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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - March 8, 2003, New Braunfels, Texas Page 6A — Herald-Zeitung — Saturday, March 8, 2003 BEST AVAILAIE COPYForum 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 (830) 625-9144 Other views Fort Worth Star-Tklegram on rush to missile• defense: ; The interception and destruction of an incoming missile bound for a target in the United States is ; an exceedingly complex technological problem. In ; basic terms, it’s like firing a bullet to hit another : bullet from another gun. Some critics question whether such a missile defense system could actually perform its primary ; mission — to knock out a missile launched by a ; [rogue nation such as North Korea, Iraq or Iran. If the Bush administration has its way, we may not • know until its needed. With the aim of deploying a rudimentary system :by September 2004 — just a few weeks before the presidential election, in fulfillment of a campaign J pledge made in 2000 — the Bush administration :has proposed in its fiscal 2004 budget that the sys-; tem be exempt from real-world operational testing. In the interests of quick deployment, Defense [ Secretary Donald Rumsfeld already has exempted • the missile defense program from traditional oversight within the Defense Department, prompting complaints from the Senate Armed Services Committee over the past two years that it can’t do an adequate job of oversight without the Pentagon reports. £ The latest proposal from the Pentagon would rexempt the missile defense system from a law — IU.S. Code, Title IO, Section 2431 — that requires The Defense Department to certify to Congress that ^operational testing has been completed on major iweapons systems before they are put into production. v In other words, the administration proposes to ^deploy a system without adequate assurance that it :will work. ; Congress must not relinquish its oversight duties las this project is rushed to deployment. As taxpayers, we have a right to know how our money is [being spent. And we must have an assurance — after an expenditure of billions of dollars that might have been spent in other theaters of the war .against terrorism — that this missile shield will •work.Today In History By The Associated Press Tbday is Saturday, March 8, the 67th day of 2003. There £re 298 days left in the year. Today’s history highlight: • * On March 8, 1841, Supreme Court Justice Oliver • Wendell Holmes Jr., the I “Great Dissenter,” was born I in Boston. • I On this date: • I In 1702, England’s Queen Anne ascended the throne upon the death of King William III. In 1917, the U.S. Senate voted to limit filibusters by adopting the cloture rule. In 1930, the 27th president of the United States, William Howard Taft, died in Washington. In 1942, Japanese forces captured Rangoon, Burma, during World War II.Policy Letters To The EditorCanyon Lake water diversion a bad idea I am perplexed by the lack of public debate and media attention concerning GBRAs plans to divert additional water from Canyon Lake and the Guadalupe River. The recent “Canyon Lake Economic Benefits Study” apparently makes it clear that there will be serious impact to the lake and the outflow to the Guadalupe when GBRA implements the plan to send more water to other part s of the Hill Country. Canyon Lake’s normal level is 909-foot msl, and the recreational facilities there are unusable at levels below 903-foot msl. The study indicates that lake levels could routinely fall well below that level during summer months, rendering the lake useless for recreation. Is this a viable plan? What about the flow of the Guadalupe and its associated economy below the lake? Won’t that be degraded as well?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 Drive, Suite 460 San Antonio, TX 78230 (210) 340-2885 Fax: (210) 349-6753 U.S. Congressman What will be the impact to New Braunfels if summer river levels don’t support rafters and the tourist economy around Canyon Lake collapses? Who is making these decisions? Have our elected representatives carefully reviewed GBRA’s plans as well as the recent study, and do they agree that appropriate decisions are being made for the future of Comal County and the surrounding region? Certainly, one must acknowledge the need to ration scarce water resources, but the current plan to divert water to other parts of the county may seriously damage the established economy around and below Canyon Lake. Jim Tinsley New BraunfelsSay ‘no’ to Mexico’s idea to shift burdens While leaders in Congress are telling us of the fragile condition of the Social Security program and the dangers of it collapsing in the 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 PO. Box 12428 Austin, TX 78711 (800) 843-5789 Fax: (512) 463-1849 Texas State Representative Cartel Casteel, near future, an effort is being made to extend the program to residents of Mexico. The Washington Times recently reported: “If top officials at the State Department and Social Security Administration have their way, up to $345 billion — or more — could be siphoned from the Social Security ‘trust fund’ over the next couple of decades, mostly to pay benefits to Mexican citizens who worked illegally in the United States.” Vicente Fox, president of Mexico, has been pushing President Bush to sign a Social Security agreement with Mexico as something of a consolation prize to make up for Bush’s failure to pursue promised immigration reform, according to Latino