Mail September 8 2004 


In their attempts to discredit Sen. Kerry's service in Vietnam, the Swift Boat Veterans for the Truth, surely a misnomer, appear to be attempting to re-write history.

In doing this they also bring into question the status of all decorated veterans and do dishonor to them.

These people are no more than a bunch of disgruntled vets who view Kerry's anti-Vietnam war stance as treasonous and are using their hatred of him to try to discredit his decorated actions during the Vietnam conflict.

Undoubtedly, these same sorts of folks will view the testimony of the "whistle-blower" soldier, involved in Abu Ghraib [sic] prison debacle, as treasonous, in future attempts to deny history.

Kerry, in his testimony before the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations in 1971, described atrocities as they were told to him by various members of the armed forces. He never claims to have witnessed such events, as the SBVT have claimed.

Vietnam war atrocities, although documented, have been denied by these misguided veterans.

Should we as Americans close our eyes to the real history of the past and attempt to cleanse it of all the unpleasantness? This is how China and the USSR functioned!

These events are fact, don't forget the My Lai massacre by U.S. troops of women, children and elderly men and the use of napalm upon innocent civilians. Remember the little, naked girl running down the road, napalm gel adhering to her burning skin? We, Americans, did that to her.

I participated in and still believe that the anti-Vietnam war movement was in support of our young soldiers, in order to save their lives and bring them home. These protests were not aimed against our armed forces, but against a wrongful, unnecessary war being conducted by a stubborn United States government.

Protest should never be viewed as treasonous. It is our right and duty to protest that which we view as wrong. This right is protected by the Constitution of the United States of America and must never be abridged by individuals or governments or viewed as treasonous. It is our right as Americans.

John Kerry took this view, and after fulfilling his military duty he pursued his moral duty to protest a war he knew, first hand, to be wrong.

The Swift Boat Veterans for the Truth have been anything but truthful. First, they are lying in regard to Kerry's actions, and second, they have lied regarding their claims that they had no connection to the Bush campaign--they just say whatever they want.

Unfortunately, this is a tone that has been set by Mr. Bush himself; that is, just say whatever you want and the brethren will follow. I don't think that Americans are that naive. This is very destructive to the American way of "Truth and Justice".

We as Americans should continue to protest that which we truly believe to be wrong and not utilize protest as a mechanism for revenge against those with whom we don't agree.

--Yvette W. Sedlewicz, Boise

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