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.
JEFF WHITE, St. Paul
Call Al Gore: Climate change may be natural
Your July 29 article on the ancient campsite “time capsule” found in Chanhassen was very interesting. It cannot, however, be factually correct. The article claims that 8,000 years ago the Minnesota landscape was extremely dry and trees were rare. It also claims that over the centuries, the climate became wetter.
This cannot possibly be true. We all know that until evil white men showed up with gas-guzzling SUVs, the climate was perfect in every way and unchanging. Al Gore said so.
The other possibility, I suppose, is that the climate actually changes regularly due to outside forces beyond our control (e.g. solar activity), and has nothing to do with human existence. Nah, can’t make any money off that!
KEVIN AUSTIN, Plymouth
Happy Obamacare is on its way to Minnesota
I read with interest about Minnesota’s new health care marketplace, MNsure, coming in October (“There’s help for navigating the health exchange maze,” July 27). I’m going to ignore the foaming-at-the-mouth opponents of Obamacare, who despise their fellow Americans so much they’d prefer to withhold health care from the least fortunate among us. As a self-employed father of two, I look forward to utilizing MNsure to navigate the complex and daunting health care maze so my family can both thrive and save money. Thank you, President Obama and Gov. Mark Dayton. I support Obamacare.
CHRIS GEGAX, Minneapolis
Xcel is doing just fine on alternative energy
As Minneapolis pushes ahead with its plan for a greener independent municipal power utility, we can imagine a warm muggy summer night when there isn’t a breath of air. All air conditioners are switched on. But the ACs are as still and quiet as all those sunless rooftop solar panels and calm wind turbine blades. The irony is that Xcel Energy already has the highest percent of wind energy in its fuel mix of all U.S. electric power companies. Some consider the idea of Minneapolis buying all of the infrastructure to operate its own power utility to be ill advised. I suggest the notion is madness.
ROLF E. WESTGARD, St. Paul
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.