but brutality, cruelty and more along those lines. However, I find it hard to go along the war route because evidently by the time Saddam personally feels the wrath of coalition forces, many innocent people would have been killed, maimed and incapacitated for the rest of their lives. Clearly the war is not flowing according to plan, thus no one can say for certain how many casualties could have occurred in the end. Even more important is the fact that whether the world in general and Iraq in particular would be a safer place. Honestly the ramifications of this war are beyond estimation at this time. That is why I strongly believe the war should not have taken place in the first place.
Sultan A Kamara, Sierra Leone/USA
People are ignoring the gulf between dream and reality. Yes, Saddam is a monster, and yes, Iraq and the world would be better without him. Yes, he has killed thousands of his own people. If there were a simple way to get rid of him, we should do it. But war is not simple. War is chaos. War is killing the people we want to save, either directly, or indirectly.
This war is not about Iraqi people or liberation, Saddam has been ruling Iraq for thirty years and he was supported by the West. We talk about UN resolutions about Iraq how about resolutions on Palestine and Kashmir. This is going to create more "terrorism". There will never be peace in the world without justice.
This is going to create more "terrorism"
Where are the refugees? Unlike Kosovo and Afghanistan there has been no mass exodus from Basra or Baghdad. This would suggest the Iraqi people are unable to leave freely. Surely, no matter how patriotic people are, we would expect to see some civilian movement (women and children at least) away from these besieged areas. This evidence would support reports that Iraqi civilians are being held in the cities as human shields by Saddam's regime.
Today, Iraq is being "liberated". Yesterday, it was Afghanistan. Tomorrow, it will be our turn. May God similarly "liberate" the US as well.
I am so sick and tired of people constantly degrading the government, citizens, and morality of the USA. These people deserve liberation from an absolute lunatic and tyrant. Americans do not want to see innocent men, women and children die. Saddam is a threat to every person who steps foot on this Earth.
Pittsburgh, PA USA
I agree that Saddam has to go. But causing the violent, excruciating death of innocent people that did not do anything to Britain nor the U.S. is satanic itself, just like Saddam. Two wrongs don't make a right. I can't figure out why it's happening.
Robert Jones, Philadelphia, USA
I can not understand those who are opposed to war with Iraq. Saddam Hussein is a monster. He is killing his civilians for daring to revolt against him, using women and children as "human shields", and firing Scud missiles (which is a clear breach of UN resolutions). The sooner he goes the better.
Setting the motives for war (which are complicated) aside for a moment. The US government should have presented a more convincing case for going to war. I feel like they just told the US citizens to "trust the government" with out giving any compelling evidence.
The US government should have presented a more convincing case for going to war
Elijah Thimsen, Minneapolis USA
Elijah Thimsen, Minneapolis USA
When we hear reports that the Iraqi officers are shooting their own conscripts if they don't engage coalition troops, isn't this enough justification to end a regime that is barbaric, rules by fear and has a blatant disregard for its own people? The sooner Saddam is ousted, the sooner the Iraqi people can taste TRUE freedom and can rebuild their identity, their culture and their lives.
I opposed going to war without United Nations support. But now that we are in it, now that Pandora's Box has been opened, I think
the troops need to be supported. The US has put neighbouring Arabic states in dire jeopardy should this conflict not be seen through to its conclusion. The actions of Iraq certainly doesn't help sway opinion their way.
Mickey Georges, Palo Alto, California, USA
Now there is no exit strategy for US. US may win the war, but will lose peace for ever, that means an endless quagmire. How can you build Iraq while you looking over shoulder? Bush you must provide an answer.
Morgan Abedulahi, Oakland, CA
I think this war is a bad idea. It's great that we have troops willing to die to make ours and other people's lives better but why have the war now? Bush has gone against the UN and he has to realize that the US is not going to be powerful forever and when we need help no one will want to help us. Bush just wants to be the one to get rid of Saddam because Saddam tried to kill his father in Desert Storm.
