The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • Front.cheers
    MACEE BEERS joins other Fayette Elementary School students for the annual Mini-Cheer performance during the half-time break at the basketball game.
  • Family.3.wide
    CHILDREN at Stair District Library’s Family Story Time toss scarves into the air during an activity. The evening program provided a mix of stories, songs, dancing, crafts and snacks Monday evening. The program is offered at 5:30 p.m. every Monday for five more weeks. The program is designed for three to five year olds and their family.
  • Front.newpaper.2
    THE INTERVIEW—Evelyn Joughin (right) records the interaction with an iPad while Jack Varga, next to her, asks questions of Morenci Elementary School principal Gail Frey. Morenci senior Sam Cool (standing) listens. Cool serves as the editor for the newspaper written by members of Mrs. Barrett’s second grade class.
  • Front.code.2
    WRITING CODE—Brock Christle (left), a Morenci fifth grade student, takes a look at the progress being made by fourth grader Anthony Lewis. Libby Rorick, a sixth grade student, is next in a line of girls trying out the coding tutorials. This year marked Morenci’s second year of participation in the Hour of Code project.
  • Front.skelton.vigil
    MORENCI’S three Skelton brothers were remembered with both tears and laughter last week during a candlelight vigil at Wakefield Park. Several people came out of the crowd to give their recollection of the boys who have now been missing for five years.
  • Front.gym.new
    REMIE RYAN (left) tries to dodge the foam wand held by Hayden Bays during physical education class at Morenci Elementary School. In the background, Lauryn Dominique and Brooklyn Williams stay clear of the tag. Second grade students were working on cardiovascular health on the first day back from vacation. For the record, Safety Tag is a very difficult sport to photograph.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.

Iraq War: three years and counting

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

As the war in Iraq enters the fourth year, the Bush  administration remains as optimistic as ever—both about the manner in which the conflict is progressing and about prospects for a victory. Those views run counter to those expressed by most Americans and even by several officers in the military.

In a review of the past three years, the thoughts of a small-town newspaper editor don’t stand much ground against those who are better versed in the subject, such as war supporter Anthony Cordesman, a well-known expert on Middle East affairs who is often called on to explain and advise.

Cordesman recently reviewed seven original objectives of the war.

1. Getting rid of the weapons of mass destruction: This was pointless, he said, since  it was taken care of before the war.

2. Liberate Iraq: Security is worse now for the average Iraqi than before the war. Liberation was attempted without any meaningful plan to handle the consequences.

3. End the terrorist threat: He says that threat never existed in Iraq in the first place. Now, terrorists have serious involvement in the country.

4. Stabilize the Gulf region: The opposite has occurred. New tensions have arisen, anger at the U.S. has increased.

5. Secure energy exports: Iraqi oil exports have decreased since the war began and predicted increases won’t be seen for many years.

6. Make Iraq a democratic example to transform the Middle East: Iraq is not a model of anything, Cordesman says. Opinion polls in the region show that the U.S. is now feared and distrusted more than ever.

7. Help Iraq become a modern economy. Most new businesses are shells, start-ups or war related enterprises, Cordesman states, and youth unemployment averages more than 30 percent nationwide.

In short, he says, being a superpower is not enough. Fighting wars requires both a realistic strategy and the ability to implement it.

Cordesman still holds some hope for success, despite what he calls “disastrously incompetent” administration of the effort.

William Odom, a retired lieutenant general who ran Army intelligence and later the National Security Agency during the Reagan administration, has called the Iraq venture “the greatest strategic disaster in our history.”

Nonetheless, a year from now we will observe the fourth anniversary of the war as the president vows to stay the course until he achieves victory.

– March 22, 2006

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