Letters to the Editor

Letters to the editor | Wednesday, June 5, 2019: Agent Orange, Mueller report, Trump and socialism

Vietnam vets earned benefits

As a “blue water” Navy sailor, I served on the USS Coral Sea aircraft carrier in Vietnam as a rescue swimmer. We were exposed to Agent Orange but because we did not have boots on the ground, we have a much more difficult time in the process to receive health benefits from the VA. I have waited eight years since my heart attack. Agent Orange traveled in the water and through the air but sailors on the water are not recognized as being exposed. The House of Representatives recently passed the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act and it is now before the Senate for passage.

Vietnam veterans have had a difficult time from the day they stepped back on American soil to be recognized and I feel this is a travesty. We have waited long enough for benefits we deserve, as we served in Vietnam as well as our comrades who served valiantly on land. I encourage the passage of this bill.

Gary Cooksey, Oakdale

Mueller’s report just a fish story

After two years and millions and millions of taxpayer dollars wasted, Robert Mueller and his 16 or so experienced fishermen have not been able to catch or get a single bite from a whale or a shark in that creek where they were fishing. That’s because there are no sharks or whales living in the creek. Now Mueller has turned over the fishing expedition to a group of bloodthirsty fishermen who will waste more taxpayer dollars in hopes they will get a bite, even if it’s from a little old minnow, so they can hold a fish barbecue.

Bob LaNinfa, Modesto

Is a Dem president worse than a dictator?

Why would Trump make up a story that his father was born in Germany? That is a lie. I guess Trump wanted to explain his love for brown shirts, black jackboots and dictators.

The list of Trump’s distortions of the truth, alternative facts, and in-your-face lies keeps getting longer. It makes you wonder what motivates his base to accept a daily dose of lies without even blinking. One can conclude Trump’s followers are much happier living under a lying dictator than a Democratic president. In short, the Trump base can join Italy and Germany of the ‘30s-40s as a nation of people who willingly gave up their freedom for a dictatorship.

That is their choice. The rest of us choose freedom and democracy.

Brooks Judd, Turlock

Socialism cartoon off base

Just when The Modesto Bee seemed to be cleaning up its journalistic act, it decides to print another gem of misleading, amateurish propaganda. That would be Dana Summers’ cartoon in Sunday’s (May 19) paper.

A bit of advice: Try publishing articles like the one by Susan M. Akram titled “What’s Driving the Migration Crisis at our Southern Border?” It’s a three-year research and field study by Akram and her students on the Northern Triangle in Central America, which includes Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. Their results point to the U.S.-supported overthrow of the democratically elected government of Jacobo Arbenz in 1954. We have meddled ever since. That includes support for repressive regimes which stopped protests through systematic assassinations and state terror.

Now to address Summers’ cartoon: Formally speaking, there are no socialist countries in the Northern Triangle. Guatemala is a representative democratic republic with an economy dominated by the private sector. Honduras is a constitutional republic whose economy is described as neoliberal capitalism. El Salvador has a mixed economy.

Truth is, these cartoon people are fleeing horrific conditions partly caused by U.S. intervention.

Wayne Howard, Ceres

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