OPINION

Calling for a balanced view of Britain and its global alliances

Stavros Lygeros insults Great Britain, saying that it «has become the ‘maid servant’ of the Americans» (February 10). He also makes reference to Great Britain as «Washington’s ‘Fifth Column.’» It makes this American think that Mr Lygeros believes that the USA has perpetrated international crimes against Greece, with England’s assistance. Such scathing hatred, appropriately, could apply to Mussolini and Hitler’s fascist partnership. The historic advent of World War Two probably explains the close alliance between England and the USA which Stavros Lygeros recognizes, though very negatively. The 1940s Americans did not want anything to do with another «European War» and [the US] satisfied itself with giving aid to Great Britain to sustain it; England was Europe’s last hope for freedom from Hitler. After Hitler’s ally, the empire of Japan, made a surprise military attack on the United States, America was compelled to see that freedom itself was at risk of extinction. Fate required America to participate in acquiring freedom for Europe as a means of insuring the right of freedom for itself. I am not qualified to explain how Europe lost all freedom. I am capable of recognizing that Europe is responsible for what it does with its freedom. The hardship inflicted by freedom on the individual, and a nation likewise, is that the free have only themselves to blame for their failures. Cyprus has been a Greek failure to deal with Turkey. Also, no one is perfect, including nation states. If  Mr Lygeros is disappointed with how things are done in Greece, he is not prevented from making changes. A plan for success will not involve blame for England or America, unless Greece plans on accepting the role of a sibling to these allies. The best way to keep others out of your business is to be self-reliant. Don’t make demands on the world and it will not expect to have a say in what you consider to be «the affairs of Greece.» Respect your alliances and access them wisely. JEFFREY PETER CLAGETT, Virginia, USA. I wish to protest strongly against the anti-British stance taken by your newspaper. It is well over 50 years since the United Kingdom had any «imperial» connections and yet you continually drag up the same tired old phrases. While I totally deplore the actions of the soldiers in Iraq, you failed to mention the fact that the same «innocent» youths were, minutes before, part of a mob which was  stoning the soldiers. The compound in which the beatings took place had also just been shelled in a mortar attack. I have holidayed in Greece for over 25 years and always found my Greek friends to be fair-minded, unlike your newspaper. NORMAN ASKEW, England.