US WAR PLANS AGAINST IRAQ
Sir, - George W. Bush has called for "regime change" in Iraq to remove a despotic regime that is seeking weapons of mass destruction.
The United States of America is now led by an aggressive militarist who took power despite winning only a minority of the popular vote. This individual, like many Middle Eastern rulers, relied heavily on his family connections to secure power.
Since his rise to power this powerful international figure has trashed several international treaties and sought to expand his state's military capacity. He has rejected the human rights provisions of the Geneva Convention concerning military prisoners; his government has been criticised by the former UN Commissioner on Human Rights, Mary Robinson, for undermining civil liberties.
George W. Bush is evidently a dangerous and unpredictable ruler of dubious democratic credentials, who commands a formidable arsenal of nuclear and conventional weapons. He may well present a potentially grave danger to world peace. Is there not a strong case for "regime change" in the United States? - Yours, etc.,
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Sir, - Six letters published in your edition of September 13th on the US/Iraq/Afghanistan situation were from a broadly anti-U.S. perspective.
Lest any citizens of the U.S. accessing our media think we are all pretty much of the same persuasion, I for one wish to stand up and be counted. The daily outpouring of anti-American opinion, from Irish radio, television and the printed media, is not necessarily the only view of world affairs which is held by the people of this nation. Because of the present nature of the media in Ireland, it just appears that way. If one holds certain views which are held by the media to be "not politically correct", one is considered to be a crank whose opinion is off the wall.
This applies not only to the current world crisis, but also to our own internal affairs. For that reason, most media space is taken up with so-called politically correct viewpoints, while the view of the rest of the population is either ignored or no attempt is even made to voice it in public.
The main reason for this is that, in general, we are an apathetic nation and there is the difficulty of trying to fight against media which are so very obviously set upon promulgating their own message instead of sometimes attempting to gauge the real mood of the people.
So, to stand up and be counted: despite the very obvious and enormous risks involved, I for one would prefer to put the future of my family, myself and my country in the hands of George Bush and Tony Blair, than rely on the peaceful nature and goodwill of Saddam Hussein -
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Sir, - "The United States of America is a threat to world peace. . .neither Bush nor Tony Blair has provided any evidence that [Saddam's weapons of mass destruction\] exist. But what we know is that Israel has weapons of mass destruction.
"Nobody talks about that. Why should there be one standard for one country, especially because it is black, and another one for another country, Israel, that is white?"
"The Iraqi regime. . .poses a real and substantial threat to international peace. . .Only George Bush and Tony Blair have the mettle to stand up to him. . .His programme for developing weapons of mass destruction should frighten the civilised world."
The first quotation comes from a Newsweek interview (September 10th) with former South African president Mandela, a beacon of honour who has worked tirelessly for peace and reconciliation in his own country and throughout the world.
The second comes from an Irish Times piece (September 13th) by Tom Cooney, a UCD law lecturer who seems to me to have taken on himself the white man's burden of defending colonialist double standards wherever he finds them.
Whom are we to believe? - Yours, etc.,