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Last Updated: Wednesday, 27 April 2005, 20:36 GMT 21:36 UK
Should Iraq be an election issue?
British troops in the Iraqi city of Ammarah
The decision to go to war in Iraq was put at the centre of the election campaign last week when the Lib Dems called for a public enquiry.

This is the second page of your comments on the Iraq War.


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

It cannot be ignored or overlooked in favour of our own more directly personal interests
Allie Parker, London, UK
I don't see how Iraq can be ignored. Tony Blair spoke with a catch in his voice yesterday about not ignoring deaths due to poverty in the third world. There have been no such words from him about the deaths due to war in Iraq, but they are even more difficult to ignore because the UK (as a result of Tony Blair's decision to go to war) is directly responsible for those deaths. It cannot be ignored or overlooked in favour of our own more directly personal interests.
Allie Parker, London, UK

I am not a natural Labour supporter, but I have voted Labour in both previous elections. However, I cannot vote Labour this time as I don't want to validate a leader who has obviously lied about the war on Iraq. Blair's argument today said he was happy to have Saddam in prison rather than in power. We all are.
Peter Mason, Bolton Lancashire

Of course the war is a crucial issue for the next election. Even if we believe Mr. Blair made the right decision at the time, the so-called intelligence was wrong. Mr. Blair is also responsible for the department that gave him that info. That clearly failed to work, and Mr. Blair should take full responsibility for this failure. If this happened in a normal business environment, he would have been fired on the spot. I refuse to vote for a party that puts a man in the front position that is not held accountable for poor intelligence services, resulting in an illegal war.
Jan van der Elsen, Reading

The BBC and most commentators do not wish to face the real issue. It is not about the past or Saddam. It is what to do now with the British forces in occupied Iraq: withdraw or remain. If we remain, how long and what are the limits to coalition with USA - a country that is establishing 15 permanent bases? The voters have every right to know.
Dr Yousef Abdulla, Orpington

Michael Howard as leader of the opposition was instrumental, by his parliamentary vote, in bringing about British participation in the Iraq war. It was extremely unlikely to have happened without that vote. He now presides over a very expensive propaganda machine that is trying to use that war to assassinate the character of the PM, incidentally using language that would not be tolerated in parliament. It is frightening that the Tory party should attempt to foist him on the country.
J Westerman, Leeds

The British should stand up like a man to reject any political party or leader which merely follows the instructions of the Americans like a "poodle". The Labour Party and Tony Blair have brought great shame to Britain as an independent sovereign country unable to make its own mind based on justice and truth.
Robert Lee, Hong Kong

I think any issue forms the legitimate base of how the public should vote. I would never vote Conservative because of the poll tax, and that was an issue making the headlines years ago. So yes, people should vote for who they want over any reason they feel is just.
Fiona Bell, St Andrews, Fife

Iraq should be the decisive issue
Hope, Berkhamsted
Iraq should be the decisive issue. If Blair gets in, he will do it again - and the Labour party will let him. I will be doing something I thought I would never do - voting Tory. The only thing worse than a Tory government would be Blair back in power. There are simply not enough winnable Lib Dem marginals to remove Blair. Those of us in Lab/Con marginals must swallow our bile and vote Conservative.
Hope, Berkhamsted, Herts

If Iraq is an excuse for anybody to not vote Labour they should grasp it with both hands, it's one of many good reasons to reject the government we've all suffered for eight years.
PT, London

No, Iraq should not be an election issue and shame on those political parties, Conservative and Lib Dem who have nothing better to offer us than to snipe at Tony Blair to hide their lack of policies.
Jen, Hove

Yes, the authority for going to war (with the benefit of hindsight) was dubious. Even more dubious is the Tories' position. Had they been in power, we would have gone to war in exactly the same way. No ifs, no buts. The issue is how opportunistic the Tories are prepared to be by now attempting to distance themselves from action they supported. I for one am not fooled.
Stuart, Derby

Why is it that the supposedly most powerful nation on earth needed the help from a country that you can fit into the state of California five times?
L Worrall

