Didn’t meet test
This letter represents my observation only regarding the Davidian standoff and tragic end. A lesson that was bought with American blood in World War II was, “He who wins gets there first with the most.”
The ATF did not meet either test Feb. 28. It should have withdrawn and met the second requirement and returned to finish the job. Is not that what we paid them to do?
Let’s look at the facts. Howell is said to have discussed suicide with his followers. The structure was largely wood and could be made to burn very rapidly on a windy day. No mention has been made as to fire-fighting equipment inside the building. Outside equipment was several miles away.
The federal authorities cut off the electricity denying them light. The operations of April 19 began almost an hour before sunlight. Now in the presence of darkness, gunfire and tear gas, women and children were expected to exit in good numbers, to say nothing of the demands Howell may have had on them.
Does this sound like anyone who had the safety of innocent children’s best interest on their mind?
Dear Waco: I have two questions for you.
If Mount Carmel had been occupied by an armed white supremacy group or an armed drug operation would you be so quick to question the actions of the federal agents?
There is so much sympathy for the 17 children whose parents decided they need not live any longer. Where is the sympathy for the hundreds each day whose mothers decide they need not live at all?
A tragedy has occurred in our midst. But greater tragedies occur each day, tragedies we prefer to ignore in the name of “privacy.” Wake up, Waco, and have compassion on those around you.
Stanley D. Harstine
Did their best
Our prayers are with the agents of ATF and FBI who did their best to save those children.
I know they feel they failed. Please let them know that the matter was taken out of their hands by the arrogance and cowardice of David Koresh.
Please thank them for having been our protectors, even of those children whom they could not save.
During the 51 days that these federal agents were in our city and during the numerous exposures which all of us had to them, there has been no report on any person to indicate that person was a discredit to himself or to his government. They were always excellent citizens and good neighbors.
Though this tragedy leaves us perplexed and angry at people who do what Koresh did, it also leaves us grateful for the local, county, state and national network of law enforcement officers who put their lives between us and danger — and they never know when they will be called upon to do so.
The four ATF agents did not die in vain. They have shown our nation, again, that we are a society that will be ruled by law.
It will be law that shows wise restraint, but it will be law that demands an unrelenting response of obedience to that which we as a people have said is just and right.
Rev. Richard M. Freeman
Results of liar
Was the cult obedient to God? No; their leader was a liar.
Revelation, Chapter 21 verse 8, tells about the results of a liar. Sin causes our trouble just as it did for the cult.
Saved our lives
Mount Carmel was truly a tragedy, but the bottom line is that the Branch Davidians were warned before the use of tear gas was implemented and they chose not only to stay inside, but to hang up the phone and refuse to communicate with the FBI.
Why are people so sympathetic with the criminal aspect and fail to realize that the FBI and ATF may have saved many of our lives, and, in so doing, lost and injured many of their own?
Rachel I. Butler
Broke the law
I would just like to say that I think the FBI and the ATF did a good job. I do not think the federal agents deserve the criticism they are getting.
If Vernon Howell and his cult members had not been breaking the law, the ATF would not have had warrants for them in the first place.
I think attorneys Dick DeGuerin and Jack Zimmerman should go back to Houston and quit saying things that they know are not true.
No false guilt
Who’s to blame?
Not the media, not the ATF or FBI, and not our government officials. The evil man David Koresh and the people in the cult who gave the responsibility of their lives over to him and surrendered responsibility for their own thinking brought about the sacrifice of their own children for their own egotistical needs to be right in their eyes.
They were the cause of their own destruction, as horrifying and deeply saddening as it was.
While we feel compassion and sorrow over the loss of the little children and even the adult cult members who had lost touch with reality, let us not as a city become paralyzed with false guilt.
Let us work toward an open community where freedom and respect for children are chief values.