Appeal in Guardian for engagement with Iraq

Colin Bower (Letters, 23 December) makes an important point about Iraqi support for the removal of Saddam. This is certainly the case in Kurdistan where WMD were used as part of a genocidal campaign in the late 80s. But it is also clear that the terrible failure of postwar reconstruction alienated many Iraqis and needlessly fuelled the insurgency against the federal, democratic and pluralist settlement which, we hope, will be consolidated in the parliamentary elections in March. Opinions here remain deeply polarised on the merits of the intervention. But we urge those who express solidarity with the people of Iraq to support Iraqis who are asking for increased UK trade, investment and other exchanges to rebuild their shattered economy and society.
Cllr Clive Furness (Newham) Chair
Gary Kent Director
Labour Friends of Iraq
This letter appeared in the Guardian on 4 January.