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Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 October, 2004, 10:08 GMT 11:08 UK
Saddam and al-Qaeda link: Your views
Saddam Hussein
Inspectors that were looking for banned weapons in post-war Iraq are preparing to report that no chemical, biological or nuclear weapons have been found.

This report comes a day after US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld cast doubt on whether there was ever a connection between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda.

Despite the alleged link being one of the justifications used by President Bush for the invasion of Iraq, he told a New York audience that he had not seen "any strong, hard evidence that links the two".

However US officials say that the Iraq Survey Group will assert that Saddam Hussein had plans to start producing weapons in defiance of UN sanctions.

What are your views on the report's findings? Does Donald Rumsfeld's admission about the strength of the evidence on the alleged ties change anything? Do you think there were links between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda? Send us your comments.


The following comments reflect the balance of opinion we have received so far:

SUGGEST A DEBATE
This topic was suggested by Anthony Green, Italy:
Does Donald Rumsfeld's admission that there was no link between Al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein change anything?

There were never any links between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda. The administration has lied to us from the start. Rumsfeld should resign. Bush should be impeached.
Julie Carter, Scarborough, Maine

Flip Flop... so now we have Rumsfeld and Powell stating that there was no link. Cheney and Bush are still too stubborn to admit or too crooked and afraid for investigations leading to the personal benefits resulting from their practices. How obvious does it need to get before US citizens realize they have been used?
Rob, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Is that their way of saying 'sorry, we made a mistake'?
Raluca, Brit in the States

Don't apologise to us! Apologise to the dead and maimed service men, the Iraqis missing their loved ones
Matt, Amsterdam, Netherlands (ex UK)
"Regrettably misunderstood"? Don't apologise to us! Apologise to the dead and maimed service men, the Iraqis missing their loved ones and to all the future victims of the terrorists that you just helped create Mr Rumsfeld. The US administration has lied to its own people and sent the American sons and daughters to a pointless death. Why are we so surprised that the man who most helped arming Hussein, protected him over the chemical attacks of the Kurds and shook hands with Hussein, even as it was clear he was torturing his own people, suddenly turns out to be a liar?
Matt, Amsterdam, Netherlands (ex UK)

To quote John Kerry, "How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?" What about the thousands of Iraqi citizens, men, women, and children who died for Mr Bush and Company's "mistake"?
Adele, Seattle USA

Of course it makes a difference why America went to war. In any case Saddam was no threat to anyone, try Osama bin Laden and a myriad other dictators all over the world. This war has destroyed Americas credibility and moral high ground.
A Gimei, Columbus, Oh, USA

Did anyone actually believe that there ever was a link? Say what you like about Saddam, but he was no friend of Bin Laden. I'm amazed to this day that anyone ever thought that there was any truth to this. Even our government knew they would be pushing it to try this on!
Dominic Tristram, Bath, UK

I quickly checked if Fox news features this item on their website, and it doesn't. It is very likely that the people to whom Rumsfeld's comment may make a difference, will never hear it.
Coretta, Bern, Switzerland

The famous photograph of Rumsfeld shaking hands with Saddam Hussein shows that "links" and alliances are related to momentary needs. So whether or not there were secret or passing links between al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein, the Bush Administration seemed as if they were going to war no matter what. Rumsfeld is a master of words and a great persuader, but I think many people are really starting to wonder what actually went on behind the scenes at the White House.
Adam G, New York, USA

Rumsfeld's comments change nothing. There are people who simply don't want to believe that the US made a mistake, and those who don't believe there is an Iraq - al-Qaeda link already have plenty of evidence, like the bipartisan 9/11 Commission Report. It simply doesn't matter to the supporters of the Bush-Cheney team whether there was ever a link. If it did matter, Kerry would be up 15-20% in the polls, and not running neck-and-neck.
Anon, Los Angeles, USA

What you have here, again, is the mass media taking Rummy's comments out of context
Darryn, Chicago

Lots of you are foolishly making claims on the 9/11 Commission's report. In there, there are 66 pages detailing the links between al-Qaeda and Saddam. What you have here, again, is the mass media taking Rummy's comments out of context in effort to attack Bush. It's been stated that the media it is worth 15 poll points for the Democrats, more and more I'm forced to believe that number.
Darryn, Chicago

