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.. 71 . 11411113,P ”’,Iy Wilt ifir 0,…–,, er a s_, ..,. ran i THE TEXAS li\\ P server A JOURNAL OF FREE VOICES We will serve no group or party but will hew hard to the truth as we find it and the right as we see it. We are dedicated to the whole truth , to human values above all interests, to the rights of human-kind as the foundation of democracy: we will take orders front none but our own conscience , and never will we overlook or misrepresent the truth to serve the interests of the powerful or cater to the ignoble in the human spirit. Writers are responsible for their own work, but not for anything they have not themselves written, and in publishing them tie do not necessarily imply that we agree with them because this is a journal offree voices. SINCE 1954 Publisher: Ronnie Dugger Editor: Louis Dubose Associate Editor: Brett Campbell Copy Editor: Roxanne Bogucka Editorial Interns: Vince Lozano, Ali Hossaini Jr., Jennifer Wong Mexico City Correspondent: Barbara Belejack Contributing Writers: Bill Adler, Betty Brink, Warren Burnett, Jo Clifton, Terry FitzPatrick, Gregg Franzwa, James Harrington, Bill Helmer, Ellen Hosmer, Steven Kellman, Michael King, Tom McClellan, Bryce Milligan, Greg Moses, Debbie Nathan, Gary Pomerantz, Lawrence Walsh. Editorial Advisory Board: Frances Barton, Austin; Elroy Bode, Kerrville; Chandler Davidson, Houston; Dave Denison, Austin; Bob Eckhardt, Washington, Austin; John Kenneth Galbraith, Cambridge, Mass.; Lawrence Goodwyn, Durham, N.C.; George Hendrick, Urbana, Ill.; Molly Ivins, Austin; Larry L. King, Washington, D.C.; Maury Maverick Jr., San Antonio; Willie Morris, Oxford, Miss.; Kaye Northcott, Austin; James Presley, Texarkana; Susan Schwartz, Galveston; Fred Schmidt, Fredericksburg. Layout: Lana Kaupp, Kathy Strong Contributing Photographers: Bill Albrecht, Vic Hinterlang, Alan Pogue. Contributing Artists: Eric Avery, Tom Ballenger, Richard Bartholomew, Jeff Danziger, Beth Epstein, Dan Hubig, Pat Johnson, Kevin Kreneck, Michael Krone, Carlos Lowry, Ben Sargent, Dan Thibodeau, Gail Woods. Managing Publisher: Cliff Olofson Subscription Manager: Stefan Wanstrom Special Projects Director: Bill Simmons Development Consultant: Frances Barton SUBSCRIPTIONS: One year $27, two years 548. three years $69. Full-time students $15 per year. Back issues $3 prepaid. Airmail. foreign, group, and bulk rates on request. Microfilm editions available from University Microfilms Intl., 300 N. Zeeb Road, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Any current subscriber who finds the price a burden should say so at renewal time: no one need forgo reading the Observer simply because of the cost. published biweekly’ except for a three-week interval between issues in Second class postage paid at Austin. Texas. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to THE TEXAS OBSERVER, 307 West 7th Street, Austin, Texas 78701 . A Christmas Peril My daughter and son-in-law are being assigned to the infantry and will join 400,000 other troops in the Persian Gulf December 18. They joined the Army together hoping to find a way to finish college, and now that choice may cost them their lives in yet another undeclared war. Mothers must be braver than fathers. I see them on the evening news fighting back tears and saying they support the President. But I am having trouble. Suddenly, issues like control of oil, stable monarchies, and shaky coalitions have been boiled down to the love between a father and daughter. My sorrow for her is equalled only by my despair. I am powerless to help her and 1 may never see her again. War is more than a military maneuver or a United Nations resolution. For tens of thousands, it will be the way their life ends. As a former U.S. Army soldier who served through two previous showdowns, the Berlin Airlift and the Cuban Missile Crisis, I know the fear of death our troops are feeling. But this is different. Let there be no doubt about it, if the fuse is lit, we will be in all-out war. The President insisted that the UN approve the use of force, and he changed our goals from protecting the Saudi King to invading Kuwait and Iraq to wrench Hussein from power. As a result, half a million troops on each side are pointing the most destructive weapons ever known at each other across Bush’s line in the Saudi sand. My greed is at a more personal level than the price of oil or saving Western lifestyles. I do not want my daughter’s name etched in stone like those who died in Vietnam. I believe her destiny holds a higher purpose than restoring Kuwaiti royalty to power. Therefore, I have written her and her husband and urged them not to show up at the battlefield unless Congress declares war. If her blood spills in the sand, then it should taint the hands of Congress as well. Too many Presidents have asked us to overlook their abuse of the Constitution they were elected to uphold. Congress has a legal and moral obligation to the American people to debate the issues before sending our troops to death. If Congress declares war, what comfort will loved ones take next Christmas? Will the youthful souls of the dead return with their mangled bodies? Or will they float like a black angel of death over the Jewish wailing wall or a Muslim temple or the tomb of Christ haunting the nations which sent them to die in the Arab desert? For the last two years, President Bush has given us a Christmas card filled with rumors of war. Will next year’s card be signed in blood? Hopefully, Congress will awake from its holiday sleep filled with a new spirit of Christmas, take charge of the Gulf Crisis, and send the world a message of Peace, by voting no to War. Don Trepagnier Austin Fertilizer For Thought There are moments when I brood on why I subscribe to and occasionally contribute small amounts of money to the Observer, for the fact is I am a firm centralist and have contempt for both the extreme left and the extreme right. Nevertheless, in two issues this year, I have received my money’s worth. The first was in the excellent articles on Clayton Williams’s West Texas irrigation activities which were not covered in detail by either the San Antonio Express -News or the San Antonio Light. These articles changed me from neutral in the governor’s race to proRichards because I believe that if Texas is to have a future every drop of water that falls on the ground and every gallon of water that is taken out of the ground must be regulated and this by necessity means the construction of reservoirs, and I don’t believe that Richards will oppose such regulation while I believe Williams would have. I don’t believe that the Observer intended to support the San Antonio reservoirs when they opposed Williams but the fact is they did. Such is politics. The second return on my money was in the interviews and articles in the December issue in opposition to a war on Iraq. However, I am in opposition to a preemptive attack on Iraq for much simpler reasons than those expressed in the articles. I don’t see how you can get a quick win there without bombing women and children and I firmly believe we’ll all burn in hell for that. Thus, strangely, I set, pen in hand, and write a check for a gift subscription of the Observer for my granddaughter at the University of Texas hoping that she will read it and become conscious of politics while all the while murmuring to myself: “I hope she doesn’t go for all this liberal bullshit.” Fred Sinclair Boerne Write Dialogue Texas Observer 307 W. 7th St. Austin, TX 78701 DIALOGUE 2 DECEMBER 21, 1990