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From the Eastern Daily Press, Friday, March 14, 2003:

No remit for war in resolution 1441

Spencer Close, Little Plumstead,
for Norwich Stop the War Coalition

In his case for war against Iraq (March 6), your political editor asks why the UN was moved to pass resolution 1441 in the first place.

The Security Council knew if they didn't pass it, the Americans would go to war against Iraq anyway.

Grossly weakened by US unilateralism, bullying, bribes and threats, the members of the SC thus did the only thing they could to try gain time and to give weapons inspections a chance. And this has worked in both senses, so far.

What Resolution 1441 didn't and couldn't do was to promise war if Iraq did not continue to disarm. And Chris Fisher is naughty to suggest the opposite.

The UN Charter can only authorise military force against a nation if that nation has attacked the territory of another and if every other possible resort has failed to stop it.

And the Security Council knew that did not apply here, so it carefully kept its language vague (infuriating the US/UK).

Yet Mr Fisher argues that the only way the UN can "retain authority and respect" is by breaking its own rules! He then hurls four questions from the safety of his editorial privilege, knowing readers would not be given the space to answer them. Briefly, they all concern the development of weapons of mass destruction, of which the US and UK are just as guilty as Iraq. This is no better a reason to attack Iraq than it is a reason for the UN to authorise war against us and the US.

We have repeatedly told your political editor all this and more. We have invited him to debate the matter with us but that has been declined.

Who is he trying to appease - the Americans?

So it seems it was all about oil after all

Framingham Earl Road, Yelverton.

From the beginning of the Iraq crisis there were those of us, the cynics, who insisted time and again it was all about oil.

There were the altruists, including the EDP, who claimed it was a moral cause.

The United States has just announced that every one of the multi-billion-dollar contracts for rebuilding post-war Iraq will go solely to American firms, and no one else. The biggest of these contracts will go to Haliburton, the world's biggest oilfield server.

Haliburton's principal shareholder and former chairman is Vice President Dick Cheney. All contracts will be paid for in Iraqi oil.

Would you care to comment?


From the Eastern Daily Press, Thursday, March 13, 2003:

Protest upholds international law

The Oaks, Rockland St Mary.

Last Saturday's demonstration, announced as a peaceful demonstration against the war, was largely supported by young people, politicised by this Government and Norwich City Council.

Still shocked, no doubt, by Tony Blair's revolt against international law and taking it into his own hand, the demonstration brought even the police out in large numbers.

Their immense presence, felt by us all through the 21.6pc council tax rise, was so crushing that ordinary Stop the War coalition members and Ian Gibson did not turn up.

The whole march was pre determined by police. Corralled in by our police force, we decided to sit down on four occasions. Nobody was arrested. After all, it was a peaceful but loud demonstration and most of them were young.

God knows what would have happened if this had been older people.

The police read us the Public Order Act and told us that anybody diverting or trying to leave their phalanx would be arrested.

One young person trying to contact a solicitor and wanting to leave was told that he would be arrested. He reconsidered.

Thank you very much to the Fair

Trade stall on the Haymarket for supplying us with delicious, fairly-traded juice and all those members of the public who wanted to join in but were discouraged by the overwhelming police presence.

Protesters have shown their non-violence. We succeeded in protesting against a Government whose policies are criminalising this country in the eye of the world. We were upholding and supporting international law, as signed up to by this country and the police were used to intimidate us, at a great expense.


Comment: Then, of course, they add the pro-war letter:

Blair deserves support for his courageous stance

Common Road, Hemsby.

I was saddened to hear my local MP, Tony Wright, plans to resign from his government job if there is no second UN resolution on Iraq before the necessary military action.

It is inconceivable that a man of Tony Blair's intellect, armed with the best available intelligence, would risk his reputation over this if he were not absolutely sure.

Do second-tier parliamentarians think they can better judge such things than the prime minister?

He should be able to rely on his own party's MPs for support, but they are lining up behind the right-wing French government.

The French have commercial interests in view. It is not their soldiers who will suffer the

unimaginable heat of the Arabian desert should there be further prevarication by the UN. What are they frightened of? Is it just that France and Russia have been selling arms to Saddam Hussein; or is there something more sinister to come out?

Mr Wright should remember that the UK is used to being bullied by France in the European context. Has he forgotten about British beef, Sangatte and CAP reforms?

This time we have an ally, in the United States, that the French cannot bully. So they are muddying the waters as much as they can, along with their puppets in Berlin and friends in Russia.

Thank God for the courage, guts and steady hand of Tony Blair. And shame on those who conspire to stab him in the back.

Comment: Congratulatory letters can be sent to Tony Wright at his e-mail address which can be found on:-
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