5 SEPTEMBER 1958, Page 21

Sta,—In his article 'The Futility of Force' Michael lonides says

'it is a useful moment to consider what part military force has played in the Middle East during the crises of these last three years. Military force has been used or threatened on five identifiable occasions.' Mr. lonides then points to five crises in which British, French or American forces have been deployed.

Mr. lonides's list seems, to say the least, to be highly selective. A more objective summary might include these examples of military violence in the Middle East during the past two years: 1. The massacre of the Iraqi ,Royal Family and Government.

2. The revolt in the Lebanon.

3. The fedayeen raids across the Israeli-Jordan and Israeli-Egyptian borders.

4. The support of subversive activities in the hinterland of Muscat.

5. The Yemeni incursions along the Aden frontier.

Mr. lonides may have decided that the use of force is futile. His views do not seem to be shared by Colonel Nasser, Colonel Serraj and their colleagues. —Yours faithfully, House of Commons, SWJ