Lessons to learn

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TWO letters (7 October) deserve supportive comment. Firstly, the cutely headed one (“Little on Largs”) from James Robertson about the lack of commemorative acknowledgement on the 750th anniversary of the Battle of Largs when Scots king Alexander III ended Viking dominance of western Scotland including the Hebrides.

Then Joe Darby’s concern about the aftermath of Nato’s withdrawal from Afghanistan, where Western intervention was the result of previous Western intervention when guerilla forces fighting the Soviet-backed government of President Najibullah were armed by the West.

The gist of both letters converge on a relevant topic of “taking the wrong side”.

Considerable acknowledgment in terms of popular history of the impact of Viking raid and settlement but paltry mention of Scots’ military success against them.

Nor do parallels appear to be highlighted between backing the insurgency in Syria and how the anti-Najibullah insurgency in Afghanistan was similarly backed. Whatever lessons history teaches, its pupils aren’t seemingly learning much.

Ian Johnstone

Forman Drive