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Looking in the mirror

Re: "Merkel's immigration policy helps deter terrorism", (Opinion, July 26).

Robert Verkaik states: "Ms Merkel has sent a message to the world that Germany is not at war with Islam." That may be so but fundamentalist Islam has declared war on Western civilisation. As Martin R so rightly points out in his letter, "Muslim Leaders silent", (PostBag, July 28), Muslim communities worldwide do not stand up and condemn the vicious actions perpetrated in the name of Islam.

They are all followers of Allah and the atrocities are always accompanied by the scream of Allahu Akbar, or "God is greater".

The most recent sickening murder was of an 84-year-old Catholic priest in Normandy who was forced to kneel while his throat was slashed to the cry of Allahu Akbar.

Appeasing vicious extremists is no answer.

They interpret it as a weakness and that further encourages their pursuit of instilling fear in civilised society to discourage opposition to their ultimate goal of total domination.

Muslim leaders have had good reason following the many atrocities, certainly since Sept 11, to condemn those they claim do not represent Islam, so why have they not been vocal and demonstrative on the issue? The perpetrators of the Bataclan murders returned to find safe shelter within their Muslim community at Molenbeek, Belgium.

Muslim communities do not assimilate with their host societies but seek to impose their own culture and Sharia law.

Yes, much of the blame for the current situation should be laid at the door of George W Bush and Tony Blair for attacking Iraq and removing Saddam Hussein on false reasoning.

The foreign policy of the current US administration is equally guilty with another power vacuum caused in Libya by bringing down Gadhafi. Not only is regime change a violation of international law but to do it without a future plan is dangerously irresponsible as is patently obvious across the Middle East currently.

Having given fundamentalist Islam an excuse to attack the West, encouraging the resulting invasion with Angela Merkel's "all are welcome, open-door policy" is grossly irresponsible.

To suggest that Ms Merkel, by showing compassion to all immigrants, is a saviour of peace is naive. Had she controlled immigration by selecting the genuine refugees from economic and ill-intentioned migrants in the first place there would not be a problem.

Immigration is fine provided it is measured and controlled legally. Failing this, the result is and will increasingly be chaotic and disastrous.

It is the innocent populations of the West who are paying the price now and possibly for centuries to come.

The solution is to bring the Western leaders to justice for their crimes so that justice can be seen to be done by all and for radical Islam to change its aggressive ways.

Nation building and democracy -- imposing by the West must cease while Islam must similarly cease imposing its political ideology in Judaeo-Christian countries. The two are clearly incompatible.

JC WILCOX


Logic of radical Islam

Re: "Merkel's immigration policy helps deter terrorism", (Opinion, July 26).

Robert Verkaik's piece was so lacking in logic.

Mr Verkaik points out that the worst terrorist attacks have not taken place in Germany, but in Belgium, France and the UK, which have become "incubators of terrorism".

In order to incubate Islamic terrorism, you obviously require a large community of Muslims, a small minority of whom will find jihad, martyrdom and the promise of heavenly virgins tempting.

The more Muslims you have, the larger the small minority of lunatics on the fringe will be. This is not bigotry or racism, it is logic, and unfortunately, as Mr Verkaik acknowledges, Germany is already suffering jihadist attacks.

The perplexing claim that these attacks were carried out by people who entered Germany before Ms Merkel threw Germany's doors open, and are therefore not to be considered as counter-evidence to the writer's main thesis is even more bizarre.

NIGEL WOODWARD
MALAYSIA


Without party backing

Re: "Democrat Party split on draft charter", (BP, July 29).

The "Vote No" camp in the upcoming constitution draft referendum has one more unexpected supporter: Abhisit Vejjajiva, leader of the Democrat Party, who announced on Wednesday he will not vote for the draft charter.

It is obvious that Mr Abhisit was almost alone among the Democrats in pronouncing this decision. There were no Democrat members gathering behind him as usual this time.

Mr Abhisit should be reminded that the Democrat Party's philosophy and mission are to eradicate corruption and bring about national reform. So far, the party has failed utterly in that direction. How can he propose to carry out those missions without the strong backing of his own party?

Besides, no one can use the motto, "If you can't beat them, join them" in their fight against bad politics and large-scale corruption anywhere in this world.

VINT CHAVALA


Dark side of politics

Re: "Ex-MP nabbed in North charter letters fallout", (BP, July 28).

The regime has allowed televised debates on the merits (or a lack thereof) of the draft charter. Therefore one wonders why Boonlert Buranupakorn's relatives are being hauled to the infamous 11th Military Circle in Bangkok.

