UNPUBLISHED LETTERS TO IRISH TIMES ON AFTERMATH OF PARIS ATTACKS

26112015
Dear Sir,

as suffering and tension escalate in the Middle East and around Europe further bombing in Syria as a response to the horrific Paris terror attacks is not the solution. It will not work and will only kill and wound more civilians, make many homeless thus creating more refugees, lead to further sectarian division, quite likely only strenghten Da’esh and create further hatred that will only perpetuate the cycle of violence and brutality.

Retired US Army General Mike Flynn has admitted that drone strikes have created more Islamist militants than they have killed and that they have indeed acted as the best recruitment Sergeant for Da'esh. It is not practically possible to direct attacks at solely at military targets as we have witnessed from the appalling bombings of wedding parties and hospitals in Afghanistan, Yemen and just this last week in Syria. An alternative to war and terror must be found.

All military intervention by outside powers must be opposed. There should be an immediate end to arms sales to the region and a ceasefire called with a view towards peace negotiations between all belligerents. The people of the Middle East must be left to choose their own leaders and allowed the capacity to deal with such a reactionary force as Da'esh.

Yours etc.

JIM ROCHE,
PRO Irish Anti-War Movement,
PO Box 9260,
Dublin 1.

24112015
Dear Sir,

Fintan O’ Toole dismisses the notion that the Paris attacks are a “result of the US invasion of Iraq” yet acknowledges that “its subsequent interaction with the implosion of Syria are important factors in the attacks” (Opinion, 21 November). In justification of his claim he notes that 9/11 happened before the Iraq invasion and that there are many other “interlocking causes of the development of jihadist terrorism.”

Critics of western foreign policies are not saying that the Iraq war is the only reason for the Paris attacks, but it is certainly one of them. A New York University study showed that terrorist attacks around the world had increased by sevenfold since the Iraq war. http://truth-out.org/archive/component/k2/item/68973:the-iraq-effect-war...

As for 9/11, Al-Qaeda, which committed that atrocity, was closely linked to and supported by the Taliban that directly grew from the Mujahedeen, itself a foster child of US financial and military support following the 1979 invasion of Afghanistan by the then USSR. The US Government had no difficulty supporting Islamist jihad on that occasion.

Following the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, the rise of Isis was fuelled by post-occupation US policies there, not least by installing Shia leaders in a sectarian government while punishing many Sunni men in overcrowded prison camps where the reactionary group Daesh was incubated. The horrific Paris attacks are the inevitable blowback from such misguided strategies along of course with many other reasons related to French Government policy.

Yours etc.

JIM ROCHE,
PRO Irish Anti-War Movement,
PO Box 9260,
Dublin 1.