Letters to
the editor

ISIS will rise again

The West is the most effective fighting force in defeating ISIS (Jamie Williams, “I fought with the Kurds; they are not the enemy”, October 12-18). The Kurds are abandoned by the United States to face a Turkish military onslaught; this after already losing 11,000 fighters with more than 21,000 wounded. The results of the Turkish invasion will be thousands more dead, hundreds of thousands of people displaced and the destruction of further towns and villages. ISIS will take advantage of this conflict to regroup and reignite its terror campaign. In the ensuing turmoil thousands of ISIS fighters held in Kurdish jails could escape. People, organisations and governments in the international community must take a stand and support the Kurdish people and demand Turkey stop its invasion and withdraw. This is not only the compassionate, just thing to do, but is for the good of all peoples. Allowing the re-emergence of ISIS would be another huge catastrophe to all humanity. The world owes the Kurds a great debt.

– Steven Katsineris, Hurstbridge, Vic

Friends and enemies hard to identify

In his opinion piece Jamie Williams conveniently raises a false equivalence between YPG and Kurds. He neglects to mention the war crimes carried out by the YPG, which include the razing of villages as reported by Amnesty International; the recruitment of child soldiers from vulnerable families as reported by the Human Rights Watch; and the indiscriminate shelling of towns on the Turkish side of the border, which led to the deaths of 16 civilians including a nine-month-old baby and an 11-year-old child on October 12. Furthermore, the complicity of the YPG was also evident when the BBC exposed Islamic State fighters leaving al-Raqqa under the guidance of YPG, titled “Raqqa’s dirty secret”. It is imperative that terrorism is addressed consistently on a global scale or we become disingenuous in combatting terrorism as a crisis engulfing the world.

– Zafer Ograk, St Albans, Vic

Ethical dilemmas beyond Morrison

Mike Seccombe’s “Freedom reins” (October 12-18) is both frightening and demonstrates the hypocrisy of the Liberal government. It is an indictment of the demise of our democracy and its institutions. The contradictions as exemplified by the utterances, for example, of Tim Wilson and Peter Dutton highlight the banal and dangerous thinking of those with the reins of power. While we are confronted with so many important issues such as climate change and freedom of expression, what is so lacking with this government is an ethical framework upon which it can reflect when making decisions and by which we can judge its truthfulness and authenticity.

– Judith Morrison, Mount Waverley, Vic

Hoping a climate leader will emerge

We geoscientists know that climate change has been ever-present over the various geological eras. It is not a case of pure climate denialism as in Paul Bongiorno’s “Ghostly climate” (October 12-18), rather the essential factor in recent times has been the anthropogenic contribution. I have been persuaded that this is so by the Antarctic ice cores and increasing carbonic acidification of the oceans as evidenced by the thinning shells of molluscs in the shallow (coastal) neritic zone. While I have voted Labor for the past 50 years, well may the ALP be soul-searching right now because they no longer seem to represent the set of beliefs I hold. Bongiorno quotes Malcolm Turnbull as saying “There is nothing conservative ... [in] denying the science of climate change ... You might as well deny gravity”. What say Turnbull does a Billy Hughes, switches parties and leads us out of the wilderness in which Morrison’s government has left us?

– Ian Nowak, Subiaco, WA

Poking fun

I read the editorial, “Lauding the larrikin” (October 12-18), with interest and a little concern. You see, a key reason for buying The Saturday Paper for me is to enjoy the larrikinism of Richard Ackland’s Gadfly column. Many of his targets would be offended, and it is his lack of fear about that that makes Richard a valued larrikin and a maverick. His column is informative and exposes many interesting snippets that would only appear in larrikin writing. You obviously understand that it is worthwhile to run this column. In doing so, the editorial decision-makers are supporting larrikinism of the best sort. Keep it up.

– Richard Schurmann, Eltham, Vic

Letters are welcome: [email protected]
Please include your full name and address and a daytime telephone number. Letters may be edited for length and content, and may be published in print and online. Letters should not exceed 150 words.

This article was first published in the print edition of The Saturday Paper on October 19, 2019.

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