I think the Lib Dems are trying to use this for political gain. It should not be an issue. Not everyone thought the war was wrong and I for one am glad that Saddam Hussein has been removed. A million people took to the streets to protest but how many millions stayed home? The opposition parties are looking a little desperate by using the war as a political issue. They should be concentrating on the things that matter like the NHS, education, crime and the economy. All of these have improved since the Tories left office 15 years ago - they almost brought the NHS to its knees with their cut backs. Some of us have long memories.
Yvonne Riordan, London

If we invaded Iraq to rid the world of a dictator, as Tony Blair would have us believe, fair enough. Who are we going to dispose next in Labour and the US's campaign to democratise the World? Saudi Arabia? Jordan? Any number of African or South American Nations? No? Not invading anywhere else? It's about time they stopped trying to use that as an excuse.
Jane, London

It's critically important. The devil is in the detail of the decision-making processes around the war. We must hold our politician's to account for what they do in our name, on grounds of both the integrity of their actions and the competence with which they carry them out.
Mark Leighton, Woking, Surrey

The war would have happened with or without the UK's involvement
Richard Clayton, Norwich
It should not be an election issue. The war would have happened with or without the UK's involvement. We should look forward and judge parties on their policies not look backward on one event. Any party suggesting that you should vote for them as a protest obviously know their policies are unattractive.
Richard Clayton, Norwich

Where was democracy when Blair and his cronies ignored perhaps the largest peaceful demonstrations ever seen in this country over the illegal and still unresolved war in Iraq? I would suggest that all those who took part in those marches, and were so contemptuously treated, vote for the Lib Dems. Show Mr Blair that we do have some power through the ballot box.
Malcolm Ferguson, Warrington, England

Tony Blair made an outstanding commitment to his decision to go to war in Iraq and I'm happy that he is standing by that decision. I suspect the other parties would have folded by now.
Tim, Derby

This is a crucial election issue, which could have severe repercussions for the security and defence of the people of this country.
John Wallace, London

Of course it should be an election issue. After all we were lied too. How much is it still costing the taxpayer to keep troops there?
Dave, Thatcham

Iraq should not be an issue in this election. Let's clean up our own backyard first.
Chris, Worcester

It would have been easy to turn a blind eye to Saddam because we're not unfortunate enough to live in Iraq. But the war may have been the lesser of two evils.
Nicola, Bristol

The war would have happened no matter which political party had been in power
Mhairi, Kinross, Scotland
It's not an issue for me and it won't affect my vote - nor should public resources be wasted on going over and over the whole issue. The war would have happened no matter which political party had been in power.
Mhairi, Kinross, Scotland

For those who justify the war by asking: "would you prefer it if Saddam were still in power?" - the war was never sold as a regime change as it would not have got through the House of Commons or the Lords. If another nation, say China, thinks the government in this country is unacceptable, do they have the right to come here and change it?
Ian Thomas, Miskin, South Wales

It will be an electoral issue for me. I will vote Labour, and a key reason is there stance against tyranny and bullying. "All evil needs to succeed is the acquiescence of good people." Rather than abandoning the peoples of Iraq to an uncertain fate, Labour have helped them down a long and difficult path to a better future.
Ian, Oxford

Voting for Labour would be to condone an illegal war. If the best reason they can come up with to vote Labour is that otherwise the Tories may get in, it is even more reason to against the government.
Donna Hume, London, England

Is there such a thing as a legal war? If yes, based on whose standards? It doesn't matter whether it was legal or not. What matters is that it was solely waged for financial and geopolitical reasons. The fact that Saddam was removed from power was simply a little bonus used by the warring nations' government as a lollypop to their voters.
Raslan Oussalah, The Hague, Netherlands

Why do people keep on invoking international law? It doesn't exist
Paul, London
Why do people keep on invoking international law? It doesn't exist - morality is not based on a majority decision. Simply having UN backing would not have made the Iraq war right. Morality transcends international law, and always will do.
Paul, London

At the beginning of the election I had considered voting Lib Dem because of their policy of a 50% tax on high earners. I cannot, however, back a party who would be so spineless in the face of the threat of international terrorism. The Lib Dems might be fit to run a parish council but I dread to think what they would be like in government.
James, London

If Blair had said we are going to Iraq to get rid of an evil dictator, I would have supported him. He did not. He found an excuse to go to war come what may. This was on Bush's to-do list ever since he came to power. Now both of them have lied to get their war. Many British and American troops died for them. I will be thinking of those people on May 5th.
Luca, Coulsdon, Surrey

