Thursday, January 19, 2012

Urinating Upon the Dead

I've consciously refrained from comment upon the story of the 4 Marines urinating on dead Taliban bodies, but it's time, because I have a somewhat different take on the story.  See here for a network news story.

Couple observations to set the stage:
  • When you send young guns to war, it's hard to shut off that kill-or-be-killed instinct and be "respectable" and play by the rules.
  • Desecrating the bodies of your enemies is a time-honored tradition and is nothing new (it's still wrong, wrong, wrong).

That said, I find it remarkable that so much rage and disapproval is being heaped upon these 4 Marines for an act that I find understandable, though not appropriate.  They knew better--especially in the digital age--and deserve some reprimand, but not a destroyed career.

But what I really find totally and strangely absent from the dialog is any disapproval of the fact that there are bodies in the first place to be urinated upon.

It's like the 800 pound gorilla in the room peed (to continue the theme) on the floor, and everybody says, "Ewww--there's a mess over there!" and go on at great length about 1) how uncouth that gorilla is, or 2) how it's only doing gorilla things.  Yet the puddle on the floor is only the proximate issue...and nobody bothers to address the ultimate issue of why the gorilla is even there in the first place. 

Let me try another analogy about cause and effect that applies here.  It's kinda like a post I did here, linking to a great post by the Earth Bound Misfit, regarding moaning over how much our military vets would cost us over future years.  She said:

If we, as a nation, are unwilling to shoulder the financial burden of caring for our military retirees and veterans, then this is what we should do: Stop making so many veterans by getting into wars. When the shooting starts, there are going to be maimed veterans who will need care for the next eighty years. If that cost is unacceptable to the politicians, then stop sending men and women off to fight. No fighting, no combat veterans to care for-- that should be a simple enough equation for even most politicians to grasp.

How long have we been in Afghanistan--10+ years, right?  Shouldn't that have been more than enough time for the Very Serious People in DC to have wrapped this thing up and gotten us out of there?

Now we have the Secretary of State--and normally I am a Hillary Clinton fan--making noises about possible war crimes?  War Crimes?  Are you serious?  Before we do that, where's the prosecution of President Bush and his minions for deliberately taking us, under false pretenses, into an unnecessary war in Iraq?  Oh, and for the torture, too.  There's your 800 pound gorilla, not the actions of 4 Marines.

I am reminded of a recent comment I read somewhere, about a guy in his early 60s who fervently hoped he would outlive President Bush.

Why?  The thing that kept this guy going was the goal of being able to urinate on Bush's grave.

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