Letter: Nato aim unclear

Frederick Starkey
Friday 02 April 1999 23:02 BST
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Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas

Editor

Sir: Which Geneva Convention is Alex Bellamy referring to (letter, 27 March) when he writes of the Geneva Convention? The Geneva Conventions of 1949 are four in number. Presumably he means number IV ("Relative to the Protection of Civilians in Time of War").

We are reading and hearing a number of pronouncements on international law these days. It is getting a bit like quoting the Bible. Choose the parts that support your beliefs, but don't worry too much about being selective.

International law on armed conflict and on human rights is complex and is not easily reduced to a couple of simple propositions. The right not to be murdered, raped, driven out, dispossessed, massacred or maimed is clear, but the law on intervention is not.

FREDERICK STARKEY

Mold, Clwyd

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