Letter: After Saddam

Sir: When Tony Blair and Bill Clinton talk of encouraging a new regime in Iraq, most people probably assume this means democracy. This may not be the case.

After the 1991 Gulf conflict, former US Defence Secretary James Schlessinger indicated that the US did not disagree with King Fahd of Saudi Arabia, who did not consider democracy appropriate for Saudi Arabia; Saudi Arabia is a deeply repressive country.

The only fully-fledged democracy in the region is Israel, hardly an example Arab states would look to. Democracy itself threatens the existence of all the other regimes in the Middle East. If democracy is appropriate for Iraq, why is it not also appropriate for, Saudi Arabia, or for Algeria, where it would have resulted in a fundamentalist Islamic government.

If not democracy then what? The governments need to define their positions. Would the British public support an alternative regime which was not a democracy?

DAVID COCKBURN

Taunton, Somerset

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