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New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung (Newspaper) - February 24, 2000, New Braunfels, Texas Page 6A HERALDZEITUNG Thursday February OPINIONS FORUM LETTERS NKW iNPBLS HERALDZEITUNG New Braunfels Zeitung was founded 1852 New Braunfels Herald was founded 1890 The two papers merged in 1957 and printed in both German and English until 1958 Doug Toney Editor and Publisher Margaret Edmonson Managing Editor Rayanne Carmines News Editor OTHER VIEWS BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS The Jordan Times of Amman on sanctions against Iraq It has been 10 years now since the sanctions on Iraq were imposed and as yet no end is in sight The latest UN attempt to break the impasse was doomed to fail Meanwhile the West seems to be waking up to the fact that Iraq is in the grip of a serious and wideranging humanitarian disaster Seventy members of the Congress have called for the lifting of the sanctions citing a direct relationship between the sanctions and the death of more than one million civilians Their protests however are likely to fall on deaf ears The and Britain have since December 1998 flown more than missions over Iraq It is highly unlikely that both are willing to go to such efforts and such expense without some result Their stated aim removing the regime in Baghdad Their chance of success near zero It has become more and more obvious that the longer these sanctions have continued the more entrenched and popu lar the Iraqi regime has become It stands to the international community to realize the futility of their current course People have suffered too long there is no longer any need Enough is enough Messaggero of Rome on the Iranian elections The reformist alliances victory has been hailed as Irans second In fact the moderates conquest of the Iranian parliament the Majilis opens the way towards a struggle not only for a more open society but also for institutional changes the separation of the powers and a unified judicial apparatus independent of religious authority President Mohammad Khatamis victory is not the end of the Iran of the Ayatollahs Rather the absolute authority of the spiritual leader Ali Khamenei will be counterbalanced in a Majilis dominated by reformists The opposition won relatively free elections a first step towards tjie real battle yet to be fought by the Iranian reformists the search to harmonize democracy and Islam Iran is not yet a democracy Instead we are faced with a form of imperfect pluralism which offers two options either a fundamentalist form of Islam or one that is more moderate and reformist Iran has sent a historic message to the whole region Not only to the fundamentalist regimes such as proWestern Saudi Arabia and Sudan and Afghanistan blacklisted by the but also to others such as Syria Lastly the election results reward the policy of open ness towards Khatami pursued by European states such as Italy TODAY IN HISTORY BY THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Today is Thursday Feb 24 the 55th day of 2000 There are 311 days left in the year Todays Highlight in History On Feb 24 1868 the House of Representatives impeached President Andrew Johnson follow ing his attempted to dismiss Secretary of War Edwin M Stanton Johnson was later acquit ted by the Senate On this date In 1821 Mexico declared its independence from Spain In 1863 Arizona was organized as a territory In 1903 the United States signed an agreement acquiring a naval sta tion at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba In 1920 a fledgling German political party held its first meeting of importance in Munich it became known as the Nazi Party and its chief spokesman was Adolf Hitler In 1945 American soldiers liber ated the Philippine capital of Manila from Japanese control dur ing World War II LETTERS To THE EDITOR Activity center by any other Dear Editor I would like to address why we wanted the building called an activity center Because thats what it is We used the San Marcos Community Activity Center as a model We are copying the things they did well and what is successful in operations and is useful for their community We also have learned from their mistakes Their center is used throughout the day by their residents The seniors use the pool during the day as well asmany clubs and organizations that use the meeting rooms They have classes workshops community gatherings and many other things As to whether the bond language is ambiguous well in open meetings before the public the package was discussed It started out with a very high price tag and was trimmed to where it is now In every discussion the pool was mentioned Anyone who attended the council meetings watched the proceedings on TV read the newspaper or listened to the radio station knows that the intent was to have both the pool and the gymnasium built In every part of the bond package there are things that are not specif ically defined streets and At some point we have to trust our city council The city council was elected by our citizens These council men and women are who we picked to run our city They are our friends and neighbors Can we not trust them They have spent countless hours working on this bond package The average citizen has no idea how much work and time is spend being a councilperson They are never off duty Wherever they go someone has a com plaint or wants to give them advice on how to run the city Am I worried that the council will follow the intent of propositions 5 and 6 No I am not Have faith in our hardworking council and vote for the family activity center proposition 5 and 6 Larry C Wenzel President New Braunfels Youth Sports Sometimes facts must lead to action Dear Editor RE Carter Casteels letter to the editor In her closing paragraph Ms Casteel states It is important for us to pay atten tion and not be misled by emotions Please remember there was a man in the 30s who was able to take over a country because people acted upon emotion and not on Since it is she that uses the analogy of the Holocaust and the convention center flap I ask Who is it she warns will be able to take over like Hitler did Those organiz ing and signing petitions that dont have real power as individuals but become formidable opponents as an organization armed with pencils and telephones Hitler did not announce his intention to the Jews Their rights were merely stripped away layer by layer much like their bodies eventually were stacked layer upon