Regarding "Can war be fair? - 50 years after Geneva" (Aug. 11), your story's statement that "the West generally embraces the standards set forth in the accords" is laughable in light of what the US is doing today..

According to the United Nations, US imposed economic sanctions against Iraq have claimed the lives of 5,000 Iraqi children each month, totaling more than a half-million children under five who have died. The continuing sanctions have killed more than a million Iraqi civilians..

Surely the "rules of warfare" are based to some degree on the theology of a "just war," which was intended to constrain and limit war, not to serve as a justification for a decade's aggression against innocent civilians..

Nonmilitary economic sanctions against Iraq may still enjoy congressional and administration support and the indifference of a compliant public. But the sanctions contradict the norms of international humanitarian law and make a lie of any supposed "expression of Western Christian values." Scott Kennedy, Resource Center for Nonviolence Santa Cruz, California

(Reprint, Christian Science Monitor, August 27, 1999 edition)

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