Letter: No UN backing for Clinton

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The Independent Online
Sir: Both the Defence Secretary, Michael Portillo, and US government spokespeople have justified the American attack on Iraq with reference to UN Security Council Resolution 688, of 1991.

This resolution "condemns the repression of Iraqi civilian population ... including most recently in Kurdish- populated areas" and demands that Iraq "immediately end this repression". It goes on to empower the Secretary General to "use all the resources at his disposal, including those of the relevant UN agencies, to address urgently the critical needs of the refugees and displaced Iraqi population."

Nowhere does it provide for unilateral military action by any UN Security Council member to enforce this. President Clinton's decision to punish Saddam undermines the authority of the UN, whose own inspectors uncovering covert Iraqi military establishments are currently in Iraq.

Dr DAVID LOWRY

Stoneleigh, Surrey

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