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Last Updated: Monday, 22 November, 2004, 12:42 GMT
Falluja offensive: Your reaction
Iraqi families leave the outskirts of Falluja, Iraq
US-led forces say they have gained control of Falluja but scattered resistance remains.

This comes as the US military says it will look into whether an American marine shot dead a severely wounded Iraqi insurgent at point-blank range.

Meanwhile in the northern city of Mosul, US officials say troops have met little resistance to their operation to remove rebels and retake police stations.

What are your views on the Falluja assault, and now Mosul? What is your reaction to the American marine's actions shown in the NBC footage? Send us your comments using the form.

This debate is now closed. Thank you for your comments.

Your comments:

Has anyone noticed that the situation in Iraq is now precisely that which we so-called 'Nay-sayers' and 'weak-kneed' types predicted when this despicable war commenced? Resistance to the occupation grows, because too many Iraqis have suffered the so-called collateral effects of the American way of making war.
Jim McDermott, Woodford Halse, UK

I think the assault on Falluja is long over due. Our Marines should have gone in there last April and dealt with the insurgents. As far as the marine's action go I think that he had every right to do what he did. This is war and these insurgents don't seem to care about following any kind of rules of war. They don't care if you are Iraqi, American, or British. They just want to kill and they should be killed first. This world would be a lot better off if more people would understand that.
Michael, Pearl River,La. USA

Remember Osama Bin Laden? He left Afghanistan before US and the "Coalition" even started heading there. Now Zarqawi is gone along with 80% of insurgents. Those 1000 insurgents we hear about being killed? Well that's the figure reporters "embedded" with US forces are reporting. They report what they are told to report, the rest they can't say.
Bilaln, Minneapolis, USA

I don't care much for Saddam Hussein or George Bush. But it brings tears to my eyes to see hundreds of Iraqi civilians shoved around like cattle, humiliated, invaded, made fun of, disrespected, all by the American military personnel all in the name of "Freedom.".....Shame on them......
Poona Bhatiya, Bombay, India

If the coalition knew what they were getting themselves into, they would not have been so willing
Rod, Sydney, Australia

The situation is a tricky one. I have never been in agreement with the invasion, but the US has to do what it has to do to restore order. However, I believe they will fail simply because of the anti-American attitude in the Middle East. Has anyone stopped to think not all these people are necessary terrorists or Saddam loyalists but are mostly Iraqis who have lost family or friends due to the occupation? I am convinced that if the coalition knew what they were getting themselves into, they would not have been so willing.
Rod, Sydney, Australia

Falluja should have been performed before, without prior warning. Deadlines given to terrorists helped them to organize their defences.
Ghassan, Dubai, UAE

The assault could have been avoided if the citizens in Falluja had been turning in those individuals that they knew to be insurgents. It is absurd to think that of all the people in that city, nobody knew who the insurgents were. The citizens choose to say nothing of the identities or locations of these people so they became their own worse enemies by forcing the assault on the city.
Diane, United States

This war has no physical objectives and therefore has the potential to rumble on indefinitely
James McDougall, Dundee

The battle for Falluja could easily have cost thousands of US lives. The insurgents seem to have melted away rather than stand and fight an enemy they know they cannot defeat in open warfare. Terrorist tactics will likely continue increasing the number of dead and injured US troops for as long as they remain in Iraq. I cannot see what the taking of Falluja will achieve. This war has no physical objectives and therefore has the potential to rumble on indefinitely. A worrying prospect for all concerned.
James McDougall, Dundee, Scotland

The day before a dead body exploded and killed a marine. The marine that killed an unarmed man may have seen something the camera didn't see. This was shown on the networks but not the beheading of a American - I just don't get it.
Mary G, US

An individual trooper under pressure commits an atrocity - that I can understand. However when it appears to be standard practise to abandon casualties - combatant or civilian - to agonise in the ruins, it is the command structure and the national administration who should be held responsible for the outrage.
Augustin, Switzerland

I am more convinced than ever that this is an illegitimate and dirty war
John S, Toronto, Canada

After the Abu Ghraib prison scandal, countless civilian casualties, and now television footage showing a US marine fatally shooting an unarmed and wounded Iraqi combatant point-blank in the head (one has to wonder how many war crimes were not caught on film), I am more convinced than ever that this is an illegitimate and dirty war that will haunt the US for years.
John S, Toronto, Canada

I support our actions in Iraq. Would be nice if we had more support, however, someone has to make the tough decisions.
Tony Paschal, Austin, USA

