FALLON STEPS DOWN
Is war on the horizon?
Adm. William Fallon, the military man who is said to be one of the last obstacles standing between us and a war with Iran, has resigned as the head of the U.S. Central Command.
For the last 18 months, the administration has been trying to entangle us in a war with Iran. Does Fallon's resignation mean the administration now won't take no for an answer?
Americans need to make sure their representatives take back the power to go to war by enforcing the War Powers Act.
SHARON SUDMAN, ST. PAUL
VETO OF TORTURE BAN
Reputation gets worse
President Bush's veto of the Intelligence Authorization Act proves again that he has known of, has approved and still condones the use of torture and mistreatment of detainees, even though he stated many times that the United States does not do this.
His veto is another severe blow to the dwindling respect for our country in the rest of the world. What happened to the nation that was once looked upon as the guardian of human rights?
SIGID BACHMANN, MINNEAPOLIS
CASTLE DOCTRINE BILL
A worse-case scenario
With their typical overdose of hyperbole and far-fetched scenarios, some county attorneys and others would have us believe exanding the Castle Doctrine to include additional portions of our property will lead to Wild West shootouts throughout the state ("Self-defense proposal is too close to trigger," March 8).
Who, when confronted with a dangerous situation under the current law, is going to have the presence of mind to adjust their response based on their current location on their property? If garages are excluded but houses are not, what should their response be in breezeways? If porches are excluded, does that include screened or three-season porches or just open porches? No rational person, including the police, would accept the impracticality of trying to tailor specific responses to zones.
Criminals who have the comfort of knowing that homeowners are restricted from reacting with force in excluded areas will simply target those areas. That's why it's imperative to eliminate the ambiguity in the existing law by having it apply equally to all property.
The worry about whether the property owner will react with a reasonable response should rest with the would-be criminal, not with a potential victim who may fear for their own safety or that of their family.
RAY ROSSBERG, EDEN PRAIRIE
Be there for them
Thank you for running the series on Iraq veterans and their readjustment to coming home (Star Tribune, March 9-10).
Attention must be paid to these men and women who have given so much of their lives to duty, honor and country. They have experienced and witnessed much suffering. They may be strangers to themselves as well as their families.
Information and support are necessary and helpful. Otherwise, they will suffer needlessly here.
SHERRY MACHEN, WAYZATA
A false portrayal
Two of my children attend Tarek Ibn Ziyad Academy, and I take great offense at Katherine Kersten's assertion that TIZA imposes religious discipline on my kids ("Are taxpayers footing bill for Islamic school in Minnesota?" March 9).
All aspects of my kids' educations and uniforms are openly discussed between the school administration and myself during PTO meetings and other informative meetings the school holds.
Kersten quotes one parent as saying that "all students fast from dawn to dusk" during Ramadan. That is simply not true. My son does not fast during Ramadan, and my daughter tells me that the majority of her classmates also don't fast.
It is perplexing how little space Kersten dedicated to the academic excellence of the school. She also failed to mention that most of the teaching is not Muslim and that the school is open for Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
Before she writes her next column, I suggest that Kersten check her facts and verify her sources.
SAMEH SHABANEH, WOODBURY
THE BUDGET CRISIS
A spending problem
Finally, a politician is saying what I want to hear.
Gov. Tim Pawlenty's plan to "spend less and tax less" is exactly what we need. Spending is the only cause for our current fiscal problems, and spending cuts are what's needed to fix these problems.
More taxes are not going to take care of the problem. More taxes are only going to create more spending, more programs, more government and more problems.
And, like many Minnesotans, I will remember the individuals responsible for our recent tax increases in the upcoming November elections.
STEVEN WESTBY, LEXINGTON
the primary question
No votes for Fla., Mich.
Democrats are facing the question of what to do about Michigan and Florida. They went against the Democratic National Committee and held their primaries weeks earlier than they should have and, thus, had their delegates stripped. Now they are calling foul and want to be counted at the convention. Does the DNC go back on its rules or risk disenfranchising potential voters?
I don't believe this will disenfranchise potential voters. Most of the voters in these primaries already proclaim themselves Democrats. I doubt this sore point will prevent them from going to the polls in the fall. The economy and Iraq are bigger issues, and people will vote based on those. They're not going to vote for John McCain because they couldn't vote in the primary.
MATTHEW NELSON, EAGAN