20 OCTOBER 2001, Page 36

Palestine regained

From Mr Frederic Lamond

Sir: Mark Steyn (People who hate people', 6 October) is wrong to equate an intelligent search for the root causes of the virulent hatred that so many Arabs feel for the United States with a condonation of the criminal terrorist attacks of 11 September. Such a search is, on the contrary, an essential first step to preventing any further and worse terrorist attacks on US soil, the next step being, of course, a righting of the wrongs which Arabs, especially Palestinians, suffer. Osama bin Laden has spelt out the linkage plainly: Americans will not be allowed to feel secure in their country until every Palestinian feels free and secure in his.

Steyn's article is also heartless because his sympathy for the victims of the 11 September attacks and their orphaned children clearly does not extend beyond US borders to embrace the millions of Palestinians languishing for 50 years in refugee camps, or the 600,000 estimated undernourished Iraqi children suffering from the US-inspired UN blockade. It is as unjust to make them suffer for the misdeeds of their gruesome dictator — from whom the US army could have freed them ten years ago but was not allowed to — as it was criminally unjust of al-Qa'eda to make 6.000 innocent Americans suffer for an unbalanced US foreign policy of which their media had kept them largely ignorant.

Frederic Lamond

London and Austria

From Mr Oliver Kamm Sir: In his castigation of Mark Steyn's 'rant' against the anti-American Left, William Grey (Letters, 13 October) at least acknowledges that Steyn's aversion to political cliché owes something to Orwell.

So does Steyn's allegedly 'stupid and dangerous' condemnation of the same people's moral vacuity. TIlhere is a minority of intellectual pacifists whose real though unadmitted motive appears to be hatred of Western democracy and admiration of totalitarianism. Pacifist propaganda usually boils down to saying that one side is as bad as the other, but if one

looks closely at the writings of younger intellectual pacifists, one finds that they do not by any means express impartial disapproval but are directed almost entirely against Britain and the United States. Moreover they do not as a rule condemn violence as such, but only violence used in defence of Western countries' (George Orwell, Notes on Nationalism, 1945).

Oliver Kamm

London WCI