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What's next?

Can you connect these dots?

Dot A: Bill Clinton is a shrewd politician.

Dot B: Bill Clinton would not attack President Bush for his commutation of Scooter Libby unless he knew a lot about what it is that Scooter knows.

Dot C: Bill Clinton has insider knowledge of a kind that will cause serious trouble for Cheney and Bush.

Dot D: Scooter's commutation is a payoff, and he must keep his mouth shut.

Dot E: Scooter accepted the "fall guy" role when he was assured that a pardon would be forthcoming, with no jail time and his fine financed by a quiet contribution to his savings account.

If you have connected the dots, you probably now have the answer to this question: When and how will Bill Clinton use his knowledge and strike his blow?

Arthur Palmer Baldwyn

Colorado Springs

Failed mission

After hearing many Iraq war supporters use our defeat of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan in World War II as examples of why the U.S. will win the war on terror through victory in Iraq today, I've realized there are important distinctions that demonstrate it's a dangerously flawed notion.

First point to recognize: Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan and their leaders existed solely within their physical borders.

Second point: The nation of radical Islam and its leaders do not exist solely within the borders of Iraq or Afghanistan. It's in many, many countries around the world. Understanding the importance of that distinction cannot be overemphasized.

We know that the defeat of Germany and Japan eliminated their armies, their ability to supply those armies and their ability to mobilize a substantive fight against us.

In comparison, even if the U.S. defeats radical Islamists in Iraq and Afghanistan, it will most assuredly radicalize and mobilize even more violent hatred for the U.S. throughout the Islamic world.

The inevitable result will be a wider war against the U.S., eventually broadening to all countries where the nation of Islam exists. That's the entire world, far beyond the isolated pockets we see today. Not only small terror cells, but potentially large armies as well. Hardly world security.

We have to understand that if the U.S. is ever going to make the world more secure, it's vital for Bush to fully grasp those distinctions and rethink his strategies.

Many critics will say, "What solution do you offer? You only complain."

I'll admit I don't know what a sensible solution would be. (After we've driven over the edge of the cliff, our options for a positive outcome have greatly narrowed.)

But recognizing what will not work, and why, is a necessary first step for America to find a solution.

Bob Smith

Colorado Springs

No more blackmail

The proponents of this eminent domain land theft for the Pion Canyon Maneuver Site expansion ("Bull dozed," cover story, July 12) don't seem to understand that the Army already has plenty of land for training. The tired old blackmail of "you don't support the troops if you don't support the expansion" is a logic paradox.

If you forget the lies they told about never expanding the PCMS and never using it as a live-fire range (which removes all their credibility) and if you forget about the ranchers, the agribusiness losses, the sacred Indian sites, thousands of petroglyphs, dinosaur tracks, endangered species, the Santa Fe Trail, hundreds of towns, thousands of people and all the rest, the fact still remains that they have already said they don't need that land for training.

They said it in their own "After Action Report" from the invasion of Iraq: "The roots of the (3rd Mech) division's successful attack on Baghdad are found on the training fields of Fort Stewart, Fort Irwin and Kuwait."

This report also proves you don't have to train on 16,100 square kilometers of terrain to successfully control that size of theater. They trained at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin, on 640,000 acres, and then, according to their assessment, "owned and influenced the 16,100 square kilometer battlespace (230 km deep, and 70 km wide)."

Their conclusion? "The National Training Center rotations produced a seasoned fighting force that was trained and ready to fight and win on any battlefield."

That's any battlefield.

Now they changed their minds and need an eighth of Colorado for training? In a state that has lost 2.89 million acres of agricultural land since 1992? In a state that's projected to lose 3.1 million more acres by 2012, not counting military eminent domain seizures?

In a nation where they have 25 million acres of training land?

No! Hell no!

No to the third power of no!

Mark Lewis

Colorado Springs

Ex-director's response

The supporters and donors of Citizens Project deserve to know that I did not decide to just "leave" Citizens Project all of a sudden. I believe too passionately in the mission for that to be the case. However, the board and I had different ideas about how the mission should be executed, so a mutual decision was made that my talents would be better used elsewhere.

Thank you to all the wonderful people who were so supportive of me and Citizens Project over the past year. The mission is so important and CP can't do it all without the support and involvement of this community.

I have no plans to leave this community or to remove myself from the public debate and activity around diversity. It is such a critical element to making Colorado Springs truly a world-class city.

Christina Student

Former executive director

Citizens Project

Colorado Springs

Impeachment now

On July 13, Bill Moyers Journal on PBS had a program on impeachment that should be required viewing by every American citizen.