There is not a finite list of terrorists with which you check off names as they are captured or killed. Every aggressive action by the US will have its corresponding reaction, which will be to create more people with ability to act in a terrorist manner. The leaders on both sides of this conflict have proven to be ineffectual in finding a solution. The insurgents with their barbaric beheadings of innocent people and the US lead force with its reckless bombings are examples of the negligence of both sides. We all need better leaders right now.
Dennis Dalesandro, Philadelphia, USA

I have great sympathy for a lot of the US and especially UK troops serving in Iraq, as this war will not go down well in history. I believe Falluja will be remembered more as a brave stand by a vastly outgunned and outnumbered local resistance than as a victory for the US. International sympathy already favours the Iraqi resistance, terrorist fringe elements excluded. With every brave (or foolish depending on your perspective) act of sacrifice, I believe this will only grow.
Steve, Canada

The effect of retaking Falluja has yet to be seen
Ryan H, Australia
This is a different style of warfare, a style where the defender has a distinct advantage where they can pull back re-group and remount counter-attacks. So the effect of retaking Falluja has yet to be seen, but although it was a necessary action in the counter-insurgency, it could have created more harm than good in that aid is so hard to get to the people that really need it.
Ryan H, Australia

The assault on Falluja will be successful in removing the bulk of the terrorists, however it is very obvious that many of the key leaders have escaped ...they did have plenty of warning it was coming! Once the city is free I think the Iraqi people will be relieved and happy to get on with rebuilding their country...but the terrorism is far from over.
Ian Blann, Southampton

"Civilians" had ample opportunity to vacate Falluja, before the US/Iraqi forces moved in to clear out terrorists. Many of them must have known the locations of the hostage slaughterhouses and the whereabouts of the insurgents. Stop whingeing about the people that chose not to evacuate. My concern is for the safety of our US/Coalition and Iraqi military men and women.
Mary Kirk, Sarasota, USA

I believe this assault will do more for the insurgents, than defeat them. Storming an entire city to find a few insurgents is bold, but they are not taking into account all those who will join the insurgents because of the assault on their homes. The U.S. may have killed a few thousand, but there are more than a few thousand ready to join.
Ash, New York, U.S.A.

Just like Bush's claim two years ago that the war in Iraq was over, we are now treated to the same level of spin with claims that Falluja is under control of the US Marines. If that's the case, why won't they let in the aid workers to help the starving civilians? I believe once the death toll of civilians leaks out there will be uproar and rightly so. Heavy-handed tactics to suppress those who oppose the US occupation are counter-productive, just as Annan said.
John Farmer, Henley-on-Thames, UK

The end turned out to be pretty much as expected: the US marines conquered Falluja. I congratulate them but won't give any credit to the commanders, because this conflict could have been stopped in the first place, when the US invaded Iraq. Instead, they allowed the insurgents to take over the "city of mosques". Now the civilians had to pay, but isn't that what has been their part of this futile war, already?
Nick Brandlin, Oulu, Finland

Anyone who thinks the battle for Falluja (or anywhere else in Iraq) is over is deluding himself. Guerrilla war - suicide and roadside bombs and snipers will continue as long as coalition troops are there. Israel's experience shows that this enemy never quits and never compromises. The coalition had better get used to suffering pinprick guerrilla attacks for months or years to come.
Jonathan Plutchok, Ra'anana, Israel

How do the Iraqi people know the difference between a Saddam government and the currently installed government? From what I can see more Iraqi people are suffering/dying under the current regime, then every did under Saddam's rule.
Wayne S, Atlanta, USA

Why does the press (BBC included) call the rebels in Falluja "insurgents" and not "Iraqis"? The answer is that it de-humanises them. The first casualty of war is, yes you guessed, truth.
Mark, Wigan UK

Are these insurgents terrorists or patriots?
Ricky Rugeroni, Gibraltar
Didn't the USA come about as a result of the actions of the insurgents and organised militias who fought the British? You call them patriots, when in fact they were traitors to the British Crown (how could they be patriots if the US did not even exist at the time?). So, are these insurgents Iraqi terrorists or Iraqi patriots?
Ricky Rugeroni, Gibraltar

During this "war on terror" children who are left behind, may have family members hurt or killed. Who's to say those children won't grow up to be angry and willing to take revenge? I just don't see how this "war" can foster a world free of terror.
Tracy, USA

I think Mr Bush wants to kill all Iraqis one by one in their own country and then only see calm, silent Iraq. Then he'll say that "Your Iraq is free and safe now."
Arvind, Mumbai, India

