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discussion: what should the united states do about saddam hussein? do you agree with those who say iraq's leader is america's single greatest terrorist threat?


Dear FRONTLINE,

Iraq occupied Kuwait for three months. That occupation is over. We need to get over it. Israel occupied Lebanon for 20 years and they still have part of Lebanon. Nobody has the nerve to call them terrorists. Israel also has been occupying the West Bank for 35 years and we do not call Israel a terrorist country either despite the weapons of mass destruction Israel has including nuclear weapons and anti personal cluster bombs which they used in Lebanon in 1982. we call those who resist the Israeli occupation "terrorists".

How about some common sense folks instead of bigotry

Hazem Haddad
houston, tx


Dear FRONTLINE,

I have to concur with others that this looks more like propaganda than an objective analisys of the situation, the geopolitical reality of Iraq ,may be the reason behind the conflict but unless is proven beyond reasonable doubt that Ssaddam Hussein is guilty of anything we should focus in the security threat that lingers above our heads from other enemies that we have created.

And others that pretend to be friends, but silently conspire to see us in our knees,like saudi arabia something that you should explore.

milton perez
santa ana , california


Dear FRONTLINE,

Iraq's oil reserves are said to be the largest after those of Saudi Arabia.

As a previous writer said: It's all about OIL!

madison, wi


Dear FRONTLINE,

Your Frontline "analysis" of Saddam Hussain was the most disgraceful piece of war propaganda PBS has ever presented and puts Mr. Goebbels and his Nazi propaganda machine to shame.

You dug up every prominent war hawk available to demonize a favorite target. You unfortunately forget the millions of people slaughtered by our own presidents in Vietn am, Korea, Iraq, Central America, Yugoslavia, etc., and that a good propagandist could have as easily demonized them. If you truly want to instigate a further war and continued destruction of Iraq, you should have been conscientious enough to at least present the countervailing views of men like Noam Chomsky, Michael Albert, Howard Zinn instead of confining your "objective" presentation exclusively to the war hawks. You have done an enormous disservice to the people of this country.

Morris Einhorn
new york, new york


Dear FRONTLINE,

I think that we are overlooking the very simple and basic reasons that dictate our policy in Iraq, and for that matter the whole middle east, Turkey, etc. Oil! Oil! Oil! Ultimately this is what drives our decisions over in that there neck of the woods if you will. We backed away from supporting the Kurds because we didn't want to offend our ally Turkey, who has a potential huge problem, with the Kurds. We backed down the first time from extricating Hussein because of perceived ill will from our FRIENDLY ARAB COALITION

I am sure no one here would disagree with why we went to bat for those bastions of democratic freedom, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia in the first place when Hussein went marching off to war. Yup, oil again

I seriously doubt we would have any of these so called touchy situations if we were truly energy independent, and dealt with the political, and military problems from a truly arms length position. No more tap dancing, or excuse my language ass kissing to despotic leaders of countries that espouse the death and destruction of the United States and its true allies. God, wouldn't that be nice to operate in that enviroment.

MIKE Thomas
tucson, arizona


Dear FRONTLINE,

Your programs are always interesting, however, this program is clearly another piece of government sponsored propaganda. The U.S. has its own arsenal of weapons of mass destruction and we use similar weapons that kill innocent people all over the world for national interests of exploitation.

For example, look at Afghanistan now, you cannot believe that this is over terrorism- its over oil. Pictures of our destruction and deaths of innocent people are not even allowed on the news, yet we point the finger at other countries. And now, as we knew all along, stories are finally surfacing that the government was well aware of the attacks that happened on 9-11.

Who are we to dictate what countries can and cannot have weapons as it is complete contradiction to the issue. The fact is we have created our own monsters and we have been part of this whole mess from the beginning. We are continually trying to replace foriegn governments with our own puppet government and when the puppets turns against the U.S. we find excuses to invade countries and kill whoever gets in the way.

We have been bombing Iraq since the Gulf War killing innocent people, we have poisoned their water supplies in addition to forced economic sanctions. What do you expect the Iraq government to be doing? The US government is now in the process of trying to sell a war to America. A big PR campaign and Bush and his buddies will say and do whatever they have to in order to attack. America only seems to understand violence and not diplomacy.

Meanwhile, our relations with the other Arab nations is deteriorating as Isreal's Sharon, indicted in Belgium on past human rights violations, is ethnicly cleansing and terrorising Palestinians. We are funding and creating our own terrorism on others.

