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Cuba Free Press
Cuba, Missouri
April 3, 2003     Cuba Free Press
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April 3, 2003

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4A April 3, 2003 Opinion The Cuba Free Press The news media's rush to judgement The other day I made the mistake of watching a network newscast for an update on the war in Iraq. To hear Dan Rather talk about it, you'd think we were losing the conflict. Every story used a negative spin to show not what we've achieved thus far but what we haven't: that our forces are in an attack "pause," that there's not enough troops on the ground, supply lines are cut, soldiers are going hun- gry, Iraq's people aren't coming to our support, we can't find the weapons of mass destruction, Saddam may be alive, a humanitarian aid program is falter- ing, the war is taking too long, etc. Sometimes when I turn on the nightly news, I wonder if I'm not watching an A1-Jazeera TV broad- cast instead. While I think the media has a respon- sibility to pose tough questions about the progress of this war, it should do so in a fair and bal- Wbat l anced manner. The 24-hour coverage Think of "embedded" Amer- -, ican journalists along Chris the front lines has had Case a major effect on the way we all see the action back home: It has turned us all into arm- chair generals. Despite the recent spin by top commanders, before it began, I think everyone---the media, mili- tary and the general public--predicted a relatively quick end to the war. This has not happened, but does that mean we're losing it? Of course not. Gen. Richard Myers, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said himself this week that plans had been made in Lhe war room for a wide range of outcomes before the fighting ever began. The fact that Iraqis have shown some resistance is not completely unex- pected, nor is it uniquely problematic from a logis- tical perspective. It'll make for a longer process but not one that can't be overcome given time, which is on our side not Saddam's. You have to keep in mind two things as an army commander--both the specific tactical situation as ,'it develops on the field and the overall strategic goals of the war. Both are interrelated but some- times not necessarily in complete accord. This is why you hear some negative reports from the desert field commanders but positive reviews of the war's progress from Pentagon command: One man sees the war from the ground as the battle unfolds in front of him; the other sees the war from a greater perspective of overall achievement and the ability to carry out the stated goals of the cam- paign. Are we losing this war? Only if you're a part of Saddam's regime. The reality, however, is that the American public must brace itself for the possibili- ty of a long war but also prepare for an end that could come at any given moment. Changes on the battlefield are. swift and sudden, and I feel confi- dent our military command possesses the power, desire and creativity to adapt and adjust to new dangers as they arise. Americans must be willing to show some patience as the battles unfold before our eyes, just as the armed forces will surely be careful and calculated in their approach toward conquering Baghdad. We'll all be watching these world-changing events as they happen on television, but don't let the armchair generals on the nightly news fool you into thinking our forces have already lost the war. Why is gas higher here? Someone called Tuesday morning to find out what's up with the gas prices in Cuba. Ten cents a gallon, that's what. When stations owned by the same companies (Wallis, Voss, Hocker, Casey's and Delano) are sell- ing gas for six to 10 cents a gallon cheaper in other nearby towns, one has to start wondering why the prices remain high here in Cuba, where they have historically been the lowest around. I buy all my fuel locally when I can, but for 10 cents a gallon (that's $4.00 sometimes on a single fill-up), I'll buy it in Rolla or Sullivan when I get the chance. If they can sell it for $1.39 somewhere else, they can sell it for that here! --the editor .Your Thoughts Students deserve it LETTER TO THE EDITOR I want to urge everyone to go to the polls and vote yes for the Proposition C roll back and the 50 cent increase in the operating levy. I worked in the Bourbon school system for 30 years and attended many board meetings. I assure you the board would not ask for this roll back and operating increase if it wasn't absolute necessary. The last time the board discussed taxes and Prop C was in 1994. At that time they were faced with a decision that has impacted the com?nunity in a positive way for several years. They could have increased taxes at that time but chose to roll back because the citizens were being taxed enough. Several other communities close by did not follow suit. Now there is no choice but to vote for the increase. To maintain high standards for the education of the children of Bourbon some changes must be made. The Crawford County R-I School District is one you can be proud of. Let's keep it that way by giving the school the funds it needs to provide the best educa- tion possible for the children who are the future. The citizens of Bourbon have always stepped up in the past when there was a need. It is time to continue that tradition. Vote yes on Tuesday, April 8, to give our students the opportunity to have the best pro- grams, faculty and facility avail- able. Bill Watts Retired Principal Bourbon High School Free Press? LETTER TO THE EDITOR I would appreciate equal time to response to your editorial. I have been a reader of the Cuba Free Press since it first came on line and feel compelled to bring another opinion to your readers. Here are my comments: Cuba Free Press? Let's change that name right now. Sounds more like a government controlled media outlet right there in Cuba, Missouri! Newspapers or news outlets that label themselves as "Free Press" entities and then want to control any dissent not of their choosing are the most hypocritical of all protesters. Sure you had a number of qualifiers in the editorial but the message was loud and clear. If you protest the war, you are unpatriotic and Un-American. Come on now. I am a veteran and feel that the highest form of patriotism is in protesting any time our government is engaging in illegal and immoral acts- before, during and after. Had we not protested in 1776, we could very well still be a British Colony. My support of