Fighting in Syria

Wed, Aug 15, 2012, 01:00

Sir, – It is said that in a war, the truth flies out of the window. Reading the interview with Mother Agnes Mariam (World News, August 13th), one can see how that cliche applies to the reporting of the Syrian crisis; and it reminds me much of the reporting of the civil war in former Yugoslavia.

We have Hilary Clinton and Turkey discussing a “no-fly zone” while the working group is “expected to examine the growing presence of al-Qaeda” in Syria (Also World News, August 13th).

I have no sympathy for the Assad regime, but it is interesting to note who is the major power behind the push for democracy in Syria: Saudi Arabia, one of the most undemocratic and religiously intolerant countries in the region. Or is it a front for another power, operating behind the scene? – Yours, etc,

ZIVKO JAKSIC,

Hermitage Lawn,

Rathfarnham, Dublin 16.

Sir, – Mary Fitzgerald is to be lauded for her courage and excellent reports from inside Syria.

Her interviews with some of the former Irish-Libyan rebels now fighting in Syria because of the gruesome videos they had seen at home in Dublin of the brutal suppression of the protest movement by the Assad regime are very interesting (World News, August 1st). I refer in particular to the question from Najjair (of whom his Irish mother is rightly proud) who asked regarding the dithering over the escalating crisis: “Where is the world’s conscience: I can’t believe they can stand back and watch?”

The Irish Times also reports that French writer and philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy has strongly criticised French President Hollande for his “inertia” regarding Syria and what might be “the biggest historical, political and moral test of his mandate” (World News, August 4th)

As Ireland currently lobbies to become a member of the UN Human Rights Council and is to assume the EU presidency in January 2013, where is the outrage of Irish writers and academics to be seen?

Surely our own Government’s position on Syria ought to be equally held up to scrutiny in the face of the ongoing litany of horrors of the Assad regime. – Yours, etc,

VALERIE HUGHES,

Cabra Road, Dublin 7.

Sir, – I am dismayed by the eagerness of the Americans and British to encourage poorly armed young Syrians to continue battling against the might of the Syrian army, thereby bringing about not only the deaths of many of them but also the collateral misery and deaths of many civilians.

Naturally, the Syrian state must try to suppress an armed rebellion. If foreign meddling in Syrian affairs is to occur at all, then surely it should take the form of urging the rebels to accept the government’s offer of negotiations. Yours, etc,

Dr DESMOND FENNELL

Sydney Parade Avenue,

Dublin 4.