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  Interactive special programme on the Iraq war
Updated 20 March 2003, 18.06

You sent in questions for Lizo and Laura to answer about the conflict in Iraq on our special interactive programme.

If you missed the programme, don't worry, you can watch it by clicking below. And you can read the questions and answers further down the page.

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  • Why have we gone to war?
  • Why are so many people against the war?
  • Are we attacking Iraq because we can't find Osama bin Laden?
  • How long is this war likely to last?
  • How are the attacks actually happening?
  • Does Iraq have an army that can actually fight back?
  • Why don't spies just go in and steal all these weapons of mass destruction that Britain and America claim Saddam Hussein has?
  • Are loads of innocent Iraqi people going to be killed in this war?
  • Why are people blaming Muslims for this war? I agree that Saddam Hussein's a threat, why are people being mean to me because of my beliefs?
  • Is the war going to affect where I live - will they drop bombs here?
  • Should we be stocking up on emergency supplies in our homes?
  • I'm very, very scared and have nightmares about war, what should I do?
  • At what point will the war finish?
  • What will happen if the USA and the UK don't succeed with the war against Saddam and Iraq?
  • What is going to happen to the United Nations?
  • What's it going to be like in Iraq for children after the war?
  • My dad's a soldier, when war ends when will they be sent home and do I have to worry about biological sort of diseases like anthrax?
  • Will I be forced to join the army to fight?
  • Is there any chance that war could be stopped any time now?
  • When the war's over who's going to actually rule Iraq?
  • Will they try and bomb us here in the UK?

  • More of your comments


    Emily, 11, Newcastle and Scott, 12, Blackwater
    Why have we gone to war?

    Laura: Well it's a difficult question to answer Lizo. Basically President Bush, the President of the United States of America, and our Prime Minister, Tony Blair, think that Saddam Hussein, who's the President of Iraq, is a very dangerous man. They think he has very dangerous guns, very dangerous bombs, very dangerous weapons which could be a threat to the rest of the world. Now Saddam Hussein has said he doesn't have these weapons and that some of the ones he did have he has destroyed. But President Bush and Tony Blair didn't believe him and so they believed that we ought to try and stop him if he did have those weapons and go to war with him.


    Mark, 14, Liverpool
    Why are so many people against the war?

    Laura: Well a lot of people are against the war because they don't believe that war is the right answer, they think that things should be resolved by talking, as opposed to fighting. A lot of children, as we've seen on Newsround over this week, have been out protesting on the streets, they say that they don't want us to go to war, they're scared that children in Iraq will get hurt, they're scared that people in Iraq will get hurt. And the big thing is the fact that the United Nations, which is a group of countries which tries to stop other countries fighting with each other, didn't actually agree to this war, the United States and the United Kingdom were trying to get agreement with other countries that this war would be correct, that didn't happen and they went ahead with it anyway which is why a lot of people are very unhappy.


    Steven, 14, Motherwell
    Are we attacking Iraq because we can't find Osama bin Laden?

    Laura: Well no, we don't think that Osama bin Laden has anything to do with Iraq. Osama bin Laden, you'll remember of course, was involved in the al-Qaeda terrorist organisation which was, we believe, responsible for the terrorist attacks on America, back in September 2001. He basically was based in Afghanistan though, not in Iraq, so no we don't think there's any connection between Saddam Hussein and him. But of course President Bush and the rest of the world is very keen to stop any terrorist activity. If they think that Saddam Hussein may have weapons that could harm the rest of the world then they want to stop him.


    Jen, 11, Aston
    How long is this war likely to last?

    Laura: Well that's a very good question Lizo, the truth is we don't know, we just don't know how long the war will last. Last night we saw missiles from American ships landing in Baghdad. This evening we understand at this very moment there might be ground troops on their way into Iraq. Nobody wants it to last for very long at all - America and the United Kingdom are very keen for it to be over as soon as possible. We just don't know how long that will be. And of course all the troops who are out there are very keen for it to be over very quickly so they can get home to their families.


