Letter: Rich man's war

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The Independent Culture
Letter: Rich man's war

Sir: In March, after months of negotiations and a whole series of "last chances", in the light of broken agreements and mounting evidence of Serb atrocities in Kosovo, the democratically elected leaders of 19 Nato countries, together with their military advisers and with all the facts at their disposal, decided belatedly and with obvious reluctance to take military action against Serbia.

These leaders, for all their faults, are not gung-ho tyrants looking for any excuse to attack a small nation, but responsible politicians who preside over countries which are, in the main, models of free speech and respect for human rights. At the time their decision was supported, with reservations, by the majority of their citizens. As more of the facts have emerged about Serbian atrocities in Kosovo, this support has considerably strengthened, despite probing and questioning of Nato's position by the media.

On 9 April you published a letter by Dr Richard Keeble and others claiming that Britain's intervention was utterly irresponsible and that if the people had been told the facts about the war they would never have supported it. Dr Keeble is, of course, entitled both to hold these opinions and to have them published in a national newspaper, something he would find rather more difficult in Serbia. His arrogance, however, in claiming to have greater insight than all 19 Nato governments and suggesting that his fellow citizens don't have the same ability as he has to make up their own minds is breathtaking.

Like Richard Keeble, the majority of the citizens of the West have made up their own minds. Fortunately for the Kosovans, they have come to a different conclusion.


Cirencester, Gloucestershire