pissing on the dead

There’s a great deal of surprise and outrage over the video showing the members of a Marine sniper unit pissing on the bodies of dead Afghans. The outrage is merited; the surprise is not.

This is what happens in war. We train people to kill other people, which is the ultimate desecration of the body. Why, then, should anybody be surprised to hear troops desecrate those bodies in other ways?

Desecrating the bodies of the enemy has happened in every war that ever took place. It was an old practice when Achilles dragged Hector’s body around the walled city of Troy some 3300 years ago. It’s been practiced by every army that’s ever existed, and though it may violate moral and legal codes of military conduct, it’ll continue to happen. The U.S. military isn’t—and never has been—exempt. The ways in which wars are fought have changed over time, but desecrating the bodies of the enemy is a constant.

Of course our troops have pissed on the bodies of dead Afghans. This isn’t the first time it’s happened in Afghanistan and it almost certainly won’t be the last. Afghans have undoubtedly pissed on the bodies of dead Marines and soldiers, and they’ll continue to do so. Pissing on the body is a quick and easy way to express contempt and mark territory. It’s an expression of war; it’s part of the nature of war.

This isn’t to say we should condone—or even tolerate—such behavior. Those four Marines deserve to be punished, and punished severely. They deserve punishment for several reasons, not the least of which is that desecrating the bodies of your enemies creates more enemies—and more intransigent enemies.

So yes, we must punish those Marines. Yes, we should be outraged by the behavior. But spare me the shock and surprise. If you don’t want soldiers pissing on the bodies of the enemy, don’t send them to war. If you send young men and women to war, don’t act surprised when they behave the way warriors have always behaved.

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7 thoughts on “pissing on the dead

  1. Wish ALL our troops were here home with their familys,but our dumbass politicians/president whom have NEVER SERVED OR HAVE BEEN IN THIS SITUATION BEFORE……..I say….IF ALL OUR TROOPS WERE HOME…THIS WOULD NEVER HAVE HAPPENED!!!!!!!!!!!!! The solution……DO NOT SHOOT AT OUR SERVICE MEN AND WOMEN AND WE WON’T HAVE TO CELEBRATE KICKIN YOUR STUPID ANTI-AMERICAN ASSES!!!!!!!!!!!!! MAY GOD BLESS THE U.S.A. AND MAY OUR FLAG FOREVER FLY HIGH!!!!!!! OK MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS….LETS UNITE AS WE ALWAYS DO AND BRING ALL OUR TROOPS HOME NOW!!!!!!!!!!! TELL THE IDIOTS IN WASHINGTON THAT THE WAR IS OVER AND WE CAN FIND BETTER ENERGY SOURCES THAN IRANIAN OIL…..WAKE UP AMERICA WE AE THE BEST,,,,,START SHOWING IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  2. I have assessed the incident with the video of our Marines urinating on Taliban corpses. I do not recall any self-righteous indignation when our Delta snipers Shugart and Gordon had their bodies dragged through Mogadishu. Neither do I recall media outrage and condemnation of our Blackwater security contractors being killed, their bodies burned, and hung from a bridge in Fallujah.

    All these over-emotional pundits and armchair quarterbacks need to chill. Does anyone remember the two Soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division who were beheaded and gutted in Iraq?

    “The Marines were wrong. Give them a maximum punishment under field grade level Article 15 (non-judicial punishment), place a General Officer level letter of reprimand in their personnel file, and have them in full dress uniform stand before their Battalion, each personally apologize to God, Country, and Corps videotaped and conclude by singing the full US Marine Corps Hymn without a teleprompter.

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