SIR – I was appalled to hear the diplomat Jonathan Powell remark that we might – somehow – negotiate with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. He draws historical parallels with “terrorists” reformed in the past, such as Makarios, Kenyatta, and Sinn Fein.
But surely there can be no equivalence here. Isil has proved itself to be a vilely murderous entity, with unacceptable aims. For any historical resemblance in the Middle East, one would have to reach back to medieval Tamburlaine, and his boasted “Mountain of Skulls”.
I wonder what kind of advice Mr Powell would have given as chief of staff to Tony Blair during his little sortie in the Middle East.
Sir Alistair Horne,
(Photo: Fighters of the Islamic State wave the group’s flag from a damaged display of a government fighter jet following the battle for the Tabqa air base, in Raqqa, Syria Credit: AP)