Focus on real threat

October 25, 2002

Preparations for war against Iraq are illegal and are diverting attention from the war against terrorism ("What lurks in the shadows", THES , October 18).

Britain's attorney-general has ruled that attacking Iraq would be illegal. As Article 2(4) of the United Nations Charter says: "All members shall refrain... from the threat or use of force against the integrity and political independence of any state."

So the UN is not allowed to give any member a warrant to threaten or attack Iraq.

The director of the US Central Intelligence Agency has said that the threat from Iraq is low and not immediate. By contrast, the threat from Al Qa'ida is high, immediate and actual - witness the horrific attack in Indonesia, and the recent attacks in Pakistan, Yemen, Tunisia, etc. The US and British governments should be addressing the real threats to their people's security, not hypothetical ones.

Will Podmore
London E12

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