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Last Updated: Thursday, 7 August, 2003, 15:26 GMT 16:26 UK
How should Saddam's capture be handled?
British Royal Air Force Regiment patrol pass graffiti reading 'No Saddam' in the southern Iraqi town of Safwan
Saddam's capture is "just a matter of time" as more Iraqis are giving information about his whereabouts since the death of his sons, says America's top soldier, General Richard Myers.

The killings of five US soldiers looking for Saddam Hussein cannot be linked to the killings of Uday and Qusay, says US Central Command.

But displaying the dead brothers caused great offence to some by contravening Muslim burial traditions, and Uday and Qusay's deaths may now be turned into symbols of Iraqi resistance.

If Saddam is apprehended, how should it be handled? Should he be treated in the same way as his sons, or should he be arrested? If he is killed, could it end the Iraqi resistance and save the lives of coalition soldiers?

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


The following comments reflect the balance of views we have received:

There should not be an easy way out for him
Arif Sayed, Dubai, UAE
Killing him or allowing him to get killed will actually be rewarding him for all his misdeeds. There should not be an easy way out for him. He should be caught, tried and then locked up in solitary confinement, for the rest of his natural life so that he suffers like many of his innocent victims did.
Arif Sayed, Dubai, UAE

I really doubt that we are ever going to capture Mr. Hussein. But if we were to be so lucky, he should first be interrogated and then tried for crimes against humanity.
Daniel Mais, USA

We should not belittle the International Court of Justice and/or UN
Amulya Dixit, Indian in USA
Common sense says that Saddam is accountable to the people of his own country first, and then to his country's neighbours. Therefore, he should first be tried by an Iraqi court. If he is still alive after this trial, which is unlikely, then he should be tried in an international court. I think it is not right for any country to punish leaders of other countries. We should not belittle the International Court of Justice and/or UN. These institutes are set up for specific purposes. Let them do their job.
Amulya Dixit, Indian in USA

After torturing so many people, he doesn't deserve to live. I would like to say torture him as well, but that wouldn't make us any better than him. I do however believe that he should be killed, as he is a danger to the human race.
Sue, Canada

Saddam Hussain should be captured alive and brought to international justice. Whatever the world may think of the US/UK action in Iraq, at least three nations (Iran, Kuwait and Iraq itself) have an axe to grind with him over past crimes. Only an international court can therefore deliver the justice desired - or, if we are honest in our belief of 'innocent until proven guilty', an acquittal.
Kelvin Walker, UK

Sooner or later Saddam will appear. But I do not think that his appearance will change the reality of Iraq occupation
Yasir, Dubai

Let's not allow the world slip into lawlessness
Haroun Kara, South Africa
Let's not allow the world slip into lawlessness. Even those who have transgressed should be brought before justice in a manner that does not violate the fundamental human rights of the individual. To do otherwise would not be a reflection of the condemnation befitting those who have violated the rights of others, but a statement about our communal future, which dignity must be preserved.
Haroun Kara, South Africa

The claimed American values are in question? As time goes by, the US forces proved that they are no better than the so called terrorists they are fighting.
Jamil, Egypt

The US Government doesn't give a damn about its own people, why does anyone think they care anything for the Iraqi people. Everything that's done in this country is either done for political or monetary gain.
Carl, United States

The difference between Saddam and Milosevic is that Saddam is not delusional enough to believe that his evil acts were justified. He will put up a fight because he knows that any court that tries him will find him guilty. The only way to be sure to get him alive is to take him by surprise, which is not possible when you have no idea where he is. Unless one of his comrades turns him over, the chances of him be taken alive are slim.
Jim, NJ, USA

I would love if the man can be captured alive so that he could be tried and answer for the atrocities he did to the Iraqi people. Trial to be under the Iraqi court system.
Hedson Vutula, Malawi

Does it matter how he dies as long as he is stopped for good? It won't end the fighting, but it will probably go a long to helping it stop.
Kim, England.

