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Ukraine crash action needed

Gwynne Dyer's column Downing of jet makes Ukraine conflict uglier, unavoidable (July 19) contains many interesting questions, particularly two that remain unanswered: Who committed this horrible tragedy and what happens now?

The world has not acted fast enough since the time Russia seized and annexed Crimea from Ukraine. Events signify a gradual step towards a post-Cold War era, a deepening rift between Moscow and the West.

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The United States and Canada have been aggressive in seeking action against Russia, while European countries have balked, stalled and delayed any major sanctions.

After this humanitarian tragedy, Europe must consider barriers against Russia that would fully isolate Putin from the developed world economy by imposing quick international restrictive laws.

Peter Manastyrsky



How can the rebels implicated in this tragedy take control of an international crash site with seemingly no consequences?

We hear rhetoric from our world leaders about the tragedy, and of potential sanctions. Why do the United Nations and the European Union have less clout than these rebels?

Leaders should hang their heads in shame and combine forces and take immediate action, rather than spouting rhetoric.

Take control of the situation, determine who is responsible and penalize them to the full extent of the law. Give the grieving families some kind of closure.

James Hannah



Until Russia admits its complicity in the latest air crash over Ukraine, all countries should announce they will not participate in the 2018 FIFA World Cup (Armed rebels control wreckage site, July 19).

Russia should also fully compensate victims' families and Malaysia Airlines for this disaster and should call for rebels in eastern Ukraine to lay down their arms.

Finally, Russia should announce it will assist the Ukrainian government in putting down the rebels in eastern Ukraine to end the rebellion.

Chris Kennedy



Bad game, great night

I attended my first Winnipeg Blue Bomber game at Investors Group Field when they played the Edmonton Eskimos last Friday (Very rough night for Blue, July 18).

Although the game was disappointing, everything else was amazing. The stadium is gorgeous and well-designed, the seating is comfortable, the washrooms were spotless and there were plenty of food and beverage stations.

We got to the stadium via the park-and-ride program and it was truly impressive -- very efficient, cheap and fast. Transportation got off to a rough start, but it's well-organized now.

Kudos to Bomber management and the city for doing such a good job.

Ela Norris



Flood context crucial

I see that letter writer Donna Gylywoychuk believes people who live by rivers, lakes and other waterways are "privileged" (Water property privilege, peril, Letters, July 19).

As a Winnipegger, she is also one of the privileged. She lives on a flood plain and is privileged to not have to worry about flooding due to huge investments of taxpayer dollars that went into building the floodway.

It's only because of this floodway that she and thousands of others aren't regularly flooded out.

People forget very quickly that those who have been flooded out are also taxpayers.

Shelagh Dennis



The power of the majority

The article Pallister's pricey political theatre won't pay off for anyone (July 17) suggests that a majority government has unfettered power to amend or rescind laws. The argument that such power provides immunity from reasonable and responsible conduct is ludicrous.

The Selinger government imposed a sales tax increase without first passing legislation. When the media questioned the action, they were told governments do it all the time.

No they don't -- the common practice is to present a bill to the legislature, which is then debated, reviewed and passed prior to implementation of a new or increased tax.

The Selinger government introduced a bill to amend legislation and allow the increased tax well after the tax had been imposed, in defiance of parliamentary convention.

Usurping the democratic process is a serious action, and the precedent cannot be allowed to stand unchallenged.

No governments can be allowed to impose taxes without prior legislative authority. The NDP is not above the law.

John Feldsted



No Mideast peace in sight

Re: Mideast crisis stirs emotions (Letters, July 19). In assuming Prime Minister Stephen Harper has callously dismissed the killing of Palestinians by expressing his support of Israel's right to defend itself from ongoing terrorist attacks deliberately directed against Israeli civilians, Shahina Siddiqui might consider that Harper has rightly recognized it is Hamas, not Israel, that is responsible for this killing.

It is Hamas leadership that is putting its own children in harm's way by storing weapons, hiding combatants, and firing rockets from within densely populated civilian areas while they themselves retreat to the safety of their tunnels.

Penny Jones Square



How will peace ever come to the Middle East when we hear Israel say they will not stop bombing Gaza until Hamas stops attacking Israel, and then hearing Hamas say they will not stop attacking Israel until they stop bombing Gaza?

Playing tit-for-tat has never accomplished anything in the past, and I doubt it will now.

Andy Chiasson


Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 22, 2014 A8

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