Arms and the Rt Hon

Methinks members of the government must be having serious doubts about the ethics (or, more correctly, futility) of their policy of bombing Iraq into submission when the Rt Hon George Robertson is moved to complain of what he sees as John Pilger's comparison between them and Pol Pot (Letters, 15 January).

If he had read the relevant paragraph with a little more attention, he would have seen that the comparison was with Henry Kissinger, who supported (advocated) the blanket bombing of Cambodia, not with Pol Pot, who carried out exterminations on the ground.

The rest of his remarks come ill from the defence secretary of a country that has one of the largest stock of weapons of mass destruction in the world. Indeed, they are hardly worthy of comment, except to say that if it is policy for the RAF to bomb any country whose government is tyrannical and spends a high proportion of its GDP on splendid government buildings and weapons of war - then the RAF is heading for a busy time.

E C Apling
Woodrising, Norfolk

This article first appeared in the 22 January 1999 issue of the New Statesman, Goodbye to all that boiled cabbage