Pro-war protest 1

April 11, 2003

Meghnad Desai ("The UN must swap living in the past for the real world", THES, April 4) and Alan Read write two very different but related articles on the war in Iraq.

Read suggests that academics should reclaim from celebrities the right to say "Not in my name" in the anti-war protests, thus assuming that the majority of academics are anti-war ("Raise the curtain on a genuinely political act", THES, April 4). While many leftwing academics joined anti-war protests, they have nailed their flag to the wrong mast.

There seem to be two polarised views on the left, epitomised perhaps by the veteran hard-left campaigner Tony Benn and the Labour MP Ann Clwyd. Too many have followed Benn's line, including our university trade unions.

Thus, a selective class analysis is applied, where the rightwing George Bush and Tony Blair are portrayed as the main enemies rather than that monster Saddam Hussein.

I refuse to believe this is a majority view. There must be others, like myself, who see this war in Iraq as a war of liberation, not colonisation.

June Purvis

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