Monday, 14 November 2016

2 letters on history,Cold war, and Germany

Of course, "co-existence (with Russia) is the only option" (Cold war 2.0: different times, different dangers as Russia and the west collide, 25/10/16). At least there are some in Britain, like the ex-Moscow ambassador, Tony Brenton, and unlike the foreign secretary, calling for calm, and when Brenton says that "telling other bad countries how they should behave is less and less possible", he is absolutely correct.
     The west is in no position to criticise Putin for his aggression, when it not only supports a regime like that of the Saudis, but sells it billions of pounds` worth of weapons to use against civilians in Yemen. Until the UK and US stop their arms-dealing to warmongering states, surreptitiously offering military help through advisers, and carrying out their own air offensives, they cannot object to other countries like Russia behaving in a similar belligerent fashion. 
    In the short term, how about inviting Putin here for talks, and playing to his vanity by throwing in a dinner with the queen? Without some diplomatic efforts starting soon, there is a danger of the hawkish element in the US Senate dictating policy, and that can only lead to the problem worsening!

The fact that Germany with, as Omar Khan says, its "onerous baggage from its past", now appears "more confident in terms of its identity and values", is not really as "strange" as he makes out (We damage our country by denying its migrant past,27/10/16). Germans were forced after the Second World War to face up to the truth about its recent history, something that the British have never been expected to do. Whereas the Nazi atrocities and mass-murders became known throughout the world, preventing the return, generally, of any thoughts of racial superiority in Germany, British history has continued to be manipulated by politicians, keen to hide the evidence from the historians, and the school text books. 
     The concealment of 1.2 million files relating to our involvement in events going back as far as the Crimean War, supports Khan`s opinion that Britain`s history is, indeed, an "imaginary" one. Only when the truth is revealed about the methods used to acquire and keep the empire, for instance, can any "informed discussion" about British identity, and the need to accept fully "people of migrant background" as "truly British", take place. 

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