No it should not. The premise that every Labour and Conservative candidate should be held to account on Iraq is ridiculous. Does this mean that candidates up for election to Parliament for the first time are to account for past history in which they took no part? Or only those candidates up for re-election? As for regime change in Iraq being on Bush's "to-do-list", I think that if Luca were to research the matter it would be readily seen that Regime Change in Iraq was set down as a very clear policy aim, not of the US Administration of George W Bush, but that of his predecessor, Bill Clinton in 1998.
Bill Woodcock, Stavanger, Norway

Kennedy is right. The Iraq affair is well far from being resolved. Ask the Iraqi people how many civilians have lost their lives. That is the bigger price so far paid by the common people, and it has been a crime.
Paul, Clitheroe

Iraq is being overplayed as an election issue
Leonard H, London
Iraq is being overplayed as an election issue by the Liberal party to appeal to the Muslim and disaffected Labour voters. They are ignoring far more important issues such as housing, education, health, crime and immigration. This is a serious miscalculation on the part of the Liberals which will be viewed by many as opportunist and will not really effect the outcome of the election.
Leonard H, London

Howard says that Blair lied about it, but was right. This is just one example of how the Conservatives no longer form effective opposition to Labour. Privatisation and an aggressive foreign policy can only be fought by a party which has markedly opposing views.
G Budden, Segovia, Spain

I'm not that happy about the way things were done. That said, I've opposed Saddam since 1982 and it would be hypocritical to change my mind about that just because the Americans did. I'm glad Saddam's gone but I'll still vote for Respect for reasons having nothing to do with Iraq.
Alcuin Edwards, London, England

It really annoys me when people keep talking about the people that are being killed in Iraq now but forget how many people Saddam killed, maimed and tortured. We didn't care when we didn't know about what he was doing we can turn a blind eye when it doesn't affect us. But whether he had weapons then we had to stop him. It might not have been today or tomorrow, but you can bet your life Saddam was using the UN like a puppet just waiting for his opportunity to bomb one of his neighbours. He has been treating us like fools and Tony Blair was right to sort it out now before something really nasty happened.
Paul, Rochdale

What alternative was there to war? The status quo of sanctions was hurting the Iraqi people but not Saddam. The only alternative was to walk away from the situation, which would have shamed the international community and exposed the UN for the toothless tiger it is.
Kevin Langley, Oxford

Where are the WMD we were promised?
Lee Floyd, Nottingham
Where are the WMD we were promised? Why wasn't the removal of Saddam the advertised aim? Because there were no WMD and an excuse had to be found. Worry about who's next....
Lee Floyd, Nottingham, England

New Labour and the Conservatives are in this together. They both voted for military action in large numbers, despite a UN team of inspectors being in place. Couldn't they have waited until Dr Blix had finished his task? The only major party to have any credibility on this matter is the Lib-Dems, who have consistently opposed the war.
Dave, England

I don't get these people who say that the war may have been illegal but the world is safer without Saddam. Iraq is now massively unstable, a breeding ground for Islamic fundamentalists. Tens of thousands of Iraqis have been killed and more are killed everyday. Furthermore, hundreds of Brits and Americans have also died there and anyone who thinks that a terrorist outrage is less likely as a result of this action is kidding themselves.
Ben, London

The country is free and facing a better future
Mike Moran, Burley-in-Wharfedale, England
Iraq is over and done with, the Prime Minister took the steps needed to oust Saddam Hussein and his henchmen. The country is free and facing a better future and has nothing whatsoever to do with our forthcoming election. This issue has no influence on how I will vote.
Mike Moran, Burley-in-Wharfedale, England

It's important that Iraq is an issue at the election. If the Labour Party and Conservatives lose votes because of their action on the war, it will help to prevent them making the same mistakes again. Mr Blair did not pay attention to the people protesting in London because he did not believe it would cost him votes at an election. A high Lib Dem vote will show politicians the British people will vote against unjust foreign policies and war. We cannot turn back the clock on Iraq, but by showing our dissatisfaction it will prevent future governments from going to war so quickly and that has to be a good thing.
Mark Jones, Leeds

Iraq is the only reason I can find to justify a vote for Mr Blair. His resolve and determination have assisted in sowing the seeds of democracy in that unfortunate country.
Gherkin, Oprington, UK

