Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Payments to Iraqi victims draw scrutiny

This is the TV version of the story that Steve Turnham blogged about yesterday.
Posted By Joe Johns, CNN Correspondent: 10:59 AM ET
In your report, the military stated condolence payments are given "without admitting any fault or responsibility but as expressing sympathy?" I can see why sometimes the Iraqis see the West as capitalistic, arrogant infidels.

Basically, it is placing a price on a human life. If the US is to be a model for democracy and the civilized world, we also need to be accountable for the loss of life not just the payment for life.

I understand the US is at war. But do we really want the passive-monetary distribution of condolences to silence the conscience of a nation or its military.

Tough topic.
Posted By Anonymous Sharon D., Indianapolis, IN : 12:20 PM ET
I agree completely with giving these sorts of payments, so long as the money comes from oil profits in Iraq.
Posted By Anonymous Brant, Madison, Wisconsin : 12:25 PM ET
So an Iraqi civilian's life to the Bush administration is worth $2,500 dollars. An innocent person in Iraq trying to carry on life as best they can who just happens to get in the way of an American bullet or bomb, the family gets an OOOPPs and 2,500 bucks for their loss of a family member. So how have we made life better for the people in Iraq? Oh yes, we pay the families when we kill, Saddam didn't.
Posted By Anonymous Lee Fairfield Iowa : 1:37 PM ET
I feel like we've paid enough to the citizens and the government of Iraq. If there is a sympathy payment required, why on earth does that become another expense for the American taxpayer? I am writing my elected officials today. That is outrageous!
Posted By Anonymous Debbie, New Richmond, WI : 3:38 PM ET
This is a sad situation. I wish there was a better way to handle it.
Posted By Anonymous Jess, Paris, KY : 3:47 PM ET
Why do we have to pay them. Our Goverment isn't paying the family of our troops that are killed over there. We should take care of our own why do we have to pay for collateral damage. They are killing there own people so isnt that collateral damage and are they going to pay the people also??????
Posted By Anonymous Joe Fort Smith Arkansas : 4:08 PM ET
If it is a civil war, we shouldn't be held accountable. It is civilians killing civilians. They are killing each other and we have to pay for that. Smart...very smart!
Posted By Anonymous Abel, Edinburg Texas : 4:54 PM ET
MrFairfield of Iowa, Actually Saddam did provide payments but they were to the families of those who committed suicide bombings agains Israel. $10,000 or more, and if I remember it correctly, I think they were awareded from several hundred dollars to a couple of thousand dollars if they were wounded by the IDF. And you wonder why so many are willing to put their bodies in the way of a tank or a gun. That's a couple of years pay in Palistine. There's where HIS oil money was going.
Posted By Anonymous Les, Denver CO : 5:25 PM ET
Posted By Joe Fort Smith Arkansas : 4:08 PM ET

Attn Joe Fort Smith Arkansas;
Actually, the government does provide payments for those who are killed in combat. Their families also receive benifits.
Posted By Anonymous Les, Denver CO : 5:28 PM ET
I think the payments to Iraqi families is stupid. Their militias and other factions are killing each other. It also saddens me on this blog to see how many of our citizens hate their own country. I would be interested to know what is their vision of a "good America";open borders, paying anyone who threatens us, no production because we send all jobs overseas, never stand up to anyone, just lie down and take it.
Sorry, that sounds like a punching bag to me, I don't want it. I LOVE the country we have. GOD BLESS AMERICA.
Posted By Anonymous Cecilia, Houston Texas : 6:36 PM ET
The incredible person who first started this system was Marla Ruzicka. She almost single-handedly got the ball rolling on the concept of delivering payments to grieving Iraqi families. She was killed doing so.

What does a civilized nation, engaged in what it considers to be a rightful military action do when it inadvertently harms the people on whose behalf that action is said to be taken?

The only logical answer is to accept responsibility for the error, (and mistakes will always happen in war)express sorrow and offer what comfort we can. There is nothing un-American about showing respect and compassion to people we are asking our soldiers to fight and die for.
Posted By Anonymous Jim Ginderske, Chicago IL : 1:16 AM ET
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