Indiana Gazette from Indiana, Pennsylvania on September 13, 1990 · Page 6
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Indiana Gazette from Indiana, Pennsylvania · Page 6

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VIEWPOINT Monday, September 15, 2003 — Page 6 "The Gazette wants to be the friend of every man, the promulgator of all thafs right, a welcome guest in the home. We want to build up, not tear down; to help, not to hinder; and to assist every worthy person in the community without reference to race, religion or politics. Our cause will be the broadening and bettering of the county's interests." — Indiana Gazette, 1890 The Indiana Gazette Gunsmoke and mirrors By MAUREEN DOWO New York Times News Service WASHINGTON — This is how bad things are for George W. Bush: He's back in a dead heat withAlGore. (And this is how bad things are for Al Gore: He's back in a dead heat with George W. Bush.) One terrorist attack, two wars, three tax cuts, four months of guerrilla mayhem in Iraq, five silly colors on a terror alert chart, nine nattering Democratic candidates, 10 Iraqi cops killed by Americans, $87 billion in Pentagon illusions, a gazillion boastful Osama tapes, zero Saddam and zilch WMD have left America split eveniy between the president and the former vice president. "More than two and a half years after the 2000 election, and we are back where we started," marveled John Zogby, who conducted the poll. It's plus ca change all over again. We are learning once more, as we did on 9/11, that all the fantastic technology in the world will not save us. The undigitalized human will is able to frustrate our most elaborate schemes and lofty policies. What unleashed Shock and Awe and the most extravagant display of American military prowess ever was a bunch of theologically deranged Arabs with box cutters. The Bush administration thought it could use scientific superiority to impose its will on alien tribal cultures. But we're spending hundreds of billions subduing two backward countries without subduing them. After the president celebrated victory in our high-tech war in Iraq, our enemies came back to rattle us with a diabolically ingenious low-tech war, a homemade bomb in a truck obliterating the U.N. offices, and improvised explosive devices hidden in soda cans, plastic bags and dead animals blowing up our soldiers. Afghanistan has mirror chaos, with reconstruction sabotaged by Taliban assaults on American forces, the Afghan police and aid workers. The Pentagon blithely says that we have 56,000 Iraqi police and security officers and that we will soon have more. But it may be hard to keep and recruit Iraqi cops; the job pays OK, but it might end very suddenly, given the rate at which Americans and guerrillas- are mowing them down. Secretary Pangloss at Defense and Wolfie the Naif are terminally enchanted by their own descriptions of the world. They know how to use their minds, but it's not clear they know how to use their eyes. "They are like people in Plato's cave," observed one military analyst. "They've been staring at the shadows on the wall for so long, they think they're forms." "It's 125 degrees there and they have no electricity and no water and it doesn't make for a very happy population," said Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who recently toured Iraq. "We're in a race to provide the services and security for people so the Iraqis will support us rather than turn against us. It's up for grabs." McCain says that "the bad guys" are reminding Iraqis that America "propped up Saddam Hussein in the '80s, sided with Iraq in the Iraq-Iran war, told the people in Basra in '91 we'd help them get rid of Saddam and didn't, and put economic sanctions on them in the '90s." He says we have to woo them, even though we are pouring $87 billion — double the amount designated for homeland security — into the Iraqi infrastructure when our own electrical grid, and port and airport security, need upgrading. "If anyone thinks the French and Germans are going to help us readily and rapidly," he says, "they're smoking something very strong." Mocking all our high-priced, know-nothing intelligence, Osama is back in the studio making his rock videos. The cadaverous caveman has gone more primitive to avoid electronic detection, operating via notes passed by couriers. We haven't forgotten all' Bush's bullhorn, dead-or-alive pledges. But he's like a kid singing with fingers in his ears, avoiding mentioning Saddam or bin Laden, or pressing the Pakistanis who must be protecting Osama up in no man's land and letting the Tal- iban reconstitute (even though we bribed Pakistan with a billion in aid). He doesn't dwell on nailing Saddam either. His gunsmoke has gone up in smoke. This war must be won By JOHN FARRELL The Denver Post WASHINGTON — Another 9/11, with