YEP Letters: December 8

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Check out today’s YEP letters

What is the alternative to bombing?

James Kirk, Middleton

We are not indiscriminately carpet-bombing Syria, nor are we firing shells from battleships or artillery pieces into deeply entrenched positions.

Precise targeting from drones have managed to take out key figures such as Jihadi John who was travelling in a single vehicle in a vast barren landscape. Jets have successfully destroyed training camps, oilfields and the transport system that finances this terror group.

Yes, unfortunately errors can be made, but the ridiculous notion that innocent civilians cowering in their homes awaiting the horrors of Islamic State (and be in no doubt what horrors await) will somehow rise up against the west and join with these barbaric monsters should a stray bomb strike them, is arrant nonsense.

My grandmother was prepared to take on Hitler with nothing more than a hairnet and a rolling pin. Yet today we see a nation who have never had to sacrifice a single thing for the freedom they take so much for granted.

We were informed that Islamic State had an army consisting of 18,000 armed thugs, and that in recent month this number had been reduced to 10,000 due to heavy losses suffered at the hands of Kurdish land forces backed up by western air superiority. So what remains is a group of fanatics that couldn’t fill a League Two soccer ground. Mostly remnants of Saddam Hussein’s Iraq army who folded quicker than a decorator’s pasting table when confronted by real soldiers. But no, we cant upset them in case they turn nasty and turn their attention towards us as they did to the people of Paris.

I wonder how many voters against air-strikes were belting out the La Marseillaise in a show of defiance a few weeks ago, when these cowards picked the easiest of targets to highlight their barbarity.

Using the pretext that innocent Syrians might be harmed may soothe a few consciences, indeed mask where their true loyalties lie, but I find it laughable that apoplectic tweets advocating violence towards Labour politicians can be sent by so-called pacifists. What is the alternative to bombing? Open negotiations? With whom?

Are we to leave those villages as yet untouched by IS to their fate? The beheadings and slaughtered children and still we balk at the prospect of having to offer a safe haven to those who have already witnessed the wickedness of Daesh. I’m sure that at the moment of death those victims too far away from the sanctuary of our shores would have prayed for an air strike.When you deny someone their humanity, you betray your own.


Are we on edge of world war?

P Hill, Lancaster

We have now joined an alliance that will surely draw us to the edge of a world war, our intention is to rid Syria of IS and then to remove the Syrian president Assad.

Sounds simple enough, I wouldn’t highlight the removal of IS as the big problem, however to remove Assad you need to remove Russia’s influence, which I believe is virtually impossible.

Russia with the sabre rattling Putin is emerging once more as a super power with influence, following America’s partial isolationism. Examples such as the Ukraine and Crimea along with Russia’s fury with Montenegro possibly joining NATO, Russia’s action’s are not only troubling but extremely dangerous.

Russia now has influence in the Middle East, apart from propping up Syria’s President Assad they are allied to Iran who I believe have ambitions of developing nuclear weapons. Following Iran’s war of words with Israel it is more than likely that if Iran did acquire nuclear weapons Israel would attempt to neutralise them. Any military strikes by Israel or Iran would then put Russia and America on a collision course to war.

Russia is now accusing Turkey of helping IS fund its war by dealing with IS stolen oil, it is also believed that Turkey is busy bombing the Kurds who have been proved to be the only effective force against IS. Dealing with IS oil and killing the Kurds is difficult to square that Turkey is a part of our alliance. Apart from the above problems every other country in the region is at loggerheads with another.

So if and when we rid Syria of IS, we would then try to rid Syria of Assad before democratic elections take place. Now there’s the problem, Russia I believe will just hold its ground and say no, Assad needs the Russians to keep him in power and Syria provides Russia with its only naval base in the Mediterranean. So what are the options, do we do just walk away and leave the Syrian rebels to fight on alone or take on Russia? We have all been drawn in to one hell of a mess, at best it will drag on for years but the worst scenario is that we could easily be drawn in to the Third World War.

War on the motorist

Rob Brooks, by email

It’s going too far! War on the car by councils.

Stanningley Road into Leeds has become a nightmare lately as Leeds City Council is reducing the width of the road for the sake of the half dozen or so cycles a day. It’s costing millions to build a cycle track on both sides of the carriageway all the way from Bradford to Leeds. Not only that, LCC are building traffic calming paved areas that stick out into the road! Madness and at great expense too! Whilst I am in favour of using public transport - it’s ridiculous that the last train to New Pudsey is 23:00 and the buses aren’t much better. Public transport in Leeds is 30 or 40 years behind other major cities. Get the transport systems in place first before trying to force motorists off the road!

What’s in a word

T Maunder, Kirkstall

Further to recent correspondence about words disappearing or being replaced by shortened or slang versions, I received an email this morning from a train company offering cheaper first class seats.

Among the listed benefits of these seats was the “at seat” service, which I presume is available when I am sitting IN my seat or in THE seat? On BBC News this week they have had items about dealing with death: are they “discussing” these with people? No, they are “having a conversation” about them. I can’t stand this recent trendy linguistic abomination. When you’re at home and you want to discuss something with your partner, do you say “can we have a conversation”? No, you say “can I talk to you”. I listened to a health item this morning. Apparently, you’re not “healthy” any more, you’re “in health”. Does that then mean when you’re poorly you’re “in illness”?