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Open Forum: How to remove a dictator

Thank you President Obama for the way you managed the removal of Moammar Gadhafi. Other leaders would have rushed in, all guns blazing with shock and awe. You developed a plan in concert with NATO and the revolutionary forces on the ground. This Coalition of the Willing then did the job. With our logistical support, NATO took the lead on the air response, and the Libyans moved on the ground in coordination. The senior President Bush acted in similar fashion in the first Gulf War.

Our president’s calm and planned approached saved lives and dollars. The impetuous effort in Iraq to remove Saddam cost 4,400 American lives, far more Iraqi lives, and at least a trillion dollars. If we have to be at war, let’s do it from the head rather than from the hip.

Rolf Westgard


Give to the Max this week

Last year, more than 42,000 individual donors logged on to and gave over $10 million to more than 3,000 Minnesota charities and nonprofits in 24 hours during Give to the Max Day.

St. Francis of the Lakes Catholic School Foundation, together with - a first-of-its-kind giving website for nonprofits in Minnesota - is working to create a stronger nonprofit community for Brainerd and Minnesota. St. Francis School's goal is $7,000 which will fund the purchase of 2 Smart Boards for classroom use.

Minnesota nonprofits that attract the most donors during Give to the Max Day will be awarded prize grants, and $1,000 will be given to a random donor's charity every hour.

We hope you will help support St. Francis School by logging on to on Nov. 16 and give to St. Francis of the Lakes Catholic School Foundation Inc. A link is also available on the school website at

Be a part of this historical event and join this “Great Minnesota Give Together!”

Deborah Euteneuer

Principal / Foundation Board Member

St. Francis of the Lakes Catholic School


Welcome home

As our soldiers come home from the wars to a nation weary of war and conflict, I think how unfair it is to them to have done what they did for their country and receive so little credit. It’s not that we are unappreciative — were not — it’s just that the end result isn’t what we hoped for. The strategy for the wars was flawed and they were put into a no win situation and our dissatisfaction that should be directed at the people that initiated this ill thought out action, spills over to those who were only doing what they could.

My brothers came home from Vietnam to the same thing and have had to live with it all of their lives. You grow up with the philosophy that you shouldn’t think about taking on things in life you can’t be successful at. That you should have a clear and well thought out strategy in how to be successful before you pull the trigger. That doesn’t’ always mean winning, but it does mean you did your best with what you had and you came home with your pride intact. We didn’t do our best in either of these wars and it was no fault of the soldiers. Our best might have been not being there in the first place, unless we knew we could be the winners.

I for one can only say what a waste of time, money and effort, but to our soldiers I say thank you from the bottom of my heart for your sacrifices. To the politicians who probably heard this after Korea and Vietnam too. Use your heads next time.

Mike Holst


Becca Clemens
After graduating high school in 2004, I attended Central Lakes College in Staples, MN for 2 years where I got a diploma in Communication Art and Design. I then transfered up to Bemidji State University in, you guessed it, Bemidji, MN. In the spring of 2009, I graduated from BSU. Then in the fall of 2009 I got a job at Echo Publishing, a sister company to the Brainerd Dispatch.