Every American, regardless of political affiliation, should be outraged with what is happening at our southern border under the Biden administration. Our border was secure under the previous administration but now is wide open. Approximately 3 million encounters have occurred at the border since early 2021. And hundreds of thousands get away into our country. Migrants are being let in without proper vetting and without evidence of having received a COVID vaccination. Does anyone know what happens to them and where they wind up? We know some are bussed to sanctuary cities, but what about the others? Many fail to report for asylum as they should.
Worse, the cartels control much of the border activity and are involved in rape, murder and extortion. But an even bigger problem is the drugs such as fentanyl that make their way into our country, causing thousands of deaths. This is a greater cause of death than guns, which receive the most publicity from the media that doesn't want to really let us know what is going on at the border.
If President Joe Biden truly cares about our country, he should take action now to make us a sovereign country once again by returning our border to what it was previously. No other country allows an open border like this, nor should we.
Richard Foley, Edina
How did Poland welcome so many?
In an interview on Aug. 31, National Public Radio's Cathy Wurzer spoke with Sen. Amy Klobuchar about her very recent trip to Ukraine. The one detail that grabbed my attention was Klobuchar's statement that neighboring Poland has already received 1 million Ukrainian refugees. One MILLION. That's an astonishing number of "neighbors" in crisis for any receiving country to welcome.
It led me to wonder how they did it. How did Poland manage to create the public will and the infrastructure to make this happen? Those questions prompt another. Might the U.S. create a fact-finding team sent to learn in-country why and how the people of Poland and other European countries are able to respond as they are during a crisis such as this?
Beth Rademacher, Minneapolis
Klobuchar is correct to say that the world's democracies are on the line ("'Ukrainians' morale is strong,' Klobuchar says after Kyiv visit," Aug. 31). But there is more that I wish she would say than, if Vladimir Putin is allowed to go in and invade and take the territory of a sovereign country, that "He will just continue to do it. And the world has to stand up to him."
It's not just Putin that is the threat to democracy. Other countries and leaders, possibly Viktor Orban of Hungary, maybe Xi Jinping of China, will invade nations and take territories if Putin isn't stopped. I wish she'd pointed that out, and more.
If presidents defeated in elections deny their defeat and foment an insurrection to overturn that election, and are allowed to do so, other ex-presidents will do so too. If ex-presidents leave office and take with them top-secret national documents, say they are theirs and are allowed to do so, national security and our democracy is at risk — and other ex-presidents will do the same. I wish she'd said that also.
MAGA Republicans who are friendly to authoritarians and who didn't and won't hold our ex-president to account for his actions are a threat to democracy, too. No one who wants to preserve our democracy should vote for them. Those who would destroy democracy have to be stopped. Now.
Paul Rozycki, Minneapolis
A complicated tale
I appreciate the editing process; the Star Tribune's front-page article on the death of Mikhail Gorbachev from the Associated Press was cut by half, and most of what was removed won't be missed. But the headlines and the front-page summary leave something to be desired: "Cold War's failed reformer" and "Mikhail Gorbachev dissolved the Soviet Union, but his changes didn't last."
Although all politicians fail sometimes, the Cold War did appear to end. The summary, however, is mistaken. Last time I checked, the Soviet Union remains dissolved. It was Boris Yeltsin who formally did it in December 1991 after a failed coup against Gorbachev.
And, the page A8 subhead at top left is flat-out wrong, "His reforms swept away by Putin," supported by neither version of the AP article. Putin had nothing to do with it. Yeltsin "swept away" many of Gorby's reforms at gunpoint.
In 1993, after Yeltsin dissolved the Russian parliament for protesting his sell-off of state assets for two kopecks on the ruble, the legislative body impeached him. Boris sent tanks to Russia's equivalent of the U.S. Capitol to shell the place, killing dozens. Street fighting killed and wounded hundreds more over the next week.
Bill Clinton offered his "enthusiastic support" for Yeltsin's unconstitutional dissolution of parliament. After the shelling, Star Tribune editors opined that, "In the larger scheme, the loss of life and property, however regrettable, has been small."
Imagine the headlines about Jan. 6, if Donald Trump had sent tanks instead of morons.
William Beyer, St. Louis Park
Alarmed by the similarities
I can't be the only person gobsmacked by the parallels I see with our own national political mess and Iraq in Wednesday's article ("Cleric calls for calm in Baghdad," Aug. 31):
"Armed supporters of a powerful Iraqi cleric who clashed with security forces in the capital began to withdraw from the streets Tuesday, restoring a measure of calm after a serious escalation of the nation's political crisis.
"Following two days of deadly unrest that sparked fears instability might spread throughout the country and even the region, cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, 48, told his supporters to leave the government quarter where they had rallied. Within minutes, some could be seen heeding the call, dismantling their tents and walking out of the area known as the Green Zone. ...
"Al-Sadr, who spurred his followers to storm the parliament in July with calls for revolution and reform, apologized to the Iraqi people and said he could not support the violence.
"The immediate shift on the streets underscored his enduring control over his loyalists, and by extension his influence over the Iraqi political class."
Jan. 6? Election lies? Militant loyalists?
Many will say that if you travel the world you will see that people the world over are more similar to ourselves than you would think. We all laugh, cry, seek comfort and shelter, love our family, etc. Does this now include radical leaders and followers in a country in a political mess? I am fearful that too many in the U.S. are followers of our own new "clerics." Pray for us.
Steve McCormack, Hugo
We've come to a sad point in this country. Instead of advocating that our political parties represent our views, we stand behind our parties as if they were the "home team." Arguments between Democrats and Republicans sound like Packers fans and Vikings fans arguing over which team is better. (It's the Vikings!)
No amount of reason will change the other side's mind. That's fun in the stadium but dangerous for our country. It's time for people to stop acting like 10-year-olds and actually support policies based on facts and judgment instead of slavish devotion.
Eliot Axelrod, Bloomington