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Tuesday, April 8, 2003

War facts in Iraq of March 25 versus the message delivered by our news networks

1. British forces coming to the defense of inhabitants of Basra who rose up against Saddam Hussein in the streets of Iraq's second largest city battled more than 1,000 Saddam loyalists. Inhabitants of the mostly Shiite Muslim city Tuesday started attacking members of Saddam's Baath party and other Iraqi fighters.

2. The "Fedayeen," which means "those ready to sacrifice themselves for Saddam," covered their uniforms with civilian robes, posed as civilians and faked surrender, luring coalition forces into a surprise ambush. Also, cowardly Saddam loyalists approached unsuspecting troops using local Shiite women and children as human shields and opened fire with automatic weapons. In addition, Saddam's scum donned U.S. and British uniforms, bought early on by Saddam for this purpose, rounded up and massacred Shiites to suppress the welcoming of U.S. Coalition troops.

3. On March 25, after coming under another surprise attack by Saddam's "cute tricks brigade," 7th Cavalry U.S. Army forces killed between 150 and 500 Iraqi troops. Disguised Iraqis drove up in white pickup trucks waving a peace sign at our troops, then terrorists hiding in the truck beds under tarps opened fire with heavy caliber machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades near the central Iraqi city of An Najaf. No American deaths were reported. Two U.S. tanks were, however, disabled in the attack, although no American deaths resulted.

Those were some of the news stories of war in Iraq on March 25. How did it compare with the bottom line message of the news programs on TV and our stalwart newspapers like the New York Times? If you were honestly reporting to your fellow U.S. citizens and families of our service men and women, what would be the overwhelming significant message of those news stories to you?

Might it not be significant to emphasize the fact that all of those attempts to drive back American and Coalition forces by Saddam's sadistic terrorists were total failures? Might it not be the surprise attack on our resting troops in a severe dust storm failed miserably, resulting in approximately 500 enemy deaths, with not one American killed in the engagement? Might it not be demonic Saddam loyalists came toward our troops, firing automatic weapons with Iraqi women and children forced in front of them as human shields? Might it not be Iraqi soldiers covering their Iraqi uniforms posing as friendly Iraqis welcoming liberation, luring our brave, honorable men and women into a slaughter trap, sadistically exploiting Bush's clearly stated humanitarian rules of engagement? Might it not be Saddam loyalists wearing British and American uniforms rounded up Iraqi citizens and murdered them for propaganda and terrorist purposes? Might it not be that all of these incidents profoundly demonstrate the abject of evil of the Saddam regime? Might it not be it is that unalterable, unopposed evil that made this war necessary in the first place?

Well, our wonderful, patriotic news anchors emphasized none of those points. No. Instead they expressed "shock and awe" that two American tanks had been disabled - a sign they said, in Katie Courie's words, "the Bush administration had miscalculated in assessing the enemy."

She was not alone. It was the news theme of the day, repeated over and over. That was their emphasis. The majority of our nation's news analysts were "dismayed" and "concerned" and "troubled" in tone, posture, expression and word, that their President and his military planners were so "inept." That was the message!

Saddam knew he could depend on these kinds of hatchet jobs by our national press. He knew he could depend on the brainwashed left-wingers in our streets. These were the center pivot of Saddam's war strategy. It's sickening to see it play out, but I have solace in the knowledge that Bush will not be deterred by this propaganda war.

George Bush's heart and the noble hearts of the majority of our citizens are steeled with resolve from the knowledge that we are ridding the world of Saddam's psychopathic, terrorist-spawning regime. Justice, honor and duty demand it.

John McMillen, Sikeston

On behalf of the Sikeston Area Chamber of Commerce MAP Awareness Campaign Committee, I would like to thank the following businesses and individuals for donating items to the Kick-Off Day held March 31:

Scott Matthews - Four Corners Development,; Frank Marshall, attorney at law; Ann Jones; Ferguson Medical Group; The First National Bank; Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT); Wal-Mart; Sikeston Rotary Club; Missouri Delta Medical Center; and the First State Bank.

It was a sunny but chilly morning and I want to express my gratitude to the following individuals who handed out the free items to children in the elementary and secondary schools in Sikeston and at Scott County Central: Debbie Glenn, Julie Dolan, Jane Ann York, Megan Looney, Ann Jones, Frank Marshall, Robin Pace, Connie Mooneyhan and Carmel Godfrey. I appreciate all the volunteers who gave up their time to stand outside and greet our students and wish them well on their MAP test.

It is the Chamber's hope that showing our support and encouragement will get the message across to our students that MAP testing is important, not only to them and their parents, but to our community. Once again, a big thank you to all who helped.

Missy Marshall, executive director Sikeston Area Chamber of Commerce