Fallout from US airstrike in Syria


Sir, – When Donald Trump won the White House, despite the general dismay at the situation, at least a small part of me was consoled by the hope that we would be spared Hillary Clinton’s aggressive foreign policies, in particular her belief that the horrors caused by previous US interventions could be solved by just one more war.

The airstrike by the US on Syria last week, and the subsequent comments by the US’s representative to the UN Nikki Haley, seem to confirm that Donald Trump has made a Damascene conversion to a neo-conservative foreign policy.

This alone is awful enough, but the presence of Russia in the mix makes this potentially calamitous. Hillary Clinton ran on a pledge to introduce no-fly zones over Syria. This is a nice-sounding euphemism for shooting down Russian aircraft. This policy, seemingly defeated in November, is now back on the table. And with hyper-nationalism rampant in Russia, and anti-Russian hysteria a mainstream political opinion in the US, all it would take would be one mistake or miscalculation from either side in the skies over Syria for the world to be brought to a point of no return.

Ireland must, on its own and through the EU, use whatever diplomatic capital it has to urge caution and restraint from the US, and persuade other states to do likewise. It is not fear-mongering to point out that we are in a situation fraught with as much danger as 1962, if not more. – Yours, etc,


Greystones, Co Wicklow.