Letter: Intervention in the interests of suffering humanity

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The Independent Online
Sir: Andrew Shacknove's letter on the intervention in Somalia is seriously flawed. He draws on historical parallels to urge 'greater circumspection', but the situation in Somalia - and in Bosnia - will not allow further procrastination. Evil men are using armed force to prevent essential aid getting through to their victims. Nothing short of effective action by the UN will solve these crises.

Former President Ronald Reagan showed vision in his speech last Friday to the Oxford Union. Now his successor has ordered the marines into Somalia. Is it too late for John Major and his European colleagues to share this vision of a world where the rule of international law, as resolved by the UN, is backed by adequate force?

Effective 'humanitarian intervention' is a policy that would have widespread support among young people in the developed world. It would do much to restore morale in the present world recession, which has distorted the values and priorities of our EC leaders. There may still be time to prevent the Bosnian conflict spreading to Macedonia and beyond, if effective action follows the Edinburgh summit.

Yours faithfully,

J. W. DONALDSON

Edinburgh

6 December

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