Readers write: An inspiring example of forgiveness, responsible military action

Letters to the editor for the May 4, 2015 weekly magazine

Ann Hermes/The Christian Science Monitor
Ricky Jackson stands in the snow outside his apartment in Cleveland. America’s longest-serving wrongfully convicted prisoner, he served 39 years and was released last November through the help of the Ohio Innocence Project.

Ricky Jackson’s inspiring example
Regarding the April 13 cover story, “Innocence Found: The Ricky Jackson story”: How exciting and encouraging was this beautiful story of an innocent man finding freedom after 39 years of wrongful incarceration. Much more needs to be done so that others serving time for crimes they didn’t commit are granted their freedom. Mr. Jackson’s resilience, graciousness, and human forgiveness in enduring such hostile environments serve as a model of the strength of the human spirit.
Janet Wenrick
Stow, Ohio

I wept as I read about Ricky Jackson’s poignant story. I felt humbled by his patience, persistence, awareness of the terrible effects of anger and hatred, and ultimate forgiveness. I pray that his accuser finds the same level of peace for himself. I also pray that those involved in our legal system take a good hard look at this case and the injustice that took place.
Joan Greig
Aurora, Ohio

The responsibility of military action
Your March 30 cover story, “Islamic jihadists: how real a threat?,” mentions that an Al Qaeda leader, Nasir al-Wuhayshi, encourages extremists to provide basic services. This reminds me of what Gen. Peter Chiarelli learned when he led the First Cavalry Division in Baghdad in 2004. He saw that the forces of Moqtada al-Sadr were building legitimacy by providing for the basic needs of the people. Thus he knew his forces would be doomed to defeat unless they could provide these services also. Chiarelli procured funds to put to work thousands of locals to remove trash and sewage and repair sewer and electrical lines. The pay was modest, but it helped workers feed their families. Americans seem all too ready to push our military into costly and poorly thought out actions. If Al Qaeda realizes the importance of providing basic services, we should also. We should not embark on further military adventures until we can provide for the people they will affect.
John Stettler

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