Letters to the Editor

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Sunday, September 5, 2004

Kerry's post-war acts aided the enemy

John Kerry, a war hero? Yes, -- for the North Vietnamese Communist cause.

Kerry's photo is prominently displayed in the war remnants museum in Ho Chi Minh City. The photo taken in 1993 (a mere 11 years ago) was of a meeting he had with Vietnamese leaders such as general secretary of the Vietnamese Communist Party Do Muoi, who honored him for his heroic contributions to the Communist North Vietnamese victory.

It was heartbreaking to hear testimony from a soldier who was captured by the North Vietnamese and while being tortured was forced to listen to Kerry's anti-war propaganda over the loud speaker.

Carol Lum

Swift Boat ads bashing Kerry are obscene

Regarding Steve Imerman's Aug. 28 letter comparing John Kerry's responses to Michael Moore vs. the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth:

"Fahrenheit 9/11" is one man's opinion piece. Moore used news clips and actual events to make his point. Deleting the film's audio validates the adage that "a picture is worth a thousand words." The visuals alone provide enough information to make your own conclusions. Moore produced the film (with no Kerry/Democratic Party support) long before Kerry became a presidential candidate.

Moore is applauded because he dared to express his opinion in a political climate where disapproval of George W. Bush is tantamount to treason.

Freedom of expression, a basic tenet of democracy, does not mean one has the right to speak untruths with the intent to destroy another's credibility and honor. Since the Swift Boat ads first appeared, we have learned that their "truths" do not hold up in front of Vietnam vets who truly served with Kerry and came forward to counter the ads. If the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth dislike Kerry for his post-Vietnam antiwar actions, that is their right. But to discredit a Vietnam veteran, to blatantly lie so Bush will win votes, is obscene.

Carol Williams

Where's the evidence that Kerry is a leader?

Robert Hunter of Kamuela recently wrote, "Sen. John Kerry is a proven leader whose thoughtful decisions have served America well, both in the heat of battle and in the halls of Congress." I would be interested if Hunter would outline the instances and/or current laws authored by Kerry that have demonstrated his ability as a "proven leader." Also, can he provide any deciding Senate votes in which Kerry was instrumental?

Kerry has been window-dressing for two decades with Sen. Ted Kennedy carrying the Massachusetts' pail single-handed.

Daniel Keith Morrison

Kerry didn't contribute to end of Vietnam War

Saying that Sen. John Kerry stopped the Vietnam War or had an influence in stopping the war is giving him credit that he neither earned nor deserves.

It was President Nixon and others in the executive branch, along with members of Congress and the military, who made the ultimate decision to withdraw American troops -- not John Kerry.

Saying that Kerry had a hand in ending the war is like saying that I had a hand in the final decision to abandon Vietnam since I was also there and served honorably. I was in the Army and, yes, I did go into Cambodia, but only by accident. And I didn't even earn a Purple Heart.

Don Smith

Museum shouldn't be claimant of artifacts

For the good of all the peoples of Hawaii, the Bishop Museum must not adopt its proposed "interim guidance" policy. (The proposal would allow the museum to be considered a Hawaiian organization and give it claimant rights to Hawaiian artifacts.)

I don't have a drop of Hawaiian blood, but am proud to be Hawaiian at heart. It offends me that Hawaiian ancestral bones and funerary items were ever disturbed from their sacred resting places in the first place, and then were sold to the museum (Star-Bulletin, Aug. 26).

Sen. Dan Inouye put it well: "When human remains are displayed in museums or historical societies, it is never the bones of white soldiers or the first European settlers that came to this continent that are lying in glass cases. It is Indian remains ... This is racism."

In exactly the same way, the remains of the missionaries were never placed in Bishop Museum, right? It is the kuleana, the moral duty, of Bishop Museum to respect the kuleana of the native people of our Hawaiian islands.

Stuart N. Taba

Hui Malama failed in its self-appointed role

I respect the goals of Hawaiian organizations working to provide dignity for the bones of their ancestors. However, I believe that the Hui Malama has overstepped the boundaries of its rights and responsibilities by assuming to care for the bones of all Hawaiians.

