History must not repeat itself

Your Editor Raymond Whitaker hits the spot when he says ‘the [Chilcot] report will seem like ancient history to the millions of people, in the Middle East and beyond, who are still suffering the consequences of one of the most catastrophic foreign policy decisions of modern times’.
Too true. British project the Iraq Body Count estimates civilian deaths of between 160,400 and 179,312, with the total number of violent deaths including combatants as 251,000.

This is the true tragedy of that Iraq war, and whether or not his actions were a deliberate ploy to mislead, Tony Blair should face some kind of legal action to answer for them.

That said, those who want to label him a war criminal risk undermining the term: thinkMiroslav Filipović, Abdul Quadar Mollah and their ilk. Tony Blair, irresponsible and deluded as he has been, does not fit into that category of brutality.

It seems we may never know the real reason British intelligence agencies told Blair that Saddam had WMD. Sir Richard Dearlove, the MI6 chief at the time, testified to Chilcot in private, and much of the transcript has been redacted.What we do know is it must never be allowed to happen again.

TaraRobson-Ellis

Guildford, Surrey

 

Armed & dangerous

It was aworrying article by Mr Andrew Salmon about the danger of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (‘Having his cake – and eating it’, Asian Affairs, Aug 2016).

It is amazing that Kim Jong-un is saying he will upgrade the living standards of his people by a Five-Year Plan, when he wastes billions of the country’s money on test firing 31 ballistic missiles over the five years since he took power. That is nearly double up from the 16 ballistic missiles that his father Kim Jong-il fired in 18 years as the leader.

And yet he is managing to make living standards higherby being a capitalist in everything except the name, so people will accept him.

The rest of the world should not accept him. Only on August 3rd North Korea fired two mid-range ballistic missiles and one of them went into Japan’s exclusive economic zone.This is a great threat to Japan and the world as a large, and it shows Kim Jong-un is someone to take very seriously.

Gaku Saito

London

 

Vigilance against violence

Zeeshan Khan gave agoodanalysis of rising Islamic violence in Bangladesh, but did not mention two factors that I think could be important: the hangings of senior opposition leader Salahuddin Quader Chowdhury and Ali Ahsan Mohammad Mujahid of the Jamaat-i-Islami party for war crimesduring the 1971 war of liberation, which may have helped to provoke an extremist backlash in the country; and the Sheikh Hasina government’s authoritarian approach to dealing with its opponents, which could also be contributing to the rise of militant extremism.

With the Bangladeshi government refusing to accept that IS has infiltrated the country, its South Asian neighbours India and Pakistan should be extra vigilant to this threat, putting aside their differences to exchange intelligence aimed at curtailing if not stopping such attacks.

Kashif Malik

Manchester

Pakistan’s finest to One of the finest

Thank you, Asian Affairs, for the obit to Abdul Sattar Edhi, a great human being by any standards, and especially in this age of selfishness, intolerance and violence. For people such as Edhi, 88 is too young to die.

Miranda Hughes

Berlin

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