Letter: Caging Saddam

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The Independent Culture
Sir: The cat-and-mouse tactics of Saddam Hussein with the UN weapons inspection teams has led, seemingly inevitably, to the recent air attacks. But would it not have been a far better policy to have left Iraq free of sanctions and inspections and to have set up a defence pact with Saudi- Arabia and the Gulf States so that any attack upon any of them by Iraq would have called forth a united response?

The Iraqi people would have been spared much hardship and the opposition forces within Iraq could have been more effective. As it is the Iraqis have suffered from the West and have been encouraged to rally round the despot. The possibility of a policy of rapprochement with Iraq's neighbours and the Muslim world has been lost.