LETTERS: Islamic State’s rise is the result of West’s invasion

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David Cameron is 
mistaken to attack people who blame the rise of the Islamic State on the 
actions of the West.

Time will never change the fact that the illegal invasion of Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya was indefensible. The emergence of the Islamic State can be seen as a direct result of the West’s interference in these countries.

It was inevitable that the replacement of these countries’ leaderships with compliant, puppet regimes of the West would bring into existence some form of Islamic united front to right the wrongs of the past.

Whether it is called al-Qaida, Isis or any other label is irrelevant; what is important is that they can justifiably be regarded as a direct creation of the West’s geopolitical tactics and atrocities in these wretched countries.

If the political leaders of the West could not foresee this vacuum being filled, they must be either thick-headed morons or are themselves puppets of the West’s financial elitists.

Their latest tactic is to claim that the youth who join the likes of Isis are being radicalised. Some might substitute radicalisation with education.

If David Cameron must attack anyone, he ought to direct his offensive against the West’s political leaders of their respective periods.

William Burns, Pennywell Road, Edinburgh

Enjoying the new sport of gull hunting

Bill Oddie’s suggestion that the hunting fraternity should use hot air balloons to dispose of gulls (News, July 22) is an excellent one.

Edinburgh social climbers will quickly take to airborne gull hunting, when they realise that the expense of keeping a balloon makes the sport exclusive, and a fund of Morningside dinner party stories.

The new sport will require suitable costumes. Leather aviator helmets and jackets for the gentlemen, crinoline dresses for the ladies.

Weaponry presents a problem. Perhaps a brace of hawks with a ghillie to handle them.

If Holyrood rushes the necessary legislation, Scotland could be a world leader in this fashionable new pastime.

Malcolm Parkin, Gamekeepers Road, Kinnesswood

Let’s have a rebirth of the age of steam

It is often said that only the best is good enough for the Queen and this is no doubt why Her Majesty will be hauled by a steam locomotive as she opens the Borders Railway.

What is regrettable is that the same courtesy and sound engineering principles will not be extended to her subjects, for whom the regular service will be provided by unreliable diesel 

Yet another missed opportunity by the Scottish Government, who should have used part of their investment in the reopened Waverley route to support the skills and technology needed for the next generation of steam train construction.

John Eoin Douglas, Spey Terrace, Edinburgh

I’m sorry I voted to stay in the Union

I ask those Scots who voted for independence to forgive me, for I voted to maintain the Union, but it’s now a Union I no longer want to be a part of.

Chancellor George Osborne selling RBS shares at a near-£1 billion loss for taxpayers just has to be the ultimate political calumny.

And how morally corrupt is it for our elected government to tax the poor and needy, while doling out cheap shares to financial institutions, and denying ordinary shareholders their right to an equal opportunity to buy them?

Sad to say, but I’m now prepared to take my chances with Scotland’s one-party state rather than continue to suffer the moral bankruptcy of Cameron and Osborne’s Westminster government.

Jim Taylor, The Murrays Brae


SNP is misleading us over oil price issue

Fraser Grant wrote (Letters, August 7) that exploration licences for the North Sea have reached their highest point since 1964. So what? A licence does not mean that a well will ever be drilled, and the number of licences is bound to increase every year as a licence, once gained, is forever.

If he cared to look at the figures for drilling activity he would see that it is at its lowest since 2000 and that the total exploration rig activity has collapsed from 44 in 2008 to seven in the first half of this year.

While he quotes us price predictions ten years ahead, the price now is again below $50 and forecasts indicate it going significantly lower. Also, now that sanctions are being lifted against Iran, that country is set to hit the market with every barrel it can produce.

He also suggests that an oil fund would even-out oil price spikes. This is nonsense and is not the purpose of an oil fund. The only way to even- out spikes/troughs is to coordinate release/increase of oil in tanked reserves around the world or for Saudi Arabia and others to adjust their production to achieve the same end.

He then suggests that the lack of tax revenues in an independent Scotland would be no problem as we would “just borrow money”.

Scotland is already borrowing huge amounts of money (through the UK government) because it runs a deficit twice as large as England and larger than any OECD country.

Yes, other countries do borrow money but they are trying to stop doing so and start running a surplus.

Yet again SNP/Yes supporters are trying to mislead people into thinking there is no problem with the oil business or Scotland’s finances.

Donald McBride, Edinburgh EH4