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Swift Boat Controversy Mires the Campaign

August 26, 2004

You have it half right in your editorial regarding the falsehoods of the so-called Swift Boat Veterans for Truth versus MoveOn.org ("These Charges Are False ..." Aug. 24). Whereas one tells lies about Sen. John Kerry, the other tells the truth about President Bush, his non-service in the Air National Guard and, most important, his utter and complete policy failures as president.

Not mentioned by The Times is the Bush strategy to get these MoveOn ads off the air, as if their truthfulness is equivalent to the sleazy lies by the Bush surrogates. This is the hidden motive of the Swift boat lies. ("We'll stop lying about you if you stop telling the truth on us.")

The solution is simple: Bush should be condemned for once again allowing scurrilous lies to define his campaign while the MoveOn ads should be answered and proved false if he can do that.

If he can't, then it's plain who has truth on his side.

D.M. Evans

San Clemente

*

Stop it, all of you. As your editorial states, the media are doing the dirty work of the Republican smear-meisters. The Swift Boat Veterans for Truth saga has taken dirty politics to an all-time low, and the media are right in there, helping it go down even lower. Will no one take the high road on this? Even former Sen. Bob Dole was dusted off by the Republican machine so it could parade him around as its token war hero and pull the strings so he could speak new lies.

The bottom line is this: Bush is running the lowest, dirtiest campaign in history, pulling out all the stops to smear Kerry because Kerry is pulling ahead. Surely people can see this mess for what it is, and anyone in his right mind can conclude that Bush does not deserve his vote.

Susan Kovach

Boynton Beach, Fla.

*

After reading the editorial I felt really, really empowered. It's wonderful to know that there are those in the media who will take an unequivocal stand on what's happening in politics, rather than mealy-mouthing around.

Peggy Midling

Grover Beach

*

My father, Air Force Lt. Charles Struck, was shot down and killed over New Guinea in 1944. He received one Purple Heart for defending our country for many more than four months. We would be eternally grateful to be able to return that Purple Heart for a small piece of shrapnel in his thigh and superficial wounds.

I believe there is a groundswell of anger growing against Kerry's blatant attempt to cash in on his four months of service while ignoring his betrayal of his comrades and country after he safely returned.

Charlene Struck Lama

Rancho Palos Verdes

*

For those of us who are neither Democrats nor Republican but Americans independently looking for the best person to vote for president, who cares whether Kerry's war record of 30-plus years ago is accurate or not, or whether Bush really served in Alabama 30-plus years ago? Neither candidate is the same person he was then, making those actions irrelevant.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln and Woodrow Wilson never were war heroes and managed to get us through the Civil War and two world wars reasonably well; they delegated to people who knew what they were doing.

Mudslinging is preaching to the choir; get to the real issues. Are we better off than we were four years ago? If not, is it likely the other guy will do better?

Bruce N. Miller

Venice

*

Michael Ramirez's Aug. 22 cartoon, portraying Kerry and the voters trapped in the quagmire of the Vietnam War, really hit the spot.

But didn't he leave out something? Somewhere hiding in the thickets surrounding that swamp wasn't there Bush, only to emerge some 30 years later as our "war president" at whose command the U.S. troops find themselves in yet another quagmire?

M.L. Liu

Arroyo Grande

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