No chance for peace

April 7, 2006

In her review of The Ethics of War (March 31), Margaret Anstee states that "in real life even these (moral criteria) are usually hard to evaluate". The invasion of Iraq provides a case where the application of the moral guidelines would have been easy.

The second of five criteria for a just war given by the book's editors is that "reasonable attempts at peaceful resolution should have been exhausted". Just before the invasion, Hans Blix, the United Nations chief weapons inspector, reported to the Security Council that he needed more time to complete his investigations. Reasonable attempts at a peaceful resolution had not been exhausted. The decision by the UK and US governments to commence the bombing of Baghdad was clearly wrong.

Richard Allanach
University of East London

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