None of the members of Hui Malama who I have met are related to me, nor do I believe that they have any right to the bones of my ancestors. In fact, I would strongly protest any interference with the iwi of my Hawaiian family.

In my Hawaiian family, handling the bones of others would have been strictly kapu (forbidden). I don't believe that anyone, myself included, has the right to move those iwi; I don't have the secret to lift the kapu. Can I hope that if bones are found, that they would be left where they are? Can I at least trust that no stranger would touch them?

There is also the question of artifacts that have been placed in caves, perhaps as part of burials. We see that some have been repatriated to Hui Malama and then have appeared on the black market on Hawaii island (Star-Bulletin, Aug. 11).

The Hui Malama claimed to be the kahu. They told all others that the artifacts were safe, that we had their word. Now, having failed their duty of care, the Hui Malama members blame others. How can it be pono to take the role that relatives should have, to fail in that role, and then to deny any responsibility? A'ole pono!

Isabella Aiona Abbott

Muzzling speech sounds very un-American

I was intrigued by a reader's response that John Kerry should muzzle his wife (Letters, Sept. 3). Is that part of the Republican domestic agenda? Or do they advocate such muzzling for the entire free and democratic society?

It seems that we're all just a little tired of the ignorant comments that people make during these political times. But even if we don't agree, I would hardly suggest a muzzle. Maybe just some intelligence!

Intelligence has been genuinely declining in direct proportion to the fear-based thinking and response we've seen in our present leadership and so many continue to just blindly accept.

Teresa Heinz Kerry may have been goaded into saying something about un-Americanism, but that's nothing to actually suggesting something as un-American as a muzzling free speech or arresting dissenters in New York City by the hundreds. What are they so afraid to hear -- something that's actually intelligent and thought provoking?

Daniel W. Senger

Will nasty convention dampen aloha spirit?

I am hoping that Gov. Linda Lingle will take to heart the soubriquet of the state she governs, the Aloha State, and reject the fulsome nastiness and even downright hatred expressed so vehemently throughout the Republican Convention.

I don't know what she can do to convince her party that just because negativity gets results, it is not the right way to go, but I would like to hear her speak out on the subject.

Wendy Pollitt

Another sour note for UH football fans

I love June Jones, but even he is not always right ("Warrior fight songs have Jones and Moore fired up" Star-Bulletin, Aug. 27). Sometimes his intelligence can be exceeded only by his arrogance.

Joe Moore, of course, knows that the "Hawaii Five-0" theme music hasn't been played when the Rainbows take the field for six years. Indeed, this was one of the straws that he referred to that has broken the proverbial camel's back.

Surely another is Jones' insistence that we will eventually get used to having our team name -- the Rainbows -- stripped away. We never will. Ever. New uniforms, fine. Nice new helmets, terrific. The rainbow logo, we won't go there.

I'm sure the new Warrior team music is great. Play it anytime you want, but not when we come down the ramp and take the field. We are the Rainbow Warriors yesterday, today and forever. We were the Rainbows long before Jones got here, and will be long after he leaves.

Coach Jones is not a good guy; he's a great guy. All we want is our name back and to feel the chill that cannot be duplicated or equaled by anything other than the 'Bows taking the field to "Hawaii Five-0."

We love you coach, but Jesus Christ, superstar ... who in the world do you think you are? Go Rainbows!

Kerry D. Lewis

Let's stop using the 'H-word,' too

Many Hawaiian people talk about ethnicity and freely use the world haole but will not use the word the "N-word" or "J-word" in reference to African Americans and Japanese Americans.

So why not say the "H-word" for haole? It is a derogatory word; it literally means without "ha" (without the breath of life, without spirit.) I am a Caucasian person and have lived in Hawaii many years. When people ask whether I am haole? I say "no." I have spirit, in fact I have more spirit than many Hawaiians. Should I call them haole since I believe they are without spirit?

Please try and keep the "H-word" out of your vocabulary. It only reflects ignorance and makes you sound like a racist.

James "Kimo" Rosen
Kapaa, Kauai



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