The whole affair looks like a pogrom aimed at a certain political party taken from the dark ages of an online game.

A fundamental rule of governance is to avoid at all costs making people afraid of the government through capricious acts that transgress their rights.

Whatever the goal, could it not be accomplished with a measure of decency?

MICHAEL SETTER


Anyone any wiser?

Re: "Undecided voters run high", (BP, July 26)

While the Nida Poll neatly breaks down the percentage of voter opinions on the draft charter into nine separate polls, what's interesting is we have no idea how many people were polled or in what area(s) of the country. Therefore the percentages are somewhat meaningless although I suspect accurate.

The article cites a "lack of information" as one reason for so many undecideds. Even if the information was easily available to everyone, it would be fascinating to know how many have read the charter in its entirety, how long it is and how many believe they understand it.

In a society that doesn't read much, it's no mystery to me that so many are undecided. I hope I'm wrong but I imagine 95% of the eligible voters have little if any idea (or even interest?) what this complicated charter, drafted by lawyers and politicians really means.

JERRY FELDMAN

Based on the Nida website, its recent polls on the referendum surveyed around 1,500 people nationwide. This figure was not included in the Bangkok Post report.


No stars in Thai cuisine

Re: "A new recipe to promote Thai cuisine", (Opinion, July 27).

Khun Sirinya Wattanasukchai makes a typically elegant point in her Michelin star comments for the Singapore Tourism Board's efforts and first Michelin stars for 29 Singapore restaurants and food stalls.

But as Khun Sirinya points out it's strange that Thai cuisine is still an undiscovered gem.

The restaurant Nahm, headed by Australian chef David Thompson, in London was the first specialising in Thai cuisine to be awarded a Michelin star. It later lost its star and closed in late 2012.

And here in East Kent in England it would be wrong of me not to mention the Surin Thai restaurant www.surinrestaurant.co.uk and reviews of: "the best Thai meal ever" by The Observer newspaper.

Hopefully this eatery is a Michelin star making and one where a Thai chef gains international recognition.

In Europe it's often likened to Italian as one of the world's great cuisines in terms of flavours, ingredients and regional variations -- and crucially as a cultural feast.

Thai cuisine is popular in Europe: the third most popular cuisine in London by readers of Time Out magazine.

There are at least 1,200 Thai restaurants throughout the UK. No UK high street is now complete without the gentle sounds and smells of jasmine rice bubbling away.

TIM GARBUTT


Clinton victorious

I'd like to put the Sanders-Clinton conflict into perspective.

Hillary Clinton kicked his butt! She got millions of more votes in the primaries than Bernie Sander did. So without the email scandal and the super delegates Clinton still would have won hands down.

For Mr Sanders who was never a Democrat to come waltzing in after all these years and demand that the party change its rules to meet his needs was arrogance at an appalling level. Still I think Mr Sanders did some good and was gracious enough to ultimately endorse Mrs Clinton.

As for the Sanders holdouts who are willing to help Donald Trump who calls Mexicans "rapists", women "fat pigs" and wants to legalise torture, to get elected, they are the ones who are the sellouts to the very people Mr Sanders is supposed to represent.

ERIC BAHRT
CHIANG MAI


Obama on the ropes

Just barely a few months after President Obama went all the way to London trying to sway the Brexit vote by warning that Britain will be placed at the back of the queue for trade negotiation if they leave the EU, he made another inappropriate attempt to sway votes recently but this time at his own court yard.

Mr Obama made a remark on July 22 in Washington soon after Donald Trump's nomination as GOP Presidential candidate that the Russian may try to influence US election to favour Trump. Mr. Obama said: "What I do know is that Donald Trump has repeatedly expressed admiration for Vladimir Putin."

Most US media have openly demonised Trump and Putin. But for an incumbent president to play the Russian card so explicitly against a presidential candidate indicates that he is now desperate and has has lost his cool.

It is not surprising that the president may sense a possible defeat for Hillary Clinton in the November election, similar to the Brexit that he had sniffed out three months ago.

YINGWAI SUCHAOVANICH


Get buses back in shape

Re: "NGV bus purchase plan hits new snag", (BP, July 28).

During the past several years, the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority has planed to replace its ageing buses with a new fleet, but the plan has not much been materialised. The BMTA's plan has been bogged down by failed bidding rounds barring it from buying a fleet of buses.

The biggest and longest failure is that the BMTA has subcontracted many bus routes to private operators who are unable to control the reckless behaviour of many of their drivers. I suggest the prime minister use his sweeping powers under Section 44 to resolve reorganise a modern and clean bus service outfit for the capital.

RH SUG
ALAMPHUN

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