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Letters to the Editor:
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
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
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 SmithBack to index page