Please don't dismiss the Iraq issue because the war was two years ago. We have to send a message to our politicians that they must not usurp the UN's authority as an excuse for war. The politicians don't pay attention to mass demonstrations or Stop the War campaigns, they only care about votes in the election. If we don't take a stand on the Iraq war, it will happen again somewhere else! Next time it could be Syria for supporting the Sunni insurgents, Iran for conducting nuclear research, or North Korea for being a tyrannical regime. Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
Tim, Gillingham, UK

Good for Charles Kennedy. Get Iraq back onto the agenda, and keep it at the top. It's one thing for politicians to tell fibs about tax, but quite another to tell lies that cost people their livelihood, their homes, their family and their limbs. I find the behaviour of Tony Blair over Iraq so utterly contemptible that I shall never vote Labour while he still leads the party. The behaviour of Michael Howard, however, is scarcely less contemptible. When it was obvious to millions of people that the government was making an appalling mistake, the so-called main opposition party was nowhere to be seen - other than right behind the government, egging it on!
Jon, Newcastle

Iraq is not an election issue for me, I believe it was the right thing to do and should have been done years ago. The whole issue showed how week the UN is. People need to understand that politically incorrect action needed to be taken. Iraq had breached all resolutions and was getting away with it. Would people really want go back to a world with Saddam?
Simon, Sussex

The Iraq war is an irrelevant issue as the war has now passed and is winding down. What is important is choosing a government that can deliver good economic prospects with improved public services including public transport, education and healthcare. With the Lib Dems constantly harking on about the Iraq war makes me wonder if they have any idea what they need to do with the services that actually effect the lives of Britons?
Jamie, Northampton, UK

Those who claim that the Iraq war is an event in the past should read more newspapers. The war is still going on - our troops are still being killed, Iraqis are still being killed and many more are dying from malnutrition. And all because Blair wanted to strut the world stage with George Bush. I've always voted Labour in the past but I'll never forgive Blair - how can we ever trust him again?
Rufus Heron, London, UK

Of course Iraq is an election issue. When millions marched in London before the war Mr Blair was dismissive, saying he was elected to make these kind of decisions and that if we disagreed the time to express this was through the ballot box. I hope people will do so.
Zyg Sarnowski, Farnham

Would Charles Kennedy really like to see Saddam Hussein still in power, still murdering hundreds of thousands of men, women and children? No, of course not. He is merely using a serious humanitarian issue to make a cheap electoral bid.
David, Bedford

Iraq is not an issue for me, as even the Iraqi deputy PM says the war was just and Saddam had and used WMD against his own people. I wish the left-wing PC brigade would listen to the people that matter, the Iraqis, and realise they wanted Saddam out of power.
Rob, Reading

No it is not an issue - we need to keep Labour in government. Afterwards, though, Labour must boot out Blair. We can't have a Prime Minister who cares more for the American President than his own electorate.
Kathy Pearson, Plymtree, Devon

To invade and occupy Iraq was simply the biggest decision the government made
Ian, Edinburgh
To invade and occupy Iraq was simply the biggest decision the government made, so to me it is one of the biggest issues of this election. In my view the decision was wrong, and Parliament as well as the country as a whole was misled on the reasons for the war. So I simply will not vote for either Labour or Conservative at this election because of that.
Ian, Edinburgh

This election is about the direction this country is to take over the next four or five years, not about what happened two years ago. Time to move on.
David, London

Given that Charles Kennedy now believes that Labour and Tory candidate should be held to account on Iraq, all Lib Dem candidates should now state if they would have continued to support the genocide of the Kurds and suppression of the Iraqi people by leaving Saddam alone.
Craig Turton, Brighton, England

I am a Liberal Democrat supporter and one of the policies which has confirmed my support for them is their consistent stance against the war. It is tempting to tap into the still considerable anger which many people feel about the war. However, the Liberal Democrats offer more than just an anti-war vote (otherwise, please vote for George Galloway's Respect). I think Charles Kennedy should concentrate on the issues where the Liberal Democrats have good ideas: new top rate tax of 50%, local income tax, good local schools and hospitals rather than a bogus choice. These policies will win more votes and prevent the Liberal Democrats being painted as a one issue party.
Marcus, London, UK

