Letter: Strike on Iraq

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The Independent Online
Before the US again kills a lot of Arabs, the world should recognise the principle to which these lives will be sacrificed.

It is clearly not the principle that all states must comply with all UN Security Council resolutions binding upon them, since the US clearly does not believe that Israel must comply with all (or, indeed, any) UN resolutions binding upon it, among them Resolution 242 (regarding Israeli- occupied Palestinian and Syrian territories) and Resolution 425 (regarding Israeli- occupied Lebanese territory).

It appears to be the principle that none of Israel's enemies should be permitted to develop or acquire those weapons of mass destruction and delivery systems which Israel already possesses. Enforcing the second principle maintains the imbalance of power which permits Israel to continue defying the first principle with impunity and to continue its occupation of Arab lands. It is this defiance and occupation which makes peace impossible and the use of any and all weapons in the region an ever-present threat.

The best way to achieve Middle East peace is not to make racially and religiously selective wars but to insist that all states comply with international law and with all UN Security Council resolutions binding upon them. A clear statement to this effect by the UN Security Council, concurred in by the United States, could produce Iraqi compliance in the short term and a broader Middle East peace, with some measure of justice, in the longer term. Without it, the region appears destined for another round of death and destruction.

JOHN V WHITBECK

London W1

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