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In Print: On News Stands Now

WAR NOTES FROM THE YEAR 2076

by Tumbleweed Smith

A script from a Radio Netherlands reporter covering the United States Civil War on July 2, 2076:

"I'm in Kansas City, the center of the United States. Battle elements from the East have been hammering the area for days, trying to breakthrough the strong Western defenses.

"This is a part of the country that once served as the nation's breadbasket. The Midwest supplied wheat, vegetables, fruits and meats to all parts of the US. Herds of cattle used to roam these plains, now strewn with missile fragments and bombed out plane and automobile bodies. The scene is reminiscent of the Middle East 72 years ago.

"The war has taken its toll on every aspect of American life. Communication, transportation, education, utilities and security are practically non-existent. The US is now a nation of desperate souls. Professional sports arenas, once the great symbols of prosperity and leisure time, have been turned into poorly equipped and understaffed hospitals. Nuclear weapons have destroyed some of the nation's greatest cities. The ineffective government has left Washington, DC and is operating in undisclosed locations.

"The war's origin is no different from the elements that start most wars. It's a matter of differing points of view as to how to run a country. Spirited competition between the two major political parties, Democrats and Republicans, erupted into riots at political rallies. The two groups kept squaring off against each other in several cities until a full-scale, nationwide war broke out. Republicans have taken over the western part of the country while Democrats headquarter in the east. 'And as it was during America's first civil war 215 years ago, families have been divided. Brother is fighting against brother.

"The chasm between the two parties was widened in the early part of the century by zealous radio talk show hosts who criticized the opposition parties. It is no wonder that some of the first buildings to be destroyed were broadcasting stations. The comments heard on radio helped develop a hatred so fierce that it led to fighting. In defending their beliefs and platforms, party loyalists have nearly destroyed the country. If the war continues, there won't be much of a country left to govern.

"Both parties have created chaos in the military, turning service personnel into mercenaries, who brought with them dangerous arsenals. Terrorists from traditionally enemy nations have come to the US to join in the fight. While their paychecks come from Democrats or Republicans, I can't help but believe they have designs of taking over the country. 'This war can't last much longer. There are just a few bombs and missiles left in the world.

"On the eve of this country's 300th anniversary, the United States' experiment in democracy seems to have been brought down from within. 'This is Pieter van Dyke for Radio Netherlands."

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