To the editor: Still believing that the assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand triggered World War I is like saying that the assassination of John F. Kennedy triggered the Vietnam War. ("World War I: A war too easy to forget," Op-Ed, June 21)

The Imperial German High Command's motivations for war have been well documented. The utterly damning handwritten proof to historians (but little known to the public) is the Imperial German High Command's war council meeting of 1912, two years before the assassination in Sarajevo, which showed its intent to precipitate war.

Grand Adm. Alfred von Tirpitz's insistence at this meeting, to a greatly disappointed Emperor Wilhelm II, that the German navy wasn't quite ready was the only thing that kept Germany from starting the war in 1912.

In 1732, the Marechal de Saxe stated, "The human heart is the starting point of all matters pertaining to war." If the sword-rattling, war-mongering German Emperor Wilhelm II instead had the heart of Pope Francis, there would not have been a European war — and no Adolf Hitler eventually in power.

James Cuttle, Santa Barbara