KEITH Steiner’s unhinged rant against Kevin McKenna and Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh was revisionist, imperialist, neocon propaganda and McCarthyite redbaiting of the worst kind (Letters, August 29). It was so devoid of factual content it could have been a speech by Dick Cheney or an agitprop piece on Fox “News”.

The only people who ever supported the Taliban were the governments of Washington and Westminster. It was these governments who recruited, funded and trained the Taliban when they were the Mujahideen fighting the Soviet Union.

It was Thatcher who lavished praise on Saddam Hussein. She even used taxpayers’ money to underwrite the arms deals to the Baathist regime. So the UK public paid when Saddam defaulted. These weapons were then used against British Forces in Gulf War One.

It was Ronald Reagan who provided the co-ordinates and chemical weapons that Saddam used on the Iranians. After the 1988 Halabja massacres, the US Congress unanimously passed the Prevention of Genocide Act. This would have immediately cut off all US support for Saddam. Reagan vetoed it.

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Saddam Hussein admitted under interrogation that if Father George Bush had told him not to invade Kuwait in 1990, he would not have done so.

In 2003 I proudly protested the murderous and unprovoked slaughter that the war criminals Bush and Blair unleashed on Iraq. It was a pack of lies so Iraqi oil could be expropriated. The effect of this invasion was one million Iraqis dead, four million displaced and the rise of ISIS.

The Saudi Kleptocracy have funded all the Islamist terrorist organisations in the world for the past 50 years. They are the most important allies of Westminster and Washington. The people who bear sole responsibility for the rise of Islamic extremism in the world today are those bloodthirsty warmongering imperialists of the political right. Not those on the left who are against these forever wars for plunder in the Middle East.
Alan Hinnrichs

CLLR Andy Doig raises even more interesting points in respect of the preferential military direction and the preferred multinational military umbrella of choice for Scotland, which I see as a future independent EU nation state, to which I will endeavour to adequately respond to (Letters, August 27).

Some citizens of Scotland still hold to the Nato and weapons of mass destruction (WMD) doctrine, with some holding to the Nato doctrine but without WMDs. The “No” campaign is to assert that the Nato and WMD doctrine is inseparable, and without it, Scotland is not safe.

My overall point was that a greater level of acceptance now exists within Scottish citizens, that the fundamentals of both WMD and Nato existence were now largely merely options, in part because of past adventurism.

Also, and mainly, because the electorate of the USA and UK had elected unhinged, dishonest, incompetent and dysfunctional leaders, which essentially dissolved any past certainty and safety they may have felt towards WMDs and Nato.

What results from this crisis of confidence, is a seeking of a new defensive (with offensive capacity) umbrella arrangement, that previous “No” voters who accepted Nato as benign could accept and vote “Yes”.

I suspect that to the great consternation of Cllr Andy Doig, those “No” voters who clung onto the need for Nato would be delighted if the European Defence Union (EDU) operational policy was to be as one with that of Nato and may then feel safe to vote “Yes”.

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Trident's future in an independent Scotland is up for debate

They also may feel that a grouping of Ireland, Austria, Finland and Sweden is insufficient in international clout, in either soft or hard power terms.

So, in summary, and in response to Cllr Andy Doig’s final point regarding his view of the principle of independence, I would respectfully suggest that the Scottish citizen must be not only sovereign but be able to cede sovereignty as they see fit, which for the avoidance of doubt initially requires a “Yes” vote, which perversely might well initially require the eschewing of an armed neutrality bloc, in favour of the EDU.

That said, an armed neutrality bloc, aligned somehow in the future with the UN, does appear to have many potential benefits. I have “pondered” as requested by Cllr Andy Doig and must conclude that our final destination of choice may well be similar, but the chosen timescales and chosen process of getting there are really quite different, indeed almost diametrically so.
Stephen Tingle
Greater Glasgow

THE article by Dorothy-Grace Elder in which she questioned the need for long summer recesses as presently existing in the political dark ages is exceptional (August 29). It is not often that political writings can hold this aged brain of mine for long but I found I read the article looking for more in her style.
W D Mill Irving