People criticize the US and UK for killing civilians despite the effort that has been made to avoid civilian casualties. Why do those same people not condemn Saddam for killing his own people?
John Reier, Bloomington, Indiana, USA
I wanted to say that I'm supporting the coalition and hope they take down the tyrant Saddam. How can you not support to give freedom to the Iraqi people after so many years of oppression?
I wanted to say that I'm supporting the coalition
Dominique Rogalski, Ängelholm, Sweden
I would like to extend my sincere appreciation for the fine job done by British forces in Iraq. I know British troops are involved in some of the toughest fighting over there, and has been their history, they are up to the task. Thanks from an old Yank.
Steve Rasmusson, Chehalis, WA USA
If you look at history, you will find that liberty has almost always come through a lot of sacrifice and bloodshed, something most Americans take for granted today. The sacrifices that the Iraqi civilians are making today (by getting occasionally bombed) will bring liberty to the future generations and they will have the Americans to thank for it.
Suresh Chandra, Delhi, India
I support the troops fighting a regime as evil as Saddam's. However, I am not too pleased with the way the US and British Administration carried out their plans. I wish they could get Muslim countries to support the removal of Saddam. I feel both US and Britain acted as bully's in class, strong arming every country that opposed them. Looks to me those long gone days of Empires are back.
It is a tragedy that this administration failed in their effort to attain peace in the Middle East. You get to question the "real and ultimate' motives behind the war. This is wrong and the future children of this country will pay in the end. May God help us all.
L. R., Alameda, CA. U.S.A.
This war will only increase the hatred already existing between east and west. The USA has been acting in anger and passion for revenge since the 11th September tragedy, which is somehow a natural response. But a really smart move would be trying to build bridges, like solving the Palestinian problem for example.
This war will only increase the hatred already existing between east and west
My heart goes out to the Iraqi children and their mothers as our "forces" bomb their neighbourhoods. How terrifying that must be. I wonder how many people will continue to support this war months from now when hundreds of our troops have been killed, and thousands of innocent civilians murdered.
Lansing, Michigan, USA
As an ex-South African it's good to see the USA and UK continuing to stand up for freedom. Shame on all other so-called democratic and cowardly nations.
Mario Di Maggio, Glasgow, UK
I think any fair-minded person in this chaotic world would be wondering why the USA has decided to go and rid the Iraqi people of Saddam? Is it the so called supreme principles of the civilised world? Come on leaders of the free world, stop this ridiculous joke. We do not agree with the way our own leaders handle our national issues, but we do not welcome greedy invaders either.
If the coalition forces do not find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, will George Bush and Tony Blair be prepared to stand trial for war crimes?
Peter J Gill, Chichester, West Sussex
I don't like war, but nor do I like human suffering under a tyrant ruler. If we are using our resources as a superpower to do good and help countries of the world, I would hope others will recognize this. No one wants war, but sometimes it's necessary. I do agree with the anti-war people in wanting peace, but letting Iraq suffer is not promoting peace. Are they anti-war or anti-Bush?
No one wants war, but sometimes it's necessary
Debbie D., Houston, TX USA
Debbie D., Houston, TX USA
Whilst Iraq would probably benefit from a democratic government, it's sickening to inflict this pain on innocent civilians.
Ian Bowen, Exeter, England
Freedom of speech is a wonderful thing. It's sometimes worth remembering just where that privilege comes from. War is a terrible thing but it has taken two World Wars to allow the likes of you and me to voice our opinions openly in a forum such as this. If the Iraq conflict offers that same freedom to it's people then I think it is worth fighting for.
Blair may take this war seriously, but Bush sounds silly (or stupid) on TV, especially when he's standing next to Blair. First it was Al-Qaeda, then it was suddenly weapons of mass destruction, now its liberation. The only thing Bush really wants from this war is oil. So why make up all these excuses?
Suzana, Southampton, UK
Anti-war protesters are the ultimate hypocrites. Where were they when Saddam was murdering Kurdish women and children? Where were they when Russian artillery was turning Grozny into rubble? Amazing how these people who are so demonstrative when the USA or UK are involved in any conflict are so noticeably absent in the face of any regime who would not display their duplicitous protests on the 6 o'clock news.
