ROBIN COOK ("We must act", 14 February) asserts that the aim of any military action against Iraq would be to diminish Saddam Hussein's ability to deploy, conceal and recreate his chemical and biological weapons.
Does the Foreign Secretary seriously believe that such military action will break Saddam and force him to comply with the US-dominated inspection teams? Think how many can be killed by a single dumb bomb and think of the fateful consequences of a sustained military strike for the innocent Iraqi people.
It is impossible to eliminate Saddam's weapons of mass destruction without eliminating Saddam himself. How can you be sure that Saddam's ability to produce biological weapons is diminished when these weapons can be produced and concealed in room-sized basement laboratories?
The Foreign Secretary himself said on 20 January that Iraq is still manufacturing enough anthrax each week to fill two missile warheads. This production was continuing while the inspectors had been uncovering and dismantling these weapons of mass destruction. Saddam has already spent years evading the inspectors and has forgone billions of dollars in oil revenue that he might have had. So he will continue to evade and a military strike is not going to stop him. Clearly the best alternative would be to have inspectors who can inspect, i.e. broadly based and not dominated by representatives from the US.
In the long term a new political strategy is needed. This strategy should be based on supporting a democratic alternative to Saddam, no more punishment to the Iraqi people, implementation of UNSC Resolution 688, trying Saddam as a war criminal and helping the Iraqi people to hold free elections.
Dr MOHAMED AL-RUBEAI
Iraqi Democratic Movement
Woodford Green, Essex