Letter: MPs misjudge mood over Bosnia

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The Independent Online
Sir: With reference to your report that 'MPs seek quick withdrawal of British forces' from Bosnia (12 June), we believe Parliament is misjudging the mood of the electorate.

Britain has had a better record in the past. Twice we held the torch of liberty, in two world wars. Even recently we would not countenance the rights of a few hundred Falkland islanders to be trampled on. Now it seems we can watch the rape and pillage of innocent people in Europe and say we are helpless to stop it. It appears we have no will to stop it, no conscience strong enough, no readiness to jeopardise a single soldier's life to protect women and children or the convoys bringing them relief.

This cannot be true. It is certainly not the Britain of former days, not a Britain anyone could admire, but it is not the fault of ordinary people. We have had no leadership, and the Opposition appears equally insular and unprincipled.

It is hard to believe that our political leaders have effectively agreed to see Bosnia carved up and destroyed by the tanks and heavy armour of the Serbs and (because we have let the Serbs get away with it) by the Croats as well. Recent Muslim inhumanity against innocent Croat villagers, an eye for an eye, will only excuse more atrocities unless Europe, and we ourselves, intervene.

We have personally seen the grief of people whose homes have been destroyed, whose husbands have been herded into lorries, in many cases never to be seen again, whose daughters have been violated, and we know beyond doubt the sickening extent of the West's betrayal.

We weep for the victims in Bosnia but even more for the moral decline and lack of leadership in our country. We too are betrayed.




13 June