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Inside Politics

Lynne Cheney's gift

Lynne Cheney, wife of Vice President Dick Cheney, presented the National D-Day Museum in New Orleans with a check for $25,000.

"This museum is such a wonderful place, showing the heroism of those who fought to keep us free," she said Wednesday. "I'm proud to say we're part of it."

The donation was from proceeds of her alphabet book for children, "America: A Patriotic Primer." She has donated more than $150,000 to projects across the United States.

The Cheneys spent about an hour touring the museum, which honors veterans of World War II, before she presented the check, the Associated Press reports.

The vice president was in New Orleans to address the annual convention of the American Society of Newspaper Editors.

Heston's message

Academy Award-winning actor and civil rights activist Charlton Heston and his wife, Lydia, sent the following message of support to U.S. troops yesterday:

"There is no duty more noble than that which has called you across the world in defense of freedom. Yours is a mission of hope and humanity for the oppressed. Rest assured that while pretend-patriots talk of supporting you, even as they condemn your noble cause, an unwavering vast majority of Americans share and take pride in your mission.

"You represent all that is good and right about America and are the true face of American patriotism. You walk in those same righteous footsteps of all those patriots who, before you, fought to preserve liberty for all. Our prayers and our personal gratitude are with you and your families. May God Bless You."

Inside the Beltway

Spraying roaches

We were asked not to identify our contact, given that what you're about to read could actually be a matter of U.S. military strategy.

But consider there might have been "more than a few cheers and high-fives" at the Pentagon and U.S. Central Command this week when they listened to a new tape purportedly of Osama bin Laden urging his followers to go to Iraq and fight the infidels.

"Imagine how much easier the war on terror would go," says our contact, "if 3,000 or 4,000 al Qaeda types showed up in Iraq only to be gunned down by the Army and Marines. It might be the first time ever that the roaches came to the exterminator." :-)

Inside the Ring

KIA

Before Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld arrived at the Pentagon, officials and senior officers rarely said publicly that their objective in war was to "kill people." The politically correct terms was "destroy" or "eliminate" and "decimate."

The culture changed during the war in Afghanistan. A reporter asked Mr. Rumsfeld if the goal for U.S. troops was to kill all the enemy possible. "Oh, you bet," he said. "And [allied pilots are] trying to do it every day, and in fact, they're doing it every day. Those trucks that you saw and those buildings you see hit are not empty." The theme is catching on.

When Gen. Mosely was asked about air power's effects on Iraqi-fielded forces, he replied, "We've laid on these people. I find it interesting when folks say we're softening them up. We're not softening them up, we're killing them."

At a press conference last week, Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers, Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, was asked the status of the Republican Guard. "A lot of the people have been killed," he said. "A lot of the people that come out after dark to attack our tanks, that might be a line in the shadows — the death squads and those sorts of folks — a lot of them have been killed as well."

On CNN Sunday, Marine Gen. Peter Pace, Joint Chiefs of Staff vice chairman, said about Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein's regime: "What's important is the dozen or so leaders of this very repressive regime, that they either be killed or captured or driven away in a way that allows the Iraqi people to design their own future."

The military mission is clear.

Chinese intercepts

China's air force is again getting dangerously close to U.S. reconnaissance aircraft flying along the Chinese coastline, according to U.S. intelligence officials.

One incident last month took place in the South China Sea when a Chinese jet came within 90 feet of a U.S. EP-3 reconnaissance aircraft.

"We're seeing this activity almost every day," said one defense official.

The intercept last month has raised concerns among U.S. defense officials that another Chinese pilot will miscalculate and fly into a U.S. aircraft, as occurred in the April 1, 2001, incident over the South China Sea.

That touched off an international crisis after a Chinese F-8 collided with a EP-3, causing the Chinese jet to crash. The EP-3 was forced to make an emergency landing at a military base on China's Hainan island, where the 23-member crew was held prisoner for 11 days before being released.

Saudi supporter

A Saudi billionaire has written to President Bush endorsing the ongoing war against Iraq. Mohamed bin Issa Al Jaber, owner of the London-based MBI International, wrote Mr. Bush on March 25 when the war was not going as well as it is now.

"History will demonstrate how right you were in making that difficult choice," Mr. Jaber wrote. "It was for Saddam Hussein to comply and I have no doubt that Britain, America and your allies had no alternative but to institute military enforcement when he clearly refused to do so. I believe that I am expressing the feelings of a large number of Arabs who are convinced that an entirely new government in Iraq is a necessary condition if the region is to enjoy peace and progress.

"Despite the distortions in some sectors of the media that serve only to inflame emotions on the street, all forward-thinking Arabs know that change must be imposed if there is to be progress, freedom and stability in our part of the world."

Mr. Jaber, who has business ties with the ruling Saudi family, is one of the few prominent Saudis to publicly support war with its neighbors.

He pledged financial help to help Iraq move from a police state to a democratic government.

8 posted on 04/12/2003 6:12:16 AM PDT by BigWaveBetty (Mean people SUCK!!!)
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9 posted on 04/12/2003 6:19:45 AM PDT by lodwick
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