Iraqis need to know that he will never be able to hurt them again
Linda, UK
Dead or alive - does it really matter, as long as he is found? The man has committed the most hateful, violent crimes on earth & should be shown no mercy. But it is not something that can be planned. Whatever happens, the Iraqi people need to know that he will never again be able to hurt them as he did in the past.
Linda, UK

I am deeply dismayed by this discussion. Have we forgotten the principles of our democratic system: Executive, legislative and jurisdiction are to be separated? Everybody is innocent until proven guilty (even when the tabloids and CNN and the President say otherwise) and everybody has a right to be tried, even the Nazis had that right.

Now the US goes out and makes a list of people to be captured dead or alive and displays pictures of dead people on television and half of the people in this discussion forum scream for revenge and hang 'em high. How on earth are we going to win the trust of anybody with such shameless hypocrisy? What kind of democracy are we bringing to these people? One where there is one law for the Westerners and a lynch-law for everybody else? THINK.
Constanze, UK/Germany

It is great to capture him alive & put him in prison, so he will realize how hard the prison is. Especially to the innocent people who suffer a lot in the hands of his police force....
Norman C. M., Philippines

Iraq is destined to become another Afghanistan - the hate cauldron will be boiling perpetually. Or like Kashmir in India - no matter what the ground realities are, foreign powers keep fuelling terrorism.
Ashish Agarwal, India

More important that trying to decide what to do with Saddam, is helping the Iraqi people rebuild there lives and return to normal lives.
Angela, USA

It is pain that I wish on him more than anything
Paul C, Glasgow, UK
Last week, for the first time since 1990, I was actually glad that Saddam Hussein was alive. To lose his power and his sons must have hurt him a lot, and it is pain that I wish on him more than anything after what he did to the people of Iraq. Death really would be too good for him.
Paul C, Glasgow, UK

Preferably alive but dead will do just as well. Either way, the horrendous deeds he committed can't be undone. To all of those who say that the US/UK forces shouldn't have gone in: the pillaging and rape of his own people would have been reason enough. Revolt? They would have been massacred just like those who tried.
Paul Bianco, Malta

Closure and justice for Iraqis should take precedence
Larry, USA
The legitimacy of the US presence in Iraq is in question as is the principal of justice we espouse. If possible, Saddam should be captured alive and remanded to an international court for trial. Closure and justice for Iraqis should take precedence over national and individual political interests.
Larry, USA

Saddam should be taken alive in order to discover the whereabouts of WMD. If he is killed, no other person would be able to tell of the mysteries of WMD. The so called "US mighty army" took six long hours and had to call air support just to kill Qusay and Uday. This shows the weakness of the US army. Capturing Qusay and Uday alive would have led to the capture of Saddam eventually.
Jag, Singapore

I think we should be more concerned about how to handle the capture of Osama bin Laden. After all, he turned out to be a greater threat than Saddam.
Steve Paluch, USA

He needs to be brought to justice for genocide
Vince, UK
If Saddam puts up a fire fight he will die anyway. I expect that is what he would want. Hopefully he will be captured. So far he has managed, through his programme of deception, to politically unsettle Bush and Blair. Everyone should have known that would be his main gambit. Commons sub-committees take note: It would be really gratifying to have him available to give evidence on what happened. Above all he needs to be brought to justice for genocide, war crimes etc.
Vince, UK

Saddam knows too much to be caught alive. US will make sure they kill him when they find him as they did his sons.
Mariam, Sweden/Iraq

First the real Saddam Hussein should be found. If the real Saddam is caught, and that will be up to Saddam whether he wants to be taken alive or dead, then a trial should be held in an Iraqi court with Iraqi judges. The Iraqis claim him as their criminal. They should give him a trial that is fair and condemn him to the punishment they see fit. If he is killed during capture the world will never know how bad he really is. The world has a right to know about evil.
Roberta Trott, France





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