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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - June 15, 2000, New Braunfels, Texas Page 6A — HERALD-ZEITUNG — Thursday, June 15, 2000Opinions Forum Letters NKW RjfafeUiNKKLS 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 Margaret Edmonson, Managing Editor Other Views By the Associated Press Tages-Anzeiger, Zurich, Switzerland, on death of Syrian President Hafez Assad: No peace without Syria — that has been a pillar of western Middle East diplomacy for 30 years.... Dozens of statesmen and their underlings made the pilgrimage to the “lion of Damascus” and tried to nudge him toward making peace. The answer was always the same; Assad can wait. Now that the dictator’s death has occurred surprisingly early, some fear that a historic chance for rapprochement with Israel has been missed. Mistakenly, because Assad had long been dead for the peace process ... his problem was the Golan trauma, the loss of the strategic plateau for which he himself was partly responsible. ... Assad needed Israel as an enemy just as Fidel Castro needs his enmity to the United States, to justify rigorous repression and economic misery. ... Does a new ice age await the Middle East? It doesn’t have to be so, because Assad’s death smooths the timetable for regional peace. Israeli Prime Minister (Ehud) Barak, who had mistakenly put everything into negotiations with Syria, is now forced to concentrate on talks with the Palestinians. That is a good thing, because the solution of the Palestinian problem is — as is often forgotten — the key to Israeli-Arab peace.” The Jerusalem Post, on the death of Syrian President Hafez Assad: It is too soon to tell whether Bashar (Assad) will succeed in consolidating his control over Syria, after having been groomed for his post for only six years. ... The test of whether a new path is being taken will be the extent to which Syria leverages its role as a torchbearer of Arab nationalism to revitalize that ideology in pro-Arab, rather than anti-Israel terms. Hafez Assad is repeatedly credited with having built Syria into a country to be politically and militarily reckoned with. Yet his Soviet-based model of nation building collapsed long ago, leaving only the question of when and how effectively Syria will attempt to pull out of a cycle of stagnation and decline. Today in History By The Associated Press Today is Thursday, June 15, the 167th day of 2000. There are 199 days left in the year. Today’s Highlight in History: On June 15, 1215, King John put his seal to Magna Carta (“the Great Charter”) at Runnymede, England, granting his barons more liberty. In 1520, Pope Leo X threatened to excommunicate Martin Luther unless he recanted his religious beliefs. In 1775, the Second Continental Congress voted unanimously to appoint George Washington head of the Continental Army. In 1836, Arkansas became the 25th state. In 1849, James Polk, the lith U.S. president, died in Nashville, Tenn. In 1864, Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton signed an order establishing a military burial ground, which became Arlington National Cemetery. In 1904, more than 1,000 people died when fire erupted aboard the steamboat General Slocum in New York’s East River. In 1944, American forces began their successful invasion of Saipan during World War II. Meanwhile, B-29 Superfortresses made their first raids on Japan. In 1960, the Billy Wilder movie “The Apartment,” starring Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine, opened in New York. uusrioeftese came aucrion&j Letters to the Editor To the landfill or for the residents they serve. On June 7, they were served a meal of lasagna, salad, bread-recycling bin: We still pay sticks and tea in recognition of their loyalty and care. Gifts and door prizes also were given in appreciation for a job well done. Thanks again for all you do. Peggy Supulver New Braunfels Dear Editor: Here we go again! In September 1998 the Recycling Advisory Committee plans were not implemented by the City Council. Since then I have read that recyclables are being used less and those companies who do use them charge to take them. What other items would be recycled other than the yard waste? It is not cost effective, but cost prohibitive. Chairman Terry Fisher said reducing landfill waste would save the city dollars. But it would cost residents more. We pay either way. How do people who don’t have trucks get their brush and tree limbs and other such items to a so called “green space” still to be found? Many residents simply will allow brush and limbs to collect in unsightly piles in their yards; these would harbor mice, rats and roaches. We have enough problems with residents piling up limbs just because they won’t cut them into the regulation size and tie them for the sanitation workers to pick up. Let’s not disrupt garbage collections with more restrictions and add another tax or fee to our ever expanding charges. Myrtle Voigt Clark New Braunfels Colonial Manor honors nursing assistants Dear Editor: The week of June I -8, Colonial Manor Care Center honored its nursing assistants for their dedication and hard work. These men and women work hard and truly care Many helped make LL season successful Dear Editor: Now that the New Braunfels Little League season is officially complete, I’d like to thank everyone who made our Pee Wee championship season such a success. Thanks to my assistant coaches, Don Knippa and Martin Palm, for all their hard work at practices. I’d also like to recognize Albert Wetz, who kept the kids organized in the dugout and also helped out at practice. We also were blessed with an M.VP. caliber team mom, Diane Palm, who worked tirelessly on everything imaginable. Thanks to the many parents who helped out in other capacities (concession stand, announcing and keeping the scorebook at games, umpiring, etc.). Without the parent involvement and support, our