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Paddy's Normal Home page From the Eastern Daily Press, Tuesday, April 22, 2003:

US has long wanted Iraq war

Lancaster Gardens, Aylsham.

Mr Rogers (Letter, April 17) has, it is wise to assume, failed to understand the situation which gave rise to the invasion of Iraq and the position today.
Firstly, for years there had been organised lobbying in Washington which wanted a war against Iraq to make the country a friend of the USA and stable so that oil supplies would not be interrupted or policies adopted which would create difficulties for the united States in the region.
This is a matter of record. From this lobbying, carried out by individuals now sitting in seats of power in the American government, arose the demand for regime change.
And we should not forget that this was precisely the war aim of the US government when the war started and became the aim of Tony Blair after the war had started. There was no assertion then that the regime to take over had to be wedded to "participatory government" let alone a "liberal democracy".
The American government had no doubt about its intentions. Tony Blair accepted US leadership whilst trying to convince us that the aim was different to that announced in Washington. He will live to regret this.
The Iraq population is mixed in origin and contains many strands of views.
Just before I sat down to write this letter, I listened to BBC news reports on opposition from Iraqis to the group of people assembled to form a provisional government by the occupation powers (The US and, in the junior role, the UK) in Nasiriyah, all the participants vetted by the CIA.
Also, the assertion in his letter that "states which are misgoverned by brutal, occupying and
illegitimate regimes are now removed by democracies through pre-emptive force and democratic imperialism" is outrageous.
The "occupying force" in Iraq is the US and the UK. And what on earth is "democratic imperialism"? Can the writer of the letter give a definition which makes sense?
And what if the United States of America some time in the future decides to start removing other governments of which it does not approve?
Syria is already in the frame. The United States has indicated its displeasure with the regime and the "regime change" and "chemical weapons" allegations are already being bandied about. There is only one common factor in these campaigns. It is that the authorities have earned the displeasure of the US government.
That is no justification or legitimisation so far as I am concerned.

Support for Iraqi children is a 1ittle late

Tanners Green, Garvestone.

I was glad to see your appeals in the EDP for readers to contribute towards humanitarian work for children in Iraq, but I think you should have made that appeal with greater humility and honesty.
It is true, as you say, that Iraqi children were ` suffering before the war began; but that was ; because of the sanctions which had been imposed after the first Gulf war and which we insisted on continuing even when it was obvious that the effects were hitting the civilian population hardest and that the infrastructure of ' the country was collapsing - so half a. million infants died.
Now we have dropped bombs on Iraqi children and their parents and traumatised them, wounded them killed them.
You were adamant in your support for the invasion and you ought to have foreseen today's grievously suffering children as an inevitable result.
: It would have been more seemly for you simply but prominently to have told us how to contact such organisations as the Red Cross Oxfam, Christian Aid, Save the Children - which can with greater integrity than yourselves, demand, that we make some adequate recompense for the suffering we have caused.

From the Eastern Daily Press, Thursday, April 17, 2003:

Misguided to oppose this war

Abbots Close, Aylsham.

Richard Casey (Letters, April 14) claims that had the war against Iraq not occurred and had it been "peacefully" dealt with by the United Nations, the people of Iraq would have been in a much better position.
Well-meaning people have been misguided in taking an anti-war stance. All the horrific postulations asserted before the war have turned out to be scaremongering nonsense.
Civilian casualties were placed at 500,000 by United Nations agencies. In fact, these casualties turned out to be the lowest of all time in relation to the quantity of ordnance fired.
Current estimates suggest that around 1500 civilians died and perhaps 5000 were injured.
Whilst this is terrible, it is far fewer than Saddam's regime has killed in Iraq.
Various non-governmental organisations estimate Saddam's regime killed between two and three million people by unnecessary wars of conquest, genocide or political terrorism.
On the lower estimate, that is an average 1602 people a week a figure hard to imagine.
Many died in the most sadistic manner, by torture or genocide. Many more were used as cannon fodder as Saddam tried to extend his regime into Iran and Kuwait.
Tony Blair noted after the February 15 anti-war demonstration in London, where over a
million people marched, that Saddam's regime had killed more than were marching.
The notorious 'Chemical Ali' fired gas rockets on to the Kurds in Halabja and began the genocide against them which killed over 100,000. Saddam ordered the pillage and rape of Kuwait in 1991.
The anti-war lobby is poorly informed about the plight of the people it is trying to protect.
Thankfully, the determination of Tony Blair and George Bush saw Saddam and his brutal regime removed. Order and the rule of law will return to Iraq not imposed by secret police and torture, but by legitimate police services.
Over time, a liberal democracy will emerge.

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