Letters - Bombs, spies and inspectors

John Kampfner ("How Islington man became a trigger-happy Prime Minister", 17 February) says that Saddam "had thrown out the UN inspectors" in 1998. In fact, the inspectors were withdrawn by the UN ahead of the US bombing campaign. Although that campaign in December 1998 was ostensibly intended to bludgeon Iraq into compliance with the UN, it had the opposite effect, and the inspectors were not readmitted afterwards. This becomes still more understandable when you consider the US admission that some were CIA spies.

Richard Pond
Oxford

This article first appeared in the 24 February 2003 issue of the New Statesman, Can Blair survive?