Editor's Page

Robert Timberg, Editor-in-Chief

There is, of course, more to this issue than the Naval Review section. I especially commend to you our lead article, by retired Rear Admiral Tom Marfiak, entitled "Where Are the Ballistic-Missile-Defense Cruisers?" Admiral Marfiak, a distinguished former CEO of the Naval Institute, has unsheathed his pen and produced a marvelously thoughtful piece worthy of the prominent place it occupies in the magazine. Retired Lieutenant Commander Tom Cutler, who writes our monthly "Lest We Forget" column, does double-duty this month with his annual, and always engaging, list of "Notable Naval Books of 2007." And we welcome first-time contributor John McKay, a highly decorated retired Marine colonel who weighs in with a perceptive analysis of the U.S.-Cuba relationship in what appears to be Fidel Castro in winter.
 


A number of you were offended by Harlan Ullman's April column in which he argued that the term "swift-boating" should be dropped from the language because it does a disservice to the many men who served on board Swift Boats in Vietnam. I don't think many would argue with that. It certainly made sense to me. The complaints arose from Mr. Ullman's contention that the accusations leveled against 2004 Democratic presidential candidate Senator John Kerry by a group called Swift Boat Veterans for Truth—the genesis of "swift-boating"—were without merit. In the process, Mr. Ullman's seemingly noncontentious suggestion became embroiled in a rerun of the 2004 campaign. I should have anticipated that.

I'm going to bring down the curtain on this episode with the wise words of retired Coast Guard Rear Admiral Norman C. Venzke, who was critical of Mr. Ullman's column, but knows a no-win situation when he sees one.

"I strongly believe that it's past time to put to rest the issue of SBVFT vs. Senator Kerry, unless someone on either side has new factual information to provide."

 

 

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