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From the Eastern Daily Press, Wednesday, June 30, 2004:

How free are they?

MARGUERITE FINN,
Spencer Close,
Little Plumstead.


Your leader (June 29) makes much of the outrage of Iraq's "democrats" - and, if such people exist, they are certainly going to need it because the future of that devastated country is far from certain.

It is naive to believe "democracy" has arrived in Iraq and that now we can all congratulate ourselves on a job well done.

The issue here, surely, is to what extent real "sovereignty" has been transferred to the Iraqi people and what difference will it make to their lives.

The Iraqis will hope for the following freedoms, which are taken for granted in any sovereign state:

Only if all these freedoms can be guaranteed should we even begin to think we have helped the Iraqi people. Until then, it behoves all of us to remain vigilant on their behalf and ensure the words "democracy" and "freedom" are not debased.

___________________

Legality was in doubt

IAN SINCLAIR,
Braymeadow Lane, Little Melton.

Does J. Rogers (Letters, June 17) know something about the United nations that Kofi Annan, its Secretary General, doesn't?
Mr Rogers believes "the war was legal" because it was "buttressed by three previous UN Security Council Resolutions". However, Kofi Annan clearly stated before the invasion that "if the US and others were to go outside the Security Council and take unilateral action they would not be in conformity with the charter". I'm not sure what higher authority I can quote to prove the invasion of Iraq contravened the UN Charter.

Furthermore, the US Administration itself has admitted the invasion was contrary to international law. In November, 2003, Richard Perle, a senior adviser to Donald Rumsfeld, said: "I think in this case international law stood in the way of doing the right thing."

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