Iran’s Iraq war has sputtered along violently to what seems to becoming a genuine ceasefire after long years of horrific slaughter and destruction. Mr Perez de Cuellar is hoping that Iran’s Mr Velayati and Iraq’s Mr Tariq Aziz will look each other in the eye during the ongoing Geneva talks and eventually start talking turkey. As wars go, this must rank as one of the most senseless, an unending orgy started due to misplaced Iraqi adventurism a la Saddam Hussain gone astray confounded doubly by Iranian clergical stubbornness. That Iraq clearly was the aggressor is not a debatable fact, it was; that it was Iran’s propensity to be principled on various issues that kept the war booming along is also not matter of doubt. The bottom line is that the material loss is estimated at approximately US$ 400 billion, as if the cost of a million lives, give and take 100,000, can be tabulated in such a manner.