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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - December 13, 2005, New Braunfels, Texas Page 4 — Herald-Zfitung — Tuesday, December 13, 2005 FORUM Other Viewpoints More manpower a good first step in border reform El Paso Times on more border security: Tightening the southern border in the name of both stemming illegal immigration and enhancing border security — and thus national security — isn’t an easy task. A combination of finding funding, dealing with politics and the intrusion of stark reality historically have made efforts to tighten the border difficult. But every so often there’s a positive move, such as news that 1,700 new Border Patrol agents will be sent to the four states along the southern border during this fiscal year. The Border Patrol’s El Paso Sector, which encompasses all of New Mexico, will be adding 493 new agents. That’s on top of 305 agents gained in the recently ended fiscal year 2005. Of the 493 new agents, 253 will be in New Mexico and 240 in West Texas. The Southwest border, in its entirety, will gain 1,700 new agents. That makes sense, because the southern boundary is the epicenter of both drug and immigration problems, and the border is notoriously porous when it comes to the possibility of infiltration by terrorists. It must also be remembered that, especially when it comes to the problem of illegal immigration, putting personnel on the border is only part of the solution. Enforcement must be accompanied by workable and humane immigration reform. Several plans are being batted around between Congress and the White House, but as yet theres nothing definitive. But that must happen, and soon. As Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., said, news about agent strength being bolstered is “... welcome to the people of Southern New Mexico. But I view this deployment as just the first step in what needs to be comprehensive immigration reform." More and more voices are joining the immi-gration-reform chorus. The right people need to listen — and act LETTERS POLICY ■ Letters must be 250 words or less. ■The Herald-Zeitung reserves the right to edit all submissions. ■ Guest columns should be 500 words or less and must be accompanied by a photo. ■ Address and telephone number must be included so authorship can be confirmed. Mail letters to: Letters to Editor c/o Herald-Zeitung RO. Drawer 311328 New Braunfels, TX 78131-1328 Fax them to: (830) 606-3413 e-mail them to: news@herald- Protection to think differently I have read Ann Coulter's previous columns in the Herald-Zeitung, though I tend to regard her tirades as typical right-wing bashing of any viewpoint other than her own. However, the article that ran Nov. 19 commenting on the McCarthy hearings was impossible to dismiss. The author stated she had issued a “challenge to liberals to name one person falsely accused” during the hearings. Point well ticen. I can't. They were communists. So what? That the “accused” were Hollywood actors was of Herald-Zeitung Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852. 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. Managing Editor Jeremy Pafford Editor and Publisher Doug Toney Circulation Director Jeff Fowler Advertising Director Neice Bell Business Manager Valerie Shield* News Editor David Rupkalvis "THe iDeATHAT we/MiG GoiNS To ININ THIS WAR |£ AN iDeAL THAT WIFO&TVNATeLy I* TOST PLAIN \NfcOA|&.” -HOMfto £>eAN DMC CHAPMAN Polls at odds with media over war After a newspaper ran Mark TWain’s obituary, the story goes, he protested that the reports of his death had been “greatly exaggerated;” so, too, the media accounts of an emerging national consensus against the war in Iraq are considerably at variance with what Americans are actually thinking. The most recent Fox News poll, completed Nov. 30, suggests that while half of Americans would like to see a schedule for withdrawal of U.S. troops, a majority feel the war has done good things — and a larger majority feel that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq when Bush told us there were. By 52 percent to 27 percent, Americans believe that “the world would be worse off if the U.S. military had not taken action in Iraq and Saddam Hussein were still in power.” By 59-20, they feel Iraq would’ve been worse off if we hadn’t acted. Asked what they believe about WMDs in Iraq, 61 percent said there were still such weapons there or that there had been WMDs in the country but that they were destroyed or moved. Only 28 percent agree that Iraq had no WMDs. These data show that Americans are still largely in sympathy with our objectives in Iraq and accepting of our reasons for entering the war — two good reasons for the Democrats not to overplay their hand in opposing it. Tile