Perhaps the UK's leadership should stop worrying about terrorists and dictators and start worrying about the millions of UK citizens who will never trust them or vote for them again after this misadventure is over.
Gareth Nathanson-Parry, UK
I support the coalition troops. But I do not want them to die in the middle of nowhere for nothing. I do not support this war. It is insane. Anyone who believes in the "liberation" of Iraq is deeply misguided. Bush and Blair have given them a new reason to hate Western civilisation.
Anyone who believes in the "liberation" of Iraq is deeply misguided
Carl, San Diego, USA
The war in Iraq is nothing to do the "liberation" of Iraq. There are many contradictory purposes in this war; liberation of Iraqi people versus elimination of WMD, spreading democracy throughout the Middle East versus elimination of threat to global security. No one can sell this war with these absurd objectives. Something is crystal clear. This is a war for oil.
Can someone identify the names of the coalition partners and how many are there?
Rajiva Govil, Aberdeen
I would just like to say I'm proud of all the troops out in Iraq. I just hope that the Iraqi people get to experience and have as much freedom as we do in our country to voice our opinions!!
No matter what the US polls say, and they are designed by a media owned by corporations that are tied into the administration, we support our brave military personnel, but many do not support Bush's war.
Thank God for the British people who seem to be giving more than their share in this war. We in America pray incessantly for your soldiers as well as ours and for the families of them all. I am not sure how to reach the British People and soldiers, but just had to try. God be with you all.
Donna Prater, Jacinto City, Texas, USA
Sooner or later, this war will be over. However, the greatest casualty will be democratic principles which will assume a new meaning of rule by a "powerful" few to the detriment of the world order.
Louis Ndimele, Nigeria
A week into this war and 20 of our British troops have lost their lives. Worryingly only 2 have died at the hands of the Iraqis. The others seem to be casualties of the US troops. Doesn't anyone question the 'Hollywood' mentality of these people? Anyone who shouts 'Hammer time!' before they kill another person is not in a conflict for the good of others.
Anyone who shouts 'Hammer time!' before they kill another person is not in a conflict for the good of others
The real challenge will occur after Saddam and his regime have fallen. This will determine if the war was a just cause.
Amar Yousuff, Kiowa, Colorado, USA
The Iraqis are not welcoming their 'liberators' with open arms because, although they hate Saddam, they hate the US even more.
Alan, Rochdale, UK
At the press conference Bush claims the "coalition" is bigger than gulf war one?! Blair claims that 400,000 children died of malnutrition. Not a word about the sanctions. Bush and Blair look in a mirror, you are the war criminals.
Nour Khaledi, UK presently in Jordan
Have you noticed that only the Western people are saying that this war is a mistake? One of you people should go to a communist country and live there. Then please say if it's good to have a war or not. I believe the Iraqi people are thrilled the Americans have come to set them free. They just can't admit that until they see what happens with Saddam. Of course they are still afraid, after so many years of terror. Can you blame them?
The Iraqi people are thrilled the Americans have come to set them free
Ioana Dinca, Bucharest, Romania
Ioana Dinca, Bucharest, Romania
To Ioana Dinca: Yes, you are right, "the Iraqi people are thrilled the Americans have come to set them free." The Iraqi people are thrilled to death...
I never believed that getting to Baghdad would be a simple walk through and I'm sure the generals knew it. Secondly, a question to those that support the war as the means to remove Saddam: If you and your family lived in Baghdad would you support the war for your own liberation?
Artur, Johannesburg, South Africa
TIt's pathetic to watch how the Western press show defeatism when the coalition forces encounter even the smallest amount of hardship. Thank God, this whimpering cannot be heard by the troops in the field.
