The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on October 5, 1996 · Page 12
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 12

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Saturday, October 5, 1996
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B2 SATURDAY, OCTOBER 5, 1996 THE SALINA JOURNAL George B. Pyle editorial page editor Opinions expressed on this page are those of the identified writers. To join the conversation, write a letter to the Journal at: P.O. Box 740 Sallna, KS 67402 Fax: (913) 827-6363 E-mail: SalJoumal @aol.com Quote of the day "It is better to have a majority thafs slightly confused than a minority that's thoroughly solid." Newt Gingrich telling the New York Times that Republican candidates for Congress should base their campaigns on whatever issues are important in their own districts OPINION By GEORGE B. PYLE / The Salina Journal Blessed are the peace makers THE ISSUE Kansas Guardsmen in Bosnia THE ARGUMENT We should be proud of their efforts for peace T hirty Kansans will come home from a war today. It was a war they did not start. It was a war they did not win. They did not even fire any shots in anger. But, thanks to their efforts, and the efforts of many like them, it is a war that may be over. Members of the Kansas National Guard's 161st Field Artillery left their homes and families in February and went to Sarajevo, Bosnia, where they played a very real part in ending the slaughter that had plagued that ancient city for years. It was the job of the Kansas Guard unit to use its modern training and equipment to pinpoint the location of snipers and others who violated the cease-fire. They turned that information over to the local authorities, who went after the snipers, who cleaned up their own nation's mess. Before the Americans, leading the forces of NATO (Dwight Eisenhower's last command), arrived in Bosnia, Sarajevo was something out of a nightmare. A beautiful and lively city had been besieged, in a way we might have thought ended in the Middle Ages, in a genocidal ethnic war that killed many and settled nothing. UN and European diplomats labored fruitlessly to end the fighting. Only when American leadership was finally brought to bear on the situation was there hope for peace. First the diplomats brought the warring sides to a part of real America — Dayton, Ohio. Then, our government activated many of its citizen soldiers from real America to go to Bosnia to oversee the peace agreed to at Dayton. The job is far from finished. But, so far, it has worked. The cafes, the trolleys and the lives of the people of Sarajevo are up and running again. There has been an election. Some of the authors of the destruction have been brought to the bar to answer for their war crimes. Peace in our time? Probably not. Peace for a time. Yes. And, just as much as anyone else, the members of Battery E, Target Acquisition, 161st Field Artillery, the citizen soldiers from Salina, Hutchinson and Halstead, Hoisington, Valley Center and Great Bend, can take the credit. We should all be very proud of them. T CONTRIBUTING EDITOR Why kids are confused Rules replaced by a hodgepodge of politically correct junk M ost of us chuckled recently when we read about the 6- year-old first-grade boy who got in trouble at school for kissing a girl on the playground. Many of us remembered our first kiss near the merry-go-round at recess. We may have laughed but school officials didn't. The miscreant young man was suspended from school for — are you ready for this — sexual harassment. You heard right. The kid is 6 years ,old and he is charged with sexual harassment by some people who call themselves adults. Their school actually has a sexual * harassment policy in place for first graders. What a stroke of administrative genius. This is one they won't be able to blame on those radical right wing fundamentalist Christians who are plotting to take over all the school boards of the world. No, this policy lies at the door of politically correct liberalism. At about the same time this news story was breaking, another story was aired on a radio news show. It involved a 13-year-old girl .who had designs on a young man riding her school bus. She decided to reveal her intentions by giving him a pack of condoms. There has been no word about any repercussions in her case. In fact, she will probably be rewarded by the school for being such a responsible young woman. She will probably get a better grade in her sex Character doesn't matter in the case of the president of the United States, but it matters when it comes to a 6-year-old boy. T ESSAY Scorecards, getcha debate scorecards Your own handy-dandy pundit's guide to help you pick the winner T he most powerful person in the world this week is Jim Lehrer, moderator of Sunday night's first presidential debate. After each debater's two-minute opening statement, the novelist (next: "White Widow") will choose the questions to be put to Bob Dole and Bill Clinton. A 