Syrian danger

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The news that we are contemplating further help for the Syrian opposition forces hopefully will not spill into supplying military might.

While any weapons etc may help to unseat president Bashar al-Assad, there is a real danger that the power will then 
transfer to a future anti-
West government, which will quickly forget and ­ignore any help received from us.

Over the past months, the world has become an even more unsafe place with many political parties with terrorist links gaining increasing power in a growing number of African and Middle East countries and no doubt in Afghanistan once the West’s forces have left. Our 
government should concentrate all its efforts on homeland security, regain control of all our laws, ignore the bleating from the Lib Dems and European Union, and quickly deport everyone who is a threat to our country.

We should then follow the policies of many other European countries by not taking any lead in wars in countries far from the UK particularly in these days of economic slowdown.

Providing a limited amount of international aid for humanitarian purposes to less fortunate countries is the right path but it must be time now to ditch our international policeman role for good.

We cannot afford it and we gain little from the ­enterprise.

Iain J McConnell

Station Road

Gifford, East Lothian

I AGREE with every word in Bill Jamieson’s article (Perspective, 14 March).

He touches on Syria without offering detail. ­However, this is the country where we are on the brink of again getting it wrong but could still choose the correct course.

UK Foreign Secretary William Hague is moving towards complete support for the Free Syrian Army.

While president Bashar al-Assad has chosen a violent response to the challenge of the Sunni majority we have to look at his opponents.

If they win, what is going to happen next? His allies are Christians, Alawites, Druze, ­Armenians, Jews and, to an ­extent, Kurds. How will they fare if the majority wins? His opponents are increasingly fundamentalist jihadists, many from other countries. Will they ­embrace democracy and western values? I think not.

Consequently, matters in Syria will get worse not better. Efforts were made to persuade the Russians to keep out.

We seem not to have paid the same attention to Saudi Arabia and the other states supplying arms to the other side.

Should we not be encouraging peace negotiations with a view to shared power? Is this not the only hope for the unfortunate people of this important Arab country?

There is a stalemate at present. I suspect Mr Jamieson hopes that now or some time soon both sides will recognise this.

Hugh Mackay

Blacket Place