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From the Eastern Daily Press, Friday, February 28, 2003:

War would halt a vital aid programme

Fieldhouse Gardens, Dlss.
President Designate of
Methodist Women's Network UK.

I was interested in the letter from the Rev Dr Mike Bossingham about Iraq (Feb. 25).

May I add an 11th reason for avoiding a war with Iraq? Currently 16 million Iraqi people are dependent on the ' United Nations Oil For Food Programme.

America is the largest customer for this oil. What will happen to this humanitarian programme when war begins?

Half a million children under 12 have already died since we imposed an embargo on Iraq.

Aid agencies are concerned an estimated two million people will flee their homes and join the already displaced 70,000.

These are powerful humanitarian reasons for seeking another solution.

Blair and Bush learned lessons of history

Cedar Drive,

Re Richard Casey's letter (Feb. 22), the appeasers of the 1930s were the prime ministers of Britain and France, Chamberlain and Daladier, who at Munich in September 1938 betrayed Czechoslovakia.

But it is no longer important who the 1930s appeasers were. What matters is for both Britain and America to learn the crucial lesson that a potential threat has to be confronted, preferably from a position of strength.

Mr Blare and Mr Bush have not made the same mistake. They are standing up to their responsibilities no matter how unpopular. The UN must do the same.

---- to which I replied, resulting in the publication of the following:

From the Eastern Daily Press, Monday, March 3, 2003:

Bush trying to frighten us

Church Cottage,

Before learning from history (Letters, 28 Feb) it is necessary to have your facts straight.

The appeasers of the 1930s were UK and France who, despite the early disclosure of his plans for world domination, clearly stated by Adolf Hitler in his book Mein Kampf, insisted in allowing him free rein. This was due to their fear of communists (and working people generally) in their own countries and of the Soviet Union, despite the fact that since the development of the policy of "Socialism in One Country" there was no military threat from that direction, and in fact it was only as a result of the eventual alliance with the Soviet Union that Hitler was defeated - as, in Churchills' words - the Red Army tore the guts out of the Nazi war machine.

Far from learning from history, Blair and Bush are flying in its face, trying to frighten the world with a tin-pot dictator in a poor Arab country, and in the process stirring up hatred of the west throughout the Muslim world.

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