PUBLISHED : Friday, 07 March, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 07 March, 2003, 12:00am

In his letter of March 3 headlined 'US must show its mettle against vile regime', John Jones makes some interesting observations, some factual and some very debatable.

However, as with most of the 'pro-war' lobbyists, he continues to ignore, or at least obscure, the reasons why this war is unacceptable.

His own arguments can be used against him. Yes, the UN is (one of) the only forums in which the weak and oppressed can be heard.

Of course, it must get its act together, and of course, the Iraqi regime is evil. No one in their right mind, Saddam Hussein accepted, would shed a tear if it was removed. But herein lies the question. Is it just or necessary to inflict further mayhem and suffering on the weak and oppressed citizens of Iraq, who have already gone through two wars, sanctions and poverty not of their own making, in order to remove the regime? How can the international community act, through the UN, to remove leaders and regimes like this, without causing more hardship and suffering to the people?

I would suggest that if Mr Jones begins to think a little more deeply about these questions and the pain his ideas would cause to the very people he purports to care for, he would see the need for the international community to work within some sort of legal, diplomatic and economic power structure, created to deal with situations such as this. Yes, it would take time and would not be easy, but it beats slaughtering tens of thousands of innocent, weak and oppressed people.

The arms inspectors are doing a good job and Iraq seems to be co-operating more fully with them. They must be allowed more time.

In the 21st century we should not be resolving conflict using models developed 2,000 or 3,000 years ago. Now is a good opportunity to update.