Bruce Fein, a constitutional scholar and one of the most conservative of Republicans, and John Nichols of The Nation magazine, laid out a step-by-step case for why the Congress must impeach George Bush and Dick Cheney. Fein is best-known for writing the first article of impeachment against President Clinton. Fein admitted the crime of perjury committed by President Clinton pales in comparison to the crimes of the current administration.

Fein believes Bush has taken upon himself the creation of a form of monarchy using unchallenged presidential power. It was this form of monarchial power that most worried the founders of our country. Fein asserts Bush and Cheney have changed the presidency in a way that has undermined the Constitution and will give enormous and dangerous power to future presidents unless they are stopped now.

Both Fein and Nichols view this administration's illegal wiretapping of American citizens, torture of prisoners of war, outing of a covert CIA agent, politicization of the Justice Department and defiance of the rule of law as the high crimes and misdemeanors addressed by the founders of this great nation. These crimes must be examined in a court of law, in this case Congress.

Fein and Nichols believe there is no true statesman who will step outside of political loyalties to defend this country, so it is up to the American people, Republicans and Democrats, to stand up for their country and demand impeachment hearings.

Will you make that call to your senators and congressmen, and protect what makes this country great the Constitution of the United States of America?

Karen Gabbert

Arlington Heights, Ill.

Not so SiCKO

Gee, I don't recall mentioning a vast "right-wing" conspiracy in my letter ("Why no SiCKO?" Letters, July 5) concerning the lack of SiCKO in the Springs when it opened nationwide. When I mentioned the powers that be in this town, I was thinking more along the lines of people and organizations heavily invested in the insurance and health-care industries. But since Geraldine Russell ("No conspiracy," Letters, July 12) jumped to that conclusion, maybe the shoe fits.

Anyway, I'm glad to see SiCKO is here now, and yes, I was being just a bit silly. Lighten up. If I generated a little buzz, so much the better.

Jeff Maly

Colorado Springs

Sad commentary

Stephan Benjamin's article about gays in the military being put out of the service ("Don't ask, don't translate," Your Turn, July 12) tells a story that is all too frequent. The right-wing do-gooders would rather put U.S. troops in jeopardy rather than allow a gay service person to do a life-saving job.

Translators are vital in a conflict (dare I say war?) where information is so vital. George Bush and his West Wing are so hung up on irrelevant issues that they've lost sight of their mission. That mission is to give maximum support to the military in times of conflict (war?).

Of course that goes along with their contempt for the military personnel, especially in the medical and post-service areas that they so desperately need. I don't know who might be the next U.S. president, but I hope that the voters pick someone who has the welfare of the military fighting persons uppermost in his/her mind.

Don Smith

Upper Kedron, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Family pride

I just want to say thank you for the piece on Mr. Nikzad Hashemi (To be Iranian in Colorado Springs, cover story, March 22), although I am just barely reading the piece because my cousin just sent it to me.

I want to say that I am proud of my uncle and his accomplishments over the years and for opening up the eyes of people to see how tough it is for immigrants and their families. If it was not for my uncle, I would not be here in the USA.

Thanks to him, I am here and I am happy to be here. One day I hope to accomplish as much as he has. Once again, I thank you for writing this piece on him, and I hope that you continue to write many more stories like this so that we see how life and society is, and how each of us make a big part of this world we live in.

Ashkan Hashemi

Los Angeles, Calif.

Music alternative

I was disappointed to read your article several weeks ago (Ten gigs in ten nights, cover story, June 14). Although I understand that, for many, going to bars and clubs to listen to music and dance is an enjoyable activity, there are many who read the Independent who are looking for music and dance opportunities outside of the bar scene.

One such venue is Communidance ( sponsored by First Congregational Church on Saturdays at 9 a.m. Open to all faiths, backgrounds and affiliations, Communidance provides a space for free expression through music, movement, and dance.

Sometimes the music is recorded and other times local artists perform such as live African drumming on the third Saturday of every month. Joe Uveges and Susan Rissman performed June 30 (and hopefully will again in August), and Brandon Henderson performed July 14.

This is an ongoing free activity (donations are accepted) that provides an all-inclusive opportunity for people to connect with themselves and others through movement and music. What a remarkable opportunity in this community!

Jenny Arnold Glick

Colorado Springs


Due to an editing error, last week's Appetite story, "A neighbor with taste," incorrectly stated Asian Garden restaurant owner Narayan Shrestha also had opened Everest Nepal restaurant in Colorado Springs. Shrestha did not open Everest Nepal; he opened another Nepali restaurant in Denver. The Independent regrets the error.

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