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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - June 26, 2003, New Braunfels, Texas Page 6A — Herald-ZeituNG — Thursday, June 26, 2003Forum Contact Managing Editor Gary E. Maitland 625-9144, ext. 220 NHW 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 (830) 625-9144 Other views Baytown Sun, on Congressional hearings needed on missing Iraqi WMDs: As justification for war, President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and the secretaries of Defense and State repeatedly told Americans Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction and that they posed a threat to us. Gulfwar II started March 19. Ninety-two days later, no such chemical, biological or nuclear weapons have turned up. Saddam Hussein’s weapons may be found, as the Bush administration insists. In the meantime, theres no denying the longer the issue drags on, the more it will look like the administration misrepresented the situation. We think its fair for Congress to review the intelligence given to the administration. They could clear up a lot of doubts. Pat Roberts, the Kansas Republican who heads the Senate Intelligence Committee, is wrong if he thinks he is doing the president and his fellow Republicans a service by holding his “review” mostly behind closed doors. There is a real danger that any effort to downplay alleged flaws in some of the intelligence will only make it appear the administration has something to hide. The belief Iraq was hiding weapons of mass destruction was nearly universal before the invasion. It was the oft-expressed view of the previous administration and of a number of allied governments. In December, the United Nations Security Council unanimously concluded 15-0 Iraq was in “material breach" of its disarmament orders. This conclusion was based on more than a decade of work by U.N. weapons inspectors. We believe the hearings should be open to the fullest extent possible, but we recognize there may be a need to close them at times so as not to compromise intelligence sources and military operations. In the end, Congress should issue a full report to the American public.Today In History- By The Associated Press Today is Thursday, June 26, the 177th day of 2003. There are 188 days left in the year. Today’s history highlight: Forty years ago, on June 26, 1963, President Kennedy visited West Berlin, where he made his famous declaration: “Ich bin ein Berliner" (I am a Berliner). On this date: In 1870, the first section of the Atlantic City, N.J., Boardwalk was opened to the public. In 1900, a commission that included Dr. Walter Heed began the fight against the deadly disease yellow fever. In 1917, the first troops of the American Expeditionary Force arrived in France during World War I. In 1945, the charter of the United Nations was signed in San Franciso by 50 countries. In 1948, Berlin Airlift began in earnest after the Soviet Union cut off land and water routes to the isolated western sector of Berlin. In 1959, President Eisenhower joined Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II in ceremonies officially opening the St. Lawrence Seaway.Policy 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. Guest columns should be less than 500 words. The author of the column is requested to supply a recent photograph. An address and telephone number, which are not for publication, must be included so authorship can be confirmed. No letter will be published until it has been verified. 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] Advice: Get active and promote need for patriotism I was not surprised when I read in the May 28 Herald-Zeitung a letter written by Ed Spreen of Boerne. As an American Legion Auxiliary member for the 17 years of Unit 35, I hear comments about what is wrong with our patriotic celebrations and how Americanism has gone down the tubes. The biggest heated comment, or excuse, I hear is the changing of Memorial Day ceremonies to a day of “observance.” For whatever reason Congress had for making the change, it does not, and will not, affect me, nor should it affect anyone, regarding future Memorial Day ceremonies. If you must do it yourself, get others organized and present an event on this special day to honor those who gave their all for our country. Pull your com muni-Write '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 Dr., Suite 460 San Antonio 78230 (210) 340-2885 Fax: (210) 349-6753 John Cornyn Senate Russell Courtyard 5 Washington, D.C. 20510 (202) 224-2934 Fax: (202) 228-2856 http ://corny n. senate. gov/JOAN P. HELMKE Guest Column ty together, join forces, and make it a good celebration. Don’t wait for others to do it, because it will not get done unless someone is strong enough to lead others. If the situation lies idle, the same old complaints and griping will continue year after year. Mr. Spreen may find that many others in Boerne feel as he does and would be willing to help have a memorial ceremony. Good things happen when least expected. I take exception to the blanket statement written by Mr. Spreen, which follows: The American people no longer realize just how important keeping patriotic traditions are to keeping (All e-mails are sent through the Web site) Austin office Jennifer Lustina, state director Beth Cubriel, field director 221 West Sixth St., Suite 1530 Austin 78701 (512) 469-6034 Fax: (512) 469-6020 San Antonio office Daniel Mezza, regional director 600 Navarro, Suite 210 San Antonio 78205 (210) 224-7485 Fax: (210) 224-8569 U.S. Congressman Lamar Smith, R-San Antonio Room 2231 Rayburn House Office Building Washington, D C. 20515 (202) 225-4236 our freedom.” Please, Mr. Spreen, do not group everyone together just because of a few nonthinking people. You should have visited our American Legion Post 35 and auxiliary this Memorial Day. Post members distributed large American