I have always voted Liberal/Lib Dem. Not any more - treating war as a ploy to gain votes should make them ashamed of themselves. The "real alternative" - what is there next joke?
Chris, Chatham

Blair clearly thinks that if Labour win, and he is at the helm, then it's an endorsement that his actions over Iraq were right. I amongst many will disagree. The fact is that I think most people believe he deceived the country, but many people simply don't care judging by the statistics, so why harp on about it? Surely the effect of any anti Iraq sentiment is already reflected in the existing poll figures?
Mark Q, Hastings, UK

My husband fought in op telic 1 and has seen major changes in the lives of the Iraq people. Would it not be better and more comforting to families of soldiers who died to believe that they died for a reason rather than to think it was a waste of time and evil as so many do-gooders insist? My vote is with Labour well done Tony don't back down - it was necessary.
Catherine, N Yorks

It is a pity that Charles Kennedy (and to a certain extent Michael Howard) have fallen into the trap of allowing Iraq to disrupt this general election campaign and divert attention from more pressing domestic issues. It is easy to criticise when you haven't been responsible for the decision. I wonder what CK would have done in the circumstances? He is certainly doing the Lib Dem cause no favours at the moment. It would be good to hear some positive electioneering for a change. Perhaps more people would be inclined to turn out and vote on May 5th!
Max, Reading, UK

The Liberal Democrat approach has always had the vague whiff of political opportunism
Hugh, London
Every decision by a government is an 'issue'. The question is whether it is or should be a decisive issue. The Liberal Democrat approach has always had the vague whiff of political opportunism to me - the hope that somehow this will net them some disenchanted Labour voters. As for the Tories, well they were more gung-ho than Labour in their enthusiasm for war. And me - I am voting Labour. Tony Blair took a very brave political decision - he is more than aware of the extent of opposition within and without the party and expected that it could lead to how own resignation. Yet he took the action to prosecute the war because he believed it to be the right thing to do. That's called political courage. It surely cannot be suggested that what this country needs is more MPs who do what the mob or the opinion polls dictate.
Hugh, London

Is Mr Kennedy standing for the British or the Iraqi election? Would someone please remind him that the Iraqi elections were held few months ago.
Ivar, Leicester

Of course the war is an issue. Apart from the international implications of its legality and the increased terrorist threat as a result, there is still the huge economic impact of starting and maintaining our position there. This cost is bound to affect domestic issues as well - the money wasted on this misadventure could have been/can be put to much greater use here and abroad.
Andy Bryceland, Greenock, Scotland

How could it not be an election issue? It's an ongoing, dangerous, expensive and irrational policy of the current government. Note to opposition candidates: in the US it was John Kerry's failure to make the war an election issue that sealed his fate.
Peter Nelson, Boston, USA

This issue alone has secured my vote for the Lib Dems. However, it is very easy to take the moral high ground when you are the second opposition party. Somehow, I can't quite visualise the day when Charles Kennedy PM, explains to George Bush why he won't be able to count on our support in his future campaigns.
Catherine, Maidenhead, UK

The Tories and Lib Dems don't give the electorate much credit, in the face of unshifting opinion poll ratings they now seem to be saying "don't forget about the war", as if anyone has! The fact is most people are glad Saddam has gone and their votes, quite rightly, will be cast for the party they feel will govern the country most effectively in the next five years.
Kevin, West Midlands

No party will come out of this smelling anything like roses
Muzzy, Edinburgh, Scotland
It's rather concerning that the debate is not on who was right or wrong about Iraq rather than which party can manipulate public opinion to their advantage at the polls. No party will come out of this smelling anything like roses.
Muzzy, Edinburgh, Scotland

The Iraq war has happened. The allies now have a legal presence there. They will leave when the Iraqis ask them to. The country is now a fledgling democracy. Move on. Let's talk about current issues.
Vince, Coventry UK

Democracy is about holding our leaders to account. If Iraq is not an election issue then what sort of a democracy do we have? Proud to be British? I used to be!
Douglas, Tirling, Scotland

Iraq is an issue. It either shows that Tony Blair risked deep unpopularity to do the right thing or that he did the wrong thing, and achieved deep unpopularity.
Nigel, Southeast UK

