One of the more pathetic –– and revealing –– comments emanating from America’s military leaders during the Viet Nam war was the observation by General William Westmoreland, once named Time Magazine’s Man of the Year, that “the Oriental (sic) doesn’t value life the way we do.”

Forty-five years have passed since that statement, but the value of human life is still very high to Americans. After all, the United States just shelled out as much as $800,000.00 in payment for the 16 dead people recently massacred in Kandahar, Afghanistan. That's at least $3,000.00 per pound. Victims who were merely wounded had to settle for $11,000.00 each.

According to Associated Press reports, the payment of $50,000.00 in cash for each murder victim was ordered by President Obama. The unnamed writer of the wire service story described the “unusually large payouts” as “the latest move by the White House to mend relations with the Afghan people...”

The usual anonymous sources confirmed the payments but not the sums, saying that the amounts reflected the ‘devastating nature of the incident.’

It was not an ‘incident,’ you cretins. It was murder. And if Obama thinks he’s going to thereby ‘mend relations’, he’s off his rocker.

A spokesman for NATO, Lt. Col. Jimmie Cummings, said that the U.S. often makes compensation payments. In 2010, U.S. troops in Helmand province shelled out between $1,500.00 and $2,000.00 for every civilian killed in a military operation. Woundings, if they were ‘serious’ paid between $600.00 and $1,500.00.

Survivors had previously been paid only $2,000.00 for each dead person by the Karzai government in Afghanistan, and only $1,000.00 for each person wounded.

Looks as though Westmoreland was right: America does place a higher value on human life than foreigners do.