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Words worth

I was interested to read Bryn Bird's recent comments on the letter sent to Tony Blair by leading engineers regarding war in Iraq (NCE last week). I also questioned the wording of the letter but in fairness to Jane Wernick who organised the gesture, it is virtually impossible to arrive at a wording on which we can all agree in detail.

I signed because the main principle was to encourage our government to behave in a way which conforms to our culture and not that of North America.

We have led the world for the past half century in demonstrating that the civilised way to resist terrorism, crime and violence is to be totally intolerant of it but to resist it in a measured way. We do not kill murderers, we do not beat people who commit violent acts we do not assert our civility through over-aggressive means.

In maintaining this method we maintain our right to claim we are pursuing a just cause.

It takes much greater moral fibre to continue to resist and fight against terrorism than to simply barge in and assert your will in an indiscriminate and violent manner because you happen to be the most powerful force.

The message to our government is we must not tolerate Saddam Hussein's criminal behaviour but we must go about that in a civilised and measured way.

Martin Stockley, managing director, Riverside, 4 Commercial Street, Manchester M15 4RQ

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