New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - May 1, 2001, New Braunfels, Texas
Page 6A — Herald-Zeitung — Tuesday, May I, 2001Forum
Contact Managing Edit Margaret Edmonson 625-9144 ext. 22
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 Jo Lee Ferguson, News Editor www.herald-zeitung.com (830) 625-9144Kudos
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Children make up about 25 percent of our population, but they are IOO percent of our future, President Eisenhower said.
The New Braunfels Breakfast Lions Club recently successfully conducted the Senior Send-Off and Teacher of the Year events. On behalf of the NB Breakfast Lions members, we wish to thank: Mark Krimm, who gave an outstanding presentation; New Braunfels city employees who work at the civic center and set up the chairs, handled many details and cleaned up afterward; Vince Koegle and Mike Taylor, who provided technical support; Lion Dave Howell and his Senior Send-Off committee; Lion Dick Koegle, who was our master of ceremonies; Lion Mac McDonald, Lion Angie Morales, Lion Mark Randolph and Lion Bill Ucinski, who organized the Teacher of the Year event; Allen Kieny, key account manager; Don Dickerson, special events coordinator; The Pepsi Bottling Group, San Antonio, who provided drinks, equipment and personnel; Goepf Jewelers Inc., who ordered and reordered crystal apples; Lion Darby Wright, who provided ice and ice chests; high school administrators and teachers at the seven high schools in Comal County who cooperated and allowed these events to happen; Lion Larry Franke; High Sierra Engraving & Trophies, who came up with matching perpetual plaques; the many Breakfast Lions who helped set up, served drinks, served as greeters and attended both events; and others who might have made a contribution that I have forgotten.
The Senior Send-Off is the graduation present to the high school seniors of Comal County from the New Braunfels Breakfast Lions Club. The Teacher of the Year is the only program in which the high school students from each school vote on the teachers who made the most significant impact in their lives. The NB Breakfast Lions are honored to put these events together.
The Breakfast Lions are convinced that the high school seniors of Comal County will provide all of us an outstanding future.
Dick Martin President
New Braunfels Breakfast Lions Club
This article is intended to give credit where credit is due: The Comal County Veterans’ Service Office. This office is currently represented by Michelle Davis. Davis shows a genuine concern for the veterans of Comal County and the surrounding areas. She has carried on the tradition of making those of us who have served our country her highest priority. Time and again, Davis has shown her willingness to assist veterans with problems with which they were not equipped to handle, much less able to approach. She gets the problems resolved through her diligence and expertise to the satisfaction of everyone concerned.
We, the undersigned, all have received a great amount of support, encouragement and assistance from Davis and will be eternally grateful. In addition, we all know of other veterans who have drawn on her knowledge and expertise in assisting many to receive well-deserved benefits and allowances earned through the service to our country.
Michelle Davis, we salute you.
Gerald E. Perkins, U.S. Army, Retired
R. Michael Clark, U.S. Army, Retired Past Commander Comal Post 179 DAV Chapter 163
Henry D. Pearce, U.S. Air Force, Retired Past Commander Comal Post 179
Arctic drilling needed for energy
President Bush has fared well in his first IOO days in office. His promised tax cut soon will become reality, and he has successfully led the country through a difficult international situation with China. It’s hard to find many who criticize the president these days, until you listen to environmentalists. And their criticisms ring hollow.
We all want clean air, clear water and pristine natural areas. But many wrongly measure government spending and overregulation as the only gauge of environmental effectiveness.
The last days of the past administration were a flurry not only of presidential pardons, but also of executive orders on a wide range of issues, including environmental regulations. President Bush is reviewing those orders and other pending rules, regulations and policies to ensure that taxpayers get the maximum benefit from each dollar government spends on the environment. He wisely seeks market-based solutions to environmental concerns. A solution for domestic oil production is needed.
We are facing a nationalLamar Smith
energy crisis. Consumers are paying record-high heating bills, and California continues to face rolling blackouts and shortages that are expected to spread to other parts of the country. Prices at the pump have risen an average of 21 cents across the U.S. just during the past five weeks.
America is growing steadily dependent on foreign sources of oil. Since 1980, domestic crude oil production has dropped 17 percent while oil consumption has increased 14 percent. Imports of oil have increased from 35 percent of U.S. consumption during the 1973 Arab oil embargo to nearly 57 percent now. New sources of domestic oil are needed.
For example, environmentally safe oil and gas development in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge will ensure America’s energy freedom. The U.S. Geological Survey estimates we have as much
as 16 billion barrels of oil in the coastal plain -enough to replace all the oil we import from Iraq for the next 58 years.
We can protect the environment and continue the search for domestic oil production. Modern drilling techniques allow us to tap oil and gas in an environmentally sensitive manner that is both efficient and protective of wildlife. Development would occur during the nine-month winters when virtually no wildlife is present. Ice roads would be used instead of gravel roads, melting away in the spring without a trace. Directional drilling from a single point to multiple oil deposits will reduce the impact on the land.
Our current dependence on foreign sources of oil is not in our nation’s best economic or security interests. Demand continues to rise, while every major oil field in the U.S. is declin-ing.^
It’s time to increase U.S. production of domestic oil in a way that protects the environment and meets our energy needs.
(Lamar Smith represents District 21 in the U.S. House of Representatives.)
Today in History
By The Associated Press
Today is Tuesday, May I, the 121st day of 2001. There are 244 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History: On May I, 1960, the Soviet Union shot down an American U-2 reconnaissance plane near Sverdlovsk and captured its
pilot, Francis Gary Powers. On this date:
In 1786, Mozart’s opera “The Marriage of Figaro” premiered in Vienna.
