One of the Church of England’s most senior bishops, Michael Nazir-Ali, broke ranks with his colleagues (here are the prayers offered for Saddam Hussein by the General Synod) by suggesting that Britain and the US could be justified in using force against Saddam Hussein. He had been a contender to be Archbishop of Canterbury.
"It would be desirable, surely, to seek a UN mandate ... but if the security council produces irrefutable evidence of a material breach of its own resolutions but fails to act, national governments may judge that such a breach constituted a threat to their security and that of the region. They could then be justified in taking action.
"Pre-emptive action could be justified ... if such a state was forbidden by international sanction from possessing such weapons, if it had a past record and present involvement in the use of such weapons ... and if there was reliable intelligence that it intended to use [them] against us and our allies.
While we pray for peace, we need to recognise that the Iraqi regime may have to be disarmed by force."