Letters, Thursday, May 5th, 2011

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Missing the point about Libya conflict

PAUL Gibson of Newbottle recently thought I was wrong to previously compare the Iraq war with the conflict in Libya. His reason: one war was illegal and the other wasn’t.

This seems a rather absurd argument bearing in mind that the Iraqi past, as indicated by Mr Gibson, had no relevance to my effort where I simply mentioned the name Iraq to signify the danger to Libya.

This was made clear when I wrote: “David appears to have forgotten just how dangerous and unpredictable these desert wars are. This conflict has the potential for a disaster along the lines of Iraq.”

Unfortunately, there are signs of what I said then turning into reality. Mr Gibson commented Britain and Nato would not commit large-scale ground forces in Libya. But this policy is being weakened by different interpretations. The Government has placed a number of British military personal who will be under the command of an Army colonel in Benghazi.

Sir Menzies Campbell warned that’s how the Vietnam war began when a U.S. president sent in military advisers. Cameron has told MPs he is considering arming the revolutionaries. Defence Secretary Liam Fox has raised fears that the war in Libya could be another Afghanistan and senior British military officers have stated they would like clarification of their standing under international law, as pressure grows for greater involvement of British troops.

Mr Gibson was wrong again when he said my reference about the Prime Minister warmongering implies Mr Cameron engineered the war. No it didn’t. The definition of the word warmonger means a person who encourages war-like ideas or advocates war. This was exactly what our Prime Minister was doing when he urged Nato to take up arms against Gaddafi.

W. Quinn, Duke Street, Sunderland

Postal advice

WITH reference to the letters concerning lost mail etc, we were always taught at school to put names and addresses on the back of the envelope, especially if it was beng sent a long distance or if it was important.

Always put postcode and door number on the back of the envelope and it will be sent back to you.

Also when did the Highway Code change the rule NOT to stop on zebra crossings for people. After standing at a crossing and seeing a car slow down almost to a halt, I proceeded to cross the road, then the car speeded up and almost hit me. When I complained the driver just shrugged his shoulders and drove on and the female passenger spouted a load of abuse at me.

Mrs L. Lawson, Fordham Road, Ford Estate, Sunderland

Restore the castle

MY cousin Hilda and I, as children, used to walk around the grounds of Hylton Castle and admire the structures. In those days vandalism was almost unheard of and respect for people, buildings etc was the norm.

We would love Hylton Castle to be restored to at least some of its former glory. Ancient buildings are beautiful and irreplaceable.

Let us hope that this will happen soon before the castle becomes even more of a ruin. It would be a tremendous boost to tourism and the city of Sunderland.

Marjorie Matthews, Aiskell Street, Sunderland

Family’s thanks

NO doubt readers will have been horrified by the report of the attack on my daughter’s pet, Tilly. Magistrates awarded Helen £250 for loss and suffering to be paid after all police costs (£1,300+) are repaid at £70 a month, which meant she can’t pay vet’s bills or cremation costs and definitely not replace Tilly.

Helen started a Facebook page called “Justice for Tilly” and has been overwhelmed at the kindness and sympathy shown by people. Also The Pet Crematorium has approached her and offered a free cremation to allow Helen to get Tilly home.

We would also like to let everyone know that Durham Police and in particular Pc Peart have shown immense empathy in supporting Helen through this horrible ordeal.

Mr and Mrs Woodland and daughter Helen

Preventing cancer

I AM writing to let your readers know that during Cancer Prevention Week (May 9-15) we are promoting the fact there is now strong evidence that people can make lifestyle changes to reduce their risk.

Scientists now estimate that about a third of the most common cancers could be prevented through eating a healthy plant-based diet, being regularly physically active and maintaining a healthy weight.

But many people still see cancer as simply a question of fate. This is why we want to use Cancer Prevention Week to raise awareness of risk factors so people are then in a position to make their own informed choices.

People can find out more by visiting www.wcrf-uk.org

Kate Mendoza, Head of education, World Cancer Research Fund