In fact, last week a high ranking official told me that he knew what had happened and quoted me some statistics. He concluded his remarks by saying he heard it on television. So we try and source as much information as we can, but the numbers are always difficult to match up.
I am not going to make any analysis, but for your information in the Anfal campaign against the Kurds the numbers range from 50,000 to more than 100,000 people put to death. The Kurd and Shia uprising after the defeat of Saddam's invasion of Kuwait, and the unknown number who died in Saddam's prisons bring those totals to very high numbers also.
Christine from Albuquerque, N.M.: Has anyone seen Osama bin Laden? I am guessing he must be in Iraq since that is were the troops are. Isn't capturing him the reason why our men and women in the Armed Forces were told they were going to the Middle East?
Answer: If the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden were known I am positive that they would go and get him. It is widely believed that he is in hiding in the mountainous region between Pakistan and Afghanistan, but that is not for certain.
President Bush formed his coalition to attack Saddam because the administration believed that Saddam possessed weapons of mass destruction that could be used against the United States and other western targets. There have been (and continue to be) some efforts to link Saddam and Osama's al Qaeda organization. But most reporting continues to find no link between the Saddam regime and al Qaeda, and certainly there is no evidence that Saddam and Osama ever met.
Long before the war in Iraq, the United States maintained a military presence in the Middle East. We have troops and bases in numerous Persian Gulf countries, as well as in the Horn of Africa and Turkey on the fringes of the Middle East. The idea being that a military presence in the Middle East helps stabilize the region as a whole, and protects the supply of oil coming from the region.
John Aguilar-Cruz from New York asks: I would like to know more about the lives of Iraqi Christians.
Answer: There remains a small but cohesive group of Iraqi Christians, mostly in Baghdad or in the north near Mosul. The largest groups are members of the Armenian Orthodox Church or the Catholic Church.
Last year there were some horrific attacks against the Christian churches in Baghdad (as well as the one of the Synagogue). But the Christian refused to be intimidated and after a brief lull have returned to worship, albeit in small numbers.
There have been some Christian missionaries working in Iraq in the past few years, but they are not made to feel very welcome in this 99 percent Muslim country. Three Christian Aid workers were recently released by their kidnappers. The fourth, American Tom Fox, was killed during his captivity -- or died trying to escape. There is some question still as to what happened.
Under Saddam, the Christians were not courted, but neither were they persecuted. Tariq Aziz, the Deputy Prime Minister, was the most prominent Christian in the last government.
David Alcantara from Del Rio, Texas, asks: What is the president doing to counterattack the IED threat in Iraq?