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 Posted Saturday, March 27, 1999

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London, Saturday, March 27, 1999

Previous letters on this outrage

Tomahawk missileReader's Letters

Air strikes defy both Nato treaty and UN charter

SIR -- The North Atlantic Treaty begins with the injunction that its parties "reaffirm their faith in the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations",

Article I declares: "The parties undertake, as set forth in the Charter of the United Nations, to settle any international disputes in which they may be involved by peaceful means, in such a manner that international peace and security and justice are not endangered, and to refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force in any manner inconsistent with the purpose of the United Nations,"

The bombardment of Yugoslavia thus contravenes both the United Nations Charter and the North Atlantic Treaty itself. Numerous possibilities were open to reach a negotiated settlement of the tragic confrontation in Kosovo,

But when they felt they had reached a stalemate, the allied powers were under solemn obligation to refer the problem to the United Nations, This, the proper course of action, was never even considered, perhaps because it was feared that the UN might be able to broker a peaceful solution,

Now the trauma in Kosovo will certainly be aggravated, and war may be extended over an even wider area.

ALEX SMITH, MEP (Lab) Brussels

SIR -- For more than 20 years, I served Nato as a more than willing soldier,

I, and all my comrades, knew only too well that the rock bottom of the treaty that the British government had signed was that an attack on one was an attack on all.

The Communist bloc threatened us, so we stood together, What is happening now? Are we threatened in any way? Are the vital interests of this country at stake? Yet this defensive alliance has declared war on a sovereign state, a state that has not encroached on the borders of any other state, but whose only sin -indeed a very reprehensible sin -appears to be the bloodiness of its internal measures of repression against some of its dissident subjects,

Betsham, Kent

SIR -- During the Gulf war, it was said that Iraq was intent on developing nuclear and chemical weapons, Under no circumstances can the same be said about Serbia,

It is becoming more and more obvious that the present situation is none other than a Blair/Clinton ego trip,

Earls Croome, Worcs

SIR -- The axiom that all power corrupts means that it, inevitably, erodes the rational and moral judgment of those wielding it,

The horrific situation in Serbia shows that it has taken only two years of power to corrupt the judgment of Tony Blair, Robin Cook and George Robertson, who have repeatedly accepted responsibility for Britain's involvement in what looks, increasingly, like a spitefully destructive assault to control the internal affairs of a sovereign nation,

If this adventure, promoted in such moralising terms, proves to be a diplomatic, demographic and financial disaster, all three politicians should resign.

Hungerford, Berks

SIR -- The Albanian separatists in Kosovo signed the latest peace agreement only when they knew the Serbs would not. Their aim, now totally successful, has been to provoke Serbian repression so that Nato would intervene, regardless of the suffering that this involves for their own people,

Milosevic will now fight to the last Serb to repel Nato aggression. He would rather go down as a defeated national hero than a disgraced dictator,

Let us get out of this mess now, and get a settlement brokered by the UN, And if this means humiliating Clinton and Blair, and kow-towing to Russia, then so be it.


SIR -- In the 1930s, the West sat back and did nothing when Germany was doing much the same thing as Milosevic, and that led to a terrible six-year war, The only language Milosevic understands is force. I fully support the Nato action,

Ilford, Essex

SIR -- The Yugoslav peoples have built their existence on the blood-soaked fields of the Balkans, Grandfathers and grandmothers paid with their blood for the most sacred element of their society: a proud freedom for their land. And that is why, today, these peoples will still rather be bombed than let Nato dictate their internal affairs.

Milosevic is no angel, but we seem to forget that there are always two sides in a conflict, The official Nato goals in the region resemble something out of the Brothers Grimm, with the credibility of a Molotov-Ribbentrop pact.

Where was Nato in Rwanda, Congo, Romania, Chechnya, East Timor, the Philippines? Is the lack of television cameras an explanation for its absence? Instead, we see a world where the sacred conventions of the UN are shoved aside and ignored,

The United Nations: born in the United States Oct. 24, 1945, died over Serbia March 24, 1999,


SIR - Irrespective of the rights and wrongs of the situation, am I alone in feeling somewhat sickened at the way in which various messages had been shown scrawled on the weapons? To wish someone "a happy Easter" and deliver that wish on a weapon that at best will destroy property and at worst will destroy life is beyond belief,

Little Broughton, Cumbria

Our opinion
ONLY one published letter, a correspondent Simon Lewis from Ilford, Essex, backs this Nato holocaust against Serbia. Noteworthy points: seven of Blair's Labour MPs thus fall publicly out of line. Incidentally, Chapman Pincher is a well-known former Beaverbrook Newspapers crime and Intelligence correspondent.

If you write to a newspaper don't forget: 1. keep it short; 2. add your mail address and a daytime telephone number; they will not print it otherwise.

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