x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

Romney faces a big challenge

A reader says Mitt Romney will have to replace rhetoric with action if he is elected US president. Other letter topics: banks, bikinis and the environment.

A reader says Mitt Romney, with his wife Ann, will face big challenges if he becomes US president. Jim Lo Scalzo / EPA
A reader says Mitt Romney, with his wife Ann, will face big challenges if he becomes US president. Jim Lo Scalzo / EPA

Rachel Corrie's family unlikely to receive justice

The $1 sought by the parents of Rachel Corrie (Crushed activist 'to blame for own death', August 29) is purely symbolic.

What her parents want is an admission of responsibility and an apology.

They will get neither, because Israel can't afford to be seen to be "wrong", even once.

K Quinn, Canada

Even if we accept the evidence that the bulldozer driver did not see Rachel Corrie, despite her bright jacket, surely the government of Israel and its military should accept some responsibility for what happened to her.

Equally, American embassy officials should be doing more to assist her family, US citizens.

I wish the Corries greater success with their appeal, and some closure in this matter.

Joan Ryan, Dubai

Is Israel lobby too influential in US?

In reference to South Africa lends weight of its history against Israeli policy (August 29), is the lobby that controls the foreign affairs agenda of the US Congress an Israel lobby or an Israeli lobby?

The former is a pressure group controlled by American evangelical Christians, while the latter is ostensibly controlled by the government of Israel.

Is there a sufficiently legitimate reason to say that this lobby should actually be designated a foreign agent within the US and be subject to rigorous supervision?

This question is neither anti-American nor anti-European, anti-Republican nor anti-Democrat, anti-Jewish nor anti-Christian, anti-Semitic nor anti-Muslim. It is pro-democracy, pro-civil and human rights and pro-religion.

The warning is against either overt or covert manipulation of the democratic process that is an assault on the provisions of the American Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

Douglas Reed, UK

Things go better without ring-pulls

Why is it that cans of well-known international soft drinks still have the old ring-pull tabs that were phased out, as a consequence of government legislation, in other countries many decades ago?

At the time, I recall, the beverage makers boasted about the environmental friendliness of the new tops, which don't detach from the can when opened.

In Australia, a lot was said about how the ring-pulls were a hazard to humans who might walk on them and other animals who might swallow them.

Am I right to conclude that the multinationals don't have the same concern for the UAE ecosystem as they do in their home constituencies? Or, perhaps, their commitment to the environment only extends as far as the prevailing legislation requires. Brian Dunne, Dubai


Lenders are just taking advantage

Regarding Banks under fire over rates for home loans (August 26), there is no justification whatsoever for these high interest rates.

The banks are taking advantage of loopholes to punish customers. These rates are hurting people in their daily lives.

I ask that the relevant authorities inquire into this and require the banks to pay back the extra money they have charged.

K Malik, Dubai

Everybody who took out a mortgage more than a year ago, with whichever bank, has the same complaint: unethical treatment and being trapped.

The banks' behaviour is slowing down the country's growth. It is very clear that there is a boost in real estate sales when the rates come down. You don't need a degree from Harvard to realise that.

S Niemcyk, Dubai

The banks and other mortgage providers are not professional or transparent in their dealings.

In most cases the contract is not seen until it's too late, and often the conditions mentioned in the initial offer letter vary from the final agreement.

Maqsood Sheikh, Dubai


Romney faces an even bigger storm

Romney has to weather storm (August 29) is a clever headline, given the hurricane that was bearing down on the southern US as the Republican convention began.

For Mr Romney, the real storm will begin if he is elected president and he will have to replace rhetoric with action on difficult issues.

Martin Smith, Abu Dhabi

Bikini sari the best of both worlds

Regarding Modesty and glamour in the pool (August 28), I would like to have a bikini sari.

The sari is the most beautiful and elegant dress in the world, and I love wearing them. Brigitte von Bulow, Abu Dhabi