Marcus L’Estrange writes: Re. “Are the US and Russia sleepwalking into war?” (Friday). This piece should have mentioned the setting up of NATO. Nato was not formed to protect Europe from any power-mad USSR. Nato was formed out of the Truman Doctrine (different from FDR’s policy) and the Marshall Plan in order to dominate western Europe militarily, politically and economically. NATO was formed when Russia was in ruins, with 30-40 million dead and without nuclear weapons.
In 1945 Germany had been split at Yalta, into four zones: American, Soviet, British and French. However the US successfully produced atomic weapons and therefore didn’t need the USSR’s help in fighting Japan. The US then started to renege on Yalta and Potsdam. The reparations agreement was shelved, the division of Germany into four zones was shelved with one zone, under largely US control, replacing the three western zones of US, France and British zones. The rearming of West Germany then took place and with Truman jumping at shadows the Cold War was on. Dissenters to Truman’s view of the world, such as former vice president Henry Wallace and the true heir to FDR’s ‘New Deal’, were labelled Communist. Wallace wrote: “Today in blind fear of communism, we are turning aside from the United Nations. We are approaching a century of fear.” After Truman we had many mindless wars (eg Vietnam) which caused millions of deaths and have now resulted in the bankruptcy of the USA, but hopefully the demise of its empire. Stalin’s frustration led to the famous blockade of the Allied sector of Berlin. I’m in my 60s, live in Australia where our foreign policy is handed down from Washington but far enough away from Europe so one can hopefully learn from history and not be so enmeshed in it.
Margaret Pirrie writes: Re. “WikiLeaks does good work. It’s not Assange who’s gone off the deep end, it’s us” (Thursday). It is difficult to know where to start with Helen Razer’s burbling red hot mess on Wikileaks and public disillusionment with Julian Assange. I would agree with one assertion. Assange has not changed. He was always the vindictive charmer who gaslights the way we read the abuses he perpetrates, and Razer enables this. “We are cranky that a few nice folks in the DC had their email addresses leaked,” she sneers.
What about the” cranky” felt by the family of murdered DC staffer Seth Rich when Assange offered $20,000 topping up a police reward to establish the smear that Hillary had him killed because he was a Wikileaks source? Then, when pressed by his incredulous interviewer Assange says with chilling Orwellian doublespeak, “we don’t comment on our sources”. Do the research Ms Razer. You are currently backing the wrong horse.