In his speech to the Republican National Convention, Arnold Schwarzenegger said of his boyhood in Austria, "I saw tanks in the streets. I saw communism with my own eyes."

I was an American military policeman stationed in Linz, Austria, in 1947, the year of Mr. Schwarzenegger's birth, when the country was occupied by the United States, Britain and the Soviet Union. Mr. Schwarzenegger was born in Styria, which was in the British zone.

That year I witnessed free and fair national elections in Austria, which ushered in a moderate democratic government. The Communist Party in Austria got just 5 percent of the vote.

This moderate democracy continued in power through the end of the Allied occupation in 1955 and afterward. There was emphatically no Communist government in postwar Austria. On the contrary, the Austrian government was at loggerheads with the Soviets during their stay in eastern Austria.

As for those "tanks in the streets," by the time Mr. Schwarzenegger was born, any Soviet tanks in Austria -- there were never any in Styria -- were long gone.

So for what purpose did Mr. Schwarzenegger feel it was necessary to tell lies? Perhaps he was caught up in the Bush campaign's mood of falsehood and distortion.

PAUL S. FORBES

Fairfax

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I am glad that President Bush's acceptance speech was not filled with as much anger and hate as the remarks of other GOP convention speakers. However, he gave no clear idea of how he would handle any issue, domestic or international.

Mr. Bush talked about an ownership society, yet he did not tell us how he was going to help those who do not own anything take part. He made many other great-sounding promises, but for all the details he gave he might as well have promised us a trip to the moon.

He wants to carry on the agenda of the past four years -- policies that have failed to provide us with jobs, health care or better international security.

SIMON DICKER

Philadelphia

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In his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention, President Bush attacked John F. Kerry for voting against his $87 billion funding request for Afghanistan and Iraq. Mr. Bush said: "There is nothing complicated about supporting our troops in combat."

In fact, Mr. Kerry voted for a version of the bill that contained provisions to provide the $87 billion and against a version that would pass the entire cost on to our children.

Unfortunately, the version that passed the cost on to our children won.

There's nothing complicated about that.

DAVID E. PALMER

Chicago

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In his acceptance speech, the president repeated his call to make his tax cuts permanent. Does the public understand what it would mean if this call is heeded?

According to data from the Urban Institute-Brookings Institution Tax Policy Center, these tax cuts would cost some $2.2 trillion over 10 years, forcing either the unraveling of key domestic programs or adding to the burgeoning deficit, which is expected to reach $374 billion this year, and potentially destabilizing the world economy.

Given these projections, what vision does the Bush team have for the social and economic future of America?

HELEN SEIDLER

Bethesda

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Chad Naso [letters, Sept. 1] said, "In his speech Monday night at the Republican National Convention, John McCain said that in waging war in Afghanistan, President Bush 'took the fight to our enemies . . . seriously injuring al Qaeda and destroying the regime that gave them safe haven.' " He then cited what he described as the president's "reluctance" to pursue the remnants of the Taliban and al Qaeda "with the full force of our military."

I am tired of this canard from the left. The Taliban government was destroyed, and al Qaeda fled, crossing sovereign borders to Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Syria and other hospitable countries.

Would Mr. Naso have us use "the full force of our military" to violate other nations' sovereignty? Does he think a few hundred thousand troops in Afghanistan would intimidate al Qaeda in Pakistan or Iran? Does he believe that this coun- try can't do two tasks at the same time?

Pakistan, specifically, has aided our pursuit of al Qaeda at considerable risk to the Musharraf government. The presence of "the full force of our military" there would doom both the government and our pursuit of al Qaeda members lurking there.

ROYAL S. DELLINGER

Rockville