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Letter from Tony Benn, MP

Today's Times of London (which carries Simon Jenkins' typically eloquent
piece) also includes the following letter from Mr. Tony Benn. MP:

British foreign policies 'immoral'
>From Mr Tony Benn, MP for Chesterfield (Labour) 


The excellent reports in The Times about the tragedy in Turkey, the bombing
of Iraq, and events in Kosovo, taken together, raise some fundamental
humanitarian issues. 

While desperate efforts, with limited resources, were being made to dig out
the survivors from the earthquake, house the homeless and avert the outbreak
of disease, the Americans have got 200 aircraft, 19 warships and 22,000
troops in the area fighting a war against Iraq that has now gone on for
almost a decade. 

And Britain, which also has one warship, 20 aircraft and 1,400 Service
personnel in the same area, is spending over a million pounds a week, which
is more than the total sum allocated by the Government, so far, to help the
victims of the Turkish earthquake. 

The death toll in Turkey may rise to 40,000, which represents less than the
number of children who, according to Unicef, are dying each year in Iraq as
a direct result of the sanctions we impose. 

Meanwhile the damage which Nato aircraft inflicted on Yugoslavia also
involved killing innocent people, some of whom were trapped in the buildings
we bombed, and Serbs are now being ethnically cleansed by the KLA, an
organisation which we have supported. 

Meanwhile the British arms trade is booming with weapons still going to
Indonesia, and refugees who seek asylum here are to be treated even more

I cannot recall any British government, in recent years, pursuing such
unethical and immoral foreign and defence policies. 

Is this what "Third Way" politics is all about? 

Yours etc,
House of Commons.
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