STEVE Bannon’s throwaway remark on a potential military “solution” to the North Korean issue is revealing. He stated there is no military solution: “forget it. They got us”. Hence the need for dialogue.

These last words, “they got us”, are significant and belie a widespread attitude in the US.

This need to dominate and throw its weight around has been and still is the cause of so much strife today. The mainstream media refer to the North Korean “threat”, but are we forgetting the situation that there is also an American threat?

The frenetic overreaction to North Korea’s actions is misplaced. It is only OK for the US and its “allies” to test missiles and weapons of mass destruction, retain and upgrade nuclear weapons.

As Steve Bannon clearly states, a military response is no solution to the current scenario. No military solution ever is clean and surgical. Escalation usually follows initial intervention for whatever reason.

The US reaction at the UN, stating that North Korea is “begging” for war, is a childish turn of phrase! The register here is naïve, risible and bordering on the hysterical.

It is time to get back to reality and de-escalate the mad rhetoric. Instead of thinking that “they got us”, think back to Vietnam. The US “got it” then, but they later accepted the reality and moved to accommodate and engage and build future links with the Viet Cong.

It is time for cool heads and sane minds to engage constructively again and step back from inflammable and reckless rhetoric!

John Edgar

WHERE do the television programmers get these so-called experts that constantly appear on our television and radio? They talk about sanctions on North Korea and why China is not doing more. China, they tell us, keeps North Korea afloat buying its exports and providing it with all it needs, so why don’t they close the supply tap to North Korea, job done?

These people have little grasp of reality far less foreign policy. Britain deposed the leader in Libya without any thought of what would happen once Muammar Mohammed Abu Minyar Gaddafi had gone; Europe is now bearing the brunt of Cameron’s blundering, a failed state in Libya, with humanitarian crises unfolding daily, and mass migrations into Europe of biblical proportions. Britain’s involvement in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Yemen, only to walk away washes their hands of one more failed state.

China is a little savvier than Britain when it comes to foreign policy. They may not be too happy with North Korea but what is the alternative: a failed state on their border, a mass influx of starving peoples risking all to cross the river into China?

Do we still have a broadcasting network in Britain or a propaganda network controlled from Westminster, a smoke screen that diverts attention?

Was it a coincidence that the day the Queensferry Crossing was due to open, Scotland’s thunder was stolen by the announcement of a royal birth in the offing? Brexit is falling apart, but what is the media talking about: should royal children be dressed in non-gendered clothing.

When May is wheeling and dealing behind our backs, such as signing a contract in France to build a new nuclear power station, did she send the royals off on a wee excursion to Canada with the British media in tow? At a time of great upheaval in the world, we need a serious, unbiased national broadcasting service worthy of the name.

Walter Hamilton
St Andrews

SO, Anwar Sarwar thinks indyref2 is off the table. Someone should disillusion him (Sarwar presents himself as candidate to unite Labour, The National, September 5).

Even more interesting is Catalonia’s Legitimate Right to Decide (Getting right to the heart of Catalonia’s struggle for independence, The National, September 6), which says “clearly that there is no international legal prohibition barring a sub-state entity deciding its political destiny by assessing the will of its people” and “even EU law does not forbid the exercise of its right to decide for a European people within the EU”. Let’s not quibble about sub-state at the moment. As you say, it’s worth thinking about.

The will of Scotland and of Northern Ireland in the Brexit referendum was very clear. It seems to me our way forward is clear. Theresa May’s “not now” is effectively a no. Both international and EU law would uphold us in going ahead with our independence referendum whenever we choose. As we start to see the Brexit negotiations crumble because the UK side is incoherent we have a clear choice.

Do we really want to let our future be determined by Westminster? The EU (Withdrawal) Bill will transfer all current EU law to UK law regardless of whether the subject is reserved or not. What it will do, since the UK Government is so inept, is take all EU powers back to Westminster. Does anyone really believe that once in their hands they’ll let go?

We know how little Westminster cares for our fishing waters – see the recent talks with Denmark. Do they care about hill farming? Will they be willing to subsidise it maintain a way of life and keep our people on the land? Given their priority for austerity I can’t believe either our fishermen or farmers are secure.

Maybe at last, we, the Scots people, will come together and agree our destiny is safer in our own hands.

Beware, Mr Sarwar!

Catriona Grigg