There is still oppression, loss of life and no real democracy
C. Preece, Tamworth, UK
I am outraged at some of the responses here. Many of you seem to support the fact that the war was justified as it removed the tyrant Saddam. Any military conflict conducted purely to change a regime is an illegal conflict. The Iraq war was an illegal war. Some of you say that it's been over for 2 years, let's move on. What exactly is over? There is still oppression, loss of life and no real democracy.
C. Preece, Tamworth, UK

I have been a Labour supporter since 1997 and I am very pleased with their domestic handling of the economy and the NHS. However, the Iraq war has made me ashamed to be British. I want my country to support international law and the UN, not kowtow to US oil policies. I shall be voting for the Liberal Democrats.
Michael E, London, UK

Whilst I was against the war, it did happen and there is no going back from that. I don't intend to pick who will run the country for the next 5 years based on this single issue.
Phil, UK

Iraq is a huge and decisive issue in this election for me. I am probably a more natural Labour supporter, and approve of the money being spent on the health service (in which I work) and public services in general. Their handling of the economy has also been strong. However, I will be voting Lib Dem because there are issues more important than these. Issues such as going to war because the Whitehouse says so.
Phil Crofts, Essex

Whatever the rights and wrongs of the war we are committed now and must see it through
Martin, Basingstoke
Whatever the rights and wrongs of the war we are committed now and must see it through. The only way it can be seen as an election issue is in how each of the parties proposes to resolve the situation. Simply banging on about being anti-war or accusing the government of lying is not what needs to be discussed at this moment in time.
Martin, Basingstoke, Hants

Iraq is a central issue. The British public clearly understood the highly questionable speculations on the existence of weapons of mass destruction had little proof. The public urged constraint, diplomacy, and further UN investigation by Hans Blix. The recent document concerning the legality, as the BBC reports, contains caveats to be debated by the public. Jack Straw, clearly, did not answer the questions asked of him about the six points of "legality of the Iraq War".
Jack Bottin, Edgewater, New Jersey USA

If by "punishing" Tony Blair you put Michael Howard into Number 10, whether it's by voting Tory, Lib Dem, other or not at all. Will you not end up receiving the punishment of a Tory government? In France's last presidential election, the left-wingers' "punishment" votes against Lionel Jospin resulted in an ultimate "choice" between the right-wing incumbent Jacques Chirac and the extremist Le Pen being the only options on the table. Some choice. Don't forget: "Punish Blair, Get Howard"
Andrew Rose, France

The Tories would have done exactly the same thing.
Alex, London

Blair should be made accountable for his mistakes over Iraq
John, Sheffield
I agree with Kennedy, Blair should be made accountable for his mistakes over Iraq. A vote for Blair will be legitimising the awful mistakes of Iraq. I can't see how people could vote for him with a clear conscience.
John, Sheffield

What about living today instead of constantly trying to live in the past? How many more politicians are to be put in the dock to satisfy the self appointed media minders of our morality?
S Panter, Norwich

It definitely is an issue. We liberated millions from a murderous tyrant and brought democracy, however tentatively, to a country which had never known it before. Because of this, I am going to vote Labour for the first time in my life.
Anthony Jones, Leeds, UK

It shouldn't be an issue. The Iraq war happened two years ago - so get over it. I shall vote on the issues that concern me here in Britain. Those still wanting Saddam in power want Iraq to be an election issue. It's nothing to do with morals, accountability or truth. All the Liberal Democrats (and now the Tories) want is your vote. They have no sound policies to stand on. Mr Kennedy and Mr Howard can shout all they can they will never ever get my vote. It's the British election not the Iraqi election.
Ivar, Leicester

Absolutely, it is the only reason I will not be voting Labour. Hearing Blair and Straw's refusal to admit their mistakes today simply reminds me why I vowed not to vote for them back in 2003.
Tom, Cardiff

The Tories should stop playing two games: they either back the war or they don't
Jemma Malone, Wakefield
The Tories should stop playing two games: they either back the war or they don't. They cannot change their stance on the war now that it seems the attorney general ad his reservations about war in the first instance. Iraq is an election issue but I want to here more about how we are going to clear up after ourselves and not just why and how we went to war.
Jemma Malone, Wakefield, West Yorkshire