season would not have been nearly as successful. I’d also like to thank all the N.B.L.L. officers, especially Jon Ellis, for the endless hours of work that they put in to make sure that everything runs smoothly. I’d also like to thank our sponsor, Johnny Carino’s. Sponsors often get left out of the spotlight when talking about youth sports, but the money that they donate for uniforms and sponsorship is a huge part of the success of an organization such as the N.B.L.L. Last but not least, I’d like to thank the kids who made this season so much fun. Watching them progress individually and as a team was the real highlight of the season. Thanks, guys, for a season to remember! Steve Dement Manager, 2000 City Champion Pee Wee Braves New Braunfels Some animals face extinction Dear Editor: My name is Tammy Richner and I am 11. I am a very big animal lover. I would like you to please publish my article to help make people see that many animals are in big danger. My article is written below. Animals Are Dying! When you where a kid, you loved to draw Tigers and Elephants for your Mom to hang on the fridge. You loved going to the zoo and seeing Pandas, Turtels, Gorillas, Chimpanzees, and Crocodiles. You loved to see Whales and Seals doing tricks, or Pretending to fly like an Eagle. But, will your children and grandchildren be able to do these things? Some of these Animals could be extinct (gone) in the next few decades! There have been about 59 Insects 29 Fish 2 Amphibians 23 Reptiles 122 birds and 60 Mammals extinct since the 1600. Thank you! Tammy Richner New Braunfels (Editors Note: We chose to run Tammys article as it was presented to us. Thankyou, Tammy, for your insightful essay)Assad peace tales truly based on fantasy Some of the things being said about the late Syrian dictator, Hafez al-Assad, are complete fiction. They remind me of the fantasies floated about expiring and incoming Soviet leaders. Yuri Andropov was a regular guy because supposedly he drank Scotch and listened to American jazz. Now we are supposed to believe that Assad hungered and thirsted for peace with Israel. National Security Council spokesman P.J. Crowley said, “We think the Syrian government has committed itself to the path of peace, and we hope that will continue even with the passing of President Assad.” One commentator noted on CNN that Assad’s son, Bashar, will be easier to deal with because he speaks English and his father didn’t. Gee, if only Hitler had spoken Hebrew. President Clinton sheds a phony tear about his “friend” — has he forgotten that Assad was involved in the death of Cal Thomas 241 American Marines in Lebanon in 1983? Yasser Arafat declares a three-day period of mourning — this despite the fact that one of Assad’s proxies once tried to assassinate Arafat and Assad refused to let the PLO leader into his country. Assad was a brutal dictator, an oppressor of human rights, a murderer of anyone who challenged him and a man resolute in his opposition to making peace with Israel. His external armies and internal terror squads kept his people in line. He amassed an arsenal of long-range missiles and chemical weapons. Is there any question against whom he planned to use such devices? This is the worst possible time for Israel to consider withdrawing from the Golan Heights or making any kind of deal involving Syria. Bashar Assad will succeed his father only because the late dictator wanted it that way and because the Syrian constitution was changed to accommodate Bashar who, at 34, is six years too young to serve as president under the former document. Assad belonged to the Alawites, a Muslim sect that makes up only IO percent of the population. When the more numerous Sunni Muslims (85 percent of the population) realize this their chance to gain power, they might seize their long-suppressed opportunity. A revolution could erupt in Syria. Middle East commentator Emanuel A. Winston conceives this scenario: The Alawite-dominated army will first support Bashar Assad in order to maintain its own position. If the army leaders fail to withstand a challenge, they might flee the country. Assad’s ruthless and cruel brother, Rifaat, who has influence with the army, could attempt a power grab. If he does, a struggle might break out between-factions of the army with Bashar and Assad’s brother-in-law on one side. The brother-in-law controls the drug trade in the Bekaa Valley in cooperation with Colombia’s drug cartel. Twenty percent of the drugs entering the United States come from the Bekaa Valley. Commentator Winston speculates there could be a movement in Lebanon to break away from Syria and force Syria’s 40,000-man army, stationed primarily in the Bekaa Valley, out of Lebanon. That could open the possibility of Syria’s Alawite-dominated army with its Sunni foot soldiers facing down a strange coalition of Lebanese Muslims and Christians who want their country back. Iran and Iraq have their own interests in Syria and could support whichever appears likely to win. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, who has been in concession mode since taking office — and a lackey of the Clinton Administration and U.S. State Department — is in no position to benefit from Assad’s death. He has floated the fiction that giving up the Golan Heights would make Syria more amenable to a peaceful coexistence with Israel. Apologists will try to whitewash Assad’s record as they pursue their own legacies, but they should not be allowed to do so. Liberals in America and Israel will wail at Assad’s departure, but they should save their tears. Israel must again awaken to the reality that it is solely responsible for its defense and that it cannot rely on friends or enemies for preservation. One might say “good riddance” to Assad if that were the end of the story. But there are other terrible dictators — just like him — with the same deadly objectives. (Cal Thomas is a syndicated columnist.)■HSI ;