In 1893, the World’s Columbian Exposition was officially opened in Chicago by President Cleveland.
In 1898, Commodore George Dewey gave the com
mand, “You may fire when you are ready, Gridley,” as an American naval force destroyed a Spanish fleet in Manila Bay during the Spanish-American War.
In 1931, the Empire State Building was dedicated.
In 1941, the Orson Welles motion picture “Citizen Kane” premiered.Write ’Em —U.S. SENATORS
Room 370, Russell Senate Office Building Washington, D.C. 20510 (202) 224-2934 Fax: (202) 228-2856 404 E. Ramsey Road San Antonio, TX 78216 (210) 366-9494
Kay Bailey Hutchison Room 284, Russell Senate Office Building Washington, D.C. 20510 (202) 224-5922 Fax: (202) 224-0776 E-mail:
8023 Vantage Drive, Suite 460
San Antonio, TX 78230 (210) 340-2885 Fax: (210) 349-6753U.S. CONGRESSMEN
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
Giro D. Rodriguez Room 323, Cannon House Office Building Washington, D.C. 20515 (202) 225-1640 1313 S.E. Military, Suite 115 San Antonio, TX 78214 (210)924-7383GOVERNOR
State Capitol, Room 2S.1 PO. Box 12428 Austin, TX 78711 (800) 843-5789 Fax: (512) 463-1849STATE SENATORS
1250 NE Loop 410, Suite 720
San Antonio, TX 78209
Fax: (210) 826-0571
PO. Box 627
Laredo, TX 78042-0627
12702 Toepperwein Road,
San Antonio, TX 78233 (210) 657-0095 Fax: (210) 657-0262STATE REPRESENTATIVE
Edmund Kuempel P.O. Box 911 Seguin, TX 78155 (830) 379-8732 Fax: (830) 463-5896COMAL COUNTY JUDGE
Danny Scheel 150 N. Seguin Ave.
New Braunfels, TX 78130
Fax: 608-2026Bob Kerrey in damage control mode over Vietnam questions
Article 118 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice says, “Any person subject to this chapter who without justification or excuse, unlawfully kills a human being when he I) has a premeditated design to kill; 2) intends to kill or inflict great bodily harm; 3) is engaged in an act which is inherently dangerous to others and evinces a wanton disregard of human life; or 4) is engaged in perpetration or attempted perpetration of burglary, sodomy, rape, robbery, or aggravated arson; is guilty of murder, and shall suffer such punishment as a court-martial trial may direct.”
Army Lt. William L. Calley Jr. was convicted of four counts of murder under this article for the execution of more than IOO women and children at My Lai, South Vietnam in 1968.
Former Sen. Bob Kerrey of Nebraska is now defending himself against similar accusations.
Kerrey recently started talkingCal Thomas
about the women and children killed by his unit in a Feb. 25,
1969 raid in the Mekong Delta village of Thanh Phong.
In interviews with “60 Minutes II” and Gregory L. Viatica (for the New York Times Magazine),
Kerrey said he had no recollection of killing women and children. Gerhard Klann, a member of Kerrey’s unit, says Kerrey gave the order to fire. There is a dispute among the combatants as to whether they were fired on first. Kerrey says they were but has acknowledged that after 32 years, “my memory of this event is clouded by the fog of the evening, age and desire.”
A Vietnamese woman named Pham Tri Lanh was interviewed about the incident by “60 Minutes II’’ in February. She says she witnessed the killing of 17 unarmed women and children. She was identified as the wife of a Viet Cong fighter.
The truth about this incident, and perhaps many others like it — known and not yet known — might be hard to determine. But there are a number of questions that should be asked.
Why did this take so long to emerge? Newsweek magazine, which had the story two years ago when Gregory Viatica was on staff, sat on it. Newsweek assistant managing editor Evan Thomas, who interviewed Kerrey with Viatica, told The Washington Post, “We could have run the story. We had Kerrey’s confirmation. We just didn’t want to do it to the guy when he wasn’t running for president.”
This past Friday, Kerrey met
with five other members of his SEAL commando team (Klann was not invited) to discuss what happened the night of the raid. Each disputed central elements in Klann’s story.
While in Thanh Phong, “Klann says that the squad rounded up women and children from a group of hooches,” Vestica writes in the New York Times Magazine. Then, according to Klann, Kerrey gave orders to machine-gun the captives, fearing they might alert enemy soldiers.
Kerrey says he and his men fired from IOO yards away. The problem with that version is that the dead were huddled together when it might have been expected that upon hearing gunfire they would have headed for the bunkers that were under many of the huts, or scattered in different directions. It was dark and it seems unlikely that even the best marksmen could hit and kill every human target in such a “neat”
manner from that distance.
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), a fellow Vietnam veteran and former prisoner of war, defended Kerrey this past week in The Wall Street Journal. McCain is correct when he says that those who have nevei been in combat should not rush to judgment of those who have.
That’s not an excuse for doing nothing. Others, like Lt. Calley, have been convicted of actions similar to those of which Kerrey and his men are accused. Other incidents of large numbers of civilian casualties in Vietnam remain uninvestigated or untried.
Is there a cover-up about events at Thanh Phong? If so, who else is involved and how high up the chain of command?
If war crimes have been committed, the United States, which has held other nations responsible for such crimes, has an obligation to credibly investigate its own.
(Cal Thomas is a syndicated columnist.)