New Braunfels Herald Zeitung, March 2, 2003, Page 7

New Braunfels Herald Zeitung

March 02, 2003

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Issue date: Sunday, March 2, 2003

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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - March 2, 2003, New Braunfels, Texas Sunday, March 2, 2003 — Herald-ZeitIjng — Page 7 AForum Contact Managing Editor Gary E. Maitland 625-9144, ext. 220 New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung 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 Gary E. Maitland, Managing Editor www.herald-zeitung.com (830) 625-9144 Editorial--Remember: Freedom is worth fighting for Tbxas celebrates its 167th year of independence from Mexico today. Across the state citizens will pause to reflect upon the importance of the events leading up to and following this key date in our state’s history. From history we know the seeds of revolt were sown after Santa Ana, a distinguished military officer, led a military coup against the same government he had installed in Mexico. Declaring himself a dictator, Santa Ana set aside Mexico’s 1824 constitution and instituted a centralized and less democratic form of government. Those steps prompted the states of Coahuila, Zacatecas and Texas to rebel against Santa Ana. Two of the dissenting states were subdued by the Mexican leader, but Tbxas stood firm in its resolve to be free. We all remember the Alamo, and the 189 defenders who battled courageously against 5,000 Mexican troops. And it’s important that each year we celebrate the freedom that came from conflict. Like the nation it is a part of, Tbxas has endured many hardships, and both are facing difficult times even now. So on this 167th year of the state’s independence, it is a perfect time for all Tbxans to remember what freedom means — how important it once was that we have the right to live our fives as a state and nation free from the spectre of dictatorship and repression.Today In History  - By The Associated Press Tbday is Sunday, March 2, the 61st day of 2003. There are 304 days left in the year. Today’s history highlight: On March 2, 1933, the motion picture “King Kong,” starring Fay Wray, had its world premiere in New York. On this date: In 1793, the first president of the Republic of Texas, Sam Houston, was born near Lexington, Va. In 1836, Texas declared its independence from Mexico. In 1877, Republican Rutherford B. Hayes was declared the winner of the 1876 presidential election over Democrat Samuel J. Tilden, even though TildenPolicy Letters To The Editor had won the popular vote. In 1899, Mount Rainier National Park in Washington state was established. In 1917, Puerto Ricans were granted U.S. citizenship. In 1923, Time magazine debuted. In 1939, Roman Catholic Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli was. elected Pope; he took the name Pius XII. In 1943, the World War Two Battle of the Bismarck Sea began. In 1949, an American B-50 Superfortress, the Lucky Lady Two, landed at Fort Worth, Texas, after completing the first nonstop round-the-world flight. In 1977, the U.S. House of Representatives adopted a strict code of ethics. Free people follow reason, rules of law There are many kinds of patriots in this country, and they each keep a close watch on a particular facet of what we refer to collectively as the American Dream. It is not a static dream, bound by colored banners and music, but rather a vigorous living hope that is continually expanding even as freedom’s horizons are expanding. That dream flows from the fundamental relationship every American shares, both among ourselves and with our government, often referred to as “the social contract." As with any contract, there are responsibilities incurred by the parties; duties to discharge and obligations to uphold. At base, though, our elected government exists to serve us; we do not exist to serve the government. It is our duty, our responsibility to vigilantly monitor the act ions of government and, when necessary, to demand a truthful accounting of our government’s policies in order that we may be sure government is discharging its obligations faithfully, legally and with the consensus of the majority of the American people. Since the founding of the Republic there have been voices of dissent. Dissent, while viewed by some as unpatriotic, is usually quite the opposite. Cowards strike and flee or disagree and run away. Patriots who disagree stand and speak. It is another of our contractual duties that we hear them out and weigh their opinions, however objectionable, be theirs the majority view or not. Free and open discussion remain a cornerstone of democracy. The right to speak, to listen, even to dissent are sacred gifts, purchased at a terrible price. Patriotism isn’t just waving flags, singing anthems or making pledges; it is about having the patience and the courage, especially in matters of life and death, to exhaust every legitimate alternative to the use of lethal force and to use it only as a matter of last resort. Free men and women, when they must use force, are reluctant not out of the fear of personal injury or death, but rather out of respect and reverence for human life, for innocent people who inevitably suffer in war. Herds follow bells or horns or whistles. Free men and women follow conscience, reason and the rules of law. David Legett New Braunfels US should do the honorable thing I went to Seguin, my hometown, to a peace rally Feb. 15. It was a marvelous experience. I took my chair and set it up right next to the street in front of the courthouse. I enthusiastically waved my sign, which said, “Don’t rush. Work for peace.” There were about 200 of us at the rally signing a petition, visiting, and displaying signs. We were ordinary people — a Lutheran minister, a second-grade teacher, a bunch of retired people, an American Legion veteran, working people and professionals. Those were just a few I knew. There was an open mike with most speaking for peace, but three spoke in favor of the president and for our troops. Across Court Street and directly opposite us was Republican Headquarters. Some there held signs that said, “Support our Troops” and “Support Bush.” One sign said, “Go home Communists.” I feel there is no better way to support our troops than their not having to go to war. It was exciting, satisfying, stimulating and I felt very patriotic. It is wonderful to live in a country where we can express our opinions, even if they don’t agree with the government in control. Call our legislators and the president. See how good it feels to express your thoughts. Don’t say it won’t help. It sure won’t help if you say nothing. I