Why won't the Americans allow the Red Cross into Falluja? What are they hiding? Even if nothing, it again demonstrates their inability to work with others. And then they wonder why others show reluctance to work with them....
David Keltie, Edinburgh, Scotland

There are always reasons to invade and reasons to defend. It is still not late to exercise human resource management. Equip the Iraqis to self govern and focus on regaining the trust of the common Iraqis. Nobody likes their near and dear ones to be killed, but time heals and when you demonstrate your actions are true to heart, even the most intolerant would listen. Give a chance to the Iraqi people; they will remove the insurgents amongst them. Trust them.
Rajesh P, Mumbai, India

The insurgents will return along with the general public and the cycle will start again
John Morrill, Atlantic City

Alas, this assault will become just another debacle in the battle to liberate Iraq, or to fight terrorism, or to root out insurgents, or whatever the new tangent of an agenda that our ingenious leadership has laid out. When the call came to Falluja for people to evacuate before the upcoming attack, the majority of the insurgency evacuated with them. When the forces clear out and a skeletal militia remains the insurgents will return along with the general public and the cycle will start again.

This war can go on forever in this manner. Iraq doesn't need this, the US doesn't need this. The Middle East doesn't need us either; history has shown that all western influence is unwelcome there. Another little piece of history, a voice, is becoming heard more clearly now, that of George Washington, who warned future generations to "not get involved in foreign wars." What makes this even worse is that we initiated it.
John Morrill, Atlantic City, USA

For those who still ask: why does this war continue? Perhaps you should read the comments on the Afghanistan pages. We went in, removed the Taleban, and now the people are grateful and free. However, this was not achieved without a loss of civilian life. Omelettes and eggs spring to mind. In the long run this is the only way to bring peace and order to an uncivilised nation housing such extremists.
Gavin, Cumbria, UK

A lot has been said about the Americans going in too hard. You should remember that plenty of warning was given in time for innocents to get away. On the other hand hostages are beheaded and mistreated with no chance to leave. The terrorists don't care about freedom of others and it is old men growing rich over the bodies of young suicide bombers. These people are not men of God.
Alan, London

The people of Iraq were alienated long before the battle of Falluja
Ray, Wolverhampton

The people of Iraq were alienated long before the battle of Falluja. The way that hospitals and clinics have been attacked and medical supplies prevented from being distributed earns nothing but contempt from the whole world, not just Iraqis.
Ray, Wolverhampton, UK

The Falluja assault is a necessary action to move toward a more secure and free Iraq - an instate essential for world peace. The success of the operation and the bravery of the forces in this type of horrible warfare is truly amazing. We must fight these terrorists in Iraq and not on the streets of civilized cities in the US, Europe or Asia. Once widespread conflict is overcome and security is attained, then we need to rapidly work toward jobs and freedom for the Iraqi people. Strong force is clearly needed at this point.
Bob Dodd, Yorktown, VA, USA

This is a unique military achievement. Urban warfare is the sort commanders dread because victory is usually only achieved at the cost of many casualties among the attacking force. But the marines have managed to inflict hundreds, possibly thousands, of fatalities on the enemy while suffering only a handful of casualties themselves. I don't think any army in any war has achieved a similar feat. The terrorists are no match for these well trained, well equipped and highly motivated troops. The sooner the terrorists accept the futility of their armed struggle and sue for peace the better.
Bill, Bristol, England

The truth is we do not know the outcome at present. For the sake of Iraqi people I hope it will be a peaceful one. We will all be wiser a few years down the road when historians come in and we have hindsight. But the plain truth is all this killing and destruction for wanting to get rid of just one man. The blame goes to all those outsiders who supported Saddam to come to power in the first place. Will the powerful money minded "democratic dictators" of the West ever learn?
Bharat Patel, Oxford, UK

The assault is a job well done
Al, London, UK
The assault is a job well done. Over 1600 terrorist fatalities and only minimal marine casualties. That's 1600 terrorists who won't be kidnapping and beheading civilian workers. The message to the terrorists is clear - you cannot succeed by military action - your only hope is to enter into a dialogue.
Al, London, UK

My government is at the moment actively discussing how much their thoughts on the US attacks are to be heard. Many claim that what's happening is clearly in violation of the agreements concerning the Geneva convention. It won't matter how much any nation or the European Union and United Nations go against this, anyway, though. As we have learned from history, Americans tend to do things their way and screw everybody else. Simply because they can. I believe this "war" will never really end. The situation in Iraq isn't any better than it was before the killings began.
Dennis Eriksson-Nyh, Ístersund, Sweden

I really thought taking Falluja would take months. After a couple of days when the Marines controlled first 30 percent of the city, and the next day 70 percent, I realized this American military force will go down in history as one of the worlds truly great armies. I just hope bringing reconstruction and peace to the country will be as complete as the military victory over this Islamic Mafia element.
Ronald Senko, Allen Park, Michigan U.S.A.

