ONLY a complete fool would want to go to war. I have the greatest respect for the peace protesters who are currently opposing war with Iraq.

However, I also have genuine doubts as to whether they are right. I cannot help visualising the then British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain as he stepped down from a plane in 1938 waving a piece of paper in his hand signed by the German Chancellor Adolph Hitler. Chamberlain assured the British people that Germany did not want war. Winston Churchill did not believe it and was ignored.

If the United Nations had existed at that time and stopped Hitler the world would have avoided the Second World War in which millions of innocent people suffered and lost their lives.

Saddam Hussein has openly stated that he believes he is on a divine mission from Allah to destroy the infidels - non-believers. Why else would he be developing weapons of mass destruction?

I genuinely fear that if we don't take him out now - possibly resulting in the deaths of several thousand innocent people - then in two or three years' time we may find ourselves fighting a far more devastating conflict.

Tony Taylor, Grassholme, Woodthorpe, York.

Updated: 12:46 Friday, February 21, 2003