MONDAY’S LETTERS: General Petraeus and the $2000 Payoff

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By: E&P Staff

In today’s letters, a couple of responses to Greg Mitchell’s recent column on the payouts made by the U.S. military to families of killed civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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Petraeus’ Payoff

Maybe it’s just inflation or maybe things are getting better. During the Vietnam war, individuals who could prove that their family member, killed by U.S. forces, was not a communist, were paid $35. Of course if you happened to be a rubber tree, owned by a wealthy French Vietnamese businessman, destroyed by American firepower, you were compensated to the tune of $80. That’s about right; $35 for a human life and $80 for a rubber tree.

Maybe there are just some things you can’t throw money at and make it right.

Thanks for your article.

Bob Trowbridge



General Petraeus may believe that the “surge” in Iraq “is likely to get harder before it gets better. …” But, that usually happens when you send soldiers into harm’s way based on lies from the commander-in-chief.

True, General “We are putting our soldiers at greater risk …” especially when there is no proof they should be there at all.

If the “some progress” in “some areas” he cites is because “some” Iraqi units are “truly pulling their weight …” why is it necessary for U.S. men and women to die? After all, Sen. McCain only needed armed soldiers, a flak jacket, and overhead armored helicopters to walk the streets of Iraq.

If “our motives are [so] pure” why do “68% of Iraqis want us out …” or is that just a country, “rumors” he is combating while the grunts do the dying?

If the media would simply roll over and ignore death, they’d help Petraeus fulfill his goals. After he seems to be saying you are now “[un]fair to the soldiers, “[in]accurate” in reporting, do not “put death in proper context,” and fail to make “appropriate characterizations …” Otherwise, he’s glad to have you along.

Lastly, with a daughter who served on this mission, I’m insulted that Petraeus believes i or any other American does not “recognize the sacrifice being made by troops in Iraq…” and that a “passionate plea” must be made for me to so recognize this sacrifice.

Walt McElligott
Beecher, Ill.

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