While I agree with your endorsement of Sen. John F. Kerry for president [editorial, Oct. 24], your comments on behalf of President Bush lead me to believe that you've been watching way too much Fox News and not reading enough of your own newspaper. You speak approvingly of Mr. Bush's "commitment to a long-term struggle to promote freedom in the Arab world," saying it "reflects an understanding of the deep threat posed by radical Islamic fundamentalism."

If the Bush administration is so concerned about freedom in the Arab world, why is it so comfortable with the harsh suppression of women and political dissenters in Saudi Arabia?

Furthermore, substantial evidence indicates the current administration's foreign policy for Arab nations is not guided by a concern over Islamic fundamentalism but is straight out of the neoconservatism playbook -- grab control of the Arab oil fields and establish numerous U.S. military bases in Arab countries to ensure world dominance by the United States.

If Mr. Bush and his administration possess such a deep understanding of radical Islamic fundamentalism, how do they explain the appalling lack of action and attention to numerous warnings, cautions and alerts issued before Sept. 11, 2001, regarding the imminent threat posed by Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda?

MARK MITCHELL

Boyds

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I disagree with almost every one of your reasons to endorse Sen. John F. Kerry for president. There is one promise on which Mr. Kerry has not waffled: to raise taxes on those making more than $200,000 a year.

What Mr. Kerry and the media have not explained is the devastating effect this would have on small businesses operating as limited-liability companies. These companies fall into the category Mr. Kerry so snidely describes as the "rich."

I have personal knowledge of that effect because I have a majority interest in a small start-up company, struggling to survive and thrive in a competitive business. We employ more than 60 people, mostly minorities. The effect of a tax increase on our company would be to curtail our ability to expand, serve more customers and hire more people. Successes such as ours shouldn't be punished by confiscatory tax policy.

NICHOLAS CANNISTRARO JR.

Annapolis

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Kudos to The Post for endorsing Sen. John F. Kerry for president.

It's as simple as this.

When you go to vote, ask yourself: Do you want four more years of a pointless war, lost jobs, through-the-roof gas and oil prices, high food prices, a medical program on the cheap, insecure Social Security and a constant fear of enemy attacks? If so, then vote Bush-Cheney. If you want all that reversed, it's Kerry-Edwards.

HERB STARK

Massapequa, N.Y.

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Welcome to the ranks of the decided. The Post is noticeably late to the table, and the process of deciding seems to have been more agonizing than it was for most of us.

At least The Post has finally arrived, but the bird's been pretty thoroughly devoured, we've had coffee and are starting to fidget, and The Post's late thoughts must compete with the clatter of dishes and the barking of chairs being pushed away. There may be a piece of pie left. Thanks for coming.

BARRY MOYER

Washington

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In this era of shrill political hyperbole, the Post editorial page has consistently shown a level of journalistic balance that is all but dead in America.

The recent "The Choice on . . . " series, culminating with the endorsement of Sen. John F. Kerry for president, should be a model for all practicing journalists.

Like many Americans, I, too, have misgivings about a Kerry presidency, and I found your insightful commentary on the senator's shortcomings at once maddening and refreshing: maddening, because they exposed weaknesses I did not want to see, and refreshing, because I know that the first step toward compensating for weakness is to acknowledge it.

The Post editorial page has been everything that the Bush administration is not: honest, critical, intellectually curious and open to persuasion. Thank you.

MATTHEW LEWIS

San Francisco

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I am profoundly relieved that my trust in this country's democratic system has been restored. Some of us had seen the danger that this country and the world have been running with an administration straight from an Orwellian novel. We were dismayed that the world capital's biggest newspaper could not see it. Now that it has, let's hope it is not too late for voters to see it, too.

JOSSELINE de ST. JUST

Bethesda