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Letters: Adams is wrong, peace process not in crisis

Gerry Adams' latest remarks, where he stated that the peace process was in crisis and faces the greatest challenge since the Good Friday Agreement, are unfortunate and unhelpful.

Firstly, prior to 1998, no framework existed allowing discussion and negotiation over welfare reform, or budgets, as direct rule ministers would've simply applied the reforms branded as the 'bedroom tax' and cuts would've been made to budgets without any input from local politicians.

Secondly, this debate is healthy, as it is not about the politically charged question of the border, but about what could be deemed a 'normal' issue. Therefore, to bring the matter of the 'peace process' into the fray is unhelpful, negative and against the notion of normal political discourse.

The peace process is not in crisis. Instead, a difficult issue for one constituency has been brought into the public eye and is being kicked about by the governing parties – the DUP and Sinn Fein.

Twenty years ago, the Provisional IRA was still at "war" with Britain, lives were being lost and soldiers roamed the streets in order to maintain law and order.

Now those once taking life-changing decisions through other means are merely operating a system set up by Westminster and governing with their partners – unionists, who, 20 years ago, were not even talking to Sinn Fein, never mind sharing power.

So what is Gerry Adams's concern?

AREND LIJPHART

Belfast

Intervention in Middle East has been a disaster

The bombing of Islamic State forces by President Obama is yet another foolish course of action by the US, supported by Britain.

The turmoil brought into the Middle East by Bush and Obama has meant death and displacement for millions and untold future deaths. The 40,000 Iraqis stranded on a mountain top without water, awaiting death at the hands of Isis, are there because of US/UK meddling.

The consequence of Washington and London's reckless interventions in Iraq, Libya and Syria has been to unleash evil.

The various sects that lived in peace under the rule of Saddam Hussein, Gaddafi and Assad are butchering one another and Isis is in the process of creating a new state out of parts of Iraq and Syria.

The policy of "humanitarian intervention" is a fraud, which has killed far more than it has helped. It should be consigned to the dustbin of history.

ALAN HINNRICHS

By email

'Peace wall' was removed after ethnic cleansing

Your August 9 edition refers to the removal of the "peace wall" at Torrens Avenue/Oldpark Road some years ago.

Far from being the good news story implied, the reason this was possible was because the Protestant community had fled.

In August 2004, the last 23 Protestant families moved out of Torrens in one week having had enough of republican attacks. It was a tragedy that sectarian thugs achieved this ethnic cleansing.

ALD BRIAN KINGSTON (DUP)

Belfast City Council

Churches hit out from safe ground

The sight of Christians being murdered in Iraq is heartbreaking.

The local churches were at the media forefront when asked to be even a little tolerant to changes in timings of the North West 200.

The deafening response to Iraq, perhaps, confirms Christianity is only okay in the comfort of costly, debt-ridden church buildings.

CH

Belfast

Nuala's wrath was so unfair

I thought Nuala McKeever's sign-off in her column (Life, August 11) – "God save us from all well-intentioned English people!" – had vaguely racist undertones.

Had it been Welsh celebs voicing an opinion on Scotland's referendum would she have minded? As an Englishman in NI I hope I'm never "well-intentioned" enough to fall foul of Nuala's wrath.

KEITH RUFFLES

Belfast

Big majority are not anti-Semitic

I would like to express my support for Jews here, who have recently become the target of hatred from certain groups protesting against Israel's actions in Gaza.

I don't believe this vocal minority represents the feelings of the majority of people towards Jews or the state of Israel. There is an unpleasant undercurrent of anti-Semitism among certain Muslim and Right and Left-wing groups, which any right-minded person should speak out against.

ANDREW BROWN

By email

Let's all rally to a new standard

It was disappointing to hear that supporters were asked to leave a bar in Glasgow during the Commonwealth Games because they were displaying the Northern Ireland flag – the bar staff thought it was sectarian.

However, this incident has raised a good point about the Northern Ireland flag. If it is seen as sectarian by some people, then perhaps it is time for a new flag.

Maybe we could invite new designs which could be voted on?

NORTHERN IRISH NATIONALIST

Carrickfergus, Co Antrim

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