I ADMIRED another brilliant, cutting-edged piece of journalism from David Pratt (“UK politicians fiddle while the body count in Syria rises”, The Herald, October 14). He rightly condemns the British political bickering over the Russian airstrikes on Syria as pathetic; but even more pathetic is the plight of innocent people who are being blitzed with bombs in Aleppo.

It is skin-crawling to contemplate the images of that ruined, ravaged city, and as Mr Pratt so despairingly writes, "what we are witnessing is a cynical game of international geopolitical chess where the pawns are Syrian civilians". The suffering of these poor people who are being bombed, gassed, starved and burned is almost beyond belief, and if the best Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson can come up with is to call for demonstrations to be held outside the Russian Embassy perhaps he should set an example by leading a demonstration, and taking along with him the other 300-odd Conservative MPs.

Maybe Bob Dylan could write an anthem for Aleppo, but in the meantime I am reminded of the first two lines of Holding Out For A Hero: "Where have all the good men gone, and where are all the gods?"

Ruth Marr,

99 Grampian Road,


DAVID Pratt writes: “Just as the Nazis operated in support of Franco in the 1930s, so the Kremlin acts today in support of Syrian dictator President Bashar al -Assad”.

To illustrate how difficult it is to deal with them, he might also have written “Just as the Soviets operated in support of Hitler from 1939 to June 1941, so the Kremlin ….”. And that led after June 1941 to the irony of ironies, always ignored by those who fail to appreciate the appalling choices forced by realpolitik, of our need to accept as an ally one Nazi (as Stalin undoubtedly was, despite his current rehabilitation) in order to rid the world of another.

It does however seem astonishing that in the recent Kerry/Lavrov ceasefire negotiations, no thought appears to have been given to avoiding “accidental” strikes by either side or establishing any kind of hot-line to minimise the diplomatic fall-out should such incidents occur.

John Birkett,

12 Horseleys Park,

St. Andrews.