irony of this war is that the normal definitions of words do not really apply. “Success,” for example, does not mean military victory on the battlefield, but a political victory in creating a stable, democratic, elected government in Iraq that can wage its own war and protect itself against terrorists. For America, “peace” does not mean the end of fighting — it just means that an Iraqi government will be battling its own terrorists with less and less American intervention or support. Similarly, “defeat” does not mean that the terrorists prevail militarily—but that they force a political decision to withdraw American troops before the Iraqi government and military can take over the task of self-defense. Letters to the Editor no importance. What should have made the hearings intolerable was the fact that people, U.S. citizens, were being persecuted and essentially put on trial for their personal political and social views. In case Coulter has forgotten, as Sen. Joseph McCarthy did, our Constitution guarantees us our right to have such views. Shouldn't we question the mentality of arguing every political issue from the same mindset, again and again? Would Coulter support McCarthy had the “accused” been conservatives instead of communists? I think not. The apocalyptic “Communist global domina- KMORRIS Dick Morris was an adviser to Bill Clinton for 20 years. Even the political interface with the military operations is not what it appears to be. President Bush has been re-elected commander in chief for the next three years. No congressional majority will ever muster the gravitas to cut off funding for the war. Our troops are there to stay as long as he wants them to. With his apparent resolve, there is no real likelihood that we will be “defeated” in Iraq. We really won’t leave until the job is done. Obviously, in three years, 80 percent of Iraq can figure out how to govern, conciliate, rule and, if necessary, suppress the other 20 percent. But the war will erode Bush’s popularity every day that it continues to rage and Americans die. There is no way around this central fact of our political life. No spinning, Iraqi elections or presidential speeches can do much to alter it. Bush will probably leave office with much diminished popularity and the Democrats will probably make large gains in the elections of2006 and 2008 because of the cost of the war in Iraq. Will the war have been worth it? Probably. Iraq likely will emerge as a key regional ally. And the demonstration of American resolve will hugely boost chances for a comprehensive deal between Israel and the Palestinians. North Korea is sounding more intimidated every month. The global coalition against Iran and Syria is forged in the wake of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s commitment to multilateralism in the shadow of Bush’s willingness to go it alone if Europe won’t move ahead. How will history treat it all? As George Bernard Shaw put it in “The Devil’s Disciple,” “History, sir, will tell lies as usual." tion” ideology of the McCarthy-era had many horrendous impacts on our society, most notably the Korean and Vietnam wars. I mean absolutely no disrespect to the veterans of those wars, only the paranoid and single-minded policies that put them there. Any person can list negative results of the McCarthy hearings and the political philosophy accompanying and directly following them. I challenge Ann Coulter to list the positive. 111 ii 1111111111 HOW IU CONTACT United States Government PRESIDENT ■ George W. Bush 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW Washington, D.C. 20500 SENATE ■ Kay Bailey HUTCHISON Russell Senate Office Building Room 284 Washington, D.C. 20510 Telephone: (202) 224-5922 Fox: (202) 224-0776 Web: (Send e-mails through Web site.) SAN ANTONIO OFFICE: 145 Duncan Drive, Suite 120 San Antonio 78226 Telephone: (210) 340-2885 Fax: (210) 349-6753 ■ John Cornyn Russell Senate-Hart Room 517 Washington, D.C. 20510 Telephone: (202) 224-2934 Fax: (202) 228-2856 Web: (Send e-mails through Web site.) AUSTIN OFFICE: 221 West Sixth St., Suite 1530 Austin 78701 Telephone: (512) 469-6034 Fax: (512) 469-6020 SAN ANTONIO OFFICE: 600 Navarro, Suite 210 San Antonio 78205 Telephone: (210) 224-7485 Fax: (210) 224-8569 CONGRESSMAN ■ Lamar Smith Rayburn House Office Building Room 2184 Washington, D.C. 20515 Telephone: (202) 225-4236 Fax: (202) 225-8628 Web address: (Send e-mails through Web site.) SAN ANTONIO OFFICE: 1100 NE Loop 410, Suite 640 San Antonio 78209 Telephone: (210) 821-5024 Fax: (210) 821-5947 ■ Henry Cuellar 1404 Longworth House Office Building Washington, D.C. 20515 Telephone: (202) 225-1640 Fax: (202) 225-1641 Web address: SAN ANTONIO OFFICE: 1149 E. Commerce St., Suite 210 San Antonio 78205 Telephone: (210) 271-2851 Fax: (210) 