Extremists will win only if we let them
The maker of the crudely offensive video that sparked the killing of the ambassador to Libya and others is undoubtedly thrilled that Americans have been killed. This allows him and his supporters to paint all Muslims as violently anti-American.
Radical Muslims must be thrilled as well. The video is Exhibit A in their contention that America hates all Muslims.
Seen this way, the American filmmaker and the Muslim extremists are partners in driving a wedge between Muslims and the West. The provocation and its response allow both sides to ignore the 1.7 billion Muslims who did not react violently, and the 238 million American Christians and 5.3 million American Jews who respect other religions.
It's an old tactic. We should see it for what it is.
TOM NELSON, MINNEAPOLIS
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A Sept. 13 letter calls for the firing of the secretary of state and defense secretary and for the impeachment of the president for cozying up to Muslims. He ignores the fact that the vast majority of Muslims are peaceful people, and that includes the vast majority in Egypt and Libya. He apparently wants the United States to retreat from its world leadership role and simply write off countries with high Muslim populations.
FREDERIC STEPHENS, ROSEVILLE
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If Individual A is killed by a mob because Individual B, half a world away, made a Facebook video, the practitioners of Islam will always be perceived as intolerant, oversensitive and violent.
MARGARET DAVIS, BLOOMINGTON
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Any time a consulate is attacked, there must be immediate and severe consequences to the host country. American policy must include immediate cessation of all aid to that country, monetary as well as humanitarian. Any shipments of aid en route need to be diverted.
The United States also should revoke all visas for the offending country and require all guests to leave the country immediately. All bank accounts in the United States held by citizens of the offending country must be frozen.
If there is no consulate, there is no diplomacy.
KLAUS CLARK, SHOREWOOD
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Did not the article on the innovative Hamline Fellows program in the Sept. 10 Business section ("Hamline program strives for 'more business, less trouble' ") strike an appreciative response in you?
With all of the fighting and warfare going on throughout the world, here is a positive program to create understanding and appreciation of different cultures and ideas being shared by Jews, Christians and Muslims. New friendships between Palestinians, Jordanians and Lebanese are being created through the citizen-diplomacy program sponsored by Hamline University.
Thank you, Hamline. May there be other such efforts toward peace in our time.
GRACE WIGGEN, COLUMBIA HEIGHTS
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Hobble it, and the jobs will come quickly
Ezra Klein ("Where the campaigns fear to tread, Sept. 13) posits two alternate theories of economics: the "math and ATM's" theory, in which employers don't hire because they can't find qualified workers, and the "nobody is buying" theory, in which tight-fisted consumers just aren't doing their part. The first requires government intervention in the form of massive grants to schools, and the second requires government intervention in the form of a massive stimulus.
Neither works. We've had four years of economic misery to prove it. Now it's time for another alternative: the "government gets the h___ out the way" theory. All that's necessary is for massive numbers of snoopy bureaucrats to find real jobs where they can be productive instead of detrimental, for Congress to pass a substantial income tax rate decrease in order to get money flowing, and for the free market to be allowed to do its thing with confidence that government won't throw another Obamacare-like monkey wrench in the works. Presidents Warren Harding, John Kennedy and Ronald Reagan proved that this theory works really, really well.
HALE MESEROW, EAGAN
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On Tuesday, the federal government divested itself of $18 billion of AIG stock, realizing a profit of nearly $2.7 billion. That brings the return on its original $182 billion investment to more than $15 billion. One analyst from the Brookings Institute said that the profit didn't lend any legitimacy to the deal since it "failed in its goal to stimulate the economy." He could not have been paying attention in 2009. AIG was at a Lehman's brink, threatening to further crash a global economy that was being fitted for a large depression. It was a rescue, pure and simple.
History will not be written correctly if analysts are unable to tell the difference between a stimulus package and a very successful bailout.
SUSAN BARRETT, SOUTH ST PAUL
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ST. PAUL SAINTS
Another stadium bound to hog the resources
If a Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development grant had not been directed to a St. Paul stadium, almost all of the other metro projects could have been funded for roughly the same amount. The total benefit of the other projects would far outweigh the purported benefit of a minor-league stadium -- especially when the benefit of the stadium is based on highly inflated attendance figures.
PETER BOEHM, FALCON HEIGHTS
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Unlike the debacle that is the financing system for the new Vikings stadium, costs for the new St. Paul Saints stadium total $54 million, about half of which will be paid for by state financing the city will receive and about half of which will be paid for by the owners of the Saints. Keep that in mind in this debate.
KEVIN DRISCOLL, ST. PAUL