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LETTER: Stop hitting Iraq

Sir: The bankruptcy of Anglo-American policy towards Iraq is every day more apparent. It is isolating Britain from its European partners and the Arab world. It is punishing the entire Iraqi people for Saddam Hussein, without any realistic prospect of bringing him down.

The present government did not devise this brutal and stupid policy, but seems incapable of revising or re-examining it. It is in essence an American, not a British, policy, making cruise missiles a substitute for intelligent diplomacy. It sits oddly, with the idea of an "ethical foreign policy". Try telling that to the people of Baghdad.

Britain has long links with Iraq, both cultural and political. Our priority should be to dismantle the US concept of "pariah states" (Israel also has atomic and chemical weapons, but is apparently not a pariah). A normal and open relationship with Iraq would benefit Britain, the Iraqis and the whole region. It would also be far more likely to undermine Saddam Hussein.


Udine, Italy