Hollow words

Sir, — The unilateral military force employed by the U.S. against Iraq, ignoring overwhelming protests by people all over the globe and the opinions of the majority of nations, has rendered hollow the words of the Declaration of Independence, "Decent respect to opinions of mankind requires that we should give reasons which impel us to separation".

Mahesh N. Vepari, Pondicherry

Sir, — At a joint press conference with the U.S. President, George W. Bush, at Camp David on Thursday, the British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, said they had statistics to show that about 450 million Iraqi children died of malnutrition because of Saddam Hussein's oppressive regime, and, hence, the urgent need to liberate the Iraqis from this tyrant. But a few years ago, media reports said that because of the sanctions imposed on Baghdad by the Western countries and the delay in processing the list of essential supplies Iraq needed, thousands of children were dying in hospitals for want of essential medicines, let alone food. Political commentators then condemned the sanctions and the sanction-imposing nations as mass murderers of innocent Iraqis.

Badri Seshadri, Chennai

G. Radhakrishnan, Thiruvananthapuram

Sir, — It is ironic that the U.S. is apportioning $75 billion for the war operations but only $6.5 billion towards post-conflict reconstruction. Also, it has lined up profitable contracts for the reconstruction. The post-conflict Iraq should be administered only by the U.N. in conjunction with the wishes of the Iraqi people.

V.B.N. Ram, New Delhi

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