lobbyists close to the Fox administration. It is time for the U.S. taxpayers to say “no” to Mexico’s attempt to shift its social welfare burdens onto the U.S. taxpayers. Tb add more people to program already experiencing problems is pure idiocy.Max R. Tyner New Braunfels R-New Braunfels How to contact in Austin: (512) 463-0325 Fax: (512) 473-9920 e-mail address: carter.casteel @ 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 [email protected] 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 City Council ' Mayor Adam Cork 608-2100 city hall 609-1958 home mayor @ District 1 Sonia Murioz-Gill 608-2100 District 2 Larry Alexander 609-1242 home District 3 Debbie Flume 629-2496 home/work District 4 Robert Kendrick 643-1177 home (281) 686-7480 work District 5 Lee Rodriguez 629-4901 work District 6 Ken Valentine 625-7384 home tuberkdv <8 Comal County Judge Danny Scheel 150 N. Seguin Ave. New Braunfels, TX 78130 620-5501 Fax: 608-2026 Precinct 1 Commissioner Jack Dawson 620-5504 (830) 899-2948 home Precinct 2 Commissioner Jay Minikin 620-5509 (210) 651-9672 home Precinct 3 Commissioner Cristina Zamora 620-5503 606-9208 home Precinct 4 Commissioner Jan Kennady 620-5508 (830) 625-6739 homeAmerican people are being played for suckers 'A    A    ’•    *    • > Still think you are not being ;ilimflammed by the Bush admin- * istration? * t ■ Take heed of this: Newsweek * has reported that Hussein Kamel, * the highest-ranking Iraqi official •ever to defect and Saddam Hus- \ eein’s son-in-law, told the United ; Nations, the CIA and Britain’s •MI-6 in 1995 that Iraq destroyed jill of its chemical and biological stocks, as well as the missiles to deliver them, in 1991. j Yet the U.N. arms inspectors, .the CIA and MI-6 chose to keep that secret. If it’s true — and •there’s no reason to believe it isn’t rf— then it’s pretty hard evidence 4hat the Bush administration is -lying through its teeth when it j^ieeps insisting that Iraq has Jjweapons of mass destruction. It £also bolsters the credibility of for--mor chief arms inspector Scott Ritter, who has likewise insisted lhat Iraq’s weapons were destroyed. For that matter, it bolsters Lthe credibility of the Iraqi government, which insists it no longer Charley Reese has any weapons of mass destruc tion. You might recall that Kamel defected to Jordan and about six months later made the mistake of returning to Iraq, where he was killed. This coming war with Iraq gets murkier and murkier. Let’s see if we can sort it out. First, we have a chief executive so naive about the world outside of Texas, he probably couldn’t find a lot of countries on a map. Second, he has surrounded himself with American Likudniks — supporters of Israel’s right-wing government. Even The Washington Post reported recently what f I’ve been saying for months: that Bush’s policy is identical to that of Ariel Sharon’s, the Israeli prime minister. I’ve said that Bush has been acting Uke Sharon’s puppet; The Washington Post story quoted a U.S. official as saying Sharon has “played Bush like a violin.” The Israelis have long feared Iraq, Iran and North Korea (because they fear it will sell missiles to Iran). What a coincidence that those three countries are Bush’s “axis of evil.” Before Bush’s election, Dick Cheney (now vice president), John Bolton (now undersecretary of state for arms control), Douglas Feith (now third-highest-ranking official in the Defense Department), Richard Perle (now chairman of the Defense PoUcy Board) and James Woolsey (former CIA director) all had one thing in common: They served as advisers to the pro-Israeli Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs. This is according to an article that appeared in the magazine The Nation. Bush recently appointed as director of Middle Eastern affairs for the National Security Council Elliott Abrams, a protege of Perle and a man convicted of lying to Congress during the Iran-Contra affair. In 1996, according to an article in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, Perle, Feith and David Wurmser, now an assistant to Bolton, wrote a policy proposal for Benjamin Netanyahu, then Israel’s prime minister. Included in their advice were tips on how to manipulate the American government (O.K., even the Haaretz reporter says the report comes “dangerously close” to dual loyalty) and advice to drop the peace plan, drop the idea of land for peace and concentrate on toppling Saddam Hussein and eventually replacing other Middle Eastern governments in order to create a safe environment for Israel. There’s your explanation for the war. When sons and daughters come home in body bags or maimed, those are the people you can blame. Others in this group — who formed an outfit called the Project for the New American Century in 1997 that also called for toppling Saddam — include, in addition to most of those named above, Donald Rumsfeld; William Kristol, editor of the neoconservative Weekly Standard; Paul Wol-fowitz, Rumsfeld’s No. 2 guy; William Bennett, the best the neocons can do for an intellectual; Richard Armitage, now Cohn Powell’s deputy; Zalmay Khali-lzad, now ambassador to Afghanistan; and others, lf you watch the silly cable-news shows, you will recognize many of these names as part of the parade of “experts” in favor of war with Iraq. The American people are being played for suckers. Their sons and daughters will he cannon fodder in a war that might benefit a foreign country but will greatly damage the interests of our own. (Charley Reese is a syndicated columnist.) A ;