|Sir - I continue to deplore, as lacking sanity, any
contemplation in present circumstances of initiating hostilities against
It seems clear that such action is indeed contemplated, to
judge by the huge and expensive military measures that are daily
These measures - mobilisations, movements and so forth -
have been defended as a means of putting pressure on Iraq, in other words
of threatening the leaders of that country with dire consequences if there
is no disarmament by them of certain weapons they are presumed to
The ultimate logic of this is questionable. "Weapons of
mass destruction" (by which nuclear weapons are primarily meant) are
essentially deterrent weapons, to counter a threat in kind.
not think argument has convincingly shown that such weapons in Iraqi hands
are likely, in present circumstances, to threaten America or Britain, both
There seems little connection between such
weaponry in Iraqi hands and the sort of terrorist atrocities from which we
are also at risk.
From the Iraqi viewpoint, such weapons might,
arguably, provide deterrence, and thus defence, against comparable attacks
on Iraq, but I don't think anyone is talking about that.
impression produced and increased every day is of a medium-sized Arab
state being threatened with invasion by a superpower, perhaps supported by
a few somewhat unwilling adherents such as ourselves and using
unequivocally menacing language.
I reiterate: this is unwise, to
the point of insanity.
By any reckoning - and there are many - it
is likely to lead to a worsened situation in the Middle East generally.
It is likely to be costly, including in terms of lives: and it is
immoral. One should not go to war simply because one dislikes the
behaviour of the leaders of another state.
General Sir David