Carl Vendler, Billum, Denmark
I initially supported the war, but after a week: 1. No weapons of mass destruction have been found. 2. The people of Iraq have not turned against Saddam. 3. The Iraqi army is defending well. What is the justification of the war now? If the Iraqi people did not revolt initially against Saddam, why would they do it after a week of bombardment?
If the Iraqi people did not revolt initially against Saddam, why would they do it after a week of bombardment?
Dimitris Saravacos, UK
This is not a war with Iraq, but a new brutal invasion by the USA. Who is next on the list?
R Aguirre, Chile
Considering the unexpected level of resistance encountered by the US and UK troops, you have to wonder just how desired this "liberation" by the US is.
Sophie, Montreal, Canada
If war is a one or two man decision, where's the judgement if it's right or not? I am wondering what is more expensive, the costs from the payments for convincing 80% of the "willing countries" or the real costs of military action?
Kosti, Munich, Germany
I agree with the idea that Saddam needs to be removed from power but the US has gone about it all wrong!!! To disregard the UN, which was established to stop wars, and invade Iraq is immoral and unbecoming of a great country as the US.
Saddam needs to be removed but the US has gone about it all wrong!!!
Walter B., St Lucia
There are many dictatorship-styled governments in this world, and why Iraq is singled out for liberation and democracy. Why???
John, San Francisco, CA
If, at the end of the war, the coalition forces fail to discover any WMDs will the only excuse we have to justify the war be that Hussein was en evil tyrant? If so, why haven't we done something about Mugabe? I really think that this is more to do with nation interests than weapons.
Roger Towner, Richmond, UK
Sometimes, war kills less people on the long-term than a dictator that isn't dealt with. We all disagree with the political, financial and economical motifs behind the war, but that should not prevent us doing the right thing.
Kris Vansteenwegen, Louvain, Belgium
If inspections were allowed to go on, by now Saddam would be deprived of some more weapons and lots more people would have been alive. Just ponder for the moment, all this is happening only because US patience had run out, and they could not keep paying for the 300000 soldiers in the Gulf... Democracies do not go around and start the wars because the war is a strange beast that can't be controlled and can end up being bloodier and more costly than anyone could envisaged.
To those that think that war is the only way to free oppressed people: look at how the ex-communist countries liberated themselves.
Martin Standley, Oslo, Norway
This war is very sad, very extreme, but very necessary. I only wish that the Iraqi people had better understanding of what we are trying to do for them. We do not want to take over the country, just help them control it more for themselves. We cannot blame them for fighting back - they are proud people still. I only hope that the casualties are low and that the outcome is what we hope for - peace and liberation.
This war is very sad, very extreme, but very necessary
Lindsay Snelling, Newbury, UK
Lindsay Snelling, Newbury, UK
The Pax Americana will only bring more trouble and tears in the world. Although Saddam should be removed from power, this is NOT the way to do it.
Petros Antoniades, Nicosia, Cyprus
It does not take a military analyst to know that Basra is presently under siege by British troops. Regardless of any justification that might be given to the public otherwise, it is them who are keeping two million people without water and food. If there is any popular uprising coming from within Basra, it will only happen due to people's urgent need to feed their families.
Mexico City, Mexico
The US is trying to impose, once again, a military solution to a political problem. And once again it will end up with a military victory followed by a political defeat. When was the last time that US meddling made a country 'safe for democracy?'
Chris Groves, Coventry, UK
Bush's decision to liberate the Iraqis came only after he found no evidence to show that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, and no support from the international community. Anyone who believes the US is engaged in a humanitarian mission is only deluding himself.
Kishore Thampy, Galena USA
Saddam Hussein seized power the year I was born, 1979. The Iraqi people my age have lived through 23 years of state sanctioned rape, murder, and torture. They have never known the freedoms that we Americans take for granted. Who is going to give them freedom if not the United States?
Who is going to give Iraq freedom if not the United States?
Loren McCauley, Columbus, Ohio, USA
If the Royal Marines think they can win the hearts and minds of the Iraqi people by handing out bars of chocolate they are sadly mistaken. This is a corrupt war over the struggle for control of oil, not a war of liberation.
