Letters, Friday, April 22nd, 2011

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Wrong about civil war in Libya

W. QUINN (Echo, April 8), was wrong in four respects.

Firstly he compared the civil war in Libya with the Iraq War. Labour’s invasion of Iraq took place without a United Nations resolution and was therefore illegal, whereas the U.N. voted for the Libyan action.

Parliament voted for the invasion and occupation of Iraq, on the basis of a mendacious document about weapons of mass destruction. In this case Parliament has not been misled, the Government’s legal advice being straightforward, to the point and without exaggerated claims. The Iraq war involved the large-scale commitment of ground forces which has not been the case in Libya.

Secondly, W. Quinn’s reference to the Prime Minister’s warmongering campaign implies that Mr Cameron engineered the war. The reality is that if Colonel Gaddafi had not used armed force, up to and including the destruction of cities, not a single British serviceman would have been involved. Indeed Edward Miliband, in supporting the Government action, agrees with the analysis.

Thirdly W. Quinn refers to civilian deaths resulting from allied bombing, but appears to overlook the greater scale of Gaddafi’s attacks upon civilians. Apart from the scale of deaths, a crucial distinction is between a deliberate intention to kill civilians and their deaths as an unintentional consequence. This distinction appears to be recognised by the Libyan opposition.

Fourthly, W. Quinn refers to “a costly war” and it is expensive. Against that how much more expensive would it be to resettle several hundred thousand desperate refugees trying to flee Libya and enter the European Union, including Britain?

Where Mr Quinn is correct in his reference to Britain’s and by extension the western world’s involvement in the Middle East. If his letter had focused on that issue, it may have stimulated a useful debate.

Paul Gibson, Elm Place, Newbottle

World peace

I WRITE in complete support of C.S. Wasey’s letter “What prospect for peace in the world?” (Letters, April 12). The correspondent asks if their letter is over the top. Well, no way is it so.

It has now been proved, to have peace, love and caring for others in your heart improves your health all round. Surely this proves conclusively this is what God desires from us?

Jimmy Chambers, Rickleton, Washington

Poem for Japan

Land of strong proud families

Draped cherry blossom trees

Relax in shaded Zen gardens

The Red-eyed Vireo bird trills

A lonely Spring-peeper frog

By the lily ponds watery log

Majestic blue mountains high

Where soft firs touch azure sky

Early morning’s ambrosial dew

Dries under a shimmering sun

See clearly now the Sacred Shrine

Devoted to perpetual peace

Now, in the face of disaster

The world holds prayers for you

Pray we all send Japan help

with comradeship’s devotion.

Ed Ryles

Sick of wedding

AS the clamour reaches a crescendo about this Royal Wedding, it’s sad that people who have no love for the superficiality of a privileged section of society have not had their voices heard equally in the media.

Silly season has come with a vengeance as we’ve had forced down our necks, in every newspaper and radio and television programme, more trivia about this irrelevant couple.

I wish them more success than the rest of the Royal Family when it comes to marriage.

Anyway, there is an alternative on Friday, April 29, for anyone who is sick of hearing the incessant rubbish about Kate’s dress, her County Durham roots or how William will make a great king and how it’s disgusting that, if their first born is a female, she will play second fiddle to brothers in the succession farce.

The Customs House in South Shields is staging a script-in-hand read through of our children’s play, Cinderella 2, which is about the problems the pantomime heroine Cinderella has after her marriage to Prince Charming (he’s a wrong ’un!).

It’s very funny and aimed at children and adults with a sense of humour.

Ed Waugh