Archbishop of Canterbury laments absence of alternatives to war with iraq

By staff writers
February 28, 2003

Archbishop laments lack of alternatives to war


The Archbishop of Canterbury has questioned the polarisation of debate over Iraq and questioned why other options besides military action and diplomacy were not more fully explored.

Writing in today's Times, he said; "We have seen a situation develop where the alternatives were increasingly presented as polar opposites: open warfare or open-ended negotiation" he said.

"What we seemed to lack was a compelling strategy for containing or disarming Iraq that did not involve direct military intervention."

Several strategies were however proposed for non-violent regime change in Iraq as long ago as September. They received coverage on the BBC and in the relgious press.

The Archbishop did however acknowledge one alternative strategy that emerged from US church leaders a few weeks before military action was taken.

"Shortly before the Azores summit, a plan appeared from American church groups which began to address these concerns;" he said.

"But how was it that no persuasive alternative had been explored earlier? Those in the international community most critical of war might have been expected to offer something beyond open-ended inspections."

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