I do not believe there was any connection between Iraq and al-Qaeda. I think that based on all the information that is out there, that this is pretty clear. Rummy actually said something truthful for a change, and then had to back peddle. You can only lie for so long before you forget what you lied about.
Richard Michaelson, Salt Lake City, Utah, United States

Mr Rumsfeld's comments add one more nail into the Bush/Cheney "misleading America" coffin. Rumsfeld does not want to go down in history as ignorant of the true facts; wilfully oblivious yes, unknowingly ignorant, no.
Rene de P, Nel Air, MD

I don't care. There is no doubt in my mind that me, my family, my friends and everyone I know is better off with Saddam gone. Who cares if he was in cahoots with Bin Laden or not? He was a bad, bad man who wanted all of us killed.
Peter, California

It makes me understand that America and Britain went to Iraq for oil.
Faztudo Langisse, Maputo

Well, it doesn't take an Einstein to figure out why the USA started a war in Iraq
Jan, Berlin

Well, it doesn't take an Einstein to figure out why the USA started a war in Iraq, especially when there was no clear evidence of the connection between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda, or any proof for the existence of nuclear weapons! I actually find Rumsfeld's statement rather provocative and pointless, at this point. Bush and his administration can only be characterised as not only incompetent but also quite dangerous individuals, who should actually resign for the sake of peace!
Jan, Berlin

It changes nothing. We suspected a long time ago that there was no connection between al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein and that Bush and Blair had taken their eyes off the real war in Afghanistan. We always suspected that Bush used September 11th as an excuse to settle old scores against Iraq.
Graham Rodhouse, Helmond, The Netherlands

It may well be that no direct connection between Iraq and al-Qaeda existed. However, who among us would be so naive as to think that Iraq was not involved in the matrix of terror stretching around the world?
Ross C Glen, San Francisco, USA

Personally, I find North Korea, Iran, and the nuclear armed Pakistan and India more of a threat than Saddam's Iraq. Why didn't out governments put more effort in solving those problems than 'dynamic group-thinking' the US in invading Iraq?
Miran, Nijmegen, the Netherlands

That Al Qaeda conspired with Saddam has even been debunked by the 9/11 commission! (A commission incidentally that Bush was pressured into having, and even then refused to testify under oath at.)
Frank S, UK

For once, Donald Rumsfeld has admitted what has always been the truth-the absence of an obvious link between Al Qaeda and Saddam. This undoubtedly erodes the basis of the attack on Iraq. We need a more plausible excuse for going to war.
Dr. William Ahadzie, Accra, Ghana

This just goes to show that the Bush Administration led the country into a war based solely on profits and not in the interest of American and World security. Sadly, half of the American electorate puts on their blinders to this information and still manages to want Bush for a second term.
Donovan, Austin

Michael Moore has been saying this for ages
Andy Bird, Cheshire, UK
Funny how the facts are catching up with the Bush administration, now election time looms. Michael Moore has been saying this for ages. How embarrassing!
Andy Bird, Cheshire, UK

Saddam's Iraq was fanatically secularist, which deplored any influence from religion, unless it was to further deify Saddam himself. This is at opposites with the likes of al-Qaeda which wants to setup an Islamic state, and considers Saddam as an enemy to that goal. The British public could not be convinced of this link, and so Blair did not pursue it. It is just a matter of the country's political maturity as to how far a politician can go before his claims become too outrageous to believe. Still, we have a way to go yet, we still got sucked in by the WMD claim.
Pete, UK

In my mind it finally proves US invasion in Iraq was based on wrong information. Shouldn't Bush now apologize to the world community? Or what?
Kazi Firoz, Kosice, Slovakia.