the same translucent sky. I switched off the e-mail and the cable news channels, left the office and rode the train to Arlington. The national cemetery is a stirring place. The long white lines of graves trace the rise and fall of grassy hillsides. A few hundred feet away, visible through a line of oaks, is the southwest side of the Pentagon, a place of flame and horror two years ago. The older stones say "World War II" or "Vietnam." The name of a new war is carved upon the fresh ones: "Iraq." As in our other wars, the names on the headstones speak of America's varied faiths and her- • itage. Kemaphoom Ahn Chana- wongse, GPL, USMC, Iraq. Andrew Aviles. Dominic Baragona. David Tapper. Timmy Brown. Brett Christian. Chad Keith. Raymond Losano. Brett Petriken. James Adamouski. Nino Livaudais. The freshest of these graves is Spec. Darryl Dent's. He was 21 on Aug. 26, when, the Army says, a remotely triggered explosion took his life as he rode in a truck, delivering mail, just north of Baghdad. He spent his childhood in North Carolina, then left his mother's home to join his dad, who worked as a doorman here in Washington. He graduated from Roosevelt High School, where he was a standout in the Junior ROTC program. He enrolled in a mentoring program, following physicians in their daily work, at the Washington Medical Center. "He wanted to be a doctor; that was his aspiration," Johnette Wilson, who runs the program, said when I called her. "He was kind of shy when he came; very serious-minded. He was gentle, and ' kind-spirited. "He went into the ROTC. He said to me that he needed to raise the funds to give him an opportunity to pay for college," said Wilson. "When he talked about going into the military, at that time it wasn't a war. Young men don't think that it will come to that, and to be honest with you, neither did I." Two members of Colorado's Army National Guard have offered their lives to this war on terror: Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Romero in Afghanistan, and Staff Sgt. Barry Sanford in Iraq. There will be additional deaths, for the Guard is being asked to serve more often, and for longer stretches of time. Two years. And the war that began on 9/11 has now lasted longer than the Spanish-American War, or our part in World War I, or more than half the time it took us to win World War II. We have conquered, and now bear the hopes and burdens of, two fabled lands upon whose unforgiving deserts and fanged peaks the dreams of previous empires crumbled. In Vietnam, we could quit, pack up, and go home: Ho Chi Minh had no pirated Russian nukes, or vials of smallpox germs. This will be tougher; defeat is not an option. We must stay and win a peace, cure ills and curb old hatreds. The day's last sunshine fell upon the lawns and magnolia trees, raced across the muddy Potomac and lit the monuments of the federal city with a golden- red glow, the color of the sands of Normandy. I mumbled a prayer, and I'm not a praying man. Lord, let us get this right. The graves of Darryl Dent and these other young soldiers cry out for meaning, demand no less. The third year began.' (John Aloysius Farrell, Washington bureau chief for The Denver Plat, can be contacted atjfar- reU@denverpost.com,) TheEYE EXAM H ow ARD DEAN FOR Oslo accord's terrible toll By JEFF JACOBY The Boston Globe On Sept. 13, 1993, Yasser Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin shook hands on the White House lawn. That gesture ushered in the Oslo "peace process," so called after the Norwegian capital where its groundwork had been laid. The deal that led to the White House handshake had been sealed with an exchange of correspondence four days earlier? On Sept. 9, Arafat had signed a letter declaring that the PLO "recognizes the right of the State of Israel to exist in peace and security" and "renounces the use of terrorism and acts of violence." .••.-. , ••;; He promised tb "assume-responsibility over all PLO elements and personnel in order to assure their compliance, prevent violations, and discipline violators." Rabin replied that Israel would recognize the PLO as the Palestinians' representative and accept it as a negotiating partner for peace. But the White House ceremony did not inaugurate an era of peace. It inaugurated instead the worst decade of terrorism in Israel's history. Just 11 days after the handshake, 22-year-old Yigal Vaknin was stabbed to death in a citrus grove by a Hamas death squad, which left a note boasting of the murder. Vaknin was the first of 1,126 men, women, children, and babies who would lose their lives to Palestinian terror in the 10 years following Arafat's renunciation of violence. Some, like Vaknin, were knifed to death. Others were shot or stoned or bombed. The terrorists have killed their victims at a discotheque and a bat mitzvah party, at