Despite the fact that the Prime Minister has been cleared of any "wrongdoing", the publication of the Butler Report has triggered an even more intense level of "Blair-bashing" from both columnists and correspondents of The Argus.

Jean Calder states (The Argus, July 24) that, since the overthrow of Saddam, "all that has been left to Iraq is chaos, rape and murder".

Sadly, there is a great deal of such crime but one huge difference: These crimes are now committed by terrorists and other criminals. Under Saddam they were the standard form of coercing the great majority of Iraqi people.

With regard to the alleged "illegality" of last year's war, Saddam had for 12 years been in breach of the ceasefire agreement which ended the Gulf War in 1991 (essentially a regime of sanctions which the USA and UK played the main role in enforcing) and several of his actions between 1992-2003 could be considered sufficient to warrant further conflict.

I was also amused by Ms Calder's allegations that Tony Blair had been guilty of "plotting" to gain the Labour leadership after the death of John Smith (as presumably were John Prescott and Margaret Beckett who also stood for election).

Laughably, Ms Calder seems to suggest the leadership should have passed without contest to Mr Smith's presumed chosen successor (Gordon Brown) in the manner of a feudal kingship.

She also presents two mythical allusions: That of the "lost leader" (Smith) and the "leader in waiting" (Brown) as antitheses to Blair. Neither stands up to critical examination.

As Smith was firmly from the right of the Labour Party (a supporter of Nato and Britain's independent nuclear deterrent throughout his career), there is no reason to suppose he would have acted any differently to Blair in supporting the War on Terror.

In the case of Brown, Ms Calder appears not to have noticed that he has unstintingly supported the liberation of Iraq throughout the conflict and subsequent events.

In the final analysis (as our Marxist friends are fond of saying), the medium and longer-term implications of Iraq on the Blair premiership will depend on perceptions of the new government of Dr Allawi, which has been endorsed by the United Nations, and its success in defeating the dark forces (including foreign terrorists) ranged against it.

As this administration, representing the six political parties which bravely opposed the 35 years of Ba'athist dictatorship, is already better than its murderous predecessor, it should be supported by all who claim to support a better future for the long-oppressed Iraqi people.

Finally, I note that your editorial of July 24 calls for military intervention (inevitably by the USA and UK as the Organisation of African Unity will remain merely a "talking shop") to halt the ethnic cleansing currently taking place in the Sudan under an Arab fundamentalist dictatorship.

Can we ask Ms Calder and others of her ilk whether this will be denounced as further imperialism?

-David Carr, Brighton