Carrot, not stick

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IT WOULD appear that our ­Foreign Secretary, William Hague, (International, 29 May) has never played the game “join the dots” as he drives ahead with ­potentially arming the Syrian opposition.

It does not take a rocket ­scientist to realise that Mr Hague ­cannot guarantee where these arms will end up, even with the usual huff and puff of how ­controls will be put in place.

Many commentators have warned about pouring fuel on the fire, but this does not seem to detract from the route being driven down.

Syria is in a sad state and no-one can say that the Assad ­regime is blameless, but millions of people do support the government and no doubt ­hundreds of thousands of refugees would be happy to revert to the situation before sectarianism took hold.

The UK government should remember the years of suffering in Northern Ireland due to ­sectarianism, which was not solved by troops and guns.

Since president George W Bush regime in America declared Syria as part of the “Axis of Evil” and the UK government was happy to support this view, there has been no real attempt to offer Syria a carrot to move towards democracy, but rather the ­opposite: moves to beat them over the head with a stick.

Is this route the British government is going down really about democracy in Syria or is it possibly about the relationship between Iran, Israel and other western-supported governments in the Middle East? ­Unfortunately, Syria has ended up as a pawn in the game

Ian Brown

Murieston West

Livingston, West Lothian