x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Worry more about the hardest-hit

An article about tropical storm Sandy focused on the US but ignored poor desperate Haiti, a reader complains. Other letter topics: Swiss judges, attempted suicide, Patriot missiles, and the next apocalypse.

Haiti, not the United States, has suffered the most from Hurricane Sandy, a reader argues. Dieu Nalio Chery / AP
Haiti, not the United States, has suffered the most from Hurricane Sandy, a reader argues. Dieu Nalio Chery / AP

Swiss judges go beyond the law on Egyptian probe

I am amazed that some judges in Switzerland have chosen to set themselves up as arbiters not of the law, but of Egyptian politics (Egypt in peril of international isolation, December 20).

Solidarity among judges across borders is easy enough to understand, but Swiss courts are refusing Egypt's official requests for information about Mubarak-era corruption, citing concern about Mr Morsi's recent constitutional decree.

This is arrogant disregard for Egyptian sovereignty. Would an Egyptian court comment on Swiss affairs in such a high-handed way? Of course not.

Mind you, this Swiss delay of Mubarak-related inquiries does probably also serve the interests of Swiss banks, which no doubt harbour plenty of funds deposited by Mubarak cronies over the years.

Georges Thielmann, Abu Dhabi

Driving habits can be really terrifying

I refer to 3 dead and 630 crashes in blackest day on UAE's roads (December 18).

As an American living and working in Al Ain for the past four months, I find that the driving habits of others scare me to death.

In my 50 years of living I have never seen worse drivers than some in the UAE.

Name withheld by request

Patriots could protect invaders

The suggestion that the Patriot system is to protect Israel from Iranian ballistic missiles (Anti-Nato protest marches in fear of turning 'Turkey into a battlefield', December 20) is absurd.

The Patriot in anti-ballistic missile mode has a range of only 20 to 30 kilometres. They are designed to protect high-value targets such as airfields and bases. Even protecting cities would require multiple installations.

The radar installation at Kurecik would be valuable in triangulating fixes on any long-range Iranian missiles fired at Israel, but it would not be of any use in actually shooting the missiles down.

The Patriot in anti-aircraft mode, however, has a range of 160km, and so is capable of enforcing a 'no-fly' zone across all of northern Syria, including Aleppo. This would help Nato forces protect a ground invasion at least that far.

That is what this is really about.

Peter Palloy, US

Which apocalypse will come next?

I liked the second letter under the headline Mayan apocalypse will at least help Mexican economy (December 20), from G Stewart, who said "there has always been an apocalyptic thread in the weave of human nature".

It's true. Most religions, of course, by their nature are concerned with the end of the world and with what comes after. And your feature The end of the world as we know it - Hollywood style (December 18) reminds us that Hollywood loves a good apocalypse - because the public does.

There are always lots of secular non-commercial people trying to scare us, too. Nuclear war was sure to kill us all, remember? Then resource depletion was going to collapse the world economy.

Most recently, as Mr Stewart said, it's been climate change that has been the big scare.

But now that the ancient Mayans are back in the history books, so to speak, I wonder how the human race will scare itself next?

Bill Sherwood, Dubai

Don't punish man for suicide bid

Dubai widower fined Dh3,000 after second suicide attempt (December 20) reveals an unfortunate aspect of the legal system of this country.

There cannot be many places left on Earth where people who try to commit suicide are punished for this aberrant and irrational act.

Suicide is regarded as a moral error, or sin, in many schools of religion and philosophy around the world. But to punish someone, instead of providing help, can only deepen the misery and confusion and darkness of the suffering soul involved.

There must be a better way to handle cases like this. "Hate the sin but love the sinner" is a concept for all.

Joan McGinn, Abu Dhabi

The man is suffering and needs help, not to be charged with trying to kill himself. People who are suicidal are severely depressed and without hope. He needs some kind of intervention in a positive way.

Chris Murray, Abu Dhabi

Don't worry too much about US

I refer to Sandy residue (December 22) about the clean-up after tropical storm Sandy hit the US.

I find it hard to be sympathetic towards rich Americans, with abundant emergency services and a strong social fabric. Shouldn't we all be paying more attention to Haiti, where Sandy also hit hard and where resources are scarce?

Theo Gonzalez, Dubai