Backward Steppe

AS FORMER prime minister Tony Blair demonstrated in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq and current Prime Minister David ­Cameron in Col Muammar al-Gaddafi’s Libya, blundering into the affairs of the Islamic Crescent always makes things worse.

Furthermore, for the West to involve itself in Ukraine – a vast, backward, corrupt, economic basket-case – with promises of association with the European Union and membership of Nato was absolutely ­idiotic.

Let’s recall that offering a guarantee of territorial integrity we couldn’t keep to ­Poland landed in us a war with Adolf Hitler that neither he nor anyone else – except Winston Churchill – wanted.

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Harry Truman, the smart little haberdasher from Missouri, ­decided during the forlorn ­Korean War that, in future, containment was going to be the way the United States dealt with “foreign threats”.

On any occasion when that doctrine was overlooked and the likes of presidents John F Kennedy or George W Bush put boots on the ground in Vietnam or the Middle East, the outcome has been disastrous. 

Crimea and much of eastern Ukraine are intrinsically Russian and Russian president Vladimir Putin is not going to take a crack at Lithuania, Estonia or Latvia so let’s sit back and watch him try to handle this messy “end-of-empire” scenario.

Meanwhile, it was a relief to hear that the Islamic State figure Mohammed Emwazi – now dubbed Jihadi John – is not a narcissistic psychopath who likes beheading people in front of a video camera but an “extremely gentle, kind and beautiful young man”. 

We gleaned this information courtesy of Cage, an organisation which wholly depends on donations from the charitable Joseph Rowantree Trust (£350,000) and the Roddick Foundation (£100,000). 

Cage, which usually campaigns for the release of homicidal Islamists, claims he had been harassed by the security services for practising the “Religion of Peace” (sic). 

Appalled by our antipathy to radical Islam, Emwazi did what any sane person would do – he flew to Syria and started beheading people – and any fault pertaining lies with the British infidel, of course.

(Dr) John Cameron

Howard Place

St Andrews, Fife