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Scoop Feedback: Further Rebuttal Re: Iraq War End

Dear Alastair,

Thank you for publishing my feedback under the heading The Pro-War Backlash & Rebuttal.

I would like to comment further on some assumptions you made in your rebuttals.

(AT REPLIES: The UN has nothing to do with it. The precepts of International Law, which predate the UN by several hundred years , state that it is illegal to attack unless you are attacked, or in imminent danger of being attacked. As for the deceit, what more evidence is needed than the forgery by someone of documents used to "prove" attempts by Iraq to purchase uranium. )

It is stretching things a bit to take concepts of legality from hundreds of years back and to hope that they will exactly match the 21st Century situations. However, one could argue that countering terrorism that arises from organisations that are not nation-states is responding to an imminent danger of being attacked. The indiscriminate and cowardly nature of terrorism means that the rules of chivalrous battle may no longer apply. I am unaware of the particular forged documents to which you refer. I would prefer to take the word of the Iraqi refugee Hussein Shahristani who was formerly a key nuclear scientist in Iraq's service. In any event, one carelessly chosen forged document does not belie the plethora of factual information from other sources. I would suggest that you try reading the April 2003 issue of Investigate and that you challenge Ian Wishart on his sources if you do not believe him.

(AT REPLIES: Have a look at http://www.newamericancentury.org and Is The Iraq War The Beginning Of World War IV- Scoop did not make this up.)

I am aware of this statement although not from that source. In fact I could not find it at that site despite using their search engine. The reference was to WW III being the Cold War and WW IV being all that follows September 11. That does not necessarily specify American hegemony, although no-one can be sure of future developments. Can you suggest a way of rooting out terrorists that does not involve offending a few nation states?

(AT REPLIES: Why leave the United States off your list. )

Because the USA, to the best of my knowledge has been blocking the supply of such materials to Iraq since the 1991 Gulf War (and were also blocking such activities before the Iran/Iraq war). France, Germany, Russia, and China continued to supply Iraq in contravention of UN embargoes.

(AT REPLIES: You assume that it is accepted that the United States is pursuing despots for the good of the people of the world and not solely in its own interests. I would most of the evidence suggests otherwise. )

You need to be careful of your sources. Much of what is published is anti-American propaganda (even when it originates from American citizens with anti-war and communist agendas). Getting rid of despots would be seen as being in American interests. No nation has totally altruistic foreign policies. The Americans often hurt other nations by being clumsy and insensitive. However, there have been many instances where Americans have given quite unselfishly. As I mentioned in my previous letter, they went into Bosnia to help Muslims and there was no oil to be found there.

(AT REPLIES: Clearly you have been reading too much material from the State Department Library. Try reading Exclusive: Saddam key in early CIA plot and Secret Bechtel Documents Reveal:Yes, It Is About Oil)

I have not been reading any material from the State Department Library. I do get material from a wide variety of other sources. The CIA activities are a bit problematic. They do not necessarily comply with US Government policy from time to time. There are plenty of theories about the oil, many of them very plausible; but I still think that their main thrust is anti-terrorist. Of course they are concerned about the destabilisation of such major oil producing area. That does not mean that they are going to steal the resource. In fact the freeing up of the Iraqi oil sales should be welcomed by all you people who blamed civilian deaths on the UN embargoes!

(AT REPLIES: Sorry my understanding of history suggests a rather different turn of events.)

Yes I am sure it does. However, I think that my other points of refutation will suffice.

(AT REPLIES: Television interview, "60 Minutes", May 12, 1996: Lesley Stahl, speaking of US sanctions against Iraq: "We have heard that a half million children have died. I mean, that's more children than died in Hiroshima. And -- and you know, is the price worth it?" U.S. Secretary Of State Madeleine Albright: "I think this is a very hard choice, but the price -- we think the price is worth it." )

I think that Madeleine Albright has been sucked in by a leading question. Her answer should have been something like: Those deaths have been caused by Saddam Hussein's neglect of his own people, while he spends extravagant sums on weaponry, palaces, other luxuries. The Oil for Food program gave him more than adequate resources to feed and care for the Iraqi people.

Once again, thank you for the forum in which I can air my opposing views.

Hugh Webb

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