Published : Apr 25, 2003 00:00 IST

War of occupation

The "war of occupation" launched by the United States and the United Kingdom is a blatant violation of the United Nations Charter (Cover Story, April 11). Unfortunately the U.N. is helpless and, as the Iraqis allege, Secretary-General Kofi Annan is more in sympathy with the U.S. views.

The savagery and ferocity of the bombing of Baghdad by the so-called liberators of the Iraqi people reminds one of the medieval period when Genghis Khan's hoards plundered and destroyed the great city of Arabian Nights fame.

Hulagu, the grandson of Genghis Khan, laid siege to Baghdad in A.D. 1258. The siege lasted 40 days and in the end the Caliph, Mustasim, was deceived into coming out of the city with his followers in order to sue for peace. The invading army then entered the city and killed its inhabitants.

Gibbon reports that for three days the streets of Baghdad ran with blood and the waters of the Tigris were dyed in red for miles along its course. The massacre continued for six weeks. The accumulated treasures of the Golden period of the Abbasid Caliphs and Islam were lost to humanity. Ibn Khaldun reports that 1.6 million residents of Baghdad were slaughtered.

The death and destruction going on under the Bush regime reminds one of the medieval savagery of Hulagu. The great civilisation of Sumeria, Assyria and Babylonia, which Iraq represents, is being obliterated.

History will not forgive Bush and Blair for this naked aggression against an independent and sovereign country, no matter what Saddam Hussein is.

The U.S. has not won a war on its own, whether in China or Korea or Vietnams. Its arrogance as the only superpower in the world will bring its own downfall sooner than later. After all, the great Persian army with its elephant brigade perished in front of the ill-equipped Arabs in the battle of Qadsia near Baghdad in the 7th century. The U.S. may find itself in such a predicament in the days to come.

A.K. Anwar Batcha Coimbatore* * *

The cover photograph of the weeping child not only evoked mixed feelings of anger and pity, but also spoke volumes of George Bush's brutality. This photograph conveys much more than what a writer can with a thousand words. Frontline deserves a pat for publishing it.

Bidyut Kumar Chatterjee FaridabadDoctors against war

We, members of the medical profession, feel very sad about the war on Iraq.

Wars increase the disease burden of the community many times over. They lead to outbreaks of several fresh epidemics. They increase malnutrition-related diseases, especially among women and children. The bulk of trauma cases are often unmanageable even by the best of medical teams in the world. Chemical agents and nuclear irradiation, if used, cause various types of cancers and genetically determined diseases. In any warfare, however limited it is, the number of preventable deaths runs to several thousands. These are things that our already disease-burdened world can do without.

We reiterate that no one has a right to take away another innocent person's life. Problems between nations can be solved through negotiations or through the U.N.

All of us spend long hours every day trying to save individual lives. Therefore the prospect of mass decimation of an innocent population is appalling to us.

Therefore, we, members of various professional medical bodies, oppose the unilateral action of the United States on Iraq and condemn it in unambiguous terms.

Dr. J. Amalorpavanathan, Physicians for Peace; Dr. G.R. Ravindranath, general secretary, Indian Doctors for Peace and Development, Tamil Nadu chapter; Dr. M. Balasubramaniam, president, Tamil Nadu Medical Council; Dr. E. Ravindranath, general secretary, Tamil Nadu Medical Practitioners Association; Dr. Thiruvadanan, chairman, Association of Surgeons of India, Tamil Nadu-Pondicherry chapter; Dr. M. Vijayakumar, Indian Academy of Paediatricians, Chennai; Dr. Rex Sargunam, Tamil Nadu Health Development Forum; Dr. P.N. Vijayaragavan, secretary, Tamil Nadu Orthopaedic Surgeons Association

* * *A martyr to the world

"A young martyr from Amercia" (April 11), had a good note by John Cherian. An exemplary martyr to the whole world. A wonderful and inspiring photograph - a courageous lady standing in front of a bulldozer. Rachel Corrie gives a strong message to the world that one should not bow to power. Let peace triumph over war.

C.P. Sunny KeralaWorld Cup

Congratulations to Frontline on the extensive coverage of the ICC World Cup ("Lessons from a shock-and-awe final", April 11). While Australia confirmed its supremacy by winning the World Cup for the third time, the tournament also saw the resurgence of the Indian cricket team.

India, indeed made a dramatic comeback after its disastrous tour of New Zealand. Sachin Tendulkar truly deserved the Man of the Tournament award. May his tribe increase.

Abhijeet D. More Nashik* * *

If there was a Nobel Prize for sports, Sachin Tendulkar's name would have been at the top of the list of greats like Tiger Woods and Michael Schumacher. Well done Sachin, we are proud of you.

Sanjiv Gupta Perth, AustraliaRich in content

I find that Frontline is the best magazine I have read. It is rich in content, has in-depth analysis of subjects and tells one about events happening all around the world (and that too with minimal advertisements).

If you could publish more photographs relating to the articles that are published, it will make a greater impact on the reader.

Anand Vikas Valunjkar Hyderabad* * *Book review

Dr. Kesavan Veluthat's review of Early India by Romila thapar is, without doubt, admirably done ("A tour de force", March 28). But it is an exaggeration to claim that the promise that history has come of age as a social science is fully redeemed in Early India.

It is true that Romila Thapar's 1966 work did create a new change of nuances, in what Dr. Veluthat rightly emphasises, "the readings of history" of those times. But whether Early India of 2002 will be able to spell out a similar kind of syntax in Indian historiography is a moot question.

Rev. Philip K. Mulley Coonoor, Tamil Nadu
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