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Letters to the Editor
July 05, 2003
Coalition troubles over war in Iraq
From Mr Ronald Pratt
Sir, The similarities between Iraq and Vietnam (leading article, July 2) are all too obvious. Islamic extremism has replaced communism as the great enemy of freedom.
The war is not over but has developed into a guerrilla insurgency by Iraqis who see themselves fighting for freedom against an imperial power. Today you report an American staff sergeant saying: " Armed gangs are now picking us off at will."
You say that the word " quagmire" is inappropriate, but it seems to me to be an apt description of a situation where no effective solution is being put forward. While the insurgency continues, the citizens of Iraq suffer and efforts to repair the country's infrastructure and the work of humanitarian aid agencies are being hampered. Society is lawless and certainly not free.
The lesson from Vietnam is that freedom and democracy cannot be rammed down people's throats by a technologically superior war machine. The Iraqis must be given a representative government at once -- America and Britain must go home.
7e Rosebank Gardens,
Aberdeen AB11 6WH.
From Mr Jack Slade
Sir, President Bush's verbal challenge to resisters of the US occupation of Iraq may put coalition troops at greater risk.
Perhaps the President's bravado was meant to reassure those worried about mounting casualties, but the " bring them on" taunt rang a bit hollow, since it came from a man not patrolling the streets of Baghdad.
3732 Dance Avenue,
Knoxville, TN 37919, USA.
From Wing Commander David Bramley, RAF (retd)
Sir, Field Marshall Lord Bramall writes about " clarity" over the Iraq intelligence dossiers (letters, July 2) but appears to be not at all clear as to whether the war was justified.
Western intelligence agencies are unanimous in their assessment that the greatest threat to world peace and stability are terrorists armed with weapons in the mass destruction category.
It is also a fact that we cannot wait for the inevitable to happen, and any regime which actively supports terrorists and is suspected of developing WMD is a legitimate pre-emptive target. Iraq qualified fully under these criteria.
I am surprised to read of senior British military officers' continued public hand-wringing over the legitimacy of the war.
14380 St Manvieu, Bocage, France.