think Bush will go down as a great president if he uses all our forces and power as a tool to negotiate a peace with Iraq. On the other hand, if he starts a war. he will go down as a bully and an empire builder seeking oil. Of course, Iraq needs a new leader, but isn’t that for the people of Iraq to decide? With an unprovoked war we will develop more enemies, more people who hate us and thus, more terrorism. Let negotiations continue. Let inspectors continue. It’s cheaper than war in money and lives. Some say our President knows more than we do. I hope so, but I said that when we went into Vietnam. I love my country. I want us to stand as an example of compassion and democracy. Negotiation is harder than battle. Let’s do the difficult and honorable thing that will encourage others to respect us, not hate us. Thea Chessher New Braunfels The Herald-Zeitung encourages the submission of letters. Letters must be 250 words or fewer, and the Herald-Zeitung reserves the right to edit all submissions. An address and telephone number, which are not for publication, must be included so authorship can be confirmed. Mail letters to: Letters to the Editor c/othe Herald-Zeitung P.O. Drawer 311328 New Braunfels, TX 78131-1328 Fax: (830) 606-3413 e-mail: [email protected] ’Em President George W. Bush 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW Washington, D.C. 20500 U.S. Senators Kay Bailey Hutchison, R-Dallas Room 284 Russell Senate Office Building Washington, D.C. 20510 (202) 224-5922 Fax: (202) 224-0776 8023 Vantage Drive, Suite 460 San Antonio, TX 78230 (210) 340-2885 Fax: (210) 349-6753 U.S. Congressman Lamar Smith, R-San Antonio Room 2231 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, D.C. 20515 (202) 225-4236 1100 NE Loop 410, Suite 640 San Antonio, TX 78209 (210) 821-5024 Governor Rick Perry State Capitol, Room 2S.1 P.O. Box 12428 Austin, TX 78711 (800) 843-5789 Fax: (512) 463-1849 Texas State Representative Cartel Casteel, R-New Braunfels How to contact in Austin: (512) 463-0325 Fax: (512) 473-9920 e-mail address: carter.casteel 0 house. state. tx. us Texas State Senator Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio 1250 NE Loop 410, Suite 720 San Antonio, TX 78209 (210) 826-7800 Fax: (210) 826-0571 How to contact in Austin: (512) 463-0125 Fax: (512) 463-7794 E-mail address: Jeff. Wentworth 0 senate. state. tx. usLiberals know in their hearts Bush is right Under the old rules of debate, a spokesperson for one side of an issue would state a position and the opposing side would state its position. Rebuttals and surrebut-tals would follow. The audience, or a panel of judges, would then declare a winner based on which side better presented the facts. Those days are gone as feelings — not facts — are all that matter now. Perhaps that is why the level of invective directed at President Bush has reached fever pitch. Each time his opponents have raised the bar for justifying war with Iraq, the president has followed their advice. When they raised it again, he met their new requests. Does this earn him points with his detractors? Far from it. The president was told by his critics he should not act unilaterally. So he asked other nations to join in a “coalition of the willing.*’ About three dozen have offered either direct or indirect support. Critics said the president should B Cal Thomas get congressional approval. He did. He was told he should take his case to the United Nations. He did. There have been 18 U.N. resolutions, none of which have caused Saddam Hussein to comply- What does the president get for doing what his critics have demanded? He is called names by those unwilling to forcibly deprive a mass murderer of his power to kill even more people. The foreign press, especially in Britain where hundreds of people have complained to the BBG about its one-sided, anti-American reporting, has been particularly brutal. Many have called President Bush outrageous names, ap parently as a substitute for sound arguments. Having lost the battle of ideas, the overseas press and increasingly the American press have resorted to a game of who can say the most disgraceful thing about the president. Because so many people form their impressions from the way “news” is delivered on TV, it is no wonder the level of support for war with Iraq has fallen. Yet even in the midst of its criticism, the coalition of the unwilling is reluctantly concluding that the president’s position on Saddam Hussein is right. During an angry attack on the president, columnist Richard Cohen concedes, “It’s not that I don’t think (President Bush) is right about Saddam Hussein and, if need be, the necessity to deal with him through war.” Joe Klein, who regularly mocks the president, says that war “may well be the right decision.” At the conclusion of an essay filled with snide remarks about the president and his administration, Leon Wieseltier of The New Republic admits, ‘The war against Saddam Hussein is just, and it is truly a last resort.” The Nation — which is about as left as you can get and still be on the planet — carries this concession by Erie Alterman: "I admit that the beefed-up containment policy vis-a-vis Iraq, driven exclusively by the Bush administration’s obsession with the issue, has been a smashing success.” Newsweek’s Jonathan Alter, who like other liberals is more concerned with “tone” over substance, claims the president’s tone has been “destructive to American interests,” but then declares, “But I now support military action.” Bush critics hate it that he is sure of himself and is not “conflicted” as they are. They detest his “black vs. white,” “righteous vs. evildoers” view of the world. Klein blasts the president because his faith “does not impel him to have second thoughts, to explore other intellectual possibilities or question the possible consequences of his actions.” Columnist E.J. Dionne comes up with a new philosophy — “heroic ambivalence” — which he wants the president to embrace in the face of a grave and growing threat to our nation. Ambivalence is not heroic. Neither is it leadership. The president’s liberal critics fear he will succeed, win a second term and then name conservative justices to the Supreme Court. They know Saddam Hussein is evil. But they see President Bush as a greater evil because he will deprive them of their 40-year pattern of using the courts to make law and change culture. In their hearts they know he’s right about Saddam. But in their heads they know the days of liberal domination of the courts are coming to an end, almost as quickly as Saddam Hussein’s despotic regime. (Cal Thomas is a syndicated columnist.) ;

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