Letters to the Editor Dec. 10, 2006

We can't leave Iraq to our terrorist enemies


The Iraq Study Group has released its report. Many view it as a surrender document. So what do we do now?

Obviously, we cannot continue on the present path. The American people said as much last month. But did they endorse a cut-and-run policy or were they telling Mr. Bush to try something different with a chance for success?

I believe the majority of American people would like the U.S. military to be given a gloves-off go-ahead to stop Iran and Syria from arming and guiding the terrorists. The ISG believes we should ask them for their help in stabilizing Iraq's government. That is simply asking the fox to guard the hen house. Iran has no interest in a stable democracy in Iraq. They want a stable Iraq under their control.

In Afghanistan, when Russia attempted to take control, we helped the tribes that fought them by giving them aid. We should now turn the tables on Syria and Iran, arming and supplying rebels within their own borders, keeping them so busy defending themselves at home that they would have no time to interfere in Iraq.

What made the IRG members such experts? They consisted of one former attorney general, two former secretaries of state, two ex-congressmen, two ex-senators, a former Secretary of Defense, one ex-adviser/attorney and a former Supreme Court Justice, all of whom are no longer in the loop, if in fact they ever were in the loop. What makes their conclusions more expert than our own military and CIA. The sad truth is that they are simply giving political cover if our congress forces the president to abandon efforts to soon to succeed.

If we do not succeed in Iraq, if we turn the area over to the terrorist state of Iran, does that mean that we have decided that we have no ability to protect ourselves in the case of another 9/11 and simply have to turn the other cheek? For it is a forgone conclusion that we will be hit again, every expert agrees on that. It is simply a matter of where or when. If we don't believe that we can't defend ourselves, then we should fight to succeed now.

Because, if we leave Iraq to our terrorist enemies we will surely be doing this again, but we will be starting over from scratch.

Jim Barber

Camp Verde

Good manners and respect a must for public officials


I was chagrined at the treatment given the Honorable Richard Serden by Cottonwood's mayor on Dec. 5 during consideration of the judge's reappointment as municipal magistrate.

The public reappointment proceeding began going sour when the mayor called on Judge Serden to make an extemporaneous public report on the status of the municipal court. One would think that the mayor and council would have asked for a detailed written report prior to the reappointment proceeding.

Things continued to deteriorate as the mayor, who was obviously upset with the judge, began to banter with him during the judge's presentation. To emphasize his distaste, the mayor pointedly never referred to Judge Serden as a "judge" or "magistrate," sending a subtle sarcastic message of disrespect of the office and Judge Serden.

Despite the positive report by Judge Serden, and statements by other members of the council, the mayor voted against the reappointment. He cast the only "no" vote even though he suggested during his effort to dress down the judge that he might change his opposition to because of the judge's contriteness during his presentation.

The mayor's effort to skewer the judge reminded me of the vice mayor's public outburst against another citizen, Dr. Bob Richards, who a few weeks earlier was giving a citizen's perspective on a proposed A-Frame ordinance. During the presentation, the vice mayor verbally erupted and attacked Dr. Richards in a manner that several of us perceived as an intentional effort to demean him. Since this incident, the vice mayor has reined in his conduct -- at least toward Dr. Richards.

While the judge, Dr. Richards, and myself, for that matter, can hold our own with the local politicos, I suspect that most citizens would find the potential for intimidation and public verbal attack on his or her views on a topic as innocuous as an A-Frame ordinance too unpleasant to undergo. This might explain in part the tiny number of citizens who show up for council meetings.

It seems to me that Cottonwood Council meetings should provide an open and non-intimidating opportunity for citizens to voice their views on a variety of issues; even if the local politicos strongly disagree with them.

Good manners and respect for a citizen's perspective should govern the proceedings. The kind of disrespect recently shown to some presenters at council meetings by the mayor and the vice mayor demean the entire process for all of us living in Cottonwood.

Robert E. Oliphant


Where is the diplomacy, Mr. Bush?


The Iraq Study Group's recommendation for broad regional diplomacy -- including with Iran and Syria -- is a necessary step towards bringing our troops home from Iraq. This is Bush's big mistake and where he must change first.

The ball is in President Bush's court now--he needs to start the diplomacy and soon. Only the president can engage in diplomacy. If he fails to act it will be harder to bring our troops home and the loss of life will get worse.

The United States has always engaged in diplomacy -- we talked with the U.S.S.R. all the time during the Cold War. We talked with China. James Baker, the Republican co-chair of the Iraq Study Group, got it right when he said, "you talk with your enemies."

If President Bush doesn't act, the new Congress should hold his feet to the fire. Democrats were elected with a mandate to figure out how to bring our troops home. Diplomacy is an essential part of making that happen.

Patricia George

Camp Verde

Making a mountain out of a molehill


Now I'm offended. A police officer that, by personal accounts of those who know him, has done a great job relating to minorities in his position on the gang squad, is being investigated for "offending" the black community.

I'm offended by the city government that has rushed to judge the officer and apologize for his "offensive" actions.

I'm offended by those who make a living by finding slights to separate us, who search for offense or manufacture it if they can't find it.

And I'm offended by a newspaper that can't get the story straight and piles on.

Sarah Muench, of the Arizona Republic, uses the quote "You know I'm right because I've got a gun and a badge," an obvious joke, to make it sound like Sgt. Schoville was lording his authority over two young black men. He was referring to the upcoming Oakland Raiders game and would have told his squad "You know I'm right because I've got the stripes." In addition to her story, the Republic also did an editorial to emphasize the "tragic" encounter.