Some of the European contributors to this message board might have lived through this during the allied occupation. So I ask them: will these hard times that the Iraqis are experiencing now be worth it, if we Americans stay the course and rebuild like we did in Europe? I believe it will but I can't imagine the horror they are experiencing and having to cope with.
Jason Stevens, Tampa, FL United States

Somehow, we need to find a way out of this disaster
Keith Roberts, Portsmouth, UK
There can be few who regret the fall of Saddam, but what we see now is no way to bring a civilised future to Iraq. I suspect that a small part of the problem is that the US forces are equipped only for war fighting, and in no way for peacekeeping or supporting nation building. Somehow, we need to find a way out of this disaster - unless we want to see it end the way of the war in Vietnam. Have our leaders learned nothing?
Keith Roberts, Portsmouth, UK

I don't think the fighters in Falluja are remotely interested in submitting to the Iraqi government or in entering politics to help form it. Having rejected a peaceful resolution, they have invited the assault. My only fear is that many innocent people are trapped in the middle.
Narcis, Downey, CA, USA

Bush won his re-election and now he is going to use his "political capital". This is how Bush is celebrating his electoral victory by laying waste to not only Falluja but all of Iraq. Thousands of Iraqis will die for his gain.
Bob Wilhelm, Pennsylvania

Well in my opinion I think assault is the only way out. When America has taken the responsibility of freeing Iraq it has to do it on all aspects. This is so that the freedom and the security promised by the American president is upheld, and the people can live in peace.
Amit, Delhi, India

This clearing of the city had to be done
Loren Brower, Phoenix, Arizona, USA
This is a sad situation. Americans, again, are forced to be looked on by the world as beasts. Yet this clearing of the city had to be done. The insurgents have no respect for the lives of Iraqi people.
Loren Brower, Phoenix, Arizona, USA

As a citizen of peaceful Sweden it's easy for me to have opinions about how this problem should be solved. But I will keep my mouth shut on this matter. I just want to send my prayers and support for the brave Marines, Iraqi soldiers and civilians in Falluja. It takes time and a lot of sacrifice but I strongly believe that one day we will have a free and just Iraq!
Krister, Stockholm, Sweden

Once war breaks out, situations like that are inevitable. The military has to do whatever is necessary to win. The ones to blame are the ones who started the war. Was this war necessary? Why did it start?
Dimitris, London

War is the ultimate expression of temporary insanity. But it happens nevertheless. Had the UN settled this more than 10 years ago, things would not be as they are. Nothing good comes without sacrifice and dedication.
Eduardo, Menorca, Spain

As a US citizen I feel the weight of this type of action heavily on my mind. To me it is a barbaric action that leaves the United States looking like no more than a muscled bound bully in the world playground. I send my apologies and regrets to those who suffered greatly in this unjust assault on the city of Falluja.
Stephen Hauskins, Santa Cruz, California, USA

We are alienating the Iraqi people by prolonging their suffering
Roseanne, NJ, USA
I don't hear any outrage about the innocent civilians that have been killed or wounded, and the devastation that has resulted from this senseless assault. It looks like the rebel leaders have run away, to fight another day. We are alienating the Iraqi people by prolonging their suffering.
Roseanne, NJ, USA

I spoke with an Iraqi woman in Ireland yesterday who was no lover of Saddam Hussein and who lost a sister in a bomb attack in August. She said that what is going on is international bullying and the needless ruin of a beautiful country. Not for one second does she see what is happening as being in any way for the good of her people. What can we do to rid the world of this soul-less imperialism with its "kick ass" culture and philosophy?
Brian Smyth, Meath, Ireland

I cannot believe what is happening. This highly unnecessary and immoral war. What in heaven's name have the Iraqi people done to deserve this? We already captured Saddam... why are we invading the country? To occupy them and force our form of government down their throats and all to secure a supply of oil and to enrich Halliburton? God help us all.
John Zaragoza, Garden City, USA

