An open letter to my MP, Malcolm Wicks (Lab, Croydon North)

By | 2003-04-03

Dear Mr Wicks,

I recently read[1] that the US, not being party to the 1997 anti-personnel mine convention, is planning to deploy landmines as part of their military “strategy” in Iraq. I would like to know what the UK government is doing about this, as you are required to uphold the provisions of the treaty. At the very least I would expect a statement from the Prime Minister, publicly condemning the use of landmines in what is already a heavily-mined region.

Since the invasion, and the Prime Minister’s pathetic comments last week[2] on the illegal treatment of POWs held at Guantanamo Bay, I have given up hope of the UK supporting other international conventions such as the — obviously optional — one signed in Geneva. After all, the action in Iraq is not a “war” as such — none has been declared. Unless, of course, one is referring to the War on Terra[tm], which seems to have different, as yet unwritten, rules. At the rate he is going I wouldn’t be surprised if Mr Blair decided that membership of the UN and the ICC wasn’t such a good idea after all.

And you would blindly follow him.

Thank you for your letter explaining why you support the illegal and immoral invasion of a sovereign nation state. By your actions you have lost my vote. I have always been a strong Labour supporter (and occasional activist), but I will almost certainly not vote to return you to office unless you can convince me that you are doing everything in your power to get the UK’s armed forces out of the quagmire that they have been led into by forces bent on pure self-interest, if not quite pure evil.

The UK’s immediate withdrawal from Iraq would send a powerful signal to the world, acknowledging that:

1) the Iraqi people clearly do not want to be “liberated” by invading Western armies;

2) this invasion is not, and never was about, WoMDs nor the “War on Terror”; and

3) killing and destruction accomplishes nothing but death and more destruction.

There is another way. “The Triumph of Fear”[3], an article published by Tikkun, one of the few major Jewish-American organisations opposed to the invasion, points to another approach to the problem.

Given the current situation, I continue to hope for the swift capitulation of Hussein’s regime, much as I do for the impeachment of President Bush, installed by a different kind of coup. Fear not, the second superpower[4] may yet be finding its feet.

Chris Brody


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