Letter: The morality of military intervention in Bosnia

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The Independent Online
Sir: The effectiveness and the morality of military intervention in the Yugoslav or Somalian crises are issues that may be considered separately.

Let us assume military intervention would save thousands of civilians from hunger, suffering and death. Let us also assume that the cost in human lives would be less than in the case of non-intervention. Given these premises our Government would still refuse to act, because it assumes public opinion will not tolerate British casualties. It will provide words, money (a little), but no bodies.

Risking other people's lives is a responsibility that comes with the job of prime minister. The British Army is made up of professionals whose job is to protect innocent civilians. There is no moral logic in saying that the fireman's life is worth more than the children in the burning house. I do not believe the people of this country think they are more valuable than the people of Sarajevo or Mogadishu - indeed, have we not lost much by our inaction so far?

By refusing to provide a moral lead to the people of this country, our Government chooses not to do its democratic job.

Yours sincerely,

MARTIN FLOWER

London, E14

5 August

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