Richard Barwell, England
An EXTRA £1.25bn for the war, hey Gordon? Who's paying? We didn't want the war. We don't want war. And somewhere down the line we're going to have to pay for it. This makes me really, really, seethingly angry.
Please, please, please can we concentrate on the problems of the UK, and forget all about Bush? We are not the 51st state of America - we are the UK and I hate the fact my country is actually bombing innocent civilian people.
Steve, Brentford, UK
Reading some of the anti-war comments, I am struck by how much we take our freedom for granted. We, in the West have long had the 'luxury' of self-determination, the right to publicly criticise our governments and the legal protection of our basic human rights. I am by no means pro-war, but I do believe that all human beings should have a basic right to freedom, a right to choice and of free expression. Few of us can begin to imagine what it is like living in a police state which thinks nothing of gassing and torturing its own citizens, living in fear that if we step out of line (or even if someone in the ruling regime simply does not like us) either us or our families could be taken away and never seen again.
Some may say it is not our responsibility to wade into a country in this way and try to 'sort out' the situation. However 12 years of sanctions and 'containment' have had no impact on the regime and Saddam still possesses the capability to launch weapons of mass destruction at his neighbours. If not now, at what stage does it become 'legitimate' to intervene?
I'm not pro-war; I just wanted the Iraqi people to have some of the freedom we have here in this great nation-America. I know exactly how the Iraqi people feel living under Saddam; I lived under one - the infamous brutal dictator Pol Pot from 1975-79. There are similarity here - they both hate freedom - America. 1/3 of Cambodian population died under his regime. I was only 12 years old then, but the bad memories (like losing my father, uncles, grandparents etc) remain with me for the rest of my life.
I may not agree with President Bush on all his policies, but his decision to liberate Iraqi people is a noble one
Vira, proud American citizen (former Cambodian refugee)
I may not agree with President Bush on all his policies, but his decision to liberate Iraqi people is a noble one and it's great for humanity. Some lives will be lost but many will be saved, but again, freedom is not free.
"The American dream does not end when it comes true for you. It becomes your duty to make it come true for others." Dr David Satcher
Vira, proud American citizen (former Cambodian refugee)
Why has it taken so long for aid effort to begin in Iraq? We are told that the ships cannot dock at Umm Qasr due to the threat of mines. What is the problem with docking and driving aid in from Kuwait which isn't very far away? This sounds like the allied forces are delaying aid in order to present the media with the opportunity of witnessing the glorious allied forces delivering aid through the newly "liberated" Iraqi port. Meanwhile people are dying of starvation...
David, Swindon, UK
I find David from Swindon's comments incredible. Does he really believe the allies are holding out on providing aid supplies deliberately - to make the most of media possibilities? Despite the reasons for war, the allies are human and I find it obscene that he suggests that aid is being delayed, for reasons other than safety of the convoys.
Dan Giners, Surrey
In World War II a similar scale of battle would have resulted in an enormous number of civilian deaths - imagine if Baghdad had been carpet bombed. The current precision bombing techniques can only be a major step forward in the "science" of bombing.
The current precision bombing techniques can only be a major step forward in the "science" of bombing
Jonathan Gill, Derby, UK
This is a war that nobody wanted but you must accept that the key to beating terrorism is a stable Middle East. Stage 1 was the destruction of Al Qaeda's base in Afghanistan. Stage 2 is the removal of Saddam Hussein. Stage 3 is a long-term solution to the issue of a Palestinian homeland.
These things will happen - and so they should.
I still fully support this war and think that Blair has shown great leadership. However, it sickens me that Bush can walk onto a podium, with trumpets sounding in celebration, to deliver the latest 'developments' in the war. Since when has war been cause for celebration?
The more I look at it, the more I think that America is a desperately proud nation, due for a very big fall. They're just getting too big for their boots.
Seizing Iraq is the easy part (though it seems much less easy than Bush and Blair promised us a week ago). What will be difficult will be keeping a lid on a nation of 27 million angry people, all nursing many valid grudges against the forces of occupation.
