All the commentary on Colin Powell so far has emphasized his February 2003 presentation to the United Nations ("Not all will mourn first Black imperialist," Opinion Exchange, Oct. 21). Powell had argued that Iraq was concealing biologic and chemical weapons, and had an advanced program to develop a nuclear bomb. But many of these commentaries do not report that he failed to convince the U.N. to endorse an invasion of Iraq. And in fact the U.S. Congress already had passed a resolution for authorization of use of military force against Iraq in October 2002, and that resolution included similar arguments about weapons of mass destruction, which were later shown as false.

That was then and this is now: The U.S. House has voted again to repeal that authorization, which was directed at Saddam Hussein and is no longer in use. The Senate has a similar resolution that was recently reported out of committee with 40 cosponsors. Of Minnesota's delegation, all four Democratic representatives and both senators support the repeal of that 2002 authorization. All four Republican representatives refused to repeal it and thus continue to endorse the lies. We can only hope Congress moves the bills forward and finally sets the record straight.

James Haefemeyer, Minneapolis


I am a great admirer of the late Gen. Colin Powell and so of course I found Ahmed Tharwat's commentary to be one of the worst articles that I have read in a long while. But I am just as appalled at the Star Tribune editorial staff for providing Tharwat such a high profile platform considering his article violated the Star Tribune's own guidelines for proper commentary: avoiding hyperbole, red herrings and ad hominem attacks.

So I would like to take the time to put Tharwat's opinion piece in its proper perspective. One, you can usually spot a thinly supported opinion piece when the author uses such grandiose descriptive words such as "imperialist," "serving the empire," "white cobra in a handbasket," etc. Not to leave out that Google is not only afforded the title of "Ayatollah" but also seems to be Tharwat's sole source of information of the world that we live in.

Tharwat then goes on to describe two Iraqi invasions. Interesting, considering that in 1990 it was the Iraqi military that invaded neighboring Kuwait. Powell and the United States government worked with the United Nations Security Council to gain sanctions against Iraq. This included the actual participation of 35 coalition forces, including Saudi Arabia and Egypt, in the conflict called Operation Desert Storm to remove Iraq from Kuwait. I will take an educated guess and say that many Kuwaitis are thankful for Powell's leadership in rescuing their country from an Iraqi dictator. How many other countries would Iraq have invaded if the U.S.-led coalition did not step up to defend Kuwait? Wait, maybe Google has the answer to that question.

Finally, I find it interesting how Tharwat has such knowledge of Black Americans that he feels comfortable making comments about their experiences. That's pretty arrogant in my opinion. And of course we end the article with a classic straw man by bringing in a well-known and much-admired athlete in Muhammad Ali as a counterpoint to the "imperialist" Colin Powell. I don't know about you, but I admired both men, no counterpoint needed.

Rest in peace, Gen. Powell. A grateful nation will always be indebted to your patriotism and lifelong service to our great country. Semper Fi!

Walter Nowocin, Excelsior


Abdicating responsibility

Let it be clear to all voters of Minnesota that our four GOP representatives — Pete Stauber, Tom Emmer, Michelle Fischbach and Jim Hagedorn — voted on Thursday to deny the U.S. House from holding political operative Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress. They have decided that the subpoena power of a coequal branch of government holds no weight in the Donald Trump world. They have decided that the Jan. 6 insurrection is an event that no one will be held accountable for in its planning and outcome. They have decided that the U.S. House will have no oversight role. Thankfully, there were more assertive and patriotic representatives who overrode this cowardly vote, and Bannon will be held in contempt.

2022 is coming, and they cower behind their silence every day to allow the lies to continue about the election of 2020 that Donald Trump legitimately lost. I am ashamed they represent any voters of Minnesota. My representative, Stauber, certainly does not represent the ethics that Eighth District voters care about.

Suzanne Davies, Lutsen, Minn.


Alas, not for me

All those times I congratulated myself for ignoring promises of wealth from Nigerian royalty: Turns out I was a fool. U.S. Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, R-Neb., accepted the offer from Nigeria and made off with tens of thousands of campaign dollars ("Federal grand jury indicts congressman," Oct. 20). Lesson learned. Or maybe not.

David Perry Page, Hastings

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