Symbolic actions waste of valuable time, energy

By Freedom Newspapers The Senate is debating whether to debate — in its characteristically deliberative manner — on a nonbinding resolution to disapprove of what the stubborn man in the White House has said he wants to do in Iraq. The Republicans delayed consideration for a while, but the Democratic majority might come up with […]

Forcing volunteers to serve isn’t shortage solution

By Freedom Newspapers Defense Secretary Robert Gates has asked the chief of each service branch for a plan by the end of February to minimize the number of “stop-loss” orders. This is a welcome idea in that these orders have created something resembling a backdoor draft and have hurt morale. But fixing the more fundamental […]

Big government biggest enemy for ousted GOP

Freedom Newspapers It has been a long, hard slog, but Republicans in Congress may finally be coming to terms with the primary reason why they enter the 110th Congress as the minority party rather than the majority. To paraphrase Bill Clinton’s electoral guru James Carville, who notably reminded his troops back in 1992 that “It’s […]

Security troop surge may provide not worth costs

Freedom Newspapers In his State of the Union message, President Bush, echoing previous comments from Defense Secretary Robert Gates, announced he will ask Congress for authority to increase the U.S. armed forces by 92,000 people over the next five years — 65,000 additional soldiers for the Army, bringing the total to 547,000, and 27,000 additional […]

New Iraq strategy banks on influence we may not have

By Freedom Newspapers In his State of the Union message, President Bush made it clear that his current strategy in Iraq is not up for negotiation. “Our military commanders and I have carefully weighed the options,” he said. “In the end, I chose this course of action because it provides the best chance of success.” […]

Letters to the Editor: Devil, child abuse not part of Wiccan religion

Regarding the Jan. 14 newspaper story about the Portales woman accused of killing her son because he had “the devil” in him: The story reported the suspect checked out books on Wicca from the library. This statement from District Attorney Matt Chandler flew in my face: “We believe the way some of the child abuse […]

Somalia raid shows what we should be fighting in war on terror

Freedom Newspapers It is still not possible to be sure just what the outcome is of a U.S. airstrike in southern Somalia last week against alleged al-Qaida terrorists. But the strike is the sort of thing we would have expected to hear about happening more often if the “war on terror” were a serious effort […]

Roadside bombs remain top threat in Iraq

By Tom Philpott: Military Update AL FAW PALACE, BAGHDAD — His voice is as flat and unemotional as one might hope to hear from someone trained to disarm and dispose of bombs. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Justin Hamaker, 31, is an explosive ordnance disposal team leader with EOD Mobile Unit 8, out of U.S. […]

War response sets precedence for future events

Freedom Newspapers Congressional Democrats are almost unanimously opposed to President Bush’s plan to increase the number of U.S. troops actively engaged in Iraq. They are less united when it comes to explaining what they would do instead, and even less so on what they will do — given that they now control both houses of […]

Memorial fund raises $30,000

By CNJ Staff A memorial fund established for the family of an Air Force pilot killed in Iraq has raised more than $30,000, family members said. Maj. Troy Gilbert died Nov. 27 when the F-16 he was piloting crashed in Iraq. Gilbert’s wife, Ginger, is a Clovis native. Jay Gurley of Clovis, Ginger’s father, said […]

President’s plan may be too late to salvage victory

By Freedom Newspapers Give President Bush some credit. In his speech Wednesday night he was sober and serious. He was willing to acknowledge past mistakes. He presented a plan to change U.S. strategy in Iraq that seems to take into account unpleasant realities on the ground. In short, he seemed to know that this plan […]

House cleaning alone won’t fix formula for failure

By Freedom Newspapers President Bush late last week made significant changes in both his foreign-policy team and his top military commanders. The question is whether he is clearing the decks for action or rearranging the deck chairs. Given that President Bush is tentatively scheduled to unveil his latest strategy for the war in Iraq on […]

Navy’s role in terrorism war changing

By Tom Philpott: Military Update Lt. Joseph “Max” Ernest is a Navy Reserve intelligence officer with 11 years of law enforcement experience and two as a counterterrorism analyst for a defense contractor. Yet last April, when Ernest mobilized to Iraq as an individual augmentee or “IA,” the Army made him a logistics officer to Iraq’s […]

Wilson visits Iraq on fact-finding trip

By Helena Rodriguez: Freedom Newspapers Congresswoman Heather Wilson, wrapping up a fact-finding trip to Iraq, said Saturday the United States needs to change its strategy to protect its interests in the region. She also passed along encouraging messages from Cannon Air Force Base troops stationed there. “The situation in Iraq is dangerous and is not […]

After long, brutal reign, Saddam executed

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Saddam Hussein was convicted for his role in the killings of 148 Shiite Muslims from a town where assassins tried to kill the dictator in 1982. (MCT photo) The Associated Press BAGHDAD, Iraq — In the end, Saddam Hussein died at the hands of those he brutalized during a bloody regime that led Iraq into […]

Memorial funds established

CNJ Staff Memorial funds have been established in Clovis for the Evans and Gilbert families. The family of Maj. Troy Gilbert: Donations may be dropped off at Bank of Clovis, 300 Main St., or the Clovis News Journal and Portales News-Tribune offices, 521 Pile St. in Clovis and 101 E. First in Portales. Donations for […]

Funds established

CNJ Staff Memorial funds have been established in Clovis for the Evans and Gilbert families. The family of Maj. Troy Gilbert: Donations may be dropped off at Bank of Clovis, 300 Main St., or the Clovis News Journal and Portales News-Tribune offices, 521 Pile St. in Clovis and 101 E. First in Portales. Donations for […]

Report’s depiction of Iran unrealistic

By Mona Charen: Syndicated columnist Recommendation 16 of the Iraq Study Group’s report calls upon Syria to agree to a peace deal with Israel in return for the Golan Heights. It further suggests that Syria be persuaded to end its interference in Lebanon, cease aiding Hezbollah, convince Hamas to recognize Israel’s right to exist, and […]

Air Force officers’ burials this week

CNJ staff Military burials for two U.S. Air Force officers with ties to Clovis who were killed in Iraq will be held this week at Arlington National Cemetery, Washington, D.C. Services for Maj. Troy L. Gilbert are scheduled for 3 p.m. on Monday. The funeral for Capt. Kermit O. Evans will be held at 9 […]

Military life can be difficult

By Anita Doberman: Lifestyles Columnist People seem to have an uncontrollable desire to share their opinions about the war in Iraq with me, a simple yet exuberant military wife. A conversation usually starts with questions such as, “Where is your husband right now?” and “When is he getting back?” It quickly progresses to heavier topics […]