MORE than a decade ago retired US General Wesley Clark let the world know about Pentagon plans to “take out seven countries in five years”. The list comprised of Libya, Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Iran, Somalia and Sudan. History has shown that six of these countries have been ticked off the list as accomplished, leaving Iran as the remaining country not already destabilised by US or US-sponsored military power.

Our national news bulletins no longer bombard us hourly with the horrors caused by the evil regimes in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria. We are, however, starting to be exposed to news of civil unrest in Iran, where we are told the general population are rising up against an unpopular government and being cruelly crushed by an autocratic clerical regime ("Police stations targeted as death toll rises to 12", The Herald, January 2). Remind you of anything? I wonder just how long it will be before the “Free World” finds it necessary to provide logistical support to Iranian “freedom fighters” as a precursor to air-strikes and US boots on the ground?

It is said that knowledge of history stops us repeating mistakes; it would appear that even short-term memory will not accomplish this. I wonder what odds I could get at the bookies on war in Iran within the year. Mind you, bookies don’t take bets on sure-fire certainties and the Iranians are sitting on the largest natural gas deposit in the world.

David J Crawford,

85 Whittingehame Court, 1300 Great Western Road, Glasgow.

YOUR correspondent R Murray (Letters, January 1) continues the myth about Russia annexing Crimea and engaging in a proxy war against the Kiev government of Petro Poroshenko in Ukraine. In his tirade against Myra Gartmore (Letters, December 28) he extends his anti-Russia argument back to the many complexities of the Second World War. I rather think that if he asked Crimeans whether they would feel freer under Kiev's governance than Moscow's, with Poroshenko their head of state, and not Vladimir Putin, he would soon realise some readjustment of his views would be suggested.

Even if one allowed for complexity in the Ukraine situation, the fact that the conflict there has been on Russia's doorstep is ample cause for Russian concern and that the US and its allies were very active in the street disturbances and so on in Kiev when the trouble first came to world attention in 2014 despite said countries of the West, in particular the main protagonist, the United States, being not even in backyard distance of Ukraine.

Should any comparison as to meddling in the sovereign affairs of other countries be undertaken it surely would show numerically at least since the Second World War that the US and its allies, including its "special relationship" partner, Britain, had meddled most.

As for any glaring example, the instance of the Chagos Islands can be cited, and how Britain co-operated with the US in expelling the population from the main island of Diego Garcia so as to have it become a US military airbase, thus providing a facility for bombing raids in Afghanistan and the like. This is not to mention how Britain defied United Nations legislation on breaking up countries prior to their decolonisation. All such matters, including those pertaining to the Second World War, can be debated and disputed – they are after all documented. The rest is a matter of perhaps moral argument.

Ian Johnstone,

84 Forman Drive, Peterhead.

THE danger does not come from Russia as your correspondents have stated. True, those who rule Russia are not the kind of people we would like living next door to us. But the clique who govern the United Kingdom are driving us to the brink of disaster so can hardly be said to be perfect.

Without going over Russian history, the Russians lost millions more civilians and military personnel than any other country in the fight against Nazism.

The real danger comes from the warmongering, imperialist, aggressive foreign policy of the United States. The US is the greatest threat to world peace since Hitler, and I am not referring to President Trump as this threat has existed for at least 150 years and it is now much more dangerous since the US got nuclear weapons. Einstein and Oppenheimer greatly regretted working on "the bomb" for the US.

Unless the rest of the world stands up against the US, we are all, in the words of the actor from Dad's Army, "doomed". I am glad I don't have offspring.

Margaret Forbes,

26 Corlic Way, Kilmacolm.