flags in downtown New Braunfels, and more than 1,000 small American flags were placed on veterans’ graves. Taps was played, beautiful singing was presented, and a wreath was placed in honor of our beloved veterans. Perhaps you live in the wrong area of Tfexas. We would love to have you visit us in the future to see how many other good deeds we do for our living veterans year round. My records show no American Legion Post exists in your city. If you qualify to join the legion, we would love to have you as a member. Your patriotic backbone is what we need to spread the word on how to honor veterans all year, regardless of how the calendar reads. I invite you to attend our city’s Fourth of July celebration next week in New Braunfels. Wear red, white and blue and bring a flag! I am proud to live in this great city and to be part of Comal County. Our residents are the most patriotic bunch of people you could ever hope for, and our legion and auxiliary members are truly blessed to have their support. God Bless America and keep praying for active duty military personnel. (Joan P. Helmke is secretary for Unit 35 of the American Legion Auxiliary in New Braunfels.) 1100 NE Loop 410, Suite 640 e-mail address: San Antonio 78209 carter.casteel & house. state, tx. us (210) 821-5024 Texas State Senator Governor Jeff Wentworth, Rick Perry R-San Antonio State Capitol, Room 2S.1 1250 NE Loop 410, Suite 720 P.O. Box 12428 San Antonio 78209 Austin 78711 (210) 826-7800 (800) 843-5789 Fax: (210) 826-0571 Fax: (512)463-1849 How to contact in Austin Texas State Representative (512) 463-0125 Carter Casteel, Fax: (512) 463-7794 R-New Braunfels E-mail address: District office Jeff [email protected] 254 E. Mill St. Judith Zaffirini New Braunfels 78130 D-Laredo (830) 627-8820 PO. Box 627 Fax; (830) 627-8895 Laredo 78042-0627 How to contact in Austin (956) 722-2293 PO. Box 2910 12702 Toepperwein Rd #214 Austin 78768-2190 San Antonio 78233 (512) 463-0325 (210) 657-0095 Fax: (512) 473-9920 Fax: (210) 657-0262 Fox News is goo-goo eyed over President Bush Watching Fox News is like watching an electronic adolescent that has appointed itself the strident, belligerent defender of the Bush administration and its foreign policy. As a result, Fox got its nose quite out of joint when the British Broadcasting Corporation recently ran a program based on an international poll showing a majority in many countries don’t like President George Bush. Well, so what? I don’t imagine Hillary Clinton or Tipper and Al Gore are all that fond of him either. Certainly Jimmy Carville isn’t. So what is the big deal about a poll? ’Hie BBL’ poll, by tile way, showed practically the same thing an independent poll showed earlier. Nobody complained when earlier poll results were reported. It isn’t the job of any journalist or pretend-journalist to defend the president against politicalCharley Reese criticism. He pays people well to do that, and President Bush’s flacks are quite competent. Journalists are supposed to represent the common folks by just telling them what’s going on, good or bad, with no regard for partisan political consequences, if any, of the news they report. Maybe I feel so strongly because at one time I was a political flack. It paid very well. I am sure not going to flack for some politician on a journalist’s wage. What the folks at Fox News ought to do, if they like the president so much, is try to get on his campaign payroll. I’m sure the campaign pays better than Fox. I have developed a theory about contemporary American politics, which is, in essence, that people don’t pay much attention to the facts. They decide they either like or don’t like some polit ician, and that’s the end of it. Don’t try to confuse them with the facts. I’m quite certain that if it were proven beyond a doubt that President Bush lied about Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, it wouldn’t affect his popularity any more than Monica Lewinsky affected Bill Clinton's. American politics today is all perception and emotion. Maybe, I emphasize maybe, 5 percent of the people would change a political opinion based on the facts. The rest are attached to their favorites like movie fans. They just stare at them with goo-goo eyes and squeal on cue. I realized this when Jimmy Carter made his acceptance speech at the Democratic Convention in 1976. The camera showed a close-up of a young woman with tears streaming down her face and a look of rapt adoration. Now, if you’ve ever heard a speech by Jimmy Carter, you know he is not even close to being a great orator. He was a droner, worse than Al Gore. The normal human response to a Carter speech was, “When is this going to end?” Nor was he what a normal person would call adorable. "Likable” would be a stretch. Yet that young woman looked like a teeny-bopper at a Beatles concert. President Bush has his allotment of adoring fans, and nothing the BBC broadcasts is going to change their minds. Whomever the Democrats finally decide on will have his or her fans, and the great popularity contest will be off and running. The days of great politics and great politicians are behind us. You have to go back to Dwight Eisenhower and Harry Truman to find any original and informed thinking in political speech. Today’s candidates are mass-marketed with committee-written speeches and clever sound bites and photo ops. Despite all that, politicians often aren’t in control of their own destiny, lf the people believe the economy is bad, they will tend to blame the incumbent whether he had anything to do with it or not. Conversely, if they think the economy is good, they will give the incumbent credit whether he had anything to do with it or not. That tells us one thing: In October 2004, the Bus hies at Fox News will be telling us how great the economy is even if we are all unemployed and half starving. (Charley Reese is a syndicated columnist.) ;