5 APRIL 2003, Page 33

Two kinds of conceit

From Mr Gemge Liebmann Sir: It is startling that Richard Perle ('United they fall', 22 March) believes that the UN Security Council is a product of the 'liberal conceit of safety through international law administered through international institutions'. In fact, as Robert A. Divine has shown (Roosevelt and World War II, 1969), it was an attempt at a 'realistic peace based on an alliance of the great powers'; at a revival of the Holy Alliance. If there is now 'conceit', it is on the part of those who believe that powers have ceased to be powers and that infantry is no longer important in war.

Geowe W Liebmann Baltimore, USA