Utilitarian benevolence is not a justification for breaking international law. If I carry out a smash-and-grab raid at a jeweller's, to help someone whose family is starving, my good intentions do not excuse the crime. To tear up the UN Charter in the name of democracy is utterly ludicrous.
Edmund Burke, Kingston upon Thames, UK

Labour helped to get rid of Saddam Hussein and in my book that can only be a good thing. This issue will rage on for years, and this round is just the Liberals jumping on the bandwagon for an easy votes-grabber. It's done, Iraq now has a government - can we now please concentrate on matters at home?
Ross, UK

British troops are still at risk and still dying in this ill-advised campaign
Robbie H, UK
Of course Iraq should be an election issue. British troops are still at risk and still dying in this ill-advised campaign. It is costing us billions of pounds and putting us all at greater risk from militant terrorists. How could it not be an election issue?
Robbie H, UK

Yes, I think it is right to judge the candidates on their position regarding the war. I demonstrated against the Iraq war in February 2003, and yet my MP voted for the war in Parliament. How else can we hold our elected representatives to account?
Henry Dare, London

I think a better question would be is Iraq going to be an election issue? The news is generally improving and coverage by media organisations is reducing day by day. That's only bad news for the Lib Dems.
Abdi, Ealing, UK

The Iraq war is not an election issue since we can hardly vote to prevent it now
Jon, Enfield
The Iraq war is not an election issue since we can hardly vote to prevent it now. Trust is the election issue. Do we want a government that thinks it knows better than we do?
Jon, Enfield

Of course it is an issue, how can it not be? To take the country to war, resulting in the death of our servicemen and innocent civilians, was a very important decision to make, and let's not forget it is not over yet. If you believe the war was wrong, you should not vote Labour or Conservative.
Jonathan Kelk, Dalry, Scotland

Only a few legal and political anoraks are interested in the details of what legal advice the PM received. Someone should be asking Charles Kennedy if he thinks Iraq would be a better place with Saddam Hussein still in power.
Archie, Aberdeen, UK

I don't think that Labour have accurately understood just how many votes this issue will cost them at the election.
Alan, Midlands, UK

It is obvious that Charles Kennedy is just using this issue to win votes for his party. The war in Iraq is just one factor and a factor now in the past, in deciding who to vote for. No one should be throwing away their vote on the basis of this one issue, this is exactly what politicians want us to do, and ignore the bigger picture.
Alex Holland, Cambridge, England

I have always voted Labour, not this time. The war is unforgivable
Louis Gibbs, Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex
I have always voted Labour, not this time. The war is unforgivable. I think Howard is wrong to cast his dice on popularity, as no one is more unpopular than him.
Louis Gibbs, Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex

Yes it should because the government is trying desperately to draw a line under the issue and move on. It is yet another case of New Labour having very little respect for the electorate - doing what they like without any accountability. Well now is the time to hold them accountable!
Gavin, Bristol, UK

If it is not an issue then it says a lot of horrible things about this country, and that we have abandoned all morals.
Ian Hearn, Reading, UK

Yes it is an important issue for me and I shall be voting Lib Dem. You only had to hear Straw on the Today programme this morning to be reminded of governmental weasel words surrounding the war.
Karen Mutch, Exeter, UK

I am in favour of the war, but not the way we went about it
Alastair P, Crewe, UK
I am in favour of the war, but not the way we went about it. Why can't Mr Blair publish his legal advice? Does he have something to hide? Politicians should be honest about such important issues like war.
Alastair P, Crewe, UK

Of course it should be an issue! We invaded another country and the result is more than 20,000 Iraqi civilians killed, let alone the number of soldiers (who had no choice but to join up). And for what - to depose one man who never had weapons that could hurt us in the first place?
Dominic Tristram, Bath, UK

It's not just Britons who are voting - Iraqi people have been able to vote in a democratic election, thanks to the military action that removed Saddam's vile regime. The economy and public services are the main election issues here, but Tony Blair deserves credit for helping achieve democracy for the people of Iraq.
John, Leeds, UK

It's easy to forget how many of us opposed the war and how many people demonstrated in London against it. The Lib Dems opposed the war and therefore represented my view. They will receive my vote next week.
Darryl Munro, Aberdeen, Scotland

The Iraq war is the most important political issue for a decade
Steve Broadbent, Norwich
The Iraq war is the most important political issue for a decade. Unless Tony Blair is punished for taking this country into an illegal war against the wishes of the people, there is nothing to stop it happening again and again and again.
Steve Broadbent, Norwich

