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AMERICA ORDERS 100,000 BODY BAGS



By Stephen White and Paul Gilfeather

 

UP to 100,000 body bags and 6,000 coffins have been secretly delivered to a US base in Italy, a Catholic archbishop claimed yesterday.

Archbishop Renato Martino, president of the Pope's Council of Peace and Justice, said the consignment had arrived at the Sigonella base near Catania on the island of Sicily 10 days ago.

He said: "Americans are expecting a high number of casualties. That is why so many body bags and coffins have been sent to the base.

"I am very apprehensive about this. War brings only destruction, misery and hate. It doesn't resolve anything and is always like this.

"A true preventative action would be to try and avoid war. The consequences of this war will make themselves all too obvious on the American people when they start to see coffins with loved ones in returning home."

Archbishop Martino added that he would be willing to travel to Washington and meet President Bush if the Pope asked him to be his special envoy.

The naval air station at Sigonella has been an American "hub" command centre since 1959. More than 3,000 US marines and Navy personnel are stationed there.

BRITAIN risks being dragged into another Vietnam, ex-Chancellor Ken Clarke warned yesterday. He said Tony Blair would pay heavily at the polls if he launched an invasion of Iraq without public backing.

Mr Clarke, a former Tory leadership contender, said on BBC Radio 4: "If you go to war in modern times you need the broad bulk of the public behind you - you are putting the forces at risk, you are engaging the country in military conflict in the short term, perhaps more terrorism in the long term.

"It is a broad analogy to draw between America and Vietnam but what destroyed America in Vietnam was the bulk of the American public were never really persuaded of the case for fighting in Vietnam at all."

 
 

Original artical located here

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