Militarism is out of control
Janet Kenny
This will harm the ordinary citizens who are at home in their own country and will provoke more attacks from insurgents and add recruits to their ranks. It is pouring petrol onto a fire. Collateral damage is mounting and being discounted by those who augment the destruction. Children are being damaged psychologically as well as physically. Militarism is out of control. It is vital that warring forces be included in a future government. The alternative is unthinkable.
Janet Kenny

The assaults on Falluja seem more like a face saving exercise from stubborn men who just can't admit they made a mistake. I read lots of posts telling us that we are weak etc if we do not support this offensive but if our leaders hadn't been so weak and had the courage to admit their mistakes from day one, none of this would have happened and the world would be a much more stable place. All this money and pointless waste of life could be better 'spent' on improving society as a whole so wars need not ever take place.
Matt, Birmingham

Overwhelming force to crush resistance to the occupation resulting from an illegal war is not a long-term answer. It might pave the way for elections but only with dead bodies. It does not address the core issues at stake: social justice and the right of self-determination. This assault will only drive the spiral of violence in the Middle East further.
Alex Herrera, Bogota, Colombia

Only history will tell the story
Tim, Henrville, PA, USA
What the critics of this operation seem unable to realise is that there were several attempts to entice these elements into the political process. Their refusal to abandon violence has forced Allawi to approve this end. This is an example for those elsewhere who refuse to join in the governmental process. Yes it is at a terrible cost both to our kids (the loss of even one is terrible) and yes at the cost to the population. The outcome? If the country they died in finds its way to freedom and self determination then perhaps their deaths are not wasted. Only history will tell the story. People of sound judgement and good will are on both sides of this issue and it is one which will not be answered in the short term.
Tim, Henrville, PA, USA

The inhuman situation in Falluja is yet more proof that although the Americans are very successful at economically conquering the world, e.g. Coca Cola, McDonalds etc when it comes to fighting a war they lose every time (Vietnam). The International Red Cross should urgently demand a 48 hour truce for all injured civilians to be evacuated to hospital.
John, Powys, Wales

Will the world ever learn the lessons from past wars? If you are not willing to go to war and pay the price in the short term, you will reap the whirlwind. Falluja is a typical example of doing the right thing. The Nay-sayers and weak-kneed would only save themselves up for something much worse. This is the lesson of history; not the flowery unrealistic banality of the Left's "wish" for peace. If you want peace, you'd better be ready to fight for it. Europe enjoys peace today because hundreds of thousands of Americans, Russians, Canadians, Australians, and British died to save her between 1939 and 1945. If she had been willing to confront evil in 1938, none of it would have been necessary.
Paul, Saskatoon Canada

This is not a pacifying operation; on the contrary, it is clearly a way of alienating any people, not only the Iraqis, who don't believe in violence and massacres of innocent victims in order to bring fake freedom and democracy.
Edoarda Paolini, Milan, Italy

I am quite appalled by the lack of sensitivity to the loss of Iraqis lives
Milton, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
I am quite appalled by the lack of sensitivity to the loss of Iraqis lives. The BBC reporter informs that the so called Iraqi forces are actually coming from Kurdish part of Iraq. What the US is doing now is to let brother kill brother. The war started with WMDs, the regime change, then capturing Saddam and his sons, then out of nowhere Zarqawi who popped up in Falluja. I am starting to see the next reason to stay in Iraq.
Milton, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

They say they are bringing democracy to the Middle East but they are bringing only death and destruction to the beautiful city of Falluja. Before the Iraqi war I really felt for the Iraqi people. Sometimes we need to think of how we would feel if it was our country that was being bombed. The US and its allies need to start thinking and have a clever strategy to overcome the terrorists rather than pure brute force. This assault will have alienated the Iraqi people and the terrorists have simply made new strongholds in other cities.
Erika, USA

The Americans are, at last, getting on with the job they started to do. If the aim is to destroy the evil of the regime of Saddam they should not have stopped when they did as this restart will only cost more lives than it may have done in the first place. Hopefully when everything is done fully there will be a government in Iraq that will have the support of the majority of the population and hopefully they will be allowed to rule the country and control the extremists.
J Burdall, Matlock, England

Have I missed something here? I thought the idea was to create an Iraq devoid of a leader who bombed and killed his own people? Allawi is now not only seen as a US imposed puppet leader, but one who is no different from Saddam. To misquote George Orwell from 'Animal Farm', "The Iraqi people looked from Saddam to Bush and from Bush to Allawi and they couldn't tell the difference."
Andrew Hirst, Leeds, UK