our brave men and women in the military is unequivocal. I have blood kin involved in the war and my daily prayers are for their safe return along with the safe return of all our troops. I pray for a swift and sure victory. I pray for the innocent Iraqis who are dying and will die in this needless war. I even pray that President Bush will come to his senses and call off this monstrous tragedy. It is a war of his choice, a war that was optional, a war that need not have happened. The war is a result of his failure as a leader of a great democracy. Dissent during wartime? Damn right I will! I love my country enough to protest and fight for its survival. Thank you for accepting my view on the war and protests. A long. time resident of Cuba, Missouri with many family ties still in the county. A hearty hello to all. Bill Davis Gassaway, Tenn. Don't call firehouse LETTER TO THE EDITOR To the residents of Crawford County, Open burning season is upon us. There are many times the fire department is called out on a controlled burn. Many peo- ple are affected when a fire call is activat- ed, dispatch, law enforcement, volunteer firemen, ambulance personnel, conserva- tion department and the general public. We ask that when you are doing a con- trolled burn you call 573-775-4911. Please do not call the firehouse. We are all volun- teers. We may not get your message for several days if you call the firehouse. Thanks to you, the general public, for your help and cooperation in this matter and support that you give the fire depart- ment. Mike Plank Cuba Fire Chief Support our troops LETTER TO THE EIITOR But we say no war We say no war, "We don't know why we're there." We don't agree with our Commander in Chief. Stop the anarchy, please support our nation and pray for our troops and our rom Barry's Guff War book,, This &'n'r lied.. But" You Coa .e Ir From allies. They say we're out of control and we as a country are out of control. On September 11, 2001, our nation was attacked by a madman and his followers on that day. We became a nation on that day. We became friends for a while. It's funny how soon we forget. We are a nation of all races. We don't even take time to talk to our neighbors. We're so involved with our own greed and selfishness that we don't take time to think about anyone else, We say no war. We don't understand why we're there. Terrorists, that's why, "Saddam Hussein." But we say he's not a terrorist. But ask yourself what is a terrorist or even terrorism? Terrorism (1) the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes (2) the state of fear and submission so pro- duced (3) to dominate or coerce by intimi- dation. But we say no war. They say we should give him more time. You say give him another chance. How much time? How many chances? He's only had 12 years to comply. He does not follow rules of engagement or the rules for POW's but don't worry, he's not a terrorist. He's a dictator. He's a. car- ing president of his people. That's why he uses them as human shields. That's why he's executed two of our soldiers and showed the world. But we say no war. No, he's not creating chemical weapons. That's why we found over 300 chemical suits and attriphine. But we say no war. I just want to know how we cannot stand now as one nation supporting our troops. t ney give their lives, their children, fathers, mothers, grandfathers and grand- mothers and for what we say? This is why, for something we believe in and to pre- serve our way of live and to nothing like September 11 every l again. To try and preserve the that America stands for so that dren and mine might have opportunities that we had so walk down the street without fear. But we say no war. Today we should ident and our troops and be our country and what it re proud of what we're trying to and try to understand this this is about our way of life we're preserve. We are at war. We we set out to do so please pray troops and our allies and be every man, women, son, son that is willing to die for Your country, our children's Mark R. ! Opposed to what? LETTER TO THE I was confused by a opinion piece in last penned by Chris Case. opposed to the aggressive tactics shown by some demonstrators, or is he their fundamental right disagree with being put forth on the in their name as Surety it's not the jeopardizes his own a member of a free This would mean there when one should question one's purported leaders' this one of a j duties? Do we really that kind of mindset next generation that it's speak up---just as as only when it's lent? Should Germans science not have Hitler's actions and re! 1930s and into WW II? feel about those other now, the ones who condoned by vocal support the atrocities by their leader in their name? Should the French not have against their oppressors in the century? Should they have dened by the heavy taxes being finance the oligarchy's beyond its means, at the expen# commoner? Should the colonists in this have shrugged and accepted taxes without representation, or ued living under the rule of a that took no interest in their side their economic production? Certainly I am not to a madman or kings. What tions all have in popular wisdom was initially, at dissenters to keep quiet and their country further with their rousing. If we make it mandatory should bow unquestioningly to federal politicians, especially i the greatest tests of our then we make it ally, public edict--to do the state and local levels and to ing accountability from the clans we have put into office to our interests. I know firsthand cal accountability is why readers pick up this KnoxVille: Enjoys recipes LETTER TO THE EDITOR Just to let you know how everybody I mention it to) recipe section. Hats off to yoU. "quickie" recipes. Thanks. Barbsr$ CUBA FREE PRESS I I0 SOUTH BUCHANAN CUBA, MISSOURI 65453 PHONE 573-885-7460 Publisher & Editor ROB VIEHMAN Advertising SANDY MORICE Circulation JANICE RANSOM Printing RUSS NEW Post Office Publication No. 565-180 April 3, 2003m Volume 43 Number 45 Cuba Free Press www.cubafreepress.com Address all communications in care of the Cuba Free Press, P.O. Box 568. Periodical Class Postage paid at Cuba, Missouri. Published weekly each Thursday morning at Cuba, Mo. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to CUBA FREE PRESS, P.O. Box 568, Cuba, MO 65453. " Single Copy Price 70 75 SUBSCRIPTION RATES CRAWFORD CO. MISSOURI 2 years $54.00 2 years $72.00 2 years Tax 4.01 Tax S.38 IPay $S8.04] l pay $77.38 I I year $30.00 I year $40.00 I year Tax 2.24 Tax 2.99 I sn.z4] I Par s4z.991