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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

John Kerry and the French Connection

August 04, 2004

I found Clark S. Judge's column ("Sen. Kerry, It's French for Kiss Off," Opinion, Aug. 1) to be a pathetic piece of propaganda that sets France up as a straw man. I watched Sen. John Kerry's acceptance speech and he never once mentioned France. Judge neglects to mention that fact in his column. The war in Iraq is not about France; it is about an incompetent administration that chose not to thoughtfully and carefully analyze options before committing lives and money to a misguided war.

I would be interested in seeing a piece by Judge in which he describes the history, policies and practices of one of the Bush administration's favorite allies, Saudi Arabia. Now that would be illuminating, mostly to Judge, I'm afraid.

Sherine Smith

San Clemente

*

Thank you for Judge's excellent analysis of recent relations between the U.S. and France. I find that it is always helpful in trying to analyze current events to look at historical precedents as Judge does. I suspect that Kerry, a smart and experienced man, knows that France will never send troops to Iraq or help us in any way in Iraq. I also suspect that Kerry also knows that the French will always try to place roadblocks in the way of the U.S. no matter who lives in the White House.

Kerry's statements that he will make France an ally again are campaign rhetoric meant to appeal to the shallow view that we are suddenly alone in the world. Alas, Kerry does not have a magic wand that when waved will make the French turn into something they are not: loyal and appreciative allies.

Josh Baker

San Francisco

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I didn't have to read Judge's brief bio to predict his chosen field. Apparently, the two basic conservative speechwriter rules are:

-- Blame France.

-- Blame Bill Clinton.

Judge, being not just a speechwriter but a manager of speechwriters, managed to come up with a twofer: Blame France and Clinton.

Mimi Warshaw

Los Osos

*

Re "Kerry's Convention Speech Leaves the Undecided Swayed, Not Smitten," July 31: I am a 92-year-old widow, a registered Republican for my 72 years of voting. I guess I could be classified as undecided this year. I was also very impressed by the support expressed by Kerry's family and friends.

Maybe President Bush would be more fun than Kerry at a cocktail party, but I feel that serious times require a serious leader.

Here's to you, John Kerry! I salute you with champagne, or maybe just lemonade. Either way, I'm smitten!

Barbara J. Rumsey

Pasadena

*

I had previously assumed that you carried the political cartoons of Michael Ramirez for editorial balance. But after seeing his feeble and trite July 30 contribution (Kerry at convention podium with big "Liberal" sign behind him), I realized that it's your brilliant strategy to expose the shallowness of current conservative thinking.

Bill Shepard

Glendora

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