The purpose of this thread is for AMERICANS (US citizens) to debate the crisis over Iraq. Why am I only asking for AMERICAN viewpoints? The primary reason is to prevent the debate from deterioriating into international mud-slinging between a few individuals (myself included) as it has on Candle's "Poll: The repercussions of a US attack on Iraq" thread. There are those who will object to this thread being started and cry foul, that they are being denied freedom of expression based on their nationality. They mad add, quite rightly, that the Iraq crisis will affect non-Americans as well. Therefore, non-American ETers have every right to start another thread for non-American viewpoints or for ALL viewpoints, however they see fit. Or they may keep to Candle's thread. The point is they are not being denied a forum to express their opinions. I see it like this: America was attacked on 9/11, America is on the brink of war with Iraq, American troops are going to have to fight and die, and it is Americans like us who will, for better or worse, have to deal with the consequences in the immediate short-term. Why then is it wrong for Americans to have a debate among ourselves? Enforcement will be nigh impossible. The best we can ask for is that non-Americans respect the wishes of the participants of this thread and express themselves in another thread of their own creation and choosing. OK, having said all that, I'll start off by simply stating that I am in favor of removing Saddam from power. My reasoning is as follows: 1) He hates us, AND 2) He has shown a willingness to use weapons of mass destruction - on his own people no less, AND 3) I believe he would not hesitate to handoff weapons of mass destruction to terrorists to use against the US, and we simply cannot give him the benefit of the doubt. Also, I find the concept of hoping to find a "smoking gun" in Iraq ridiculous, as he has had years to hide his inventory. A couple of hundred inspectors looking for something as small as a trace of biological evidence in a petrie dish in a country the size of Iraq is the proverbial needle-in-a-haystack scenario. Former inspectors have said as much on the various network news programs, like CNN. Regardless of UN approval, I think for our own security we need to remove Saddam. 9/11 should also signify the date Saddam's luck ran out. To those against taking action, my fundamental questions to you are: What should our country do to protect itself, and can we afford to give Saddam the benefit of the doubt that he will not produce or distribute weapons of mass destruction to terrorists?