Saddam Hussein has run a brutal dictatorship of the country of Iraq for over 20 years. He has started wars against neighboring
countries of Iran and Kuwait, leading to the death of about 1.5 million Muslims. The Persian Gulf war of 1991 was a U.S.-led
campaign to expel Saddam from oil-rich Kuwait, which had been invaded and taken over by his army. In a lopsided victory, the
U.N. forces were able to defeat Saddam within a couple of months.
Saddam was allowed to stay in power if he fulfilled a number of conditions, most notably, getting rid of all chemical,
biological, and nuclear weapons. Twelve years and 17 resolutions later, world opinion is near-unanimous that he hasn't gotten
rid of his weapons or fulfilled the conditions of the cease fire.
With Saddam's history of connections to terrorism and his history of brutality & defiance, the U.S. and much of the Western
world considers him a threat to world peace. A U.N. resolution was unanimously passed a few months ago mandating full
disarmament. Saddam still appears to be defying the order. The current disagreement involves essentially how Saddam should be disarmed--by
force or by continued U.N. weapons inspections.