The Guardian March 26, 2003


Readers are invited to submit letters to The Guardian.
Letters may be e-mailed to guardian@cpa.org.au.
Letters of 300-400 words are preferred.


Letters to the Editor:

Brutalisation

In a recent TV program I witnessed with horror the modern training 
methods "perfected" by American military trainers and used on their troops 
on the eve of the invasion of Iraq.

A fully equipped US soldier stabs again and again the prone dummy, maybe a 
civilian, with ferocious killing skills and ferocious facial expressions.

A second commercial was even worse if anything could be. A dummy is killed 
in armed combat, his "body" smashed to smithereens and left beyond 
recognition, dummy or not. This could be a living human being.

Anyone seeing these nightmare commercials would decide, as I did, to do 
more than ever to stop the fiendish war on Iraq by Bush, Blair and Howard.

The peace movement, powerful and worldwide, has the responsibility to get 
the United Nations, or an elected body of anti-war patriots, to begin an 
investigation into the stockpile of US biological, chemical and nuclear 
weapons.

This is the biggest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction in the world 
and they are a danger to the whole world. They must be destroyed if the 
world is to become safe. We must demand total disarmament of all countries 
of these weapons

Phyllis Johnson
Padstow, NSW

Human shields and human casualties
I was in Iraq in 1991 and December 2002 with the Iraq Peace team to try 
and stop both proposed wars. There are currently six Australians and over 
100 international Human shields in Iraq who have vowed to stay even if the 
bombs start to drop.

Kathy Kelly from the Iraq Peace team in Baghdad wrote saying "According to 
a UN document she was handed for the planning of humanitarian relief, the 
expected outcomes of a US campaign of bombing and invasion includes:

500,000 civilian casualties,
2,000,000 people homeless,
10,000,000 people without enough to eat,
18,000,000 without access to clean water, and
more than 1,000,000 children under the age of 5, at risk of death from 
malnutrition.

War plans released by the US military state that more than 3,000 bombs and 
m issiles will fall on Iraq, more than used in the entire Gulf War, in the 
first 48 hours of the campaign. The New York Times quoted Pentagon 
officials as saying, "There will be no place in Baghdad that will be safe." 
Baghdad is a city of 4,500,000 people half of them are children"

This is the level of carnage (liberation) the coalition Government wants to 
wish on the innocent Iraqi People. Would we feel liberated to watch our 
children and loved ones die in front of our eyes?

John Howard [has involved] Australia in this illegal and immoral war even 
though over 70 percent of Australians oppose it. Now is the time to let him 
and his silent government representatives know how you feel.

Dean Jefferys, NSW

Who supplied the chemical and bio weapons?
Was Australia unaware that Britain and America were equipping Saddam 
Hussein with the means of waging bacteriological and chemical warfare in 
the 1980s? Britain built a mustard and nerve gas production plant near 
Baghdad which is now targeted by the US ("Britain kept deadly plant secret 
from US", SMH. March 8-9) while America supplied Saddam with a 
variety of lethal micro-organisms, according to a 1994 US Senate 
report.

The UK, US and Australia all ratified the 1925 Gas Protocol which outlaws 
"the use in war of asphyxiating, poisonous or other gases" and prohibits 
the use of bacteriological methods of warfare. It states that the civilised 
world has condemned such methods of warfare and that "The High Contracting 
Parties will exert every effort to induce other States to accede to the 
present Protocol."

Downing Street and the Whitehouse dismissed this clear evidence of 
international criminality by saying that past administrations were 
responsible. Mr Howard has made no comment. Shouldn't the same criteria for 
pursuing Nazi war criminals apply here? What law provides a statute of 
limitations of only 18 years for crimes as high as these?

Claims by Howard, Blair and Bush that the war on Iraq is just, must account 
for the evil complicity of their own past administrations and their current 
criminal neglect in bringing those responsible before the International 
Court of Justice. They stand as surely accused as Saddam Hussein and the 
whole world knows it. Just who is the mob, Mr Howard?

Gareth W R Smith
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