a Passover seder and in a pizzeria, on a university campus and in a farmer's market, and in dozens of buses and bus stops. The Palestinians, too, have suffered thousands of casualties. Many have died while planning or carrying out violent attacks; others, smeared as "collaborators," have been lynched by Arafat's cutthroats. Innocent bystanders have lost their lives; tragically killed when : Israel has fought m self-defense. They, too, are part of Oslo's terrible toll; I was on the White House lawn on Sept. 13, 1993, and saw the handshake in person. It was, for me, a surreal and disquieting 'moment: I had never expected to see the world's most notorious terrorist hailed as a peacemaker. Yet even more surreal and disquieting was the rapture of the audience. People were giddy with happiness, elated that the impossible dream of Arab-Israeli peace was coming true before their eyes. In a commentary that morning I had written: "A reality check is in order. . . . One letter from Arafat does not a Palestinian peace witfi Israel make. ... The millennium has not arrived, and there is no cause for euphoria." But that was clearly a minority view, both on the White House •lawn and in the media at large. At the Israeli embassy a few hours later I saw Shimon Peres — then Israel's foreign minister and a key Oslo architect — mobbed by a deliriously joyful crowd. Even more than the Washington dignitaries and media talking heads, Israelis and American Jews embraced the new "peace process." Oslo was extolled as the start of a "New Middle East," in which Israel would be smiled on by its neighbors and the Arabs' enmity would give way to tourism and joint ventures. Oslo quickly became a cult, ' wofshipp ed ', with' a' fervor that brooked-no doubts and disdained all skeptics. There was never peace but there was a "peace process," and the more the evidence of its failure mounted, the more fervently it was venerated. Within a few months it should have been clear to all that Arafat and the PLO leadership had not abandoned terrorism. Empowering them with land and money and authority had inflamed, not quenched, their thirst to "liberate" Israel from the Jews. Buses exploded and funerals proliferated, but Israelis told themselves that they were fashioning a "peace of the brave" and that there was no alternative but to return to the negotiating table and offer new con- cessions. Yet each concession just convinced the Palestinians that the Jews were weakening and that up ping the violence would make them even more desperate for peace. Not until September 2000 did Israel begin to wake from its stupor. That was when Prime Minister Ehud Barak made his unprecedented offer:— a sovereign Palestinian state with shared control of Jerusalem — and Arafat replied by unleashing the deadliest terror campaign Israelis have ever known. Oslo was not a good idea that went sour. It was fatally flawed from the start. The fundamental premise of Oslo — that the '. Palestinians were ready to live in peace with Israel -— was always a lie. To Arafat and the PLO, peace was merely a tactic, one step forward in the "liberation" of Palestine. On the very day he shook Rabin's hand, Arafat assured a Jordanian TV audience that the liquidation of Israel was still his goal- It was a message he and his lieutenants would repeat time and time again. Israelis crave peace, and they thought they craved it at any price. But peace at any price leads to war. Ten years after the handshake at the White House, let that be Oslo's epitaph. (Jeffjacoby's e-mail address is jacoby@globe. com.) Baked Alaska on the menu? By NICHOLAS KR1STOF New York Times News Service KAKTOVIK, Alaska —• Skeptics of global warming should come to this Eskimo village on the Arctic Ocean, roughly 250 miles north of the Arctic Circle. It's hard to be complacent about climate change when you're in an area that normally is home to animals like polar bears and wolverines, but is now attracting robins. A robin even built its nest in town this year {there is no word in the local Inupiat Eskimo language for robins). And lastyeara (presumably shivering) porcupine arrived. The Okpilak River valley was historically too cold and dry for willows, and in the Inupiat language "Okpilak" means "river with no willows." Yet a warmer, wetter climate means that now it's crowded with willows. The warming ocean is also bringing salmon, three kinds now, to waters here. The Eskimos say there were almost no salmon a generation ago. "The weather is different, really different," said 92-year-old Nora Agiak, speaking in the Inu- piat language and wearing moose-skin moccasins and a jacket with wolverine fur. "We're not getting as many icebergs as we used to. Maybe the world moved, because it's getting warmer." In the past, I've been skeptical about costly steps (like those in the Kyoto