The legality and legacy should steer us away

I am disappointed to find that the Star Tribune is supporting Obama’s threat to bomb Syria without reservations (“Obama’s best hope to rally the world,” editorial, Sept. 5). The legal facts are clear. Any attack by the United States upon Syria would be a violation of the U.N. Charter prohibition against aggressive war. According to the Nuremberg principles, which set the United Nations definition of war crimes, the U.S. is starting an aggressive war against another nation that has not threatened to attack it. This is the most serious form of war crime.

Furthermore, it is discouraging that the Star Tribune fails to consider the number of deaths of innocent people — men, women, and children — that U.S. bombing will inevitably cause. In the worst case, we could create an atrocity that kills more people than Syria’s chemical weapons did. Needless to say, it is very discouraging to find that my family newspaper, which I have subscribed to for 23 years, is advocating criminality without considering the massive harm it could wreak upon the innocent.


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Perhaps the world would listen to us on the subject of chemical weapons had we not scorched Vietnam with Agent Orange.


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As the United States considers a serious military strike against Syria, we should note that:

1) A month after the U.S. shelled Syrian and Palestinian forces in 1983, suicide bombers blew up the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut, killing 241 marines.

2) After U.S. bombers struck Tripoli and Benghazi in 1988, Libya blew up Pan Am flight 103, killing 259 people.

3) After cruise-missile strikes on Al-Qaida camps in Afghanistan and a pharmaceutical plant in Sudan in 1998, The USS Cole was hit by suicide bombers, killing 17, and a year later the World Trade Center was taken down, killing nearly 3,000.

Anyone see a pattern?

JOHN KROUSS, Baudette, Minn.

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We in St. Louis Park see how this will go

I know that inevitably, the Metropolitan Council will choose to reroute freight traffic through St. Louis Park. Why have I given up on the idea that this is a fair and honest process? Five of the six Minneapolis options are now off the table because they either required the removal of homes, or, in the case of the deep-bore tunnel, were too expensive. City officials from Edina and St. Louis Park have asked that the same criteria be used in evaluating the St. Louis Park option. Yet that option remains on the table at the request of the Met Council.

Of the last two options remaining, the St. Louis Park option is by far the most expensive: It removes dozens of homes and businesses, and it constructs a 20-foot-high railroad berm next to an elementary school and a high school sports complex. Why will it end up in St. Louis Park? Because the history of development in urban areas remains the same. Those with the most economic and political power win. Minneapolis residents, I hope you enjoy your trails and peaceful green spaces. Developers, enjoy your millions. We’ll think of you as heavy freight guts our community and rattles our children’s classroom windows.

JON GJERDE, St. Louis Park

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As someone who has lived in Chicago and London, I just don’t think people here understand how an effective train system works (not to say that the El and the Tube don’t have their faults). Running light rail through no man’s land obviates the point. By all means, build a light-rail network, but connect up to a series of destinations where people want to go. Some crazy suggestions (which may not be entirely feasible, but which make the point): Downtown, Hennepin Avenue, Uptown, the lakes, 50th and France.

If instead the point is simply to get commuters back and forth from Eden Prairie, let’s stop arguing about rerouting freight trains — just run a few commuter trains on the existing infrastructure as is done with the Northstar line.

JON BRUSVEN, Minnetonka

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Musicians, we get it, but you have a role, too

Dear, sweet musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra: I know you are angry, and so are we. You have been lied to by the board, and so have we. But you have two choices: swallow your pride and accept the boards’ offer, or let the board “win” and the orchestra as we know it fail. We, the public, will be left with what the board wants — a smaller, cheaper, younger “pops” orchestra. We have too many of those already — television, park concerts, etc.

Please don’t let this valuable cultural prize go. Our cities, state and the world need you. If some of your musicians don’t agree, let them quit and leave the rest of you to build on what is left.

I think most of you can live on what the board is offering. We all know you deserve more. We all know that the Minnesota Orchestra is of the highest quality. It is not worth the loss to prove a point (or 100 points).

MARJORY BLACK, Minneapolis

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A Sept. 5 commentary (“Talented musicians aren’t a dime a dozen”) contained incomplete information about the author’s background. Mina Fisher is a music teacher, arts manager, and retired cellist of the Minnesota Orchestra. E-mail regarding the SOS: SAVE OSMO (Shape Our future Symphony) pledge campaign can be sent to