21 Aug 2004
Justification for opposing Iraq warFrom Sir Menzies Campbell, QC, MP for North East Fife (Liberal Democrat)\
Sir, If Stephen Pollard (Thunderer, August 17) had spoken to me about my attitude to America I could have told him that part of my education was in the United States, that I considered at one time applying for US citizenship, and that I admire America and Americans.
If I am to be branded as anti-American because of my attitude towards military action in Iraq, what does Mr Pollard make of the 27 US senators who voted against President Bush's decision to go to war against Saddam Hussein? If he had been with me a fortnight ago at the Democratic convention, Mr Pollard would have met many Americans who shared my views and those of the 27 members of the Senate. Stephen Pollard may believe that Iraq and Darfur are the same. But surely the proper parallel with Darfur is not Iraq but Kosovo.
In the case of Iraq the political and diplomatic options had not been exhausted and the weapons inspectors were still making progress. Military action was not truly the last resort and therefore illegal. Regime change, the avowed purpose of the US Government, was contrary to Article 2 (4) of the UN Charter and therefore illegal. In Kosovo there was systematic and immediate 'ethnic cleansing', using rape, torture, tanks and guns. The purpose of intervention was protection, not the bringing down of a government.
I supported intervention in Kosovo. I don't remember many of the present Bush Administration doing so, and if Mr Pollard was right behind Tony Blair, I regret that I have no recollection of it.
MENZIES CAMPBELL(Deputy Leader, Liberal Democrats),
House of Commons.August 17.
From Ms Eva George
Sir, We 'left-liberals' did not oppose the Iraq war through naive or malign support for Saddam Hussein. We opposed it because the war was waged on the false premise that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction ready for instant deployment. We also opposed the war because we feared that toppling Saddam would cause widespread hostility and insurgency in the Middle East, and would divert crucial support and attention from Afghanistan.
We support the UN Security Council resolution on Sudan, and indeed stronger wording, because the purpose of international action in Darfur is to save lives and prevent 3ethnic cleansing4. We strongly resent the retrospective justifications of Messrs Bush and Blair that the attack on Iraq was humanitarian.
5 Hatters Court,99 Redcross Way, SE1 1EB.August 17.