layer If it is important for us to pay atten tion and not be misled then how did Hitler escape early detection of his attempted anni hilation of the Jews Hitler made unilateral decisions rubberstamped and executed by his underlings armed with tanks and guns at his behest Read a few back issues of the HZ for a look at how it appears the City Council at the behest of the Chamber used a bulldozer to renew the Chamber contract and kickstart the convention center process If It is important for us to pay atten and we do not agree with what we see because we are paying attention isnt the next logical step to address the problem and seek a resolution Petition organizers have done just that As I recall the Jews paid They were businessmen and shopkeepers that dotted all the is and crossed all the ts dutifully wore their Stars of David and they asked all the right ques tions even as they were given bars of soap and herded into the gas chambers If there was a man in the 30s who was able to take over a country because peo ple acted upon emotion and not on lets look at the spin in progress Factual misinformation and factual propaganda are the tools of politicians both are used to mask corruption in the political system examples of both grace HZ pages in related convention center articles Hitler used pro paganda in an attempt to exterminate the Jews misinformation masked corruption in the Nazi ranks Sometimes facts arent really facts at all If it is important to not be misled by emotions then what is a conscience It is that little gut that cannot be explained it is simply felt It is obvious that few Nazi troops had a conscience what they did have were reams and reams of type written If we are assigned roles in this analogy and we the people are the Jews then I ask Ms Casteel and the other privileged of this community will they be remembered as a Schindler or a Goethe when they are held accountable for their behavior Who will be cast as Hitler God is the true equalizer but there is also a voter registration card My apologies to Steven Spielberg but as we unfolded our Sunday HZ we happened to have a copy of Schindlers List in the VCR I would encourage anyone who hasnt seen it to make the tune It will encourage you to do more than just pay attention Dee Lawler New Braunfels The religious right emerges from a coma Like a terminally ill patient who awak ens from a coma prior to his ultimate demise the Christian political right showed renewed strength in the South Carolina Republican primary by backing the winner George W Bush But at what People who are supposed to serve a higher kingdom that is not of this and an unelected King who does not seek the approval of any electorate in order to exercise true power have shown thaj they can get down and dirty with the best of the pagans before whom they are supposed to be setting an example and pointing the way to God Conservative religious leaders blast faxed and emailed their South Carolina constituents in an orchestrated informa tional campaign designed to smear Sen John McCain They brought up his first marriage his alleged affairs his some times bad language his meeting with the Log Cabin Republicans and by associa tipp his softness on gays who have CAL THOMAS replaced Communists as the Religious Rights No 1 They also excoriat ed Gary Bauer for his sellout for bolting from the pack and endorsing McCain while virtually all of the conser vative religious leaders have hitched their political horses to the wagon of George W Bush Even if all of the allegations against McCain and Bauer are true the question is whether people who are sup posed to be communicating the love of God did so by bashing McCain and Bauer in such an unChristian manner Some not associated with religious conservatism dont think so While not practicing the kind of religion or poli tics embraced by religious rightists out siders at least know how Christians are supposed to behave Columnist Dionne Jr lamented that Bushs effort to transform the definition of conservative Christian politics has been damaged by Christian conservatives in South Carolina who may have delivered him into tempta tion the revolution in Christian con servatism that once seemed possible has foundered on the hard rocks of the McCain challenge and interestgroup pol itics We may have to wait another four years before the word Christian is associ ated in politics as its supposed to be in other parts of life with civility and a decent regard for the other What a rebuke Columnist David Broder noted the absurdity of so many people claiming that different candidates were Gods choice for president Some of the con servative religious prophets backed Alan Keyes others Bush and still others McCain All seemed to have discerned Gods will in the matter McCain was said to have been spared death in Vietnam so that God could have him run for Yet as Lincoln noted when receiving conflicting advice about whose side God was on in the Civil War all sides could not be simultaneously right Christian conservative leaders are using the tools of the world in an attempt to impose a moral code and worldview that many nonChristians and even some Christians do not share To the extent that lay people wish to indulge in this they are free to do so misguided though they may be but when those who are ordained or otherwise claim to speak for God do it they are settling for the mess of pot tage that is politics and demeaning them selves and their faith in the process One leader of a major Christian organization recently justified some of the outrageous claims made in directmail fundraising letters this way The left does I was nt aware that the pagan left had replaced biblical principles hi setting the agenda for the Christian church Both the religious and secular left have erred in their own public comments and equally outrageous fundraising appeals Conservative Christians arent a threat to the state Theyre a threat to themselves when they adopt the worldly tactics of those who appear to prefer political power to real power One power changes occupants in Washington The other changes hearts and lives There is nothing in their politi cal behavior that would compel people who do not believe in the God they claim to worship to begin a journey in search of Him Since Satan is described in scripture as an angel of light and a counter is it possible they might be unwit tingly in the employ of the wrong king dom Cat Thomas is a syndicated colum
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