277-6671 HOW TO CONTACT James Af. Dillon New Braunfels Texas Government GOVERNOR ■ Rick Perry State Capitol, Room 2S.1 RO. Box 12428 Austin 78711 Telephone: (800) 843-5789 Fax: (512)463-1849 STATE HOUSE ■ Carter Casteel 254 E. Mill St. New Braunfels 78130 Telephone: (830) 627-0215 E-mail address: [email protected] STATE SENATE ■ Jeff Wentworth 1250 NE Loop 410, Suite 720 San Antonio 78209 Telephone: (210) 826-7800 WHILE IN AUSTIN: Telephone: (512) 463-0125 E-mail address: [email protected] ■ Judith Zaffirini P.O. Box 627 Laredo 78042-0627 SAN ANTONIO OFFICE: 12702Toepperwein Road #214 San Antonio 78233 Telephone: (210) 657-0095 Fax: (210) 657-0262Be bold in defending holiday celebrations from hordes of crackpots and cranks China, Israel or Saudi Arabia, where they are definitely a minority. Then you won’t have to be bothered by the rest of us celebrating Christmas or Easter, though why it should bother anyone is a mystery. I ve shared Passover Seders with Jewish friends, the end of Ramadan feasts with Muslim friends, the Chinese New Year with Chinese friends, and if I’m ever invited to a Buddha’s Birthday party or some Hindu holiday, I would certainly be glad to attend. One of the pleasures of friendship is to share the good times of our friends. Christmas, though it should always be called Christmas, is not a religious holiday for all Christians. I grew up in a literalist Protestant church. Since Baldwin pianos and Hammond organs were not mentioned in the King James Version of the New Testament, we sang a cappella. Since there was no mention of Dec. 25 as the birthday of Jesus, we didn’t observe it as a religious event. Of course, we all had Christmas trees, exchanged gifts and enjoyed Christmas carols. The Christmas tree and the exchange of gifts are, after all, add-ons. As for the carols, they axe among the most beautiful songs ever written. Much of the art, music and architecture in Western civilization grew directly out of Christianity. Since when does one have to believe literally in the lyrics of a song in order to enjoy it? And what mind-mangled fool believes that hearing a song is a forcible effort to convert them? And what kind of wretched person does the beauty of someone else’s religion offend? There was a time when cranks and crackpots were ignored and left alone on the margins of society, as they should be. In recent times, however, they have gained power in direct proportion to the loss of civic courage on the part of politicians, bureaucrats and merchants. Their rise in influence is aided and abetted by disgraceful lawsuits and cowardly judges who misinterpret the separation of church and state as imposing secularism on all aspects of public life. It means no such thing. It simply means, as anyone who will look at the context of history will see, that the Unit ed States government is forbidden to have an official church. At the time our country was formed, most of the countries of Europe had official churches, usually the Roman Catholic Church or, in the case of England, the Anglican Church. Virginia, where the separation movement began, had the Anglican Church, and it taxed Virginians to subsidize it. That was the core argument of men like Thomas Jefferson — to wit, that religion should be a matter of individual conscience and that it was wrong to tax people to subsidize something that they did not believe in. The intent of the separation clause was to encourage the flourishing of religion, not to hound it out of public view. We should be tolerant of other people’s faiths, but we should boldly defend our own, as well as our traditions, against the secular crackpots and crank; who would usher us into an Orwellian world where the only God is the government. To the cranks and crackpots, go tc blazes; to the rest of you, a very merry Christmas. Christmas is a Christian holiday. Passover is a Jewish holiday. Ramadan is a Muslim holiday. Buddha’s Birthday is a Buddhist holiday. However, one can enjoy all of these holidays without being a Christian, a Jew, a Muslim or a Buddhist. But let us call them what they are, for the sake of national sanity, lest some politically correct fool decides to rename the Fourth of July the “Mid-Summer” holiday to avoid offending those who don’t like America. I don’t believe there is a war against Christmas, but there are secular cranks and crackpots who hate it, and there are timid merchants, politicians and bureaucrats who seem to think it is better to offend the majority than the cranks and crackpots. The United States of America’s population is overwhelmingly Christian, at least nominally. If you don’t like Christians, then you should emigrate to CHARLEYRKESE Charley Reese is a columnist for King Features Syndicate. You can write to him at PO. Box 2446, Orlando, Fla. 32802. ;