This week a 42-second video shot last year in Afghanistan went viral. It showed some marines peeing on the corpses of three Taliban fighters in Afghanistan. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta called the video “utterly deplorable.” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressed “total dismay” over the video, stating that the “vast, vast” majority of American Military personnel would not engage in such actions. The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations condemned the desecration of the corpses, calling for a full investigation and punishment of the perpetrators to the fullest extent of the law.
Peeing on corpses isn’t a good idea I suppose, but when you send a bunch of teenagers into a hellish, dangerous place where people are trying to kill them every minute, there are going to be some indiscretions. When our soldiers kill Taliban who were trying to kill them with sniper fire or a roadside bomb, they have a reason to be damned upset. Add to this the fact that if the tables were turned the Taliban would have cut off the heads of those Marines.
Politicians will posture, but Marines have their lives on the line. It is utterly amazing that we don’t have more videos like this floating around the internet. I’ll wager that those videos are all over the country, not on the internet but in the personal computers of those who have served.
When people are trying to kill you it is war. The honored US Marines who killed thousands of Japanese soldiers during World War II made their comrades who peed on Taliban look like choir boys. Surely Panetta or Clinton have seen those black and white reels from Iwo Jima.
Again, I’m not saying that these Marines in Afghanistan were right. However, I hope that the investigation is completed quickly and that their penalty is a big, fat, slap on the hand.