    Tom, 13, Glasgow
    How are the attacks actually happening?

    Laura: Well like I said there's air attacks at the moment going on. What the United States and the United Kingdom are trying to do is to take out, what they call, important places in Baghdad - they're trying to take out government buildings, they're trying to bomb factories or places which could be significant to the Iraqi government. They're also trying to find where Saddam Hussein himself is and where other important members of his government are. So that was going on last night, that's been going on for part of this afternoon as well. We understand now that troops might be on their way, ground troop soldiers, on their way into Iraq to try and topple Saddam Hussein, to try and get rid of Saddam Hussein and to restore peace in the country eventually.


    Sarah, 13, Lisburn
    Does Iraq have an army that can actually fight back?

    Laura: Iraq does have an army. Now some of us might remember 12 years ago there was another war in the Gulf - that was when Iraq invaded its neighbouring country of Kuwait and we went to war with Iraq then as well. Now the army in Iraq at that stage a lot of its soldiers gave themselves up to the allied troops and the Americans, the British troops that when they went into Iraq because we have to remember that a lot of people in Iraq don't like Saddam Hussein and want to get rid of him and whether the authorities would be willing to fight for him and to die for him we don't know.


    Josh, 12, Ashfell
    Why don't spies just go in and steal all these weapons of mass destruction that Britain and America claim Saddam Hussein has?

    Laura: Well exactly. First of all we're not sure if Iraq does have these weapons of mass destruction and Iraq of course, we must remember, says that they don't. Now at this point we don't know whether that's true or not but of course it would be against international law to do something like that - we couldn't just send spies in to the country to steal anything. What has happened is that the United Nations, which I was talking about slightly earlier, sent people called weapons inspectors into Iraq to try and find if there were any weapons there at all but of course they weren't sure because the war started - they had to leave.


    Michaela, 11, Staffordshire
    Are loads of innocent Iraqi people going to be killed in this war?

    Laura: Well nobody wants any innocent families, any innocent children, anybody to die in this war but of course at the end of the day it is a war, people will get hurt unfortunately.


    Sahala, 12, Middlesex
    Why are people blaming Muslims for this war? I agree that Saddam Hussein's a threat, why are people being mean to me because of my beliefs?

    Laura: Well nobody should be being mean to her at all. I mean a lot of people here unfortunately don't understand that Muslims and Iraqis have got absolutely nothing to do with the Muslims and Iraqis in this country. We are aware that there might be problems in the coming weeks in school, teachers have been advised to keep an eye out for bullying, if that is happening to you - if you are being picked on you feel because of the war speak to your teachers, speak to your parents, speak to your friends - that shouldn't be happening and is obviously wrong.


    Pricilla, 11, London, Rory, 9, Glasgow and Laura, 11, Dorset
    Is the war going to affect where I live - will they drop bombs here?

    Laura: It is very scary but no there is no need to worry about that at all. Iraq is a very long way away from here and no Iraqi bombs can actually reach the United Kingdom at all, so don't worry about that. The police have warned that there could potentially be a higher risk of terrorist activity in America and Europe because the war has happened but the police are working very, very hard to make sure that that doesn't happen, so don't worry too much.


    Dan, 15, London
    Should we be stocking up on emergency supplies in our homes?

    Laura: No the advice from the Government at the moment is that there's no need to stock up on emergency supplies at all.


    Holly, 11, Reading
    I'm very, very scared and have nightmares about war, what should I do?

    Laura: Well war is a very scary thing, I remember being scared when I was younger during the first Gulf war. But there are things you can do to help. First of all, don't suffer in silence, talk to your friends, talk to your teachers, talk to your mum and dad because the chances are that some of them will be feeling the same way and it does help to discuss things. And of course if you go to our website there is a very good section there about what to do if the news upsets you - so go and have a look at that.


    Hannah, 11, Devon
    At what point will the war finish?

