Readers' letters

This attack is a war crime

Friday, 30th September 2016, 5:37 pm
Updated Tuesday, 4th October 2016, 1:49 pm
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a rally  but one correspondent believes Forrest Gump would be a better choice

veryone agrees the recent diabolical attack by Syria (or Russia) on the Relief Convoy, scheduled to feed the starving Syrians in Aleppo, is a war crime.

Unfortunately this is not the first carried out by the Assad Regime, where he previously used poison gas to assault his own Syrian citizens, despite prior warnings from President Obama that any poison gas use would result in a retributive attack from the West.

The fact that this never occurred was undoubtedly instrumental in emboldening Russia in deciding to support President Assad militarily and the general escalation of the war and increased casualties which have followed.

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This situation where two war crimes have been committed by Assad’s regime without any demonstrable retribution or official judgment from the West ought not to be tolerated.

Where Obama is not prepared to act, surely the United Nation’s Assembly should do so, in the name of world justice for war crimes committed.

All that is needed is for Assad’s airfields to be bombed to prevent their continued use in attacking his own citizenry.

If Russia then continues these bloody Syrian air attacks on its own, it will be shown to the rest of the world as Putin’s real agenda, which will be to use Russia’s military strength to continue to subdue any opposition to his future expansionist ambitions elsewhere.

A simple solution, but don’t hold your breath waiting for it to happen.

E J TIlley

via email


Unconfident youngsters

We face an urgent imperative to help the UK’s young people. More than ever, we have a generation of youngsters in crisis. Recent Barnardo’s research reveals an astonishing 88 per cent of under 18s lack confidence.

This epidemic of low confidence holds young people back from future success, but there is a more disturbing issue that we are also addressing. The abuse, and, in particular, sexual abuse of young people by their peers. We have witnessed a 30 per cent increase for our Child Sexual Exploitation Services in the past year alone and dealt with more than 9,000 referrals in the past two.

This increasing demand for our services is the backdrop for the launch of our Ten Year Strategy. We already work with 248,000 young people and their families, but over the next ten years, we must increase this to meet the needs of millions more.

Barnardo’s has been providing services for 150 years, and will continue to be there for young people for as long as it takes. But this is a national responsibility that goes beyond formal organisations like ours. We all have a duty to show young people that we believe in them and will support them. Sixty five per cent of adults we spoke to said they “aren’t very good” at telling youngsters they believe in them. This has to change.

Javed Khan

CEO, Barnardo’s


Forrest for president?

I am amazed that Donald Trump has got so far in the race to be American President. I’m not a liberal ‘leftie’ or someone who is ultra-pc, and I don’t believe he should be banned from visiting the UK for something he said.

Yet the idea of this hot-headed, big-mouthed buffoon leading the most powerful country in the world must be a belated April Fool, albeit an unfunny one. Forrest Gump would make a better president.

Jane via email