- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 20, 2003

Moment of truth
"Our problem is with Saddam Hussein. He has chosen this moment."
Rep. Joseph R. Pitts, Pennsylvania Republican

Sound the bugle
In the midst of waging a war,
We have much to be thankful for,
Since it's President Bush
Who's leading the push
Instead of President Gore.
F.R. Duplantier

Saving Private Daschle
Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle's untimely criticism of President Bush on failed diplomacy with Iraq coming on the brink of U.S. soldiers entering battle with Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein generated more than 100 angry letters from readers of this column.
One of the more sympathetic is Robert McCaffrey: "One can't help but look upon the current Senate minority leader with both pity and scorn. He immediately brings to mind a little wimp private telling everyone in the barracks on the eve of battle how the general has gone nuts and if they don't go AWOL they're all going to die.
"George Patton had a way to solve Private Tom's psychosis, paranoia and cowardice," says Mr. McCaffrey. "Let's hope George Bush does as well."

Show your colors
South Carolina Republican Party Chairman Katon Dawson is applauding state Rep. Catherine Ceips' resolution calling on the Dixie Chicks to play a free concert for U.S. troops and their families when they visit the Palmetto State May 1.
The band's concert in Greenville is the first in the United States during the group's current world tour.
"If they are really serious about apologizing to the president and our troops, I can't think of a better way than to perform for our troops and their families here in South Carolina," says Mrs. Ceips. "These men and women of the military are the backbone of our country, and it's time our stars realize that."
Mr. Dawson adds: "After what they said over there, the Dixie Chicks' owe it to our troops over here to do more than just apologize."
Band singer Natalie Maines told a concert crowd in London last week that she was "ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas." The Chicks apologized after country radio stations across the United States stopped playing their music.

Ratings war
A member of Congress is blasting reporters, both print and television, for having "subjected our young troops to questions which, in my mind, have no business being posed days before possible military action."
"These interviews are asking questions regarding fratricide, combat deaths, chemical or biological weapons, 'personal demons,' and 'bloody urban fighting,'" scolds Rep. Clifford Stearns, Florida Republican.
"As many of us in the House are veterans, we know the sacrifices that come with service, including the loss of life," says Mr. Stearns, who served in the Air Force during Vietnam.
Mr. Stearns says a military mission and focus "can be hindered when certain media personalities continue to dredge up these feelings purely for national coverage."
Stressing that he does not advocate censorship, the congressman says, "We must be mindful that reporting facts is quite different from generating an emotional story for ratings purposes."
Mr. Stearns counts approximately 600 journalists currently "embedded in our military operations."

Belated toast
Numerous obituaries were published following this past weekend's passing of Joseph Coors, yet none mentioned the connection between the Colorado beer baron and the federal adoption tax credit for families.
"The obituary writers can be forgiven the omission, given the fact that Joseph Coors' charity is responsible for start-up funding for the Heritage Foundation and [his] ideas included 'Star Wars' missile defense higher-profile matters," writes William L. Pierce, president and executive director of the U.S.A. Committee for IAVAAN, the International Association of Voluntary Adoption Agencies and NGOs (nongovernmental organizations).
Then again, adds Mr. Pierce, without Mr. Coors' funding, "there would be no Heritage Foundation and without Heritage, there would have been no expert to pick up on an idea promoted by the National Council For Adoption adoption tax credits."
Heritage, in fact, discussed adoption tax credits in one of its policy papers, which influenced then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich to add the credits to his "Contract With America" legislative agenda. In the end, the tax credits was one of the items in the Contract that became federal law.
"So," says Mr. Pierce, "it would not be surprising if those adoptive parents who consume a malt beverage were to pick one with the name 'Coors' on it to toast the man whose vision indirectly led to their getting financial help to build their family through adoption."

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