Trump was right to show Syria that 'red lines' won't be crossed any more

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US intervention by Donald Trump last week was necessary: no man and no nation can ever justify the murder of men, women and children in such a horrific and cowardly way.

The politicians say we need to sit down and find a peaceful settlement to this war.

I say the only way now is to show Assad that we will not tolerate any further suffering. Clearly, military action is going to be the only way to get this regime to the table.

I support the US and Trump for having the compassion to do something about it.

Without military action, this conflict will never end. How many more children have to die until we all accept that?

David Mitchinson

Address supplied

 

There will be many ready to snipe at US President Donald Trump’s change-of-mind order to attack the Assad regime. And make no mistake, there will be many fools who do not, or will not recognise America’s great contribution to world peace and prosperity over the last 75 years, compared with many preceding centuries of major wars.

Howard Hutchins

Victoria, Australia

 

I do not buy the Russian argument that a rebel munitions dump was targeted and released the poison gas which led to a catastrophic loss of life in Syria last week. The Syrian government has a history of using chemical weapons.

The US and its allies have tried to limit their involvement to attacks on the Isis terror group. The US does not want any escalation, so we are powerless to stop the crisis in Syria and can only hope to limit the amount of suffering. I am sure the US government does therefore understand that any action in Syria is dangerous; however, the alternative was to do nothing.

Eric Gribble

Australia

 

Swedish terror attack questions counterterrorism techniques

Another terrorist act has been carried out against the West, this time in Sweden, and once again the security authorities had, prior to the attack, classified the perpetrator, who was previously known to them, as not presenting a significant terrorism risk that would have warranted constant surveillance. 

Clearly, it is time to revise the criteria being used to determine these security risk classifications.

Mark Dyer

Rockingham, Australia

 

Johnson was wrong to call off Moscow trip

Isolationism and disengagement is not the way to solve the problem of war. After Trump’s warning to the Assad regime this week, the UK must follow that up with firm talks with Moscow. 

An end to this war is virtually impossible without Russia at the table; and this is the perfect time to bring them to the table. The missile attack ordered by Trump has effectively forced Moscow to take the West seriously – Putin knows that the West is now willing to utilise its military capabilities and not just shout from the sidelines. 

However, in order for Putin to feel the full force of this pressure from the West, Boris must join the likes of Rex Tillerson in cooperating with the Russians at the negotiating table. 

Lewis Chinchen 

Sheffield

 

We shouldn’t omit the word ‘Easter’ from seasonal celebrations

Cadbury’s apparent omission of the word “Easter” from traditional egg hunt events in the UK is another example of political correctness gone mad. I’m not a big fan of organised religion. I warmly applauded the courage of Salman Rushdie in writing The Satanic Verses, a book that offended many Muslims, though that wasn’t the author’s intention.

But I equally applauded the makers of the film Life of Brian, which poked fun at aspects of Christianity and I wrote letters to newspapers decrying the attitude of some Catholic priests who prohibited the singing of “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life” (a song from the film) at funerals.

I’m not anti-religious. I acknowledge the contribution of all faiths and belief systems and the commendable codes of ethics they have developed and bequeathed to humanity. But being afraid to say “Happy Easter” or “Happy Christmas” is unhealthy in a society that purports to be democratic and committed to religious freedom.

I believe that all religions should be free to celebrate their beliefs and special feast days or festivals without interference from any rival or different religious groupings.

I would extend that right to atheists and agnostics. They could have their “Happy I don’t believe in any god Day” and “Happy I don’t know what to believe Day” respectively.

The faction I don’t like at all is the political correctness one. Still, to be consistent, I would suggest setting aside one day of the 365 in the year for them too, on which an appropriate slogan could be emblazoned on supermarket products, billboards, and in assorted public places:

It could read: “Happy PC Day. Now sod off!”

John Fitzgerald

County Kilkenny, Ireland

 

The world’s first ever pastry fork killer

Last week I tried to buy a set of six dessert forks from eBay, but discovered that I needed to verify my age with a credit card before I could pay. Bemused, I contacted their customer services through a chat log and explained that I am in my late sixties and don’t use credit any more.

I reasoned with them that as I had been a customer of theirs for almost 15 years I must be age-verified. I was told that credit-based age verification would happen each time I tried to buy cutlery and there was no exception.

I asked them if they could point me toward an incident where someone had been attacked by a person with a pastry fork but my attempt at dry humour was met with a stony response. While the eBay centre worker typed out that reply, I attempted to buy an axe and I got straight through to Paypal’s “Pay For It Now” page with no age verification.

Carpet knife? The same. Hatchet? The same. A handheld Japanese knotweed slasher from Japan (incorporating a Swiss Army-style root-macerating blade)? The same.

I cannot buy a soup spoon or a pastry fork without a pointless credit-based security check, but I can buy what would undoubtedly be classed as offensive weapons with consummate ease. At first consideration this is laughable, but when you consider the public protection risks it isn’t. The Neasden Knotweed Slasher is all too imaginable, but eBay prefers to suspect that I could become the world’s first pastry fork serial killer and yes, I know, I sound like Victor Meldrew, but I’m going to say it: in the name of sanity, I don’t believe it!

Henry Page

East Sussex

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