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U.S. President Donald Trump answers questions from reporters in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, on Oct. 9, 2019.

Doug Mills/The New York Times News Service

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What in Trump’s name?

Re Trump Betrays An Ally, For No Good Reason (Editorial, Oct. 10): The editorial reminded readers of the dysfunctional nature of Donald Trump and the risk he poses to geopolitical stability. In the midst of his impeachment concerns, he seems to have executed a worldwide distraction, a page from the Trump playbook that rings familiar. Ceding to Turkish requests to withdraw from Syria also looks to have been made, as usual, on a whim and without considering reasoned input from advisers.

As the shelling continues and the death toll inevitably rises, it is asked: “Who is he doing this for?” I have to assume that this is a rhetorical question, as the answer is now clear to the majority of people who voted for Mr. Trump: nobody but himself.

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Doug Campbell Sherwood Park, Alta.


“Who is he doing this for?" Might I suggest: for the people who voted Donald Trump into office as President of the United States, based on his election platform which included removing the U.S. military from the Middle East.

Ed Bodi Oakville, Ont.


Donald Trump’s justification for his snap decision to stand U.S. forces aside and abandon the Kurds in Syria is that they did not participate in the D-Day invasion of Normandy. What next from Mr. Trump: “Where were the Kurds when we needed them at the Alamo?”

Mike Firth Toronto


In military life, honour is bound up first in duty to brothers and sisters in battle. My heart aches for the men and women of the U.S. military who have been ordered to abandon Kurdish comrades at arms in Syria. I gather that, in many cases, these soldiers have stood by the President, even defending him when others no longer could – before these latest events.

Old Glory’s colours seem to be running.

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A.C. Mizen Toronto

Baby on board

Re Climate Fears Have Canadians Forgoing Children (Oct. 10): Rather than pledging to have no children until politicians take stronger action on climate, young Canadians should be forging ahead with their family plans. They should raise those children to be environmentally conscious and politically engaged. Then these new parents must become politically active, too: There are parties to join, constituencies to run in and government roles to fill that can all affect change.

But we don’t need more traditional politicians – we need smart, savvy environmentalists who become politicians.

Elise Weagant Brockville, Ont.


Those who may balk at young adults choosing not to have children, suggesting they could instead raise the next generation of protesters, are just not getting the urgency of the climate crisis.

Change is not in sight yet because of the tremendous push back against meaningful action by fossil-fuel companies and reluctant governments. We are just getting started on pricing carbon, yet at the same time we are still giving billions in government subsidies each year to oil and gas. Carbon emissions are still rising. The window to prevent climate chaos is rapidly closing.

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Young people should be right to be worried. If we want them to feel secure having children, we need to move quickly toward a low-carbon future.

Lyn Adamson Toronto

Keep it clean

Re Canada Needs Action, Not More Studies, To Deal With Money Laundering (Oct. 4): Columnist Rita Trichur writes that banking’s “cozy” relationship with regulators such as the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FinTRAC) is impeding Canada’s fight against money-laundering crime.

For the past few years, banks seem to have actually demonstrated a strong commitment to enhancing the national anti-money-laundering regime. Notably, banks have led public-private partnerships with FinTRAC, law enforcement and other government agencies – namely projects Protect, Chameleon and Guardian, which respectively identified and reported human trafficking, romance scams and illegal fentanyl trade. The resulting referrals to FinTRAC have been significant in protecting the country from these horrendous activities.

While the regime is far from perfect, perhaps criticism could be directed toward the alleged lawbreakers, instead of those who are committed to stopping them.

Bob Kapur Mississauga

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Birdwatching

Re The Canaries In The Global Coal Mine (Oct. 5): Scientific reports on the dramatic collapse of birds and other wildlife populations are becoming shockingly common. The evidence is in: Preserving habitat by creating legally recognized and effectively managed protected areas should be essential for restoring abundance and ending this extinction crisis.

As a signatory to the Convention on Biological Diversity, Canada pledged to protect 17 per cent of lands and inland waters and 10 per cent of oceans by 2020. We’ve surpassed our marine target, but have only achieved about 12-per-cent terrestrial protection. And these targets are just a first step.

By 2030, at least 30 per cent of the planet needs to be protected. With Canada accounting for one-quarter of the world’s wild forests and wetlands, 20 per cent of fresh water and one of the largest marine territories, our conservation efforts will matter a lot to the planet’s future.

If we can’t make room for nature, who can?

Gauri Sreenivasan Director of campaigns, Nature Canada; Ottawa


One wonders what it will take for people to accept that the status quo isn’t enough. Twenty-nine per cent of our birds gone is a mighty chunk of life. But is it noticeable to people in big cities? Maybe if 29-per-cent of the city population just disappeared, like in so many sci-fi movies.

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Would people finally think it’s time to do something? Or will they merely be grateful that they can get to work faster with fewer cars in the way?

Jeff McLaughlin PhD, chair of philosophy, history and politics, Thompson Rivers University; Kamloops, B.C.

I see two easy fixes that can have a significant effect on our bird populations.

First, office buildings absolutely have to turn their lights off at night. There is a lot of evidence of dead birds surrounding these places every morning.

Second, people need to keep their precious cats indoors. Cats alone are responsible for the deaths of millions of birds in North America every year. They do not need to be outside; they can easily be trained to enjoy the inside of a home. It would also protect the cats – they could be food for coyotes otherwise.

Jane McCall Delta, B.C.

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What a waste

Re Emerging Technology Prompts Debate In Canadian Funeral Industry (Oct. 5): So now we can choose a watery end by having our corporal remains treated in a process called alkaline hydrolysis, then flushed into the nether regions of the public sewer system.

It reminds me that, in the universal scheme of things, we bear some remarkable resemblance to our dearly departed goldfishes, their piscine remains flushed down the toilet, with or without ceremony.

Cliff Allan Belleville, Ont.


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