New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - March 21, 2003, New Braunfels, Texas
FRIDAY Mart* 21, 2003
mmmmm mmmmmmmjjjmm v 16 pages in 2 sectionsHerald-Zeitung
Vol, 152, No, IIG
Serving New Braunfels and Comal County since 1852
centsGround forces unleashed
■ First casualties: 16 dead in helicopter crash, Page 5A
■ Early strategy much different this time, Page 5A
■ Citizens lift prayers in support of troops, Page 5A
■ What precision strikes aimed to accomplish. Page 5A
■ Briefs from the warfront. Page 5A
I Follow late developments on the Herald-Zeitung Web
Site, wwwhantfd-zMung com
British Royal Artillery troops from the 29 Commando Regiment fire their 105mm light guns from a position in the Kuwait desert at targets in southern Iraq during the first night of the allied campaign Thursday. The United States turned its military might on Iraq and promised to press an offensive of unprecedented power to topple or kill President Saddam Hussein.
Surrender talks delay bombing barrage
By David Espo
AP Special Correspondent
American and British combat units rumbled across the desert into Iraq on Thursday and bombed limited targets in Baghdad. But military commanders withheld the massive onslaught that would signal all-out war as U.S. officials tried to talk the Iraqi regime into giving up.
Coalition forces suffered their first casualties in a helicopter crash that left 12 Britons and four Americans dead.
“The days of the Saddam Hussein regime are numbered,” Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld predicted, although he also said there was “no need for a broader conflict” if Iraqi leaders surrender.
On the second day of Operation Iraqi Freedom, American officials held out the tantalizing possibility that Saddam had been killed in the initial Wednesday night bombing of Baghdad.
State-run Iraqi television said Saddam survived, and met with his top aides to counter the U.S.-led attack. “We are resolved to teach the criminal invaders hard lessons and make them taste painful punishment,” declared the Iraqi military.
Intelligence analysts tried to determine whether a man in military garb shown on state-run television was the Iraqi leader or a double. U.S. intelligence believes Saddam and possibly two of his sons were present inside a suburban Baghdad compound when it was struck and that medical attention was summoned afterward. There was no definitive word whether Saddam was caught in the pre-dawn attack.
PHILIP A. MCDANIELAJS Navy
Aviation Ordnancemen assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron 113 hoist a GBU-16, a 1,000-pound laser guided bomb, onto a wing pylon of an F/A-18C Hornet on the flight deck aboard the aircraft carrier USS . Abraham Lincoln Thursday.
The onset of war sparked anti-war demonstrations across the country — more than 1,000 were arrested in San Francisco — and at U.S. embassies around the world. The State Department warned U.S. citizens abroad of an increased danger of terrorism.
Rumsfeld hinted that talks with Iraqi military elements, including some in the elite Republican Guard, may have been behind a delayed start to a planned massive aerial assault.
“We still hope” the Iraqi leadership can be replaced “without the full force and fury of a war,” Rumsfeld said after meeting with lawmakers on Capitol Hill.
Rep. Robert Andrews, D-N.J., said following a House briefing with Rumsfeld that “the behavior of those who’ve not surrendered would suggest that they might.”
In southern Iraq, white fight glowed in the desert sky, and the sound of explosions could be heard from across the Kuwait-Iraq frontier as the 3rd Infantry Division unleashed an artillery barrage. Troops eager to cross the border into Iraq cheered — and units were soon on their way.
The 101st Airborne Division rumbled across the desert in a vast convoy — trucks, tankers, Humvees and more rolling along under a round white moon.
Iraq sent missiles toward Kuwait in retaliation for the pre-dawn attack against Saddam, and American officials said the Iraqis had set fire to some of their own oil wells. Protecting the oil-rich Basra region was one of the American military’s goals as Marines and Army special forces headed into Iraq.
The Iraqi missiles landed harmlessly in the Kuwaiti desert. Officials said none of the Iraqi missiles caused injuries, and one was intercepted by a Patriot missile. Thousands of American and British troops donned protective gear, but there was no evidence the missiles
Rove gives glimpse into Bush’s mindPresidential adviser feted at conference
By Dylan Jimenez
President Bush’s senior adviser told a crowd of more than 500 Thursday night that Bush was calm and confident when he decided to attack Iraq.
Karl Rove has stayed close to the president’s side throughout the past few weeks as Bush prepared for war. But he took time out last night to attend the opening reception of the 37th Annual Texas Legislative Conference at the New Braunfels Civic Center, and to accept the coveted Thorn of the Year Award.
Rove described the atmosphere in the White House this week as calm and said the president spoke with his advisers with resolve as he decided to militarily disarm Saddam Hussein.
He said Bush maintains that resolve even today as he stays in close contact with coalition partners.
“He did this because he believes fervently after 9/11 we five in a different world,” Rove said.
Rove called Bush’s decision to invade Iraq an “eloquent expression” of the president’s “service, compassion and love of liberty.”
He said Bush represents these Texas and American values with his "willingness
to defend America.”
“He really is Texas,” Rove said. “The willingness to fight for freedom is what made Texas great”
Rove also emphasized that the strike against Iraq was not “pre-emptive” as many say it is.
He said the fault the military force against Saddam was the dictator himself. Saddam agreed to disarm after the Gulf War 12 years ago after admitting to possessing weapons of mass destruction.
Rove criticized governments who are not backing Bush and coalition forces in their decision to carry out action outlined in several U.N. resolutions.See ROVE/8A
Local officials: Don’t worry, but be ready
By Ron Maloney
Comal County’s top emergency management official said residents should strive to be ready for any eventuality, but they needn’t be frightened by the war with Iraq, which has been telegraphed for months.
Emergency Management Coordinator Carol Edgett said she wanted to warn against complacency, but that a war to remove Saddam Hussein should not have many local repercussions.
“I hoped they would resolve their issues, but I didn’t look for Hussein to leave,” Edgett said. “It seemed likely we’d be going to war.
We five in scary times.”
March 14, a Sattler business was evacuated and ll employees and a mail carrier decontaminated after a letter postmarked from
Iraq was delivered to the business.
The FBI told county officials to test the letter, which was done. Tests for chemical and biological agents were all negative.
Edgett said the incident emphasizes the tensions being felt as a result of the growing hostilities in the Middle East.
She said Comal County is remote from the front fines and even is a low likelihood for a target if the United States is attacked by terrorists.
“We don’t have any military bases here, and we don’t have manufacturing or products that would bt* targeted,” Edgett said. "We’re working to be prepared for any eventuality. Our specific threat is more from Austin or San Antonio.”
People should practice what Edgett called “commonsense preparedness.”
“Stay informed, use good judgement and pay attention to news media so you know what’s going on,” she said.
"In a time of crisis, everybody is his or her own best asset. Be aware of your surroundings and be aware of your mail.
■ The Department of Homeland Security has information to help prepare for disaster, terrorist attack or war on its Web site at www.ready.gov.
■ Tara Brinkkoeter, New Braunfels branch manager for the American Red Cross, said information on personal safety pr preparedness is available at the American Hod Cross located at the Comal County Courthouse. Hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Fnday.
DAVID INGRAM/Herald Zertung
Bill Siebert (left) receives Karl Rove’s autograph at the Texas Legislative Conference kick off. Rove, named Texan of the Year by the Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce Inc., was honored Thursday night at the civic center.