Dear Sir,

Without actually resorting to a tape measure I am fairly sure that since the start of the Iraq crisis The Daily Bulletin has carried more column inches from its readers supporting the “No War” lobby than those who agree with President Bush and Prime Minister Blair on the necessity of dealing with Saddam Hussein. No complaint from me on that score. Freedom of speech means printing and reading the views of those one may regard as confused and muddle–headed, and listening to arguments reminiscent of the logic of Lewis Carrol. There are times when I almost wish I agreed with Wedgie Benn and Glenda Jackson et al in declaring there must be no war at any price. All you have to do to join that self–righteous band is to occupy what has become known as the moral high ground. You do not have to concede that anthrax and risin and thermo–nuclear devices in the hands of a madman represent a threat to the innocent. You simply have to present Saddam Hussein as someone who will go away if ignored for a year or two, or a month, or a fortnight. You do not concede that he presents a significant problem. Someone might then ask you for a solution which would be embarrassing to say the least. If you feel uncomfortable or lonely on the unfamiliar territory of the moral high ground then maybe you can justify your antipathy to US policy on the ground that you don't like George W. Bush. According to George Scott (The Bulletin, Wednesday) when Bush was governor of Texas he sanctioned death sentences right left and centre. That may or may not have anything to do with the case but if I were Mr Scott I would be more worried about the gun–toting Texans who demanded such a policy than the politician who had an eye on where his next vote was coming from. To me the most puzzling attitude is that of those, epitomised by Ray Fleming, who believe a “Yes” from the United Nations justifies all out war against Iraq while a “No” makes such action illegal and reprehensible. Consider a hypothetical case in which all were in favour but France, who exercised its veto. It is, of course, highly unlikely that France would ever stand alone in any cause apart perhaps from its copyright in Brie, but supposing it really did happen. Would anyone seriously wish to endow their casting vote with any authority at all? France occupies a seat on the Security Council because Churchill, irrationally afraid of gallic communism, tossed a bone to a notably ungrateful de Gaulle. Since then French politicians have spent much of their time biting the hands that fed them. I hope for their sake that history never repeats itself and they never have a desperate need for allies. That will indeed be time for the rest of us to head for the moral high ground.

Mike Kernahan,