Letter: It was a war worth fighting

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BOB MARSHALL-ANDREWS correctly highlights the Government's distortion of language in its "vainglorious prose" about "a war for the future of civilisation and democracy". Tony Blair promoted the Nato action in ways that chip away at our own democratic ideals. He justified air strikes solely by reference to end result: Nato action would lead to civilisation, democracy and human rights; Nato inaction would lead to a victory for evil. Ministers failed to answer those who correctly said the bombing had no basis in international law. The assumption that ends justify means is more the hallmark of authoritarian than liberal regimes. Mr Blair maintained that all sensible, reasonable people must support the war. He refused to tolerate any real debate, as exemplified by his attack on Alex Salmond for speaking out. His reduction of his own political end game to a self- evident truth reveals an authoritarian streak.

The Government tried to monumentalise Slobodan Milosevic's evil by using images from the Second World War. Who could sensibly fail to oppose military action against this modern-day Hitler whose ethnic cleansing is a modern- day "final solution"? This reasoning obscured important differences between the Nazis and the Serbs. It denigrates the role of vigorous political analysis. It leads, in effect, to the "dumbing down" of political debate.

The Kosovar tragedy is indeed the product of an evil Yugoslavian regime. Tony Blair's bellicose and sanctimonious response is nevertheless deeply worrying.

JUDITH FARBEY

London NW5

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