90-second answer will be followed by a 60-second rebuttal and a 30-second surrebuttal. I have not spoken to Lehrer about this, but here are a few of the questions that both sides expect to be asked, with a handy-dandy, nonpartisan guide to viewers about how to judge the winner. Expected by Dole: How can you provide a 15percent tax cut TheNew York Times without busting the budget? $ See if Dole goes into a policy- wonk crouch, with defensive details and seeming to pander to voters' greed, or if he seizes the chance to show the basic difference in approaches to governing. See if Clinton's response is defensive, directed to his competing tax cut, or if he prefers to take credit for lowered deficits. Does Clinton knock Dole off balance with an unexpected claim — rather than let Dole close out the round with a "tax-and-spend liberal" crusher? T CAN SHE SAY THAT? WILLIAM SAFIRE Expected by Clinton: Aren't you concerned that your veto of the bill to ban the partial-birth procedure places you outside the mainstream on the abortion issue? See if Clinton sounds defensive by making the slippery-slope argument, or is able to widen the gender gap by wrapping Dole around Gingrich and charge Republicans with being against women on everything from family leave to affirmative action. Does Dole then take that bait or zero in on "abortion extremism"? Expected by Dole: Can any 73-year-old man be expected to withstand the stresses of the modern presidency? Will he say how he has been running flat out for eight months and feels fine, then challenge Clinton to release health records? Will Clinton fall for that, or brush it off and grab the high graciousness ground by hoping to be as peppy as Dole when he's in his mid-70s? Can Dole close the round with a Reaganesque quip, differentiating between physical activity and policy action? Expected by Clinton: Will you grant the House's request that you pledge not to use your power to pardon people accused or convicted of crimes who might otherwise incriminate you? Tens of millions of undecideds may base their decision on a Clinton refusal to "take the pardon pledge," enabling Dole to exploit the distrust issue. But for Clinton to disappoint jailbirds and aides expecting pardons might break the dam against Whitewater prosecution; does Clinton find a way to wriggle out? Does Dole make full use of his most crucial re- buttal, expressing anger at a plain cover-up, or will he not want to come across as an old meanie? Will Clinton blow his stack in surre'- buttal, or not have to? .','' ; That's likely to be the newsmaker of-the night, on which viewers can judge whether Clinton acts crooked or honest, whether Do.le seems harsh or is too careful not to be. Expected by both sides to be directed at,either: a question on crime and drugs. ~ Will Clinton be able to bury Dole in statistics on declines in crime while excoriatiftg him for opposing the "100,000 cops on the beat"? Or will Dole be able to focus on the doubling of teen-age drug use during Clinton's term, demanding that Clinton stop using "executive privilege" to hide an FBI memo embarrassing the White House on drugs? ; Both sides also expect a question about the Middle East. Will Dole criticize Clinton for blatantly intervening in the Israeli election, thereby losing U.S. leverage as mediator, arid for recently refusing to veto a pro-Palestini#i U.N. resolution? Or will Clinton score as the patient facilitator, charging Dole with interference with the peace process? . " •'; Will Clinton say "extreme" more than Dole says "liberal"? Does Dole fade in the stretch, as the media expect, as Clinton begins to enjoy himself? When Clinton bemoans the absence .of" Perot, will Dole have a riposte appealing to the Perot sliver? Does either commit a gaffe, like Dole's "Brooklyn Dodgers" or Clinton's "drive-by pregnancies"? Who makes you feel safer? Save this scorecard. Be your own pundit. , t Rights abuses finally get press attention RON BOWELL For The Salina Journal education class for actually doing what she has been taught. These two separate cases point out the tremendous confusion in our society today about what is proper and what is not. When all the rules are thrown out, what replaces them is often a ridiculous hodgepodge of politically correct junk. Character doesn't matter in the case of the president of the United States, but it matters when it comes to a 6-year-old boy in first grade. What kinds of signals are we sending here? One wonders what would have happened if that 6-year-old boy on the playground had kissed another boy instead of kissing a girl. With the current state of affairs, he probably would have been praised for recognizing his genetic destiny as a homosexual. He would have been hailed as a hero for coming out of the closet so early in life. He certainly would not have faced sexual harassment charges or the ACLU would have sued the school for discrimination. So it has come down to this in the USA. Boys kissing girls is called harassment. Boys