accord) to confront climate change. But I'm changing my mind. The evidence, while still somewhat incomplete, is steadily mounting that our carbon emissions are causing an accelerat- ing global warming that amounts to a major threat to the world in which we live. Alaska has warmed by 8 degrees, on average, in the winter, over the last three decades, according to meteorological records. The U.S. Arctic Research Commission says that today's Arctic temperatures are the highest in the last 400 years, and perhaps much longer. The U.S. Navy reports that in areas traversed by its submarines, Arctic ice volume decreased 42 percent over the last 35 years, and the average thickness of ice below water declined 4.3 feet. The Office of Naval Research warns that "one plausible outcome" is that the summer Arctic ice cap will disappear completely by 2050. "We've got climate change," Robert Thompson, a native guide, says flatly. He notes that pack ice, which always used to hover offshore, providing a home for polar bears, now sometimes retreats hundreds of miles north of.Kaktovik. That has caused some bears to drown and leaves others stranded on land. (After a polar bear was spotted outside Kaktovik's post office one snowy morning, the locals explained what to do if you bump into a famished polar bear: Yell and throw stones, and above all, don't run!) For hundreds of years, the Eskimos here used ice cellars in the permafrost. But now the permafrost is melting, and these ice cellars are filling with water and becoming useless. Kaktovik's airstrip, 50 years old, has begun to flood because ' of higher seas, so it may be moved upland. Another native village, Shishmaref, has voted to abandon its location entirely because of rising seas. In the hamlet of Deadhorse, I ran into an Arctic native named Jackson Snyder, who said that winters were getting "a lot warmer — doesn't get much below 50 below anymore." That may not seem so bad. But while there will be benefits to a warmer Alaska (a longer growing season, ice-free ports), climate change can also lead to crop failures, spread tropical diseases and turn Bangladesh into tidal pools. The pace of warming may be far too fast for animals, humans or ecosystems to adjust. My advice is that if you're planning a dream home in New Orleans or on the Chesapeake, put it on stilts. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, reflecting a consensus of scientists, concluded that human activity had probably caused most global warming in recent decades. It predicted that in this century, the seas will rise 4 to 35 inches. Some 14,000 years ago, a warming trend apparently raised the sea level by 70 feet in just a few hundred years. Today's computer models don't foresee a repeat of that, but they also can't explain why it happened then. That's why I'm changing my mind about the need for major steps to address carbon emissions. Global warming is still an uncertain threat, but it may well become one of the major challenges of this century Certainly our government should do more about it than censor discussions of climate change in EPA re- ports. Unless we act soon, we may find waves lapping the beaches of Ohio. (gazette [USPS 262-040) Published by THE INDIANA PRINTING & PUBLISHING COMPANY 899 Water Street Indiana, PA. 15701 724) 465-5555 Established in 1 890 On the Internet: indianagazette.com H.HASnERAY Publisher, 1913-1970 LUCY R. DONNELLY Publisher, 1970-1993 IOE DONNELLY Publisher, 1970-2000 MlClIAEI.f. DONNELLY .......... President Publisher IAST1E D. WNTER ............... Secretary Assistant Treasurer STACIED.GOTTFHEDSON ....... Treasurer Assistant Secretary OSEPHL.GEARY ........ General Manager ROBERT YESILON1S .... Adv./Mklg. Director SAMUEL I. BECUTEL ...... Executive Editor LYNN SCOTT ......... Assl. Executive Editor Special Projects MIQ WEI. PETERS EN ...... Managing Editor JASON. L.LEVAN... ..... . ASM. Managing Ed. CARRIER SUBSCRIPTION RATES — Paid in advance to Gazette office — Four weeks, $12.M;Thin«.-n weeks, $3835; Twenty-six weeks, $75.75; Fifty-two weeks, $150.45. MOTOR ROUTE SUBSCRIPTION RATES — Paid in advance to Gazette office — Four weeks, $13.05; Thirteen weeks, $39.25; Twenty-six weeks, $78.25; Fifty-two weeks, $155.60. SUNDAY ONLY SUBSCRIPTION RATES — Paid in advance to Gazette office: • BY CARRIER— Twenty-six weeks, $22.55; Fifty-two weeks, $44.70 » BYMOTOR ROUTE— Twenty-six weeks, $25.10; Fifty-two weeks, $50.15. MEMBER OFTHE'ASSOCIATED PRESS — The AP Is endued exclusively to die use or reproduction of all local news printed In this newspaper as well as all AP news dispatches. IVrindlbUi PMURC P»kl K IixVira, PA 15701 Manorial l>y, My Rxatli. Uhor Off. Thanklfllvlnft D«y and niriumM D>y. , PoMmMTer Send attrffvM change* Itt Indiana Gtexfle, RfliHMlO,ln<U«u.rAI»OI v

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