I read with interest Linda Miller’s Maine Compass on March 1 about the need for a strong national defense.

Perhaps if we were a little kinder toward other nations that share this planet with us, we wouldn’t be the most feared and hated nation on Earth, one that needs an immense military complex to protect us.

Take for example Iran. In 1953, we (via the CIA) overthrew democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadeq because we feared that he would nationalize that country’s oil industry. We preferred the Shah — a tyrant and a torturer.

The result? The Shah was finally ousted by his own people after 26 years of misrule.

Then we armed Iraq’s Saddam Hussein so he could conduct an eight-year war with Iran, a war that nearly wiped out an entire generation of young men. Any wonder the Iranians want nuclear capability?

In Southeast Asia, we helped Ngo Dinh Diem establish the Republic of South Vietnam to oppose Ho Chi Minh, a Vietnamese hero. Minh had liberated Vietnam from French colonial rule, which had won him the respect of 80 percent of his countrymen.

The result of our interference? Fifty-eight thousand dead Americans, countless thousands of dead Vietnamese and a country, now unified under communist rule, that still bears the scars of that horrible conflict.

These are only two examples out of hundreds of similar scenarios that our nation has been involved in the past 165 years. We are in the thrall of a vast military/industrial complex that must continue to wage or incite warfare to support itself.

On deck: Syria.

Donald F. Brann, Gardiner

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