PUBLISHED : Monday, 22 September, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 22 September, 2003, 12:00am

History lessons

Your correspondent A. Nottrass ('Necessary invasion', September 18) claims that those leaders and nations who do not learn from the mistakes of history are doomed to repeat them.

Is he saying that the US has failed to learn from the carnage it wrought in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia that it cannot impose its way of life on other countries by force?

A two-page spread in a recent issue of The Independent clearly recorded how Prime Minister Tony Blair first sought to justify waging war on Iraq on the grounds that it had weapons of mass destruction which it could deploy at short notice. When it was apparent that no such weapons existed, he sought to justify the war on the grounds that Iraq had a programme for the development of weapons of mass destruction. When he could no longer sustain that argument, he sought to justify war on the grounds that the Iraqi people needed to be freed from the rule of a dictator.

Where oil is involved, resort is made to any justification for war, however lacking in substance that justification may be.

The argument that appeasement by then British leader Neville Chamberlain led to the Holocaust which killed six million Jews does not hold water. Roughly one year elapsed from the time Mr Chamberlain met Adolf Hitler to the outbreak of war and six million Jews were not killed in that time.

The time which elapsed gave Britain a breathing space to re-arm so that it was able to stem the tide of the German military. Meanwhile the US sat on the fence waiting to see who was going to win and only came into the war when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbour in retaliation for the embargo it placed on their oil.

If the US is really interested in justice and world peace it should stop funding and otherwise supporting Israeli terrorists.



I am surprised that Dr Judith Mackay ('Women's vote', September 20) appears not to know that the word 'man' in the phrase 'one man, one vote' is being used with its original meaning of a human being rather than an adult male.

Or, perhaps she does know, and is looking for trouble where none exists.

ALEC JAMESON, Deep Water Bay