Dear Sir, I read with interest your articles in Friday's paper with reference to Iraq and the forthcoming war to liberate the people of that country from the tyranny of a man who is directly responsible for the deaths of over 1'500'000 people some of them members of his own family, a man who has gassed the Kurds in the north and is directly responsible for the thousands who have gone missing after showing opposition to his party. It is interesting that Snr Antich (the Balearic leader) and his “green tinted party” want to turn away the Navies of the world from our ports, Navies who spend millions of Euros in our economy and in their strength keep our democracies free so that Snr Antich and co. can be elected. The reason this problem is with us now is, the pacifists who put pressure on the allied forces 12 years ago stopped the completion of the job then, much to the disappointment of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and many other Arab countries who saw it as a sign of weakness. Remember if the pacifists had won the day in the 1940s, the people of Britain and most of Europe would now be speaking German and in the 1950/60s if C.N.D. had prevented the deployment of the nuclear deterrent, we could easily have been drawn into an expanding Russian conflict without the means to deter their nuclear threat. It is all to easy to forget in the freedom we all enjoy now that had these people succeeded then I could easily be typing this in German or Russian. We should all be giving full support to our forces at the time when they are being asked to possibly make the supreme sacrifice to help to bring the same freedom we enjoy to others, and not to deny them the respite they could enjoy with us here on the way to or from any conflict. Please note nowhere in your articles is Saddam Hussein mentioned, this is not a conflict with Iraq, a major mistake.

Derek Moore
Majorca

Dear Sir, As the almost inevitable war draws closer, my wife and I chatted about our 15 days in Port De Soller this coming June. Both of us are against war and are slightly uncomfortable about air travel, especially with our two small children and my parents travelling with us this year. Coupled with the threats of Al Quaeda, Algerian Terrorist arrests across the UK, the price increases on the island and you would wonder why anyone wishes to travel in such frightening times. Well we are. The thought of a glass of Tinto on a balmy June evening, after a good meal and a carajillo or two, the kids running about happy in the warmth gets us through the dire Scottish winter. See you in June Majorca.

Mark Strachan
Livingston

Dear Sir, In response to Mr. Fleming's (Viewpoint, Thursday) correct assertion some less than candorous statements have come out of Washington in the past year let it be noted that Secretary Powell has been careful to distance himself from his own words. This speaks volumes about their veracity. Some individuals write contracts or advertising copy that promises the sky. Inserted in the text is a clause or two that negates all that goes before. It is called a weasel. It gets one out of the outlandish claims or promises seemingly made. Secretary Powell's speech had such caveats. He refused to verify his sources. He passed the buck. He said that America was not responsible for the truthfulness of his statements. The weasel words are, “The material I will present to you comes from a variety of sources. Some are U.S. sources. And some are those of other countries. Some of the sources are technical, such as intercepted telephone conversations and photos taken by satellites. Other sources are people who have risked their lives to let the world know what Saddam Hussein is really up to.... “Ladies and gentlemen, these are not assertions. These are facts, corroborated by many sources, some of them sources of the intelligence services of other countries.” Without doubt one of these 'sources' is the Mossad, the intel arm of that world class liar, Ariel Sharon. He has already brought to the White House files on Arafat that were laughed at for their obvious fraud. Do we want to go to war on the basis of Israeli disinformation? Secretary Powell refused to identify his sources. Good journalistic practice requires two identified sources. Should not the standard for unleashing the dogs of war be at least as high? Additionally he credits Iraqis living abroad with information. Nicolo Machiavelli especially warned against reliance upon the information of exiles. This sage counsel should be heeded. Powell's preached to the choir. He convinced the true believers – the chicken hawks, the Zionists, both Christian and Jewish. Patriotic Americans, Englishmen and Spaniards opposed to empire, oil and Israel remain unconvinced. Indeed Secretary Powell appeared less than convinced himself.

Ralph McGaughey
Boston

(Ray Fleming's Viewpoint was on our Internet edition).

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