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Brown and slavery, Bush and Rwanda, and who does John Kerry remind you of?

12:00 AM, Apr 29, 2004
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THE DAILY STANDARD welcomes letters to the editor. Letters will be edited for length and clarity and must include the writer's name, city, and state.

*1*

Hugh Hewitt spots some great John Kerry archetypes in Doesn't He Remind You Of . . . , but he missed the one that always slaps me in the face whenever I see Kerry or hear him speak: Treebeard, from The Lord of the Rings. And not just for the weeping-willow face, either. Kerry seems to have taken Treebeard's sage advice thoroughly to heart: "Anything that's worth saying is worth taking a long time to say."

--Wesley Morrison

*2*

Actually John Kerry reminds me of Governor Robert Ritchie (James Brolin) on The West Wing. President Bartlett (Martin Sheen) commented that Ritchie was a .22 caliber mind in a .357 world.

--Nick Brown

*3*

Every time I see John Kerry I can't help but be reminded of Easter Island. Honest.

--Tom Farley

*4*

I agree with Hugh Hewitt. Not long ago I wrote a letter to the editor in which I said: "John Kerry is so Frank Burns from M*A*S*H. At least twice Burns applied for the Purple Heart for such combat heroics as being struck in the eye by a 'shell fragment' (which turned out to be an eggshell from breakfast) and throwing out his back. Like Kerry, foppish Frank was haughty and hollow and lampooned by his peers. Both men married women who controlled the purse strings. Kerry's continued harping on his he-man heroics could be his undoing."

--Kitty Myers

*5*

John Kerry speaks and sounds like Thurston Howell III on Gilligan's Island. Listen to his anti-Vietnam speech of the early '70s--close your eyes and you will hear the voice of Jim Backus in his most famous role--arrogant and condescending.

--Mick Mulvaney

*6*

Frankly, I've always thought that Kerry looks like Tex Avery's "Droopy Dog."

--Howard DeCleene

*7*

If John Kerry is Frank Burns, George Bush is Col. Klink.

--Barry Geisler

*8*

"I thought they made the right decision not to send U.S. troops into Rwanda."

George W. Bush, October 11, 2000 presidential debate.

In 2000, even with the benefit of over six years of hindsight, George W. Bush still believed the United States should not have sent in troops to quell the slaughter of 800,000 Rwandans in 1994. (Terry Eastland, Bodies of Evidence) And now we're supposed to believe that he sent troops to Iraq in part to prevent Saddam Hussein's human rights abuses? Please.

Most of Hussein's large-scale human rights abuses occurred in the 1980s, when Iraq was our ally, and in the aftermath of the Gulf War. The discovery of mass graves should put our foreign policy decisions of the last several decades in new light, more so than the decision to invade Iraq in 2002.

--John Peyrebrune

*9*

I was very interested in the proposal by reparations activist Deadria Farmer-Paellman, who has asked Brown University to adopt a reparations plan under which "the descendents of slaves get tuition waived, period." (Jonathan V. Last, What Can Brown Do For You?) If the issue is slavery, and not race, then this proposal opens the door to free tuition for a lot of folks who would be considered non-African American.

For example, I grew up as a white, small-town, Iowa Norwegian-German Lutheran Republican--about as far from common perceptions of a slave descendant as you could find. Yet I recently discovered that one of my ancestors was almost certainly a former African-American slave. I assume that if Farmer-Paellman's wish was adopted, my children would be entitled to free tuition just as much as anyone else who has a slave in the family tree--despite the fact that I'm basically a white guy who grew up in a solidly middle-class white family, and who now enjoys a good job with a state university. So thanks to my great-great-great grandpa, my kids could attend a top university tuition-free. I may have to rethink my opposition to reparations after all!

--Darrell Hanson

*10*

In Profiles in Courage, Irwin M. Stelzer writes, "Best of all would be a European tour by Condoleezza Rice."

For pity sake, don't let C. Rice be sent to France. She's the woman who wants PUNISH France. We don't like each other.

Stay off!

--Michel de Saghan