The BBC report speaks for itself: The Iraqi Red Crescent said the humanitarian situation in Falluja was a "disaster". "Anyone who gets injured is likely to die because there's no medicine and they can't get to doctors," said Abdul-Hameed Salim, a volunteer. Residents trapped in the battered city said they could smell the stench of decomposing bodies. Rasoul Ibrahim, who fled Falluja on foot with his wife and three children on Thursday, said conditions there were desperate. "There's no water. People are drinking dirty water. Children are dying. People are eating flour because there's no proper food," he said.
Mounif El-Youssef, Rochester USA

While it may be legitimate in general to attack Falluja it is, however, unforgivable that the US forces are failing in their basic legal obligation to protect innocent civilians. It is quite likely that the US war-policy to dehumanize the insurgents (i.e. "their face is the face of Satan") is now causing an excessive use of force at the cost of civilians dragged into the middle of hell. This is sure to cause serious problems in the months to come.
Jaakko Husa, Joensuu, Finland

These actions will never be forgotten by those who have witnessed them
Asfandyar Niazi , Islamabad
Disgusting! Violence begets violence: These actions will never be forgotten by those who have witnessed them. Would any reasonable person think that those who have been displaced men/women who lost their homes and possibly their families will be waiting with a box of chocolates and roses for the troops that attacked the city?

The troops are not the guilty party here, their masters are! There were those who believed this conflict to be just those who when half the world cried out, from Paris to Japan, stood against those holding high their swords of vengeance!
Asfandyar Niazi, Islamabad, Pakistan

In the war there always be casualties. Let us remember that the Falluja has been the home for those people who had decapitated civilians. That in my opinion gives every right to use maximum force against Falluja. The Western world has to stand strong and determined against current Islamic attacks.
Matti Vehvilainen, Helsinki Finland

Great Work! The only criticism I have is that it should have been done sooner. I am so thankful that the BBC is printing emails from Iraqis who support this action on this page. The more that the Iraqis speak out the more world opinion (and action) will support the goal of ridding Iraq of insurgents and terrorists once and for all. As for alienating the Iraqi people, those who want peace and security speak loudly on this page and their opinions are the "only" Iraqi opinions that matter.
John, Bloomfield, NJ, USA

Acquiescence makes us accomplices
Stefano, Malmesbury, UK
We are an invading and occupying force. The reasons given for the invasion are proven lies. We all know this and it is time we come to terms with the fact that WE are the evil force. Acquiescence makes us accomplices.
Stefano, Malmesbury, UK

Yesterday I watched TV pictures of an American "executing" an injured insurgent rather than capturing him. I know war is a dirty business, but my surprise is over the fact that as I have searched the internet for some kind of reaction to this, I can't find a single word about it. Have summary executions by allied forces become so banal that they now pass without comment? I can only contrast it with the endless enquiries and shoot-to-kill allegations that we have had here in Northern Ireland and wonder what we are becoming.
Alan, Belfast, N. Ireland

It's time for France, Germany, and other hand-wringers like Canada to get off their thumbs and commit forces. The US military has to be allowed to disengage behind operations such as Falluja. US forces are required to make the peace, but they cannot be left in place to keep the peace. Western countries should have forces in place to move in behind the "heavy-lifting" the US Army and Marines or doing to give the Iraqi people a chance to have the kind of life the rest of us in the west take for granted.
Doug, Burrits Rapids, Ont, Can

This battle appears like the infamous street battle of Stalingrad fought between Russian forces and Nazi forces during the 2nd world war. This battle will determine the future of democracy in the world. If American forces succeed this will be triumph for democracy otherwise theocracy and medieval anarchy will return back to mankind again. My very best wishes to American Marines and truly wish them to succeed with the least numbers of casualties. May god bless these heroes of Democracy.
Chandra Satpathy, India

The US seems only to have short term aims and no overall strategy
Nora Valsami, Patra Greece
What make people think that levelling Falluja or killing Zarqawi will stop the violence? Did capturing Saddam help? The US seems only to have short term aims and no overall strategy.
Nora Valsami, Patra Greece

A ragtag militia, alerted at a minute's notice to fight a world power trying to occupy their distant country? That is the story of the Iraqi (not foreign Arab) insurgents. The parallels between their struggles in Iraq and the struggles of our forefathers in Lexington and Concord are hard to ignore. There is always going to be a double standard in the world. I just hope the civilians bear minimal losses. Quite frankly, it is civilian deaths that sadden me more than any insurgent losses or military casualties. Those men made a choice to fight, the only choice those innocent civilians made was to live.
Patrick Elyas, Los Angeles, USA