Until the NAACP got involved, most people in the black community probably saw a police officer giving two young men a break on a littering ticket and then giving the aspiring rappers a chance to strut their stuff on T.V. They didn't know they were offended until Oscar Tillman told them they were.

I'm offended because a good officer who has made progress in extending trust between law enforcement and the minority communities, who has learned to communicate at the street level, is now being punished for doing his job well.

A person really has to stretch to find offense in a situation where none of those involved were offended. Sgt. Schoville's biggest mistake was to film the incident and give the professional "offendees" grist for their victim mill.

Jim Barber

Camp Verde

Your efforts are much appreciated


This letter is sent to thank the 20-plus volunteers from the Verde Villages who participated in the cleanup of Highway 260 from Wal Mart to Prairie Lane.

The highway looks a lot better.

Thank you all!

Mal Otterson

Verde Village

No way to treat man's best friend


For those who have "cute dogs" that sit on your lap while you are trying to drive your car, and those who have "tough dogs" that are placed in the back of your pick-up truck without the proper tie down. These are potential accidents waiting to happen for your dog. Think about these different scenarios.

For the cute dog sitting on your lap, between the steering wheel and your chest, if there were an accident, the dog will probably be crushed between the steering wheel and your chest. So your seatbelt will stop this from happening? Then take that cute dog and throw it out the window from the impact of the accident or to the floor of your vehicle. If cute dog lands on the floor between the pedals you are trying to push on while stopping your vehicle it could easily be severally hurt by your own feet as you instinctively try to stop your vehicle. If cute dog is thrown out the window from the impact of your vehicle the oncoming traffic will probably end its life for you, if not, the impact on the asphalt can do the job.

For the "tough dog" you say is happy standing in the back of your truck, when your accident happens it can easily be thrown out on impact. After your dog hits the asphalt with tremendous force it will most likely roll or slide to a stop only to be also hit by on coming traffic.

There is no need to go into detail the outcome of animals this happens to, visit your local veterinarian or animal shelter, I'm sure they will confirm what I am saying.

Please, enjoy your animals as they enjoy you I'm sure, but do prevent unnecessary injury to them. Keep them off your lap while driving and properly restrained. If your insist on placing your dog in the back of your truck use the proper tie down. We use seatbelts, what about your dog? They only want to be your "best friend" for years to come.

Sandi Ashton

Camp Verde

A little courtesy please


What a lovely evening spent at the Camp Verde Parade of Lights. Thank you to all the participants for braving the wind and making the evening so enjoyable.

It would have been lovelier if the large red pickup truck had been more courteous and not have pulled out into the street so they could watch the parade from inside their truck. Never mind the people they blocked from seeing the parade, even though they were asked to pull back. Thank you very much.

Shirley Brinkman

Camp Verde

Have we forgotten the reason for the season?


What a shame. The name of Jesus was mentioned only once in the parade on Saturday night.

I wonder what's next, will Camp Verde be like Minnesota and have officials elected that want to use the Koran as the instrument to be sworn into office with? Have we (Camp Verde) become so afraid of our national government and the "others" that we can't/won't say the name of God-Jesus in public.

What our men and women that are fighting today to preserve, let alone the many that have died so that we may have freedom. What freedom, when we're afraid to say the name of the King of Kings, Lord of Lords.

I love Camp Verde, but it makes me sad what we here along with the rest of this country have come to. God has and continues to bless us so abundantly, we're just to afraid of a "few" to thank HIM in public.

I wonder what excuse we will have on judgment day and there will be one. Rest assurred of that. The Koran might not say that but certainly the Bible does.

Carlie Androus

Camp Verde

A community to be thankful for


Friendships are truly the building blocks to a stronger and healthier community.

With this said, the Old Town Mission Staff, Board Members, and myself would like to sincerely thank all the many giving individuals in our community who provided food and helpful assistance to support our Thanksgiving Outreach Programs of recent weeks. Turkeys and bulk food items were collected by the truck load which allowed us to serve nearly 400 family requests for a Traditional Thanksgiving Dinner.

In addition, we were able to host a Thanksgiving Lunch to those neighbors in need who utilize our Day Resource Center services. Special thanks and recognition go out to the following businesses, groups and individuals for their financial support, food donations and volunteerism: Sedona Motors, Larry Green Chevrolet, Cottonwood Safeway, Cottonwood Fry's, Yavapai Broadcasting, Yavapai County Assessors Office, Mountain Stucco, Best of Europe Adultcare Home, MUHS Student Council, V.V Boy Scouts, Verde Baptist Church, erde Valley Christian Church, Mountain View Methodist Church, Vineyard Youth Group, Jim Schulz and the OTM "Lunch Room" Team and "Special Projects" volunteers.

We also commend the students, parents, teachers and administrations of the following school groups for hosting "food drives" and skillfully decorating paper sacks and place mats to add joy and color to our efforts: Tavasci Elementary, Cottonwood Elementary, Cottonwood Middle School, Oak Creek School, Dr. Daniel Bright, Hill Top Preschool, Verde Valley Christian School, and V.V. Homeschoolers. Thanks to all who gave from the heart and may not be mentioned here for you are doubly blessed. This is truly a community to be thankful for.

Bryan Detwiler

Old Town Mission


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