Letters to the Editor
Highlands TodayMoral mathematics
Published: March 28, 2012
Published: March 28, 2012
Today's news indicates that we are paying $50,000 for each of the 16 people killed and $10,000 for each of the six people wounded in Afghanistan, allegedly by Staff Sgt. Bales, for a total of $860,000.
What about the 13 unarmed people who were killed by Maj. Hasan at Fort Hood, along with the 29 wounded? That would amount to $940,000.
You could also include the families of the 1,915 troops killed in Afghanistan, but that would amount to $95 million and wouldn't include any of the thousands of wounded.
Hasan hasn't been to trial yet in over two years as they question his sanity, although he never served a combat tour and killed these people while screaming "Allah ackbar."
We seem to be rushing Staff Sgt. Bales to trial by comparison. The other difference is that Hasan is considered a hero in Afghanistan and, if executed, would be a martyr.
Both these acts are terrible by our standards and I am reminded of Lt. Calley's My Lai massacre in Vietnam, which involved 105 men, women and children.
There are no heroes, just another ugly war, but I see no reason that they should be treated differently. As a Vietnam veteran, like many of my friends and neighbors, Vietnam and Afghanistan are beginning to seem very much alike. Let's get our troops out of that God forsaken place now!
Say no to vigilantes
The shooting of Trayvon Martin, 17, last month and the outrage by people of all color in demanding a sound investigation as to what actually happened and justice for Trayvon's family is certainly understandable.
However, there also needs to be a similar outrage to celebrities such as Spike Lee, who tweeted the suspect's living address for the entire world to see. It is time that celebrities such as Lee are held accountable for their words. This does not fall under the realm of free speech.
In addition, a black political group offered a $10,000 bounty Saturday for the killer of an African-American teenager, amid a nationwide uproar which has prompted a rethink of America's race issues.
The New Black Panther Party displayed a "wanted" poster on its website with a picture of George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watch volunteer who shot Trayvon Martin last month.
"WANTED! For the murder of Trayvon Martin. ALIVE, not dead or harmed," the poster read.
Activists had called for the mobilization of 5,000 black men to capture Zimmerman. And Muhammad said the NBPP was receiving donations from black entertainers and athletes with a goal to collect $1 million by next week.
If Zimmerman is murdered before a fair trial, will Spike Lee, the Black Panthers, Al Sharpton, etc. be held responsible for Zimmerman's death? I think not.
In truth, Zimmerman and his wife acted as mentors to two teenage African-Americans, even after funding was cut for the program. They have also helped at a fundraiser for an African-American church, according to the lawyer.
I don't know what happened and neither does anyone else until the justice system plays out. Give it a chance. Vigilantes never work out.
Jim Vokes, Avon Park