    Laura: Well unfortunately that's the question all of us would like to know, I'm afraid we just don't know. We hope it won't go on for very long, nobody wants the war to go on for any length of time at all, neither the American nor the British nor any of the troops out there, so we hope it won't be very long.


    Jack, 10, Beckenham and Lizzie, 14, Gillingham
    What will happen if the USA and the UK don't succeed with the war against Saddam and Iraq?

    Laura: Well we don't know. The United States and the United Kingdom think that they will be successful in the war against Iraq because they think they have got more sophisticated weapons. They hope that it will be over quickly, nobody wants to be at war at the moment. So they hope that it will be over fast. We don't know what will happen if they don't succeed but Saddam Hussein has said that he doesn't think war will be as easy as they think.


    Katie, 13, Essex
    What is going to happen to the United Nations?

    Laura: Well Katie the row on whether we should go to war with Iraq or not has damaged the United Nations. Normally the United Nations likes to agree on things in international circles before they actually do happen. But having said that the United Nations system has been around for a long time so it should weather this storm, it's certainly weathered things like this before, it's certainly survived crises like this before. But having said this is a pretty serious issue, so we'll just have to wait and see.


    Haley, Stacey and Charlotte, 11, 12 and 12, Werrington
    What's it going to be like in Iraq for children after the war?

    Laura: Well all we know at the moment is that life is going to be pretty difficult for children for the next few days, the next few weeks, the next few months - however long this war goes on for. Obviously they're going to have possibly their homes being bombed - although obviously that's something the troops are trying to avoid - they maybe going to get hurt themselves, they maybe will lose members of their family. It's going to be a very, very difficult time indeed for them. After the war is over we're not sure what's it going to be like then, certainly the United States and the United Kingdom hope that if Saddam Hussein is no longer president of Iraq that life and the future for children in Iraq will be brighter than it is at the moment.


    Andy, 9, Falmouth
    My dad's a soldier, when war ends when will they be sent home and do I have to worry about biological sort of diseases like anthrax?

    Laura: Well it's a very difficult time for children with brothers or sisters or mothers or fathers who are in the area. Nobody wants this war to go for any length of time at all, least of all the parents and brothers and sisters of people who are out there fighting. I can't tell you when your daddy's going to come home but hopefully it will be really soon. As for worrying about anthrax, I don't think that's something you should concern yourself about. All the soldiers who are out in the Gulf have got special protective suits which you might have seen on Newsround this evening or on the news generally which protect them from biological weapons, that means weapons that are used to spread diseases like anthrax. We obviously heard a lot about anthrax in America after September 11th but they were very specific little cases. Nobody thinks that people are going to come back home here with anthrax and the people who are out there are very well protected against weapons like that and also chemical weapons as well so try not to worry too much.


    Steven, 16, Ormskirk
    Will I be forced to join the army to fight?

    Laura: No you won't. There are a lot of people in the British army already, that's not something that's going to happen.


    Laura, 16, Fleet
    Is there any chance that war could be stopped any time now?

    Laura: There is a chance that war could be stopped at any time now. A few days ago you might remember that President George Bush said that if Saddam Hussein was to go into exile - that means if he was to run away from Iraq - then there would be no war. Now Saddam Hussein said that that wasn't going to happen, he said he was going to stay but if he did change his mind - having seen what happened in Baghdad last night, having seen whatever's happening in Iraq just at the moment - it is a small possibility but, to be honest, I think it's probably quite unlikely.


    Oliver, 9
    When the war's over who's going to actually rule Iraq?

    Laura: Well again that's something that's going to have to be decided after the war is finished. When the war is over it's not going to be that troops will just disappear from the country and leave the country on its own, they will be involved in trying to set up some sort of government. There are lots of different groups in Iraq, no one quite knows who will take over but certainly we're not just going to leave the people, the troops will not just leave the people of Iraq to sort that out for themselves, there will be helped to try and put an infrastructure in place and to help rebuild some sort of democratic government there.


    Louise, Edinburgh
    Will they try and bomb us here in the UK?