Our government is full of contradictions including ignoring United Nations Security Council resolutions. We have so much arrogance and eventually we will pay the price for our ignorance. It is already happening and it will get worse, especially if we do not stop our terrorism on the world. Isn't it time to wake up to our dirty laundry.

Each one of us can do something by standing up and protesting against these policies. Let government know that we do not support these games. Let's put the energy into America where we need it.

Wil Smith
seattle, wa


Dear FRONTLINE,

I am watching your documentary right now, and I am failing to see any evidence that Saddam Hussein has ever done any harm against our country before we started bombing them back in 1991. There is no evidence or even any claims purported by our government that he was behind the Septermber 11th hijackings.

Why is it that no one in the media or government questions our president's resolute warmongering against this one country. I can't help but feel that the media is acting like a magician's plant in the audience, prompted to ask the right questions so that the president can give his answers and his plans for war. I wish we had a press that would sincerely question the why of our war. Our sanctions have harmed Iraq without altering their stance on UN inspectors. Does our patriotism give carte blanche to the executive branch to bomb anyone?

Lewie Spearman
rome, ga


Dear FRONTLINE,

Thank you for an informative and interesting program. However, to me, what is most disturbing is the responses posted on this web site. It is disturbing because the program apparently indoctrinated most viewers to believe in one view, rather than people dialectically viewing the present situation. The evidence is too circumstantial to come to a clear concise opinion.

The responders clearly attack the present presidential administration for being soft on Iraq (ironic b/c the present republican executive is the most interested in removing Saddam) and labeling the Iraqi government as a state sponsor of terrorism. Obviously, Iraq is a rogue country governed by a controversial and tyrannical dictator. Are they state sponsors of terrorism? There is not enough evidence to support that assertion. If we, the United States, go to war with Iraq will it be to continue the fight against terrorism or will it be to topple Hussein. Because they are different motivations. In what I have read and studied the war against terrorism should not continue to Iraq. If the United States is interested in ending the Hussein regime to protect foreign economic interests and human rights then a war should ensue.

The United States should be taking a closer look at Iran, where conclusive and uncircumstantial evidence of terrorist activity is apparent. Counterterrorism policy should be more focused on Iran; for one they are an Islamic fundamentalist regime, have been involved in selling weapons to known terrorist organizations, and in the process of obtaining nuclear capabilities. Iran has the proclivity, like Iraq, to use CBRN weapons. If a war is to be taken back to Iraq you must question the motives. What were the motives for the first operation against Iraq? Was U.S. security threatened or was U.S. interests in oil threatened? Do these questions apply to the present situation? Is it coincidental that our leaders have had past relations and interests in the oil industry and how does that motivate or effect policy? Are there more threatening state sponsors of terrorism than Iraq?

Those same questions have to be asked before everyone rallies around the flag. Unfortunately, those questions have not been asked or answered. Consequently, there are ignorant people ready to abandon a necessary coalition and invade Iraq guns blazing. The United States will be more successful in our fight against terrorism if we proceed multilaterally.

white plains, new york


Dear FRONTLINE,

To be frank with you, I've about had it with all the Middle East troubles or for that matter all of our foreign policy issues. It seems everytime we do something we get blamed or have to send in money or tropps to fix it.

I'm in favor of pulling all our foreign aid packages, that include money, food materials and devert it all here to the US. To areas that need assistance here, like in our cities and rural communities.

Why should be send the best that America has to offer abroad when most countries don't even care.

Let the muslims fight amongst themselves, they obviously can't live with each other. This includes Israel as well. I don't care how someone decides to pray to the east, west, standing or sitting. Its their choice.

Why can't they learn that in the middle east? I'm sure there are other muslims that don't care either and can coexist with christians. Unfortunately there are too few of them to make a difference.

andover, nj


Dear FRONTLINE,

Before military action against Saddam, the U.S. must first build its case in the Arab world much more convincingly than it has so far.

The U.S. has allowed Iraq to successfully portray itself as a victim of western aggression for the last ten years. UNICEF has documented that over 500,000 children have died due to the embargo conditions, and Iraq has blamed those deaths on the U.S. I doubt that the embargo is expressly withholding humanitarian food or medicine (if so, it should STOP), so Iraq must be attributing the deaths to poverty caused by the sanctions.

