From the Eastern Daily Press,Friday, February 6, 2004:
Why does the EDP editorial column persist in misrepresenting the facts about the invasion of Iraq?
The notion that international opinion was firmly of the belief that Iraq had stockpiles of WMD (EDP, Feb 3) is a falsehood and a blatant contravention of available pre-war intelligence.
Here are some facts:
¶ The Pentagon's Defense Intelligence Agency released a report in 2002 that questioned the credibility of intelligence on the state of Iraq's weapons. The report concluded that there was "no reliable information on whether Iraq is producing and stockpiling chemical weapons, or where Iraq has - or will - establish its chemical warfare agent production facilities".
¶ On February 24, 2003 MSNBC the online news service - reported that the CIA had warned the Bush administration that there was "no direct evidence" Iraq had successfully reconstituted its banned weapons programs.
¶ The State Department also had reservations about Intelligence in Iraq. The State Department's Intelligence and Research Department wrote to the White House in October 2002 that "[w]e lack specific information on many key aspects of Iraq's WMD programs."
Isn't it about time the EDP gave up talking about WMD in Iraq (at least until the results of the next inquiry)? You got it wrong, lads. The anti-war movement got it right. Concede that basic reality at least, please. It's such a bore having to correct you all the time.
From the Eastern Daily Press, Thursday, 5 February, 2004:
Dr Jeannette Fine ("What motivates these bombers?" Letter, Feb 3) should consider that the stance the sacked Lib-Dem front-bencher Dr Jenny Tonge took in aligning herself with the motives of the Palestinian suicide bombers was more about broadening the debate in Parliament, to create a discussion about why terrorism occurs in place of the incessant condemnation of terrorism and talk about going to war against it.
Whilst Dr Fine implies that terrorism is waged by minority religious fanatics against the. good "free world", I put it to her - wlthout condoning it - that anyone. is capable of terrorism if they find themselves on the wrong end of a US-dominated global capitalist system which is armed with weapons of mass destructlon; exploits resourceful parts of the globe at the expense of others; props up or topples dictatorIal regImes accordingly and whose leaders can set up inquiries to investigate themselves when their behaviour and intentions cause suspicion!
With people sitting in prison, both here and in USA, without trial and without access to justice on word of faceless secret agents, we are on the way to the conditions created by Hitler.
It is now suggested terrorism suspects be tried in secret and on a lower level of proof. Again, accusers may be faceless secret agents. This is Nazi style justice.
From the Eastern Daily Press, Saturday, 31st January, 2004:
Little Dunham, King's Lynn.
The real reason for invading Iraq qas that Saddam Huseinhad no weapons of mass destruction.
He had been weakened by years of santions, and offered no threat. Where countries have weapons of mass destruction, such as North Korea and Lipya, diplomacy rather than force is used.
From the Eastern Daily Press, Thursday, 22nd January, 2004:
Theatre of War,
Low Road, Mettingham.
After reading the article about a dummy bomb from RAF Lakenheath landing in a Yorkshire field (EDP, Jan 13), I am even more concerned about the presence of US nuclear weapons there. We have written to our MPs about this but even they are not allowed to know if there are nukes inside!
After Operation Dimming Sun and now the accident - in Yorkshire, I believe local communities should have the right to know if we are living near to these dangerous weapons of mass destruction.
Recently the Indonesian human rights administration Tapol launched legal action against the Uk government concerning its arms policy to Iraq.
British Hawk jets and Scorpion light tanks are being used in Aceh Province, where rebel forces are fighting for independence.
However, the Foreign Office's own human rights report on Indonesia reveals, "allegations of extrajudicial killings, disappearances, arbitrary detention, rape, torture and mistreatment of prisoners".
The double standards of the Government should be clear.
I am writing to my MP asking him to support this legal action. I urge others concerned about human rights to do the same.
While joking about having a bomb in your hand luggage has to be regarded as stupid in the extreme (EDP, Jan 21) our American 'friends' should learn to put things into perspective. It was stupid, but, still a joke. By contrast, allowing someone through on to a plane with live ammunition in his pocket demonstrated a complete lack of control, coming soon after the US was promoting tight security.
From the Eastern Daily Press, Tuesday, January 20, 2004:
We opposed the Iraq War, and Martin Mears parodied some such groups as having an "obsessive loathing of America" and wishing to withdraw and see Saddam "put back on his throne" (EDP, Jan 9).
The United Nations Charter makes it clear nations cannot declare war unless under immediate threat. Nobody seriously believes Iraq threatened the US or Britain.
The invasion was illegal. UN resolution 1441 did not sanction it, nor did the Security Council (UNSC).
If Iraq had had weapons of mass destruction, the UN was prepared to take justified action. But the UNSC wanted UN weapons inspectors to complete their task.
Saddam has gone - good riddance - but if weapons inspections had continued, Saddam could have been drawn into a diplomatic solution without undermining global security and the authority ofthe UN.
The remedy for immoral dictatorships is not to support them in the first place, nor to continue to sell arms to them. Sanctions were criticised because they killed Iraq's children, without unseating Saddam.
The war has been at a great human and material cost. Now international security is at its worst for years, with an increased terrorist threat.
There is a huge reconstruction burden, which is diverting human and development resources from fighting poverty
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