    Laura: No we don't think that's going to be possible, Iraq's a very long way away from here and the sort of weapons we think they might have wouldn't reach this far. So no, there's no need to concern yourself about that.

    Comments

    James, 11, Maidenhead

    I think going to war with Iraq would be good because then we might be able to get rid of Saddam Hussein for good.

    Class 5B, 10, Chesham

    We think war is childish and we're all scared. We wish it didn't have to happen so young kids could enjoy a happy life. If Iraq's destroyed it'll be a part of our wonderful world that's been destroyed.

    Steven, 14, London

    Any person who supports this war because of what Saddam Hussein did to his people must bear in mind that the USA knew that he was killing his own people at the time and did nothing.

    Emily, 11, Lincoln

    I think that war is wrong but if it's the only way to get Saddam out of Iraq then it's for the best but it means that innocent people will get hurt along the way.

    Emma, 13, Surrey

    I think war in Iraq is stupid because they're trying to stop Saddam killing people by killing even more people. Today my school had a protest and no one went to lessons.

    Norah, 11, London

    I don't think that war is the solution to the problems going on but maybe Bush and Blair are right.

    Rianna, 12, Boston

    I think if Bush wants to have war he and Saddam should fight themselves.

    Megan, 13, Hastings

    Something has to be done about Saddam Hussein, after all the years of suffering they say he's caused his people but innocent civilians might get hurt with a war too.

    Lauren, 13, Basingstoke

    I don't think war is the answer, I know we should be safe but still I have God to help me through this time but I wish we could solve this problem by more peaceful means.

    Osna, 14, London

    I didn't think war was the right thing to do as it's really all about oil. I really wanted to walk out of school to protest but our teachers didn't allow it, which I thought was really unfair as many other schools in the area were allowed to.

    Lauren, 12, Hucknall

    I think that we should go to war to sort out the Iraq crisis with Saddam Hussein. I also feel really sorry for all the children of those who've been injured, I also feel sorry for all the children who are fearing for their lives.

    Miffy, 13, Leeds

    I wish we could have sorted out the problem peacefully but if Saddam Hussein won't give up his weapons I think it's necessary to fight. I don't want to but imagine what the world would be like if we hadn't fought Hitler in World War Two.

    Tilly, 11, Crawley

    I don't agree with the war in Iraq. When will President Bush learn that war is not a game?

    Matt, 14, Lancashire

    I think that all the people taking part in the anti-war demonstrations should stop for a minute and think what would they do if they were in Tony Blair or George Bush's shoes. It's fine to say don't go to war but what would they do instead? I'm against war but I think there's nothing else we can do.

    James, 12, Crowborough

    I don't like the idea of war but Saddam should step down to stop the suffering of his people. Blair and Bush may have jumped in guns blazing but I think they're trying to pressure Saddam to resign.

    Kelly, 13, Bristol

    I'm angry that although Tony Blair is our Prime Minister and was voted in by us he isn't listening, instead he just follows George Bush because he's our ally. I think they've rushed into this war far, far too quickly.

    Alexandra, 12, Dorset

    I think this war is pointless. Tony Blair should talk face to face with Saddam Hussein. Hundreds of innocent Iraqis could get killed. Today at my school we held a protest but we were threatened with suspensions.

    Sally, 12, Wolverhampton

    I'm very angry now the war has started because thousands of people joined anti-war protests and Tony Blair ignored them all. I've been at a protest at my school today and people think that just because we're kids we don't understand.



  • More InfoBORDER=0
    WorldMy dad was taken by the Iraqi army
    Find OutSpecial section on Iraq crisis
    Find OutFind out about the UN
    VoteShould there be a war with Iraq?
    ClubBombing Iraq won't solve anything

    BORDER=0

    Past StoriesBORDER=0
    Bush to issue Saddam warning as war looms
    Britain gives Iraq 'last chance' before war
    US sends more troops out to Iraq
    Six Iraqis killed in US-UK air attacks
    'Saddam should go' say Gulf states

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