Attacking Kerry's record in Vietnam

SATURDAY MAILBOX

August 14, 2004

The preposterous attack ad against Sen. John Kerry by supporters of President Bush only proves how desperate this administration is to distract the American voter ("McCain condemns ad criticizing Kerry war service," Aug. 6).

The Bush administration has no alternative but to throw out red herrings lest the people hold it responsible for its failed policies of the last three years.

These policies have produced an enormous federal deficit; massive long-term unemployment; an immoral war that is devouring billions of American dollars in addition to thousands of lives and limbs, both American and Iraqi; the ongoing destruction of the environment; the denial of monies to necessary education programs; and the turnaround of America's esteemed reputation into the most reviled nation on Earth.

To win this fall, the administration must blind the voters about the facts and create a false picture of a man who served our country honorably in Vietnam.

Virginia Linsenmeyer

Timonium

The group that calls itself "Swift Boat Veterans for Truth" has a nose for victory.

The only trouble is that its nose grows longer with every ad.

Sol Goodman

Baltimore

The Sun's article "McCain condemns ad criticizing Kerry war service" is a perfect example of how low some Republicans are willing to go to try and win this election.

The Bush administration should denounce these vicious and untrue advertisements, as Sen. John McCain has done.

Not only does the Bush team -- through the use and indirect funding of groups such as the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth -- try to damage the integrity of John Kerry, but in so doing it also inadvertently calls into question the integrity of the military.

Call me naive, but I don't think that our great military gives out three Purple Hearts, a Bronze Star and a Silver Star to someone who has made up his military record.

This Swift boat attack ad is a dishonor to all our active military members and all of our military veterans.

Tom Quirk

Catonsville

The Sun's editorial "The low road" (Aug. 8) says that the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth should stop mud-slinging. But I don't know how The Sun in good conscience can say, "President Bush should immediately repudiate these shameful ads and urge that they be taken off the air."

Should Sen. John Kerry tell MoveOn.org. to close its Web site? Should he tell Al Franken and Michael Moore to stop writing books and tell Mr. Moore to pull Fahrenheit 9/11 out of the theaters?

Should Mr. Kerry tell the myriad of other people who have written books, made unfair commercials and slandered President Bush to cease and desist?

The Sun has given Mr. Kerry and the Democrats a free ride on truth-telling.

Edward Berge

Cockeysville

As a combat veteran and a Purple Heart recipient, I think that I have earned the right to voice my opinion. I spent a lot more time in combat than the four months Sen. John Kerry served. And when I read what the writer of the letter "Chavez trivializes Kerry's war service" (Aug. 9) said about Mr. Kerry's "valor under fire," it made me sick.

What does the writer have to say about how Mr. Kerry accused his shipmates of war crimes and atrocities? It is no wonder thousands of veterans, not just Vietnam veterans, are against Mr. Kerry.

God forgive us if Mr. Kerry should, by some fluke, win the election.

If he does, I'm heading for Canada or Mexico, because I fear this country would go down the tubes in a heartbeat.

C. V. Christian

Dundalk

I am tired of all those who are trying to discredit Sen. John Kerry's Vietnam War record. The man volunteered to serve his country -- and did so admirably.

Making an issue of his later turning against the war, and suggesting he is therefore somehow a traitor, is a good example of the right again trying to stifle any dissent and portray anyone they disagree with as unpatriotic.

The reason for all this is clear. The right is supporting President Bush, who is all talk and no show. Its only tactic left is to discredit Mr. Kerry.

Mr. Kerry served his country with distinction, then used the constitutional rights Americans have fought and died for to protest a bad war.

Mr. Bush did neither.

Anthony F. Sarcone

Bel Air

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