Our troops from whatever country need our support and that includes discretion in what is published
Michael, Santa Cruz, USA

Having decided it had to be done why oh why did the military allow the press and TV to advertise the move and why didn't the military isolate the place to stop the top guys getting away. I feel that TV and the press have not helped but endanger the lives of allied troops over the last few weeks by advertising things in advance. We shouldn't be there, but we are, so our troops from whatever country need our support and that includes discretion in what is published.
Michael, Santa Cruz, USA

Unfortunately, more insurgents will sneak back to the city, when the population comes back. It just seems we are like a dog, chasing it's tail.
Kenneth, Queensbury, New York, USA

As we remember the those who lost their lives in the past wars we still have learnt nothing from the deaths of so many.
T Newman, Bournemouth, UK

I would like to say that I am sorry for the civilians. Why do they have to suffer? It is hard to believe that the US Army and co. are not able to catch Zarqawi. What did they expect? He would wait for them in Falluja? How many lives have to be lost before it brings some order to Iraq? And how high the price will be? What will the children think and learn in the school about America?
Petra, Prague, Czech Republic

Peace only comes from victory
Vernon, Nashville, USA

Peace does not come from talking. Peace only comes from victory. God Bless our American soldiers and those brave Iraqi soldiers who are also risking their lives for the future of their nation.
Vernon, Nashville, USA

I support the Falluja assault. Some degree of alienation will definitely result, however, I am optimistic the majority of the Iraqi people and the Arab world can discern the difference between the terrorists' actions and the efforts by coalition forces to bring peace and rebuild the country. Unfortunately, it does appear the same type of military missions will have to take place in nearby Ramadi where terrorists are regrouping.
John Steinfort, Stafford, Texas, USA

The only way for this to be resolved is for the Iraqis to remove the insurgents and take control of their own destiny.
G Clarke, Hampstead, USA
Sad to say that there will be more lives lost before the situation in Iraq is resolved. Whether you think Bush is right or wrong, don't believe for one moment that the so called insurgents are fighting for the poor people of Iraq anymore than the cowards who killed Nick Berg are freedom fighters. Unfortunately there is no reasonable solution left to pursue. If US concedes then terrorism will increase and if they stay the situation will also escalate. The only way for this to be resolved is for the Iraqis to remove the insurgents and take control of their own destiny.
G Clarke, Hampstead, USA

It is surprising little comment is made about the merciless slaughter of innocent people in Iraq. Falluja is the centre of that terrorist action, shown by the finding of slaughter houses where very tragically decent and ordinary people were mercilessly beheaded. A centre from where the daily bombings and killing were conceived. Should it not be accepted that the clearance of this infamy in Falluja is a necessary step to a free, secure and peaceful Iraq?
Cliff Chatterton, Naples, Florida

To all who oppose this battle, are you then saying that the Iraqis do not deserve to be free of tyranny? Do you think the terrorists will provide them with any semblance of freedom if they were take over? The occupation by these terrorists has been brutal on the citizens. Even reading a newspaper is prohibited. Even asking for your house back, after it has been taken over by insurgents, will result in a vicious beating. This is the future of Iraq if this battle is won by insurgents.
Andrea, NY, USA

To all the people criticising the attack on Falluja, see the three comments on this page, all three are living in Iraq and all three support this war and this attack. These are the only opinions that matter.
Adam, UK

The offensive is based on sound Western reasoning, but fails to take account of the religious dimension effectively. If anything will unite Sunni and Shia in opposition to the occupation, this will. Then we'll reap the whirlwind!
Harry Webb, Thanet, UK

Let's finish what we've started as quickly as possible.
Angus Bearn, Blackheath, London, UK

So in order to 'flush out' terrorists, it is completely acceptable to bomb a whole city and kill thousands of innocent civilians? Would the Northern Ireland conflict have been solved by bombing Belfast? I detect a frightening undercurrent of racism here: in the eyes of the cheerleaders for this horrific war, Iraqi lives are now clearly worth very little.
Lisa, Plymouth, UK

From BBCArabic.com: If Saddam was now in power and decided to launch such an attack against an Iraqi city, I wonder what Bush and Allawi would have said about it?
Sattar Saeed, Baghdad, Iraq

