x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

The tragedy of war

Readers express sorrow and outrage over the latest slaughter in Afghanistan. Other letter topics today: customer service, punishment for rape, insecticides, Aldar and Sorouh and how to treat children.

The child victims of this week's massacre remind us of war's horrors, readers note. Allauddin Khan / AP
The child victims of this week's massacre remind us of war's horrors, readers note. Allauddin Khan / AP

The latest tragedy in Afghanistan (US soldier kills 16 Afghan civilians, March 12) is part of the overall disaster of this war.

Even safe civilians sometimes go mad, so we should hardly be surprised when a soldier in a combat zone snaps.

Modern armies are supposed to have ways to monitor the men, even under stressful conditions, but this failure of all those state-of-the-art Pentagon psychological assessment techniques just reminds us again of the hubris it takes to start a war.

Carson Gillette, Dubai

Americans kill Afghan civilians. So do the Afghan Taliban. So do "foreign fighters"." It's awfully dangerous being an Afghan civilian.

Kasem Ahmed, Abu Dhabi

This slaughter of children, coming after the Quran-burning, may finally convince the Americans and other western soldiers that they should just go home.

Nation-building by well-intentioned foreigners never seems to end well; certainly not in this case. Afghanistan has never really been a state; concepts of sovereignty there did not come out of any western textbook. Just leave the place alone, unless it starts exporting terrorism again; then just bomb the bases from 40,000 feet.

VJ Mehta, Dubai

How to keep your customers happy

The CEO says improved customer service was the main reason that du has added over 800,000 new customers, which translates to increased revenues, profits, dividends for shareholders and market share.

Having worked in telecoms I have seen a deliberate transition from engineering, technology and sales to customer service.

Technology is no longer a barrier to entry, nor is it considered as a competitive advantage. Customers are not overly concerned about "GSM", "EVDO" or other acronyms. What they are concerned about is good customer service.

But good customer service does not fall out of the sky. It takes proper training and should be regarded as a skill. Too many companies take customer service for granted.

Randall Mohammed, Dubai

Tough sentence needed for rape

I refer to Tourist tells court of gang rape in Dubai (March 8).

Rape seems to be becoming quite common. There needs to be capital punishment meted out to such criminals.

A tough stance should be adopted to deter would-be rapists. The UAE should adopt a zero-tolerance stance.

Joe Burns, Abu Dhabi

There have been a lot of rape cases recently with widely varied sentences for the same crime.

I hope that the identity of the victims and/or the criminals is not a factor in sentencing. Justice must be equal and be seen to be equal.

DMT, Dubai

Parents, be slow to punish children

What aroused my curiosity in the article Life coaching for children puts power into play (March 6) is that when Giles started having difficulties focusing, he was punished. And that this led to shattering his self-confidence.

As parents we must be careful about punishing our children.

Rather, being curious and asking our children what is not working for them, in a collaborative way, helps the child to feel safe that his parents trust him/her whatever he/she may be going through.

As a life coach I absolutely trust the power of coaching, but it is parents' responsibility, not someone else's, to empower their children.

Evelyn Heffermehl, Dubai

Homeowners misuse pesticides

I have a comment on the opinion article entitled Which do you prefer? A few bugs, or a poisoned home? (March 12).

Let's not forget the biggest misuser of pesticides is the homeowner. It takes very little to control pests in a home and also you may buy pesticides that are more toxic then the pros would use.

It makes more sense to hire a professional, for his knowledge of what is safe.

Also the cleaning products in your home and the chemicals you use in your pool may prove to be more toxic than some of the common pesticides.

When done properly, bug control takes very little pesticide. No bugs for me!

Name withheld by request

Don't rush to OK Aldar-Sorouh deal

The idea of two huge developers merging (Sorouh and Aldar weigh $15 billion merger plan, March 12) leaves me cold. This company will certainly be "too big to fail" and so there would be no guarantee that management would be prudent, or responsive to consumers.

There should certainly be no hasty approval of this proposal. It should be studied carefully first.

Pieter van Loon, Dubai