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FEATURES FEBRUARY 14, 2003 FROM APPOMATTOX TO ARMAGEDDON 4 How did Texas get to be the national laboratory for dumb ideas? Fifth generation Texan Michael Lind explains how in his latest book. Review by Lou Dubose Interview by Jake Bernstein 5 CHIPPING AWAY AT ROE Poor, young, and pregnant? Watch out for what the Lege has in store for you. by Rachel Proctor Texas Observer 6 DEPARTMENTS DIALOGUE EDITORIAL Next Stop: Tulia CAPITOL OFFENSES The Legislative Budget Board has the power of life and death over legislation. Here’s how. by Jake Bernstein BAD BILLS POLITICAL INTELLIGENCE IN MEMORIAM Remembering Maury Maverick Jr. by Geoff Rips Farewell to Maury by Ronnie Dugger MOLLY IVINS Does the President Believe Himself? JIM HIGHTOWER Fleeting Notice 9 10 12 13 14 15 2 3 8 BOOKS & THE CULTURE POETRY by Tony Christini UP AGAINST THE LAP DOGS by Jessica Chapman CAPTURING HENRY by Kirk Lynn THE MAN WHO KNEW Too MUCH by John Ratliff THE WAY IT WAS by Brenda Bell 21 22 24 26 30 Cover art by Julia Austin DIALOGUE IMAGINE THEY GREW PEANUTS Should the United States wage war on Iraq? If Iraq produced peanuts instead of oil, we wouldn’t even be considering the question now But Iraq has the second largest oil reserve in the world, second only to the reserves of Saudi Arabia. In addition, the oil that Iraq produces is of a particularly high quality. It is Iraq’s oil that attracts America, not concern about Saddam Hussein’s human rights abuses, or his weapons of mass destruction program. Hussein came to power in 1979. From then until 1990, when Iraq invaded Kuwait, the United States supplied Iraq with weapons and materials used to construct chemical and biological weapons. In the 1980s, the Iraqis used poison gas against Iran in an eight-year war, with the support of the United States. We also supplied Iraq with spy satellite information used to plan their attacks on Iran. In 1988, when Iraq used poison gas on the Kurds in Northern Iraq, killing many, the United States knew about it, but said nothing. It only became an issue for the United States after Iraq stopped doing our bidding. Now, President Bush complains vociferously that Iraq has gassed its own people, and cites that as a reason why we should invade Iraq and impose regime change. Many of my fellow citizens feel that President Bush is just putting on a show of force, and that once Saddam Hussein complies with all UN Resolutions, President Bush will back off, and war will be averted. I believe that nothing could be further from the truth. President Bush’s comment that he is really trying to avoid war is nothing but a manipulation of the public. Because war is the only way to gain control of the oil reserves, the real goal of THANK YOU We thank all of our readers and supporters who have sent contri butions to the Observer in memory of Maury Maverick to honor his commitment to civil rights and social justice. President Bush’s Administration is war, not peace. Because our true interest is oil and not human rights and democracy for the people of Iraq, no concession that Iraq makes will be enough. In the end, some excuse will be made for the justification to invade Iraq. The only thing that stands in the way of war with Iraq is a fledgling peace movement gaining momentum around the world. But given the shortness of time and the organized, determined campaign of the United States Government to make the case for war, the chances of averting hostilities are slim. Carl Mills Waymart, PA President Bush wants more international support for an invasion of Iraq. Here’s how he can get his wish. He should announce publicly that, when Saddam Hussein goes, all of the oil in Iraq will be controlled by an international consortium headed by Sweden and Norway. Boy, would that change people’s minds! Of course, he would never do it. Because the rampage over Iraq has nothing to do with anything except a grab for oil. The French and Russians know it, which is why they oppose the war. No one really supports Saddam Hussein. They just thinkand rightly sothat W. is angling to get the oil for his Texas buddies. What else is new? M. T. Hertz Fresno, CA THIS JUST IN: GOD DOES NOT HATE TEXAS You ask the question, “Does God Hate Texas?” on the cover of your fine lawyer, I’ll answer the question with a question. If God hated Texas, would He have put The Big Thicket, Boquillas, Mariscal, and Santa Elena Canyons. the maples of the Guadalupe Mountains, the Frio, Guadalupe, and Medina Rivers, and Padre Island all right here in one place? I think the answer is pretty clear that God does, in fact, love Texas. As to the new crop of legislators, continued on page 11 2 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 2/14/03