AFTER President Trump’s illegal murder of Qasem Soleimani of Iran we are on the brink of war in the Middle East, which will impact on the whole world including Scotland. The BBC’s distinguished foreign correspondent John Simpson this morning reminded us that when the Americans mistakenly shot down an Iranian airliner over the Persian Gulf it ended up with the PanAm jumbo jet being blown up over Lockerbie.

READ MORE: These are the profound implications of the killing of Qasem Soleimani

Scotland needs therefore to speak out clearly against this madness and make sure we don’t get dragged into US wars, which given Boris Johnson’s close friendship with Trump is quite likely. Yet all I have heard from Scottish political leaders so far is silence. Jeremy Corbyn has condemned the American action – surely its time for Scotland’s politicians to speak out.

Of course the best way of avoiding Scottish involvement in illegal wars is for Scotland to become independent and develop its own foreign policy based on peace rather than war. But in the meantime Scottish political leaders including the SNP must firmly condemn this war-like act by Trump.

Hugh Kerr (MEP 1994-99)

MAYBE it’s worth taking a few minutes to cover the past 70 years of mayhem in the Iran/Iraq area.

Good old Winston Churchill – created yet another disaster from British foreign policy at the time of the falling to bits of ye olde British Empire. The Iranians had the audacity to complain that getting less than a penny in the pound for their oil, was more than unfair. Does this sound familiar?

Anyway, Winston decides to get the CIA, with approval from President Truman (old pals from World War Two) to destabilise the legitimate government of Iran and to back a puppet ruler – the Shah – who was as corrupt as they come. This was 1952. That’s why the Iranian people got rid of him a couple of decades and several hundred million petro dollars of corruption later.

READ MORE: Dominic Raab defends US decision to kill Qasem Soleimani

Anyways, after Truman lost the 1952 election in the US, another Winston pal from World War Two, Ike Eisenhower, becomes president and the fate of the Middle East is sealed. Decades of war, death, corruption, lies and Western governments thinking that they can all act with impunity irrespective of the locals’ needs, religion, safety or security. Oil and its profits for the West is king at all costs!!

Replace Winston with Trumpy and nothing has changed. Both of them want to make us great again at any cost to foreign governments and people. Has anything actually improved for the people of the Middle East in the past 70 years? Yes, I suppose it has if you are an oil sheikh or member of some debatable royal family. The other 400 million people may have a differing viewpoint.

Nothing’s changed apart from the ease with which people in the Middle East can be killed from armchairs in Arizona using hi-tech war equipment. There will be a cost to pay sometime.

Dougie Gray

IT would seem that our planet and our children’s future on it has much more than just climate change to cope with in the future following the latest spate of Trump insanity in the Middle East by way of his orchestrated assassination of Iranian General Soleimani.

READ MORE: Tens of thousands march with Qasem Soleimani's casket

I just cannot believe that the people of the once proud USA can allow themselves to be led down what looks like a road of self-destruction. Having returned to Scotland three years ago after having lived in South Africa for some 33 years, through the last days of apartheid and the release of Nelson Mandela, a man revered worldwide, I have to ask myself what he would have said regarding the primitive manner of this Trump/Al Capone-type of US diplomatic assassination.

A few days from my 89th birthday I worry about where our “leaders” are taking our children and grandchildren. Surely humanity can utilise the intelligence we have gained over these thousands of years to take future generations on a path of peace for all humanity. Let our New Scotland lead the way.

Dave Beveridge
Scottish Borders

A GREAT piece and a brave piece from Shona Craven (It is society that needs to change, not girls’ bodies, January 4). Viewing anything on this topic online and getting any sensible debate is impossible. At this time the Scottish Government have an open consultation on reducing the time on changing gender, making it easier while at the same time looking to introduce this to school children. Children who have not finished maturing, whose minds and bodies are changing.

READ MORE: Society needs to change to make girls comfortable in their bodies

The last thing we should be promoting is life-changing drugs and or medical procedures for children. What’s worse is that if you are a parent and your children went to the school guidance teacher and they suggested that your child go speak to a doctor/nurse, which then led on to medical treatment – then you are NOT entitled to know anything about this! As soon as they reach 12-13, you as a parent, the best people to know how to look after and guide your children are left out of the loop.

Very thankful for Shona raising this topic. Life-changing interventions require huge impartial studies over many years and not some knee-jerk reaction to requests from government-funded lobby groups. This latest craze from such a tiny group, doing so much harm – mainly to women, as usual.

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