Trying to impose a governance system (western-style democracy) and values on the entire Middle East is a very naive thing to do. It takes a large dose of ingenuity mixed with a strong feeling of self-righteousness to act with such missionary zeal.
Trying to impose a governance system (western-style democracy) and values on the entire Middle East is a very naive thing to do
Auca Lagarde, Finland/France
The main reason (we are told) for the pre-emptive strike and the invasion is that Iraq is perceived as a threat to US national security and American lives. I wonder what innocent Iraqi's, many of whom will perish before this conflict is over, will say when you ask them to sacrifice their lives so that Americans can live in peace and security.
Feroz, Cape Town, South Africa
A giant versus a pygmy - is that a fair match? The war is between unequals, so what is the US and its coalition gloating over?
Marc Eli, Faisalabad/ Pakistan
Bush whining about the Geneva Convention, what a joke! What about starting a war against the rules of the UN charter? What about the Kyoto treaty? What about the international court? What about import taxes of up to 30% on foreign steel?
Bush doesn't care at all about international law and regulations. He uses them when they suit him, ignores them when they stand in his way.
This war is not going to be won. There are 5 million Iraqis in Baghdad who blatantly do not want to be 'liberated'. If we manage to kill all those bearing arms - what happens then? Is Iraq going to turn into another Afghanistan - a place that we no longer hear about but is still unsecured? This war was a big mistake. I wish all the coalition troops a speedy and safe return to their homes and families.
This is a war, people WILL die, I don't see anyone saying anything about WW2, there were no anti-war protests. People supported their country and destroyed evil for the greater good. Civilians died in that war, as they will in this one. We should not concentrate on each individual, all that we are doing is trying to save lives before Saddam delivers some chemical weapons on to YOUR front door, let's see what you think then.
Tom Ross, Dubai, UAE
The situation in Iraq is a paradoxical. In one hand it reflects the damage to the Iraqi psychology due to the years of fear and terror under the ruling of fascist the Ba'ath part, that they can not believe one day the nightmare of Saddam will be over. On the other hand, the good news is the Americans and the British understand that. Most Iraqis know for sure that coalition forces don't intend to kill civilians in this war. The outcome will be the victory of the coalition forces and Iraqi freedom will be born. All American and British soldiers will long live in the Iraqi conscience with love and gratitude. Their efforts to free the oppressed Iraqis are not in vain. It is not an easy job, but it is a highly achievable moral objective.
MUKARAM AL-OBAIDY, Iraq
America and Britain, though strange it may seem, have made the dictator Saddam the real liberator of Iraq and its people.
St. Petersburg, Russia
The coalition forces are in for more than they expected. Their 'precision' bombs haven't gotten much smarter in the last ten years either. And what about the humanitarian aid effort? Seems that has taken last priority.
Mario V, Bremen, Germany
I see that Mr Powell has finally admitted that there is more to this than simply ousting Saddam Hussein. The BBC reports him as stating "We didn't take on this huge burden with our coalition partners not to be able to have significant, dominating control over how it unfolds in the future," And all they said they wanted is to replace Saddam and ensure the civilians enjoy the wealth of their nation, now an addendum - as long as it suits US needs.
Marc, London, UK
Why do the pro-war people, especially the USA, have to be so self-righteous and holier than thou, badmouthing those who are not? Everyone has a right to their own opinions and just because France, Germany, Russia, etc have their own opinions doesn't make them wrong. No wonder Saddam Hussein thinks he can win when he sees pro and anti war people trying to outdo each other with such despicable venom and hatred. If you have nothing but contempt for each other, how can you expect others to have any respect for you? All the time and energy spent on squabbling and bickering amongst ourselves would perhaps be better spent in praying for all who have lost loved ones, a speedy end to the war and a safe return for our troops.