As far as I'm concerned it's a major election issue and in combination with some of our new antiterrorist laws is the reason I will not vote Labour again. The Iraqi war highlights issues of both trust and respect for international law and the opinions of the British people. Add to this the tens of thousands of lives that have been lost and the continuing carnage and as far as I'm concerned Mr Blair deserves a lot worse than merely loosing his job.
Colin Wright, UK

Absolutely! Governments campaign on their record and opposition parties campaign on their promises. The war was the single biggest issue of the last Parliament and all parties must be judged on their decisions and attitudes.
Rob McKay, London, UK

Whatever the rights and wrongs of the Iraq war, I want to know why the prime minister seems to find it so difficult to be straight up with the public about anything.
Dean, Maidenhead, UK

It is over two years since the war in Iraq commenced and, despite the rights, or wrongs of the case for the war, the simple fact was the then Iraqi leadership was a tyranny who inflicted huge misery and death on its own population, and that of Iran. An unjust war, no.
Kev, Bushey

Iraq is not an issue for me. Let's move on and learn from it, what's done is done
Ellie Inman, Plymouth, UK
Iraq is not an issue for me. Let's move on and learn from it, what's done is done. This election should be about things that the government can physically change now like immigration, schools, hospitals etc.
Ellie Inman, Plymouth, UK

Of course Iraq should be an election issue. Democracy has no meaning unless the electorate can express its outrage a such a terrible crime committed in its name against a country that has never threatened us, 'supported' by lie after lie, in defiance of the UN, and resulting in the slaughter and maiming of tens of thousands of people who had done us no harm whatsoever.
Cynthia Hall, Oxford

Although I have understanding for those people that feel passionately about Iraq, I feel it is one issue that will not be affecting the way I vote - there are too many separate issues to allow one grievance to make a decision which, in effect, could shape our lives for the next 5+ years. I'm going to make that decision as objectively as possible.
David, Buckinghamshire, UK

I strongly believe that Michael Howard is going overboard about the issues that surround the Iraq war. The Iraq war is over now and it is going to take some time before everything will settle. Why keep blabbering on about old news? We must look back in the 80s, during Thatcher's era and look at the damage and the fear she and the Tories caused England - they took out the community spirit of England. Tony Blair is doing a good job to keep England stable - all that really matters is a high employment rate. Without this, England is nothing.
Lucy, Somerset, England

Tony Blair had to make very difficult decisions over Iraq
Michael Burgess, London
Tony Blair had to make very difficult decisions over Iraq. I ask Charles Kennedy to cast his mind back to just before the war. Saddam constantly made life difficult for weapons inspectors and refused to listen to the many warnings. The fact that no WMDs have yet been found doesn't mean he never had them. We know he had them and used them in the past. Even Dr David Kelly (the world's expert) believed they had them. Wake up Mr Kennedy to the real world of tough decision making.
Michael Burgess, London

I am sickened by the Lib Dem press conference this morning. To dismiss torture, genocide and barbarity under Saddam as mere "internal difficulties" is obscene. If Blair is Bush's poodle what does that make Kennedy, Saddam's lapdog? There should be an inquiry into Iraq, into why Kennedy and his cronies were so keen to keep Saddam's regime in power!
Paul, Stourbridge, England

It was morally and historically wrong for Tony Blair to throw his whole hearted support after Mr Bush and go to war against Iraq. Both Bush and Blair must have realised their blunder but are apparently proud of successfully overthrowing Saddam Hussein. The innocent US and British soldiers sacrificed and thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians wrongly killed are forgivable. All those involved imposing illegal wars like this, invasion of Kuwait and Iran Iraq war will one day face justice. Of course the first on the way to the docks is going to be Saddam.
Safi, Hong Kong

When anyone mentions the Iraq war I think of Dr David Kelly. How he was treated by this government and the torment he went through at that infamous "committee". He died because of the way he was treated. Should anyone doubt that 1984 is well and living inside the Labour Party, they should be reminded of this. I would not vote for a party that can do this to anyone.
Sandra Warde, Stockport



SEE ALSO
Early Iraq legal advice 'leaked'
27 Apr 05 |  Election 2005



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