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Letters to the Editor: 'History brings real perspective and shows other US presidents have done far worse than Trump'


Not the worst: US President Donald Trump disembarks from Air Force One on Thursday. Photo: Reuters

Not the worst: US President Donald Trump disembarks from Air Force One on Thursday. Photo: Reuters


Not the worst: US President Donald Trump disembarks from Air Force One on Thursday. Photo: Reuters

I share Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire TD's concerns that history is to remain as an optional subject at Junior Cert Level after a Department of Education review. He said "ignorance of history, whether national or international, has real consequences".

It can cause a lack of perspective. It is said Donald Trump is the worst US president. I am not a fan of his but he has not started a war or the invasion of a country, and hopefully he won't unless there are good reasons.

One of President Trump's predecessors, Lyndon B Johnson, an intelligent man, had thousands of laws passed in his five years as US president. He signed the long-awaited 1964 Civil Rights Act. But he would not tell the American people he knew by 1967 the Vietnam civil war could not be won by the US-supported regime. His reluctance to reveal the truth led to more suffering for Vietnam and more deaths of American soldiers, and the betrayal of the trust of the people who voted for him. He had a lot of internal conflict over it. It was fear of the spread of Communist regimes. I think it was crazed thinking taken to the extreme.

Johnson's successor, Richard Nixon, could not end the war and began intense bombing of Cambodia. He taped his discussions in the Oval Office and said he'd like to cream Cambodia, meaning wipe them out. He knew of the burglary to find the Democrats' campaign plans for the 1972 US presidential election. Its cover-up, that he approved of, forced Nixon (a Republican president) to resign in 1974. He is the only US president to resign. The Vietnam war ended in 1975.

A knowledge of these events shows the US survived presidents with difficult outcomes. Donald Trump is not the worst US president unless he does something really rash in the final 12 months of his first term in office.

History is also about how people, communities and countries evolved to be as they are today. DNA ancestry kits are an example of this as people discover they may be from a mix of nationalities or regions around the world.

Mary Sullivan

College Road, Co Cork

We must condemn Trump and Johnson for their acts

Donald Trump maintains that he did nothing wrong in his "nice" - nice? - telephone call to the Ukrainian president in which he discussed Joe Biden with the foreign leader.

A White House whistleblower has claimed that Trump had asked the Ukrainian president to probe the activities of Biden and his son.

Similarly, a former US citizen, until he found out that he would have to file US tax returns, Boris Johnson maintains that he did nothing wrong in proroguing the UK Parliament, in the face of the unanimous decision of the UK Supreme Court, the highest court of the UK.

It concluded that the prorogation of Parliament and Johnson's advice to his monarch, Queen Elizabeth, was illegal.

Now, in most people's perspective, illegal means that the perpetrator is guilty.

Will Trump or Johnson face criminal charges?

Will they hell.

But will we, in the community of nations, have the backbone to confront and condemn them?

God willing, yes.

George Dalzell

Stillorgan, Co Dublin

Political twins show they think only of themselves

Reports in your paper on September 25 show in graphic detail how the leaders of the Anglo-Saxon axis of the UK and the USA act as though only they are important, and that once put into office they have no regard for their countries, the law or anything even resembling decency.

Boris Johnson's sociopathic and dystopian decisions have been judged by the highest court in the land as being illegal.

His Trumpian, contemptible treatment of his monarch would have, in happier times, led to his incarceration in the Tower of London, or, as happened to Charles I after he prorogued Parliament, beheading.

Unlike the USA, the Supreme Court in the UK is not packed by the political allies of the political leader.

Meanwhile in the USA, Donald Trump has continued his love of quid-pro-quo, personally advantageous agreements with Eastern European presidents to besmirch the reputations of his political contenders for the presidency in the 2020 election.

Trump and Johnson are political twins.

Hopefully, the British electorate will not be as bovine as its counterpart, the USA.

As to the USA, we should stop brown-nosing every US president and start to show to the international community that we have some self-respect.

Liam Harrington

Castletownbere, Co Cork

Court ruling has elevated Boris in eyes of millions

The British Supreme Court has done Boris Johnson an enormous service. It confirms the public perception of Boris and the people against a rich and powerful establishment, including many of the political class and now the judiciary, none of whom wishes to relinquish any of the privilege and status they enjoy as collaborating members of Brussels elitism.

All that can be done to elevate Boris even further in the eyes of the millions who are increasingly abandoned as "ignorant populists" by an ever more controlling, unelected, non-caring Brussels bureaucracy, is to have him arrested and imprisoned when he refuses to request an extension on the British exit from the EU at the end of October.

It is sad to see Irish media and opinion gloat so smugly at what appears to be Britain's humiliation and political difficulty.

The difficulty is likely to be rectified by the next general election which could cause a much sadder situation of Ireland being discarded by an economically struggling EU for not successfully derailing Brexit, and despised by Britain for trying so hard in the attempt.

Padraic Neary

Tubbercurry, Co Sligo

Losing Lyric FM would give listeners the blues

Regarding the prospect of a world without Lyric FM, the powers that be are singing out of key.

Crochets and quavers are notes worth fighting for.

Stress-busting music or a mishmash of bombarding newstalk?

It is all in the balance.

Listeners of Lyric are harmonising in a chord.

Can you hear the drums in the distance?

Fiona O'Brien

Sutton, Dublin 13

Life's a beech if trees can enhance rows of hedging

As I travel around the countryside I notice that beech hedging is very popular.

As you might be aware, beech hedging is small beech trees in a row, adjacent to each other.

This is a widely planted hedge and quite common as you drive from area to area.

Although not evergreen, old leaves stay on the tree over the winter months, and this gives a rustic brown look to the hedge that is visible up and down the country.

I do acknowledge that the hedging is nice.

But I do strongly believe that these beech hedgings would be even nicer if some beech trees were allowed to grow in them, perhaps about 20ft to 30ft or so apart.

This would benefit our environment immensely, and beautify our countryside.

A mix of copper and green beech would enhance our countryside.

Peter Kinahan

Athy, Co Kildare

Consultant recruitment crisis isn't to do with pay

I read, almost daily, that we need to pay our hospital consultants more if we are to finally solve the current recruitment crisis.

But as was reported in your paper ("Irish consultants paid €41,000 more than their counterparts in the UK", Irish Independent, August 31), Irish hospital consultants are already paid more than their counterparts in the UK (and indeed the rest of Europe).

The reason why Ireland has a shortage of hospital consultants is because there are insufficient permanent consultant posts, and too few training positions for young Irish doctors.

Hence, our reliance on foreign doctors to fill temporary positions, but whose poor conditions of employment (not pay) are unattractive to highly qualified, experienced practitioners.

Cormac O'Carroll

Salzburg, Austria

Irish Independent