This alleged link was just one of the original falsifications and of course the concerned leaders were aware of the almost impossibility of Al Qaeda and Saddam style system working together at any level. They were simply fully opposing systems. The only truth in all the reasoning was that Saddam regime was a bad regime. However, Regime change is illegal under UN charter. Unfortunately lying does not seem to be.
Istvan Hunanui, Chisinau, Moldova

Is anyone else a little concerned that the man responsible for the largest military force in human history cannot make up his mind
Glenn Herbert, Matlock, UK
Is anyone else a little concerned that the man responsible for the largest military force in human history cannot make up his mind whether he had seen evidence that Saddam had terrorist links?
Glenn Herbert, Matlock, UK

No WMD, no links to al-Qaeda, no freedom for Iraqis, Iraq is on the brink of splitting into 3 parts, and yet another puppet government is propped up. But, the first priority when invading Iraq has always been securing the oilfields. Primary objective accomplished.
Hussam I, UK

Just how can someone "misunderstand" the statement - "had not seen any strong hard evidence that links the two.?" That cannot be spun in anyway that doesn't completely assume the pure stupidity of the listener.
Andrea McCormick, Harrisburg, USA

This just shows how efficient the intelligence machinery is in the US. Anybody with a little knowledge about the Middle East could have told you that Saddam Hussein had no ties with Bin Laden. This was what people have been saying for a long time and just now the Defence Secretary discovered it? It makes you wonder.
Mehrdad, Finland

How is it that Donald Rumsfeld even has a job in government anymore? After the Abu Ghraib prison scandal, shouldn't he be facing a military court as opposed to reporters questions? Rumsfeld had dealings with Hussein during the Reagan administration, and probably knows better than anyone the connection never existed.
Patrick Daly, Brooklyn, USA

Every thinking individual has questioned this link between Iraq and Al-Qaeda. Quite frankly, many Americans have always thought this war was about oil, not terrorism, profits, not security. Some of us question if there was another reason besides 9/11 that we attacked Afghanistan since we so quickly transferred our attention elsewhere. I don't know how I as an American will stand the shame if this right-wing administration is re-elected.
Lisa Starrfield, Gregory, USA

This has now become a rule that the Bush administration's key personnel blurt out conflicting, contradicting comments from time to time. Confuse, deceive and mislead - these have been the three basic mantras of this corrupt administration right from the beginning.
Rakesh, London, UK

Donald Rumsfeld has a habit of blurting out the uncomfortable truth, and then he has to be put back 'on message', to use the vernacular. The fact is that all the official reasons for going to war with Iraq were based on falsehoods. The US went to war with Iraq in order to impose a puppet government in Baghdad that would enable the US to use the country as its major base in the Middle East, so that it could massively increase its influence and power in the region.
Paul F, London, UK

There was little or no terrorism in Iraq before the war. We have now ignited a fire that will burn for years, if not decades.
James Davey, Leeds, UK

Is that thunder I hear... or the Democrats waving flip-flops! John Kerry must be laughing all the way to the polls!
Valerie Hajir, Amman, Jordan

It is quite amusing to watch our glorious leaders both in the US and UK now back-pedalling from their previous convictions
Tony B, UK
Of course, Rumsfeld's own links with Saddam are well enough documented, as are George W Bush's links with the Bin Ladens! But really it is quite amusing to watch our glorious leaders both in the US and UK now back-pedalling from their previous convictions on Saddam and Osama, and on WMD, as if they had never held them in the first place, and had somehow been duped by their own intelligence services, rather than having taken the intelligence and milked it for all it was worth to try to justify a war fought for other reasons entirely.
Tony B, UK

I don't think it makes any difference if al-Qaeda had links to Iraq or not, the Iraqi people are free from the torment of Saddam Hussein, and the world is relieved of his threat.
Andy, Birmingham, UK

Iraq is similar to Vietnam, a knee jerk reaction. That time against communism, this time against Islamic terrorism. Both times they chose what they saw as an easy target, and both times they have regretted it. The regret isn't over yet though.
Chris, UK

Who's flip-flopping now?
Lee, Hebburn, England

It changes nothing as long as what existed before is the firm belief that we were taken to war with no justifiable reasons, no UN backing and no intelligence. As a result we have made the lives of 1000's of Iraqis more miserable and their homeland the battleground.
Jocelyn Godbold, Bristol, UK

I think we all know why the US went to war in Iraq and it certainly wasn't links to al-Qaeda, to find WMD or bring freedom to Iraqis.
Scott, Leeds, UK

Scott, I think we all (well at least two million of us) knew why we went to war. And we knew well before it happened too! I just find it hard to understand why our "leaders" credit us with such little intelligence.
Richard, UK




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