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John Kerry's Antiwar Efforts Helped Shape the Man He Is Today

June 13, 2004

The article "Veteran in Conflict" (by Gerald Nicosia, May 23) shows what a great leader John Kerry has been for decades. To have accomplished what he did at so young an age is very impressive.

I heard nothing of President George W. Bush's leadership skills until he won the Texas governorship in 1994. Kerry has made it quite clear that he was born to be a leader and has proved it through his actions. It's also admirable that with all of the angry and violent veterans Kerry was working with, he stuck to his beliefs and refused to endorse or participate in any violent protests.

Blaine Campbell

South Pasadena

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Nicosia's accolades attempt to paint Kerry as an ardent patriot, when he was in reality a turncoat against the government. In his egotistical efforts to become a national hero, Kerry turned into a Jane Fonda-type traitor.

J.V. Paffhausen

Via the Internet

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Some would like to paint Kerry as an extremist, while others would have him seen as indecisive. Neither is correct. He takes strong positions but refuses to be unreasonable.

The "kill the pigs" crowd was tiresome at best during the struggle to end the Vietnam War. I still marvel that so many, such as David Horowitz, have gone from one extreme to the other without gaining any common sense along the way. The political spectrum truly must be circular.

Ronald Webster

Long Beach

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Nicosia and The Times performed a service by reminding those of us who were around during Vietnam--and the younger members of the public--about the ludicrous amount of taxpayer money and man- and woman-power expended by the FBI and the Justice Department when an administration takes the position that dissent is unpatriotic.

Evelyn Stern

Los Angeles

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