Roger Allingham-Mills argues (Flight International, 4-10 February) that the USA seeks to control Iraq's oil. With this line of logic, given the outcome of the 1991 Gulf War, Kuwait should be the 51st state. The argument that the USA is interested only in oil also fails to explain intervention in such places as Bosnia, Somalia and Beirut in 1983. Nor does it explain why the USA believed it was so important to defend West Berlin for five decades. There is no oil in those locations.

No doubt oil companies would like to obtain access to the oil fields of Iraq. They want access to oil in any country, that is their business. French and Russian oil companies have signed contracts with Iraq to develop its oil fields. One could argue that France and Russia oppose holding Hussein accountable for his actions, allowing him to continue his oppressive and brutal rule over the Iraqi population to protect their own oil interests.

No sane person desires a war if there are viable solutions. I am, as are many others, concerned about possible reactions to military action. The future is never guaranteed. But inaction is not a solution. Sanctions have hurt the Iraqi people and Iraq has twice failed to co-operate with UN inspections. Should the world stand by when a government, one with a history of committing atrocities against its own population and which has threatened and invaded its neighbours, is told by the world to disarm but does not? Let's not let Hussein get way with it in 2003 as Adolf Hitler did in the 1930s.

Tim Shumate Irvine, California

Source: Flight International