G Kendrick (Mrs), Stallingborough, England
What is happening now in Iraq is horrendous for everybody involved, be it troops, civilians, journalists, etc. Having said that, the behaviour of Iraqi troops and the Saddam regime towards its own people, hopefully reminds us that, in life, sometimes a great deal of pain has to occur before a better world can ensue. I still believe we are doing the right thing.
Daniel, London, UK
I support the war. What is being achieved by the coalition forces in Iraq is the first stages in what will be the defining re-drawing of the post-cold war world order. It may be politically incorrect to suggest such a thing at the moment yet the aims of the war are clearly designed to prevent a spread of fundamentalist ideas that deny life, subjugate women and celebrate death.
What is being achieved by the coalition forces in Iraq is the first stages in what will be the defining re-drawing of the post-cold war world order
Steve Buckley, England
Thank God for America. If the USA was not the world's policeman, Saddam would still be in Kuwait. He would also probably by now control most of the Arabian Peninsula, including its oil. After all who would have the power to stop him?
Leon Price, London, UK
History has shown us that we cannot fight another's war. Vietnam, Sri Lanka, and Afghanistan are all lessons. Iraq is no different. Could it be you are replacing one leader with another far worse one? Let us remember no one in Iraq invited the U.S. and U.K. forces, so it is not even a question of liberation. It is pure invasion.
Robin Deans, Karnataka, India
To want to eradicate Saddam's regime is respectable, but to destroy a whole nation in the process is immensely immoral. As a superpower, the acts of destruction are anything but a good example for the rest of the world. It is affecting everyone in every country around the world in some way. Simplistic though this view may be, the quicker a resolution is achieved, the quicker the world can focus on other impending issues that also require funding from America.
Anna Luke, Singapore
My heart goes out to all those with family and friends serving in the Gulf, now that this vile war has started and casualties are being taken. How very sad, though, that double standards seem to be creeping even into some of their postings to this site: for there is a depressing implication in some of these emails that worried coalition families are somehow morally superior to worried Iraqi ones - since our cause is just, and theirs isn't.
How on earth do we think Iraqi families feel about their own blokes getting killed and maimed by vastly superior foreign invaders, while US soldiers whoop and exult on camera, and thoughtfully hoist the Stars and Stripes?
President Bush has made a gigantic error that we must now see through to its conclusion at the expense of our troops and Iraqi civilians.
I can't bear to watch coverage of the bombing of Baghdad, knowing that someone's life ends with each explosion. My heart goes out to all those who have lost loved ones - on both sides of this conflict. The only rays of hope I see are the growing anti-war protests here in the US and the fact that each day brings us closer to the 2004 elections.
I can't bear to watch coverage of the bombing of Baghdad, knowing that someone's life ends with each explosion
You can speak to Saddam & Milosevic only with tomahawks.
If Bush, Blair and Aznar are courageous and caring as they pretend to be , their forces should fight Saddam's military on ground face to face instead of killing innocent men, women and children by bombarding single city with more than 5000 bombs. It seems only American and British lives and psyche is precious and rest of the world's population is worthless and deserves to die.
Anyone with a knowledge of the history of warfare must admire the great care and precision to avoid civilian deaths that has been demonstrated during this campaign. Quite a feat considering the thousands of sorties carried out so far over Iraq. So why are so many people so damn outraged??? People today have this self centred "it's all about the individual" mentality rather than a sense of doing what is right for the greater good.
Elizabeth Ann Goss,
We bombed Afghanistan in pursuit of Bin Laden. We bomb Iraq promising to liberate them. I do not see Bin Laden behind bars and I do not see Iraq liberated. All I see is the murder of innocent men, women and children.
It is shameful to see "Precision" bombs falling on innocent citizens. In the history of world British troops along with their allies probably killed more innocent civilians then any other "regime". What about Hiroshima and Vietnam, USA has forgotten history. All sensible citizens of these two countries should raise their voice to deafening levels till the deaf arrogant government. listens to us.
Sandip Raha, Bridgend, Wales
We've received hundreds of thousands of e-mails about the war in Iraq. Select the links below to read more of your views. The pages follow chronological order - so the most recent comments are on the last page.