kissing boys is called enlightenment. Girls giving condoms to boys is called responsible. No wonder our kids are confused. • Ron Bowell is an Abilene pastor and a member of the Salina Journal Board of Contributing Editors. U.S. history of murder and torture in Latin America finally comes to light W ell, I'll be dipped in snuff, I said. I slapped my forehead in amazement and further opined, Shoot me for a bil- ly goat. Slap me naked, and sell my clothes. I felt like a near-sighted porcupine trying to make time with a cactus. You can cut off one of my legs and call me Mean. The cause of my wonder was a Washington Post Sept. 22 report that the U.S. Department of Defense has admitted training Latin American military leaders in the arts of torture, execution, blackmail and other forms of coercion from 1982 to 1991. Let me be more precise: The source of my amazement was not learning that my government has used my tax mon- v ey to train Latin American thugs in torture, execution and blackmail. No joke, Sherlock. What astonished me is that it was in the news. In The New York Times. On "Dateline." The subject of indignant editorials. Congressional representatives demanding that funding for the infamous School of the Americas be deleted. Calls for presidential leadership in the face of these shocking new charges. Great hickey on a bun, what does it take?! If you want a shining example of what's wrong with the American media, try this tale on for size. The open sewer called the School of the MOLLY IVINS Fort Worth Star-Telegram Americas at Fort Benning, Ga,, has been known to anyone who cared to find out about it for years. And years and years. Father Roy Bourgeois, a Maryknoll priest of the pacifist persuasion, is doing time a federal pen in Georgia right now for committing trespass at the School of the Americas. Now, there's a splendid example of your tax dollars at work: We not only pay to train people in torture, execution and blackmail — in order to further democracy south of our border, of course — but we also pay to lock up a pacifist priest because he's such a menace to society that he objects to this project. And your news media are then shocked, shocked, to learn of all this. Imagine, courses taught by the U.S. gummint right in the U.S.A., advising students to "arrest and imprison informants' parents, imprison the informant or give him a beating." Does this mean there's not an Easter bunny? If the Establishment media had wanted to learn about the School of the Americas, they could have tried reading the non-Establishment media. The Progressive, which maintains high standards of journalism, has carried many articles on American-trained Central and Latin American thugs. The Nation has been known to mention the matter from time to time. Peace newsletters, foreign-policy reports, journalists who keep track of the CIA, the religious press, including The Christian Century — the sources are out there. But they're not "official," are they? It's not like having the Department of Defense forced to admit all this baloney that informed people have known for years. If The Washington Post had wanted to amaze itself earlier, it might have tried reading some of its own columnists — DOONESBURY Mary McGrory, for example. ;.;; Look at the honor roll of graduate students of the School of the Americas: " • Roberto D'Aubuisson, leader of El SaJ- vador's infamous death squads. • Manuel Noriega, Panamanian dictator arid drug-dealer. ; < • Nineteen of the Salvador ian soldiers linked with the 1989 assassinations of six Jesflit priests. - •-.-* • Officers who oversaw the massacre of',9&0 peasants at El Mozote, El Salvador. ;; • Three of the five who raped and killed the four U.S. churchwomen in El Salvador in I9fjp. • Two of the five assassins of Archbishop Romero of El Salvador. Father Bourgeois has now done more time in. a Georgia prison than all five of the Archbishop's assassins together ever served. ' „" Now, aren't we proud of these graduates, fellow citizens? At least we heard about the four nuns, thte six priests, the archbishop and the 900 peasants: Imagine how many "informants" we ney- er heard about at all — not to mention their parents, wives and children, who were,,, in turn, tortured to produce "cooperation." The School of the Americas recommended "neutralization" (you notice that torture and assks- sination are taught in Orwellian language) a.s a regular way of doing business. It means "to kill." To how many families of how many "neutralized" citizens (to whom we were trying to bring "democracy") do we owe amends? Let's make one small amend. Let's shyt down the School of the Americas. Rep. Joe Kennedy has been trying to get funding for the school yanked for five years without success. It's time., It's past time. By Q.B. TRUDEAM CMY.OKAYn YOUM/U& TON!BUT I KNOW, 1 MOW, BUT tVB&Lirnz Brrtv/u. HBLPI SUCHA600P FOLKS - SUFFZ&N6 7&WBLY,NAtJ- NWYouU'. CM .W &JP. IAWN6LOU!

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