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Letter: Study of faces finds people just like us

To The Editor:

Tuesday night I watched a two-hour special about Paul McCartney and his band which performed in Russia recently. The concerts were in Red Square in Moscow and in St. Petersburg.

There were numerous close-up camera shots of the audiences. There also was commentary with Russian dignitaries including Vladimir Putin, Mikhail Gorbachev, and the Russian minister of defense and others. All expressed the value of music in uniting peoples. They discussed how they would get a hold of Beetles music in the 1960s and '70s even though it was illegal at the time.

When McCartney was performing, the audiences were into the music and were singing the words in both English and Russian. Even the dignitaries were moved by the music. They all sang "Yesterday" with the same kind of passion we would in America. You could tell McCartney was moved himself.

As the camera showed these Russians I was struck with their humanism. They were plain ordinary people just like you and me, even the dignitaries. They were people with the same hopes and dreams as we have. The only thing different about them is that they are living in a different country and speak a different language.

Many of those people in that crowd were old enough to be called members of an Evil Empire by our leaders in the United States. It's just like today. Now we have an Axis of Evil. We continue to create enemies out of people who are just like you and me.

I am getting tired of this attitude. I am tired of creating enemies out of people who could be my friends. I am tired of my leaders telling me I should be afraid of these people. We have become a nation of fearful and paranoid people, and we are almost afraid of our own shadow. This is causing America to lose its' respect around the world. It is causing us to be a poorer country unable to meet even its' own pressing needs.

Americans, conquer your fear. Let us start making more friends than enemies. Let us open up to the people around the world with a welcoming spirit. If we do not we will become what we fear -- an Evil Empire.

Bill Habedank

Red Wing

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