Letter: The refugee crisis

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The Independent Culture
Sir: David Aaronovitch writes in favour of ground troops ("Why do these decent folk find it so difficult to support the war?", 1 April), and ridicules the pacifist argument that Nato brought on the cruelty in Kosovo. Whatever may have been intended, Nato has aggravated the problem, so Nato comrades have a moral duty to help the refugees.

Your editorial asks us to send a few spare pounds for blankets and tents ("The refugees' trail must extend to the shores of Britain", 1 April). Whatever relief supplies are sent, as you say, we have to take in refugees ourselves.

The number of refugees now quoted is 250,000. Maybe by Whitsun 2 million Kosovars will need refuge. I suggest we accept quotas related to our own population. There are 19 Nato member states with a total population of 780 million. We in the UK with 58 million needs to absorb 150,000 people.

It is no good standing on the sidelines urging on bombers and now troops on the ground at vast public expense and the cost of soldiers' lives if the public purse and public opinion are not prepared to cope with the fallout. That means giving "humanitarian assistance" to unfamiliar faces in our towns and villages.

Rather like the War, really. Are we prepared for this?

JOHN DEXTER

Hythe,

Hampshire

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