From BBCArabic.com:The Iraqi government is invested with all the legal rights to take the adequate measures. The situation deteriorated badly because of the support given by some Iraqi factions to terrorist groups, disregarding the interests of their own people. The Muslim Clerics Council's stance is partially responsible for this, as it allowed a confused population to kill Iraqis under the name of resistance.
Abdel Lateef Boughaith, Kuwait

From BBCArabic.com:I agree with Allawi's decision to attack Falluja. In fact, he should have done this much earlier, when the kidnappings started in Iraq.
Jaafar Al Jabri, Iraq

From BBCArabic.com:Launching such a bloody offensive during the holy month of Ramadan will cause more anger among an already outraged population. This will turn more Iraqis against the government and the occupation forces.
Maged Abou Hashem, Egypt

The Americans and Iraqis had little choice but to clear out Falluja as the alternative would be to allow it to remain a safe haven for the terrorists, who intend to thwart any attempt to establish democracy in Iraq. The callousness of the anti-war lobby in demanding that US and British troops be pulled out of Iraq is astonishing. That would result the Iraqi people being denied their only opportunity of a free and peaceful future which they richly deserve. The anti-war lobby would have us condemn them to live at the mercy of an assortment of ex- Baathists and Islamist extremists
Paul, Aberdeen UK

The US and Iraqi troops go absolutely out of their way to avoid harming Iraqi civilians while insurgents specifically target them and who ends up being the bad guy? Members of charity organizations get kidnapped and are killed or threatened and still I read of the poor insurgents and how they should be pitied and praised. I have no sympathy for them. No legitimate resistance targets its own children or charity workers.
John Wells, Toledo, OH, USA

I am appalled at comments on here that claim Falluja is a "necessary evil". Are they the same people that claim there will be a bloodbath if the troops were to pull out now? Many thousands of Iraqi's, killed by what I believe is an illegal occupying army, if that isn't a bloodbath then I'd like to know what is. Wake up people and look at what is being done in our name.
Andy, London

The attack on Falluja is going to lead wanton killings of thousands of innocent men, women and children. Falluja may be won but it will further tarnish the image of the allied forces.
M Luqman, Lahore, Pakistan

The assault on Falluja was long overdue
H Thornton, Victoria, Canada
I feel sorry for our troops abroad who are doing what they enlisted for. They should be getting all of the support they deserve to help them through the perils that are ahead of them. But all they seem to get in the news and from family is negative and whinging comments. I feel it is right to stand by those who are fighting for the freedom of democracy and try to visualize what it would be like if our defenders did nothing. What is the point of having an army if it is not used? I think that the servicemen who have given their lives should receive respect from the nation and from their families, but all they seem to get is calls for them to come home, which not only will demoralise and disrespect the brave soldiers on the battle field but above all tarnishes the memory of those that have given their lives for us.
H Thompson, Formby, England

Two quotes from George Orwell spring to mind: "If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever" and "War is Peace". The world has become Orwell's nightmare.
Mark, Wigan, UK

I support the government in its use of force to rid us from the terrorists gangs
Ahlam Jamil, Iraq
From BBCArabic.com:I am originally from Falluja. I support the government in its use of force to rid us from the terrorist gangs that have been wrecking havoc in my city and causing pain to my people. I say to Arabs outside Iraq: Please save us your comments because you don't know the crimes that have been committed by these gangs under the guise of religion and resistance.
Ahlam Jamil, Iraq

Ahlam Jamil has a good point. The resistance are a bunch of thugs. Lets have a fair election in Iraq, train the new Iraqi Army, and bring our troops home.
Don Mockaitis, San Angelo, USA

From BBCArabic.com: The war on Iraq was illegitimate in the first place and therefore all subsequent actions are also illegitimate. The whole world, and not just Iraq, is a loser from this destruction.
Sami Al Agouz, Cairo

From BBCArabic.com: I am surprised at those who describe terror as resistance. Where was this resistance during Saddam's reign? Wasn't there any injustice then? Did he not kill thousands in cold blood?
Tariq, Baghdad

From BBCArabic.com: Some are shedding tears for Falluja and for the terrorists and murderers, but no-one seems to have spared a thought for the bereaved families who have lost loved ones because of the car bombs etc, manufactured by those criminals who call themselves part of the resistance. Allawi's decision is a sound one and should have been taken and implemented long before now. Iraq does not need criminals to defend it.
Wisam, Basra, Iraq

From BBCArabic.com: Since when has the hospital in Falluja been a strategic place, so much so that it became the first area to be taken over by the Americans?
Younis, originally from Falluja, Iraq


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