Meanwhile, Saddam is on a spending spree, building the largest mosque in the world ("the Saddam Hussein Mosque"), the Mother of All Battles Mosque, Saddam Islamic University, etc. (not counting the military programs that Iraq will be able to hide from the world). The U.S. should air Roger Ailes-style attack ads on Al Jazeera to tar Saddam.

studio city, ca


Dear FRONTLINE,

At a time when the news is full of reports of innocent civilian casualties, this report should awaken all to what happens when you don't go far enough.

It will be interesting to see if Bush Jr, following the advice of some of thse same advisors will, will follow through to the finish. Let's face it, tens of thousands of Iraqis are dead because of what Bush Sr did (encourage the Iraqi people to revolt and finish Saddam) and did not do (deny Saddam the use of helicopters and give the aid he promised to those who did revolt).

Because the job was left undone the innocent still die. A lesson never to forget. Like the TV commercial said, PAY(ME)NOW, OR PAY(ME)LATER.

ROBERT OZIEMKOWSKI
vero beach, fl


Dear FRONTLINE,

The United States should not waste time dealing with this evil regime in Baghdad. The lack of clear policy on Iraq in the last ten years may let this regime of the hook for a while now. Sporadic tomahawk missile attacks on installations in Iraq hurt the Iraqi people and leave Saddam high with this invincibility feeling.

The President of the United States told the world that the war on terrorism is going to be long. We need comprehensive long-term plans to remove Saddam and not a quick fix žSilver BulletÓ strategy. A strategy that comes back to haunt us later on. We have to lay down plans based on a replacement of Saddam and his regime by a democratic and legitimate government. The first step now to consider is to restart the process of indicting Saddam and those around him who carried out his orders of killing people on mass scales. Documents against those who committed atrocities against the Iraqi people are well established and cataloged and ready for court actions.

The Iraqi Oppositions need to be reorganized in one front and transformed to a state of military confrontation in the south and in the north of Iraq. There are millions of Iraqis outside Iraq who are ready to work together to bring about the end of Saddam, with the strong determination of the President things could be changed. A new Iraq can bring stability to the Middle East and for generations to come.

Saad Farage
richmond, va


Dear FRONTLINE,

We must destroy Saddam. He's been after nukes forever. If he doesn't have them yet, he will. And of course, he will either use them or distribute them to terrorists who will.

Right now, we've got a pretty full agenda going after Osama and Al Queda in Afghanistan. Once we have those terorrist in hand or dead, I hope our president and our nation remains strong enough to finish the job, wherever it may lead.

Peter Jaffe
new york, ny


Dear FRONTLINE,

I saw the destruction this psycho created in Kuwait when I served there as a military police Major in the US Army. We should have hunted him down and killed him then. That was a lack of will on President George Bush's part that we have regreted ever since. It's time to finish the job.

mike powell
eaton rapids, mi


Dear FRONTLINE,

To paraphrase the most chilling statement made in the 11/9/01 Frontline broadcast, if Saddam Hussein develops the ability to deliver nuclear weapons, it's a whole new ballgame in the Middle East.

Despite the dangers and the difficulties of confronting this dangerous man now, it seems to me that the United States has no choice. We can face up to the problem of Hussein now or wait and face a much more deadly Hussein in a few years' time.

Dean Hovey
tucson, arizona


Dear FRONTLINE,

You mention that the regime of Iraq still considers itself at war with "America" (sic) but do not acknowledge that the USA never stopped waging war on the country of Iraq - carrying on both regular bombings as well as maintaining sanctions that are responsible for the deaths of approximately 4500 people each month from starvation and disease (source - UN). During the war against Iraq (Desert Storm) the US intentionally destroyed electric, water, transportation, and communication systems (contrary to UN and Geneva Convention Treaties that prohibit destroying infrastucture necessary for civilian populations) on the grounds that it was necessary for their war effort. Sanctions prohibit the acquisition of items vital to efforts to rebuild these systems under the guise of possible dual use technology.

US officials try to shift the blame for their actions (with the exception of the last Secretary of State who said it was a hard choice, but she, we believe it is worth it), just as they are claiming the blaim for civilian deaths caused by US bombs in the current attack against afghanistan lay with the Taliban. As people recognize with the murder of those in NY last september, the direct responsibility for killing lies at the feet of those who commit the murder, no matter what the motivation was.

If this page was posted by a responsible news entity some coverage or links would have been provided to the UN site regarding the Oil for Food Programme describing the process of monetary transfers from Iraqi oil profits and the process of acceptance and denial of goods the Iraq government wishes to buy with those proceeds, as well as assesments by past directors of UN programs of weapons inspection and humanitarian affairs.

sue jeffers
kent, ohio

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