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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - March 20, 2003, New Braunfels, Texas New Braunfels THURSDAY March 20, 2003 "VV”* ■"■■F"    12    pages    in    2    sectionsHerald-Zeitung , "..... f ........ Vol. 152, No. 109 Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852 50 cents Big shock, little awe as war on Iraq begins Opening salvo not the spectacle some predicted By Ron Fournier AP White House Correspondent WASHINGTON — U.S. forces launched air strikes against “targets of military importance” in Iraq, President Bush said Wednesday night. He described the action as the opening salvo in an operation to “disarm Iraq, to free its people.” Bush spoke after the U.S. military struck with cruise missiles and precision-guided bombs against a site near Baghdad, where Iraqi leaders were thought to be, U.S. government officials said. There was no indication whether the attack was successful. “Now that the conflict has come, the only way to limit its duration is HUSSEIN to apply decisive force,” the president said. “And I assure you, this will a campaign of half measures and we will accept no outcome but victory.” The strikes used Tomahawk cruise missiles and precision-guided bombs dropped from F-117 Nighthawks, the Air Force’s stealth fighter-bombers, military officials said. Bush addressed the nation less than two hours after his 8 p.m. EST ultimatum for Saddam Hussein to give up power. Bush gave the attack go-ahead near the end of a three-hour meeting Wednesday evening with his war council — including Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld and Gen. Richard Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The meeting ended about 45 minutes before the 8 p.m. deadline. Aides said the group pored over weather forecasts and troop positions, and Bush acted on the advice of his military commanders. The president then reviewed his address with his chief speechwriter and went to the residence for dinner with Laura Bush. They were in the living room when White House chief of staff Andrew Card called to inform the president that intelligence officials had no information that Saddam had left Iraq. Bush polished his remarks a final time and headed back to the Oval Office to deliver them to an anxious nation. He spoke as a U.S.-led force of 300,000 See WAR/3A PATRICK BAZ/AFP Photo An explosion is seen in Baghdad early Thursday as the United States launched air strikes on the capital, making good on threats of military action to push President Saddam Hussein out of power. President George W. Bush announced he had launched war against Iraq. “My fellow citizens, at this hour American and coalition forces are in the early stages of military operations to disarm Iraq, to free its people and to defend the world from grave danger,” Bush said. ■ Short salvo aimed to knock out selected targets, Page 5A ■ 1.000 troops launch raids in Afghanistan, Page 5A ■ Full text of Bush's address to nation, Page 5A ■ Confidence in campaign, worries about terrorism, Page 5A ■ Start of war draws mixed reactions, Page 5A ■ What is a Tomahawk missile? Page 5A ■ Briefs from the warfront, Page 5A ■ Follow late developments on (fie Herald-Zeitung Web Site, wwwtmitO-mtunycom Local war vets: It’s time to go By Ron Maloney Staff Writer Bonnie Pickett didn’t win the bingo jackpot Wednesday night at American Legion Post 179 in New Braunfels. “I wasn’t lucky,” she said. “Saddam Hussein isn’t going to be lucky tonight either,” she said, about hah an hour after President George W. Bush announced to the nation that the war to oust Hussein from Iraq had begun. U.S. forces fired cruise missiles and sortied stealth fighter-bombers against an undisclosed site in Baghdad at 8:30 p.m. Central — just before dawn in Iraq. The strikes were reportedly launched against a “target of opportunity” — possibly Iraqi leadership, although no bomb damage assessment was available at press time. “Its time,” Pickett said. “A lot of people have forgotten about what 9/11 was and what happened that day. Its time to stop it. Its time to go.” Pickett, whose husband, Jim, is a past commander of Post 179 who served during the Vietnam era and as a chief torpedoman in submarine Squadron 16 during the See LOCAL/3A DAVID INGRAM/Herald-Zeitung Actavio and Agapito Campos take time out from the bingo game taking place at American Legion Post 179 to catch up on the latest news on America’s war against Iraq. Despite the war, bingo went on as usual.Saluting those called to serve our country Families across Texas and the United States are wrestling with fears but standing proud as U.S. military forces await the signal to begin the attack against Iraq. It is a difficult time for loved ones left behind — a time of uncertainty and concern. Ifs also a time when Ow outpouring of support from the community can be a comforting touch in an otherwise difficult period. With family permission, the Herald-Zeitung would like to salute the men and women of the HiU Country who have been called to serve their country in the Middle East. Families who have a picture of their service member can drop their photo by the newspaper to be published — along with a short note from loved ones emphasizing their pride and hopes for safe return. And we would encourage community residents who do not haw loved ones serving to pass along their heart-felt thoughts and words of appreciation, which will be published as wed. Lastly, should their service member have access to the Internet and the family know that Internet address, the Herald-Zeitung will be glad to take a digital photo of family members, prepare it and e-mail it to your loved one at no cost. Well include in that e-mail a brief note from those at hone. The Herald-Zeitung is proud to offer these services to our community. Ifs our way of saying thanks to the brave men and women who defend the freedoms that we cherish Experts: Massive campaign to follow Inside By Sean Bowlin Staff Writer A retired military officer and a international affairs professor at Southwest Texas State said Wednesday night’s precision strikes are just the beginning of a high-intensity military campaign. With the opening of the campaign against Saddam Hussein, the main focus for U.S. troops soon will be Baghdad. Retired U.S. Marine Col. Jim Reid is a graduate of the Industrial War College. He was the former professor of Naval Science at Tbxas A&M University and is the head of the Marine Corps Junior ROTC Unit at New Braun fels High School. Of America’s strike last night on Baghdad, Reid said, “there must have been valuable targets of opportunity on our target lists.” Reid also said he believes America had operatives on the ground in or near Baghdad directing that strike. Hitting Saddam Hussein with a cruise missile would be a stroke of luck not likely to happen. Perhaps, Reid said, American forces were dropping a huge 21,000-pound bomb in Baghdad in order to gain support of freedom fighters and to psychologically destabilize Saddam’s regime. And turning from psychological operations, Reid pre dicted U.S. strategy. He said the “center of gravity” or aim of the campaign will be to take out or cut off Saddam Hussein. Then all other objectives will be attacked on a time line. And the battlefield, Reid said, will be prepared with artillery along the borders and cruise missiles, bombers and attack aircraft. Reid supposed the U.S. ground troops were moving into attack positions last night while the battlefield was being prepared. “It’ll let the troops rest and get them out of the heat,” Reid said. With a full moon coming the next night and a vernalSee EXPERTS/3A Abby................... ...............6A Classifieds............. ..............2-4B Comics................ ...............8A Crossword.......... ...............6A Forum................. ...............7A Movies............. ...............6A Obituaries........... ...............3A Sports.................. ............1-2B Today.................. ...............2A Key Code 76 56825 00001 ;