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From the Eastern Daily Press, Thursday, May 20, 2004:

Seek peaceful solutions

DAVID ROBERTS (UNA, Norwich), Churches Together, Norwich and District Peace Council, Norwich Green Party, Norwich Quakers (Parliamentary Liaison Group), Norwich Stop the War, Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, Campaign against the Arms Trade, East Anglian Peace Network.

Martin Mears' article (EDP May 7) was welcome for its honest admission that events in Iraq have not unfolded as he foresaw - a swift, clean war, welcomed by the Iraqi people, leading to a genuinely democratic government.

However, the tragedy of Iraq cannot be put down simply to recent American "stupidity". Whilst Coalition arrogance and mistakes have played their parts, the horror now unfolding was inevitable once the US and UK governments chose a military "solution".

The brutality on all sides in Iraq - suicide bombings, the Fallujah massacre, torture by the coalition - demands that politicians find a better way, based on peace building and conflict resolution.

We should support reform of the UN and strengthening of international law to outlaw preemptive strikes. We should develop Ministries for Peace and independent Commissions on Peace within all countries.

We should support developing countries, via funding and fairer trade rules, by the G8 and EU as a policy to prevent war.

We should support NGOs and campaign groups working for peace and social justice, food and environmental security.

There will be a 'Question Time' for European candidates hosted by Churches together in Greater Norwich and the United Nations Association at Blackfriars Hall on June 3 7.30 p.m.

Come and have your say.



We have lit a powder keg

PHYLLIS COUCH,
Judges Drive,
Norwich.

I agree with Graham Ashworth's letter (May 14).

It is a long time since I wrote "we go to war at our own peril" and I have had no reason to change my mind.

I heard the worst when it became obvious that no one was willing to address the Israeli/Palestinian injustices. (There are also many Israelis who regret this.)

We seem to have lit the powder keg and our descendants will pay for this folly for years to come.



Mirror not the guilty party

NICK VINEHILL,
Southgate Court, Snettisham.


One of the most ludicrous arguments paraded by the "politically neutral" military hierarchy after former Daily mirror editor Piers Morgan's decision to publish "alleged" fake photographs of British soldiers abusing Iraqi detainees was that it jeopardised our servicemen and women's safety, morale and performance in Iraq.

Maybe the generals should explain to their subordinates that abuse had been proven elsewhere anyway and if anything endangered our forces more it was the fact their independence had been exploited by politicians who put them into an illegal war.

Most of the leading tabloids and broadsheets claimed that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction. If every newspaper editor's position depended on the veracity of any story then the entire capitalist press would be changing editors every week! < p>

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