Bush's military past, party politics or character issue?

Regarding your Feb. 12 article "Flap over Bush military service: why it's back": In response to the surprisingly delayed public curiosity about the true nature of President Bush's Air National Guard service, the Bush team released a bunch of pay stubs showing Bush was paid for his service. I don't think anyone has ever claimed that Bush was not paid for his guard service. The issue is solely whether he actually performed the services for which he was paid.

It strikes me that the Bush team is at least consistently arrogant - no less with the American people than with the rest of the world. After all, do they really think the public is going to buy that because Bush was paid by the government for his National Guard service, he actually served?
Bill Palace
Los Angeles

Bush's military record hardly belongs on the front page of the Monitor. It's a nonissue. With this attack on Bush's military history, it seems as if Democrats are impugning the services of the National Guard. This is an insult to those enlisted in the guard who are fighting and dying in Iraq alongside their active-duty counterparts.
Wesley Johnson
Hurst, Texas

Justice in the duckblind

Daniel Schorr's Feb. 13 Opinion column, "Sharing a duckblind vs. blind justice," looks like a cheap political shot. We must have faith in our judicial system and I do. The Supreme Court was asked to settle the last presidential election and it did. Most if not all reliable recounts after the election showed that George W. Bush won Florida so why does Mr. Schorr bring it up again?
Frank Mestnik
Alpharetta, Ga.

When the highest jurist in the land flaunts his bias and will not even consider recusing himself from the case involving his duck-hunting buddy Vice President Dick Cheney, he does a fundamental disservice to the country, to our constitutional government, and to every citizen who seeks justice before the courts. It appears that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has no sense of what is at stake in this controversy and thus he proves the point. He is not impartial and his actions speak volumes.
Max Sauler
Woodland Hills, Calif.

NATO: A European relic

Regarding your Feb. 12 editorial "A 'Forward Strategy' for NATO": This sounds like a good idea and it has merit. However, problems exist. NATO was successful for 50-plus years because members had something vital to gain - survival from the USSR and Warsaw Pact. The membership of NATO has changed, the USSR and Warsaw Pact have gone away, and with it the vital necessity for NATO.
A.G. Shadforth
Merritt Island, Fla.

Canada 101

Regarding your Feb. 10 article "Canada is more than a country 'up there'": In an innovative move, Mansfield University in Pennsylvania and Nipissing University in Ontario developed a cross-border classroom. Connected each week through video conferencing, students on both campuses engage in live, and lively, discussions about differences in social values and legal practices in both countries.

At first, US students seem surprised that Canadians feel so strongly about protecting their political sovereignty and cultural identity, even if this may mean upsetting their southern neighbors. But dialog develops, and with this comes new understanding and friendships. Canada should not be "an unknown Northern neighbor." And we hope Project Connect will provide the energy needed in keeping Canadian Studies alive.
Robert Timko
Mansfield, Pa.
Director, Canadian Studies Program, Mansfield University of Pennsylvania

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