Diplomacy should come naturally to nominee
In trying to discredit Caroline Kennedy’s qualifications for a Japanese ambassadorship, commentary writer David Rothkopf proves to have only a questionable grasp of foreign policy matters — at best. Kennedy learned real diplomacy lessons from her uncle, Robert Kennedy, and her father, President John Kennedy, from a time when the United States was on the brink of nuclear holocaust with the Soviet Union in October 1962. President Kennedy’s trusted — and supposedly qualified — advisers, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, insisted that they be allowed to invade Cuba. Instead, President Kennedy chose to listen to Attorney General Robert Kennedy’s recommendation not to invade, and war was averted.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is not only hawkish, he doesn’t believe Japan committed war atrocities against American POWs or against those countries that Japan occupied, including China. Given the overwhelming lack of diplomacy demonstrated by those who are supposed to know better, I prefer Caroline Kennedy’s firm yet cool and calm approach. This lesson worked well for her father and the country. And through Caroline, it may very well again.
carl POPHAM, St. Paul
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Rothkopf writes that President Kennedy’s daughter was nominated for the ambassadorship mainly because she wrote an opinion column for the New York Times in 2008 endorsing Barack Obama for president.
Rothkopf quotes former Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell as saying, “What you really want in an ambassador is someone who can get the president of the United States on the phone … I can’t think of anyone in the United States who could do that more quickly than Caroline Kennedy.”
I couldn’t help but think about the October 2012 terrorist attack on the American embassy in Benghazi. President Obama didn’t answer the phone and respond to pleas for help. This past week, the president called Benghazi and other scandals in his administration “phony.” Rothkopf says Caroline Kennedy has no experience in foreign affairs, diplomacy or government. Neither did Barack Obama in 2008.
POLLY PABST, Wayzata
Licensed bullies have no place on police force
What’s most offensive about the Minneapolis police officers’ behavior in Green Bay isn’t the fighting itself or even the racial slurs: It’s that arrogant overweening sense of being a licensed bully with special privileges (“Cops’ use of slurs, insults detailed in report, video,” July 30). These men have no place on the police force. None. They must be weeded out.
JAMES WALLACE, Eden Prairie
Great news on busts, but demand still exists
It’s great the FBI has rescued 105 kids from prostitution and arrested 150 people, apparently mostly pimps (July 30). What isn’t great is that prostitution is a business, and the harsh reality is that business is driven by demand. Whether we care to admit it or not, there are people who need help managing sexual addiction — before it gets so bad that they seek prostitutes. And in order for that to happen, it needs to be OK to talk about sex and mental health in the same conversation. Until then, kids will keep getting exploited, and the FBI will need to continue doing these vastly expensive operations to save lives. A little education would go a long way.
The Opinion section is produced by the Editorial Department to foster discussion about key issues. The Editorial Board represents the institutional voice of the Star Tribune and operates independently of the newsroom.