this is not 1940! According to the theologians, one of the several conditions for a "just war" is that the likely consequences must be less serious than the evil it seeks to avert.
However, during the last half century, we have quite suddenly reached the point at which the greedy misuse of our rapidly developing technology is seriously damaging the fragile biosphere — the framework of nature itself. This is true even in ''nearetime". hilt it k rven more obviously true now that the oil-fields are blazing and huge, life-destroying oil-slicks are drifting down the Gulf, with (literally) God alone knows what final consequences.
This condition for a "just war" would suggest that only a skirmish, intended to head off a greater catastrophe, could now possibly qualify as one.
Then there is the loss of life. Desmond Albrow implies that there were no "frightful and unacceptable casualties". No? Fortunately, the deaths on our side were far fewer than had been anticipated; hut possibly 150,000 Iraqis, including many civilians, were slaughtered — mainly from the air.
I do not forget those other horrors perpetrated during the occupation of Kuwait; but many political decisions are a choice of evils. Few were in favour of doing nothing at all; but the certain ecological consequences of the war, and the very likely political consequences, are only just beginning to work themselves out.
Denis Pethebridge Banbury.
AS we approach Holy Week the following reflection occurs to me on reading Desmond Albow (March 8).
"The fainthearts, the appeasers and the pacifists should now be reposing in some form of sackcloth. Victory has gone to the strong of arm and heart.
Jesus Christ has been defeated in the one place where he had to be defeated — in public view. It will be some time before any more Messiahs try to upset the established order.
The armed services have done
their job with stunning efficiency. What has been demonstrated over the past few days is that all-party unity is Possible on an issue of supreme importance. Messrs Annas, Caiaphas and Pilate have stood as one."
Mr Albrow provides a stunning demonstration of the theory that the end justifies the means. It may be that for him the thousands of Iraqi dead do not constitute "frightful and unacceptable casualties". 1 for one am grateful that the Pope's THE great sadness of the "Gulf peacemust be the thousands of innocents who have suffered as a result of both Iraqi atrocities and Allied military action.
A "great victory parade" is
proposed by our secular leaders .(March 8). This will achieve nothing other than fuelling the evil forces of neo-fascist materialistic nationalism.
It would be far more in
keeping with Christian teaching if all the churches were to have a day of prayer for the Kuwaiti, Iraqi and Israeli people who have suffered so much as a result of military action, both by Saddam Hussein and by the Allied forces "collateral damage".
Legislation to prevent the international trade in arms should be a first step to ensure that no more evil regimes are nutured. Even as I write this letter despots in Africa, Central and South America are receiving deliveries of arms from members of the Allied coalition and other world powers.
In God's name let us stop this heinous trade it leads to war described by the Holy Father as "a crime against humanity". Doreen Caffrey Liverpool Readers wishing to know more about the Campaign Against the Arms Trade should write to CA,4T, 11 Goodwin Street, London, N4 311Q and Pax Christi, 9 Henry Road, London, N4 2LH. ACCORDING to the appalling sentiments expressed by Desmond Albrow (March 8) Pope John Paul in condemning war as an unacceptable solution to current day problems must join those who have made asses of themselves.
Do we need such comments in a Christian newspaper on whose front page the Patriarch of Baghdad is reported as telling Cardinal Hume that 150,000 iraquis died? The Gulf war was no victory but a tragic failure of our own making. What other when nations (and we were well to the fore) lost no opportunity in pouring massive armaments into a region where despots, greed, hatred, injustice and intolerance flourished and still flourish.
The asses among us believe that war must be discredited not glorified and some alternative found before we all disappear in the cataclysmic horror which is ours to unleash.
If. Christ walked the Golan Heights today what would he be preaching? Peace, forgiveness, understanding or the need to order more smart bombs, chemical weapons and Patriot missiles.
Joseph Brown Macclesfield.
WE motorists could reasonably have expected to pay at least 10 pence a gallon more for our fuel during the Gulf war. That same war has certainly diverted attention, and therefore funds, from the appalling plight of the starving in Africa.
May I, through the courtesy of your columns, invite fellow motorists to join me in contributing 10 pence for every gallon of fuel to whatever charity of our individual choice which gives direct assistance to those starving millions.
Vincent Mcl.aughlin Purley, Surrey IN his bizarre list (March 8) of "faint hearts, appeasers and pacifists" (in other words of people who opposed the Gulf war), Desmond Albrow has omitted a name — that of Pope John Paul.
Pamela Rooney Buckhurst Hill.