Title blurb

"From one LIGHT come many colors." ~GJ Dürrschmidt

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Piss on the Technology, NOT on Our Marines!

A video has surfaced of four U.S. Marines urinating on the corpses of freshly killed Taliban fighters. I feel moved to address this matter. I intentionally did not post a picture of this, as I feel doing so would be disrespectful to these brave, young men. This reported act does not disturb me in the least. What greatly disturbs me is the growing negative reaction to it within the sanctimonious halls of Washington D.C., specifically the Pentagon. I would include reaction by the news media, but quite honestly, they don’t know any better. The story smacks of scandal, and if it isn’t one yet, I have every confidence they’ll soon turn it into one. But, I digress. Please stay with me on this one.
That the letters k-i-n-d would be a part of the word mankind, has always fascinated me, especially having served in the United States military for twenty years. History clearly demonstrates that there is nothing kind when it comes to mankind. Soldiers in armies fighting in wars spanning thousands of years, all have shared at least this one thing in common: killing…the oftentimes brutal, bloody, face-to-face taking of another’s life. No matter how one chooses to sugar coat the nature of war, there is nothing kind about it.
Let me remind you that in our own country’s early history, the common practice of scalping the vanquished was quite prevalent. Though early textbook accounts tried to make us believe that this was a barbaric act committed solely by the savage Indians, academics have since uncovered information to indicate that scalping occurred more frequently at the hands of the “blue coat,” the “long sword,” the "civilized, Christian white man. When it comes to man killing man, might we agree that it is all savagery?
            America, and Americans, need not be so naïve sitting comfortably half a world away from where our nation’s children have been sent to perform a very nasty deed.  Whether masking the nasty nature of their assigned duties with phrases like: protecting the homeland, fighting for democracy, waging the war on terrorism, preserving freedom...they are there to kill, or be killed. Are we beginning to smell the coffee?
            It’s easy for the far removed to sit in judgment of acts committed by soldiers engaged in war. I find it shameful for ranking military officials and politicians to so quickly evoke the Teflon Act – nothing sticks to me – publicly condemning such reported behavior, conveniently portraying an air of pious decency whenever such acts might prove potentially politically damaging. Come on people, deep down inside of even the least aware individual, there exists the understanding that such acts have been, and most likely will continue to be an expected component of the nature of war.

Our young people in uniform cannot be expected to switch the mindset for killing on and off at will, nor does it make any sense that they would be expected to wage war politely and in a civil manner. How preposterous! Our military members have been expertly trained in the use of weapons and munitions. They are mentally conditioned to accept, and carry out their assigned duties as lean, mean, fighting machines.

Preparing for deployment, and while in hostile theaters, they have heard reports of, or have witnessed firsthand,  fellow soldiers being blown to bits by roadside bombs, falling prey to suicide bombers, having had their heads shattered by a sniper’s bullet. Each soldier on every mission carries the enormous personal mental and emotional burden that his or her next step, or next fire fight, may be the last.

War witnessed from afar is nasty business enough. War experienced up close and personal, is something no human being should ever have to be subjected to. But when they are, they are no longer the Johnny or Susie who lived next door, who we went to school with, danced at the prom with, played sports with, hung out at the Mall with. No, they have been transformed into something they never thought possible. Yesterday, they just graduated high school. Today they find themselves in the deserts of Iraq, or the mountains of Afghanistan.

They have lost all semblance of childhood innocence. They have now seen and heard the unthinkable atrocities of war, tasted the acrid bitterness of killing, smelled the pungent fragrance of death, and felt the teachings of honor and decency drain from their bodies onto the ground, along with the blood of their enemies. They feel empty, abandoned, ashamed,…angry.

Who do they lash out at? Who can they blame for putting them there, for making them do what they have done, for making them what they have become: savage killers? The immediate target of all their pent up rage and unspent adrenaline, quite naturally - specifically in the recent case of the four marines - are the trophies of war lying there before them. After all, if it were not for those poor, dead Taliban bastards, they would not be there. So, is it so unthinkable that they would act out by pissing on those poor bastards? No, not at all; at least not to me.
That these marines might now be prosecuted in some manner for this act is outrageous. It shouldn't be possible. To me, they are heroes. They need to be heroes to America. We, as a nation, need to support our young heroes. They need to know that no matter what, someone’s got their back.

I believe Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta, should have the balls to go on public record in support of our troops, and boldly state that, had he been there with those marines, he would have pissed on those bodies too. The truth is, when the chips are down, ranking military and political leaders historically turn their backs. If anyone has to take the fall, it’s certainly not going to be any of them. Need we be reminded of Lt. Col. Oliver North?

 So, the last word on this matter I direct to my fellow soldiers, sailors, airmen, coast guardsmen, and marines, who soon will, or now do serve in hostile areas: turn those goddamn cell phones and cameras the hell off! What are you thinking?! What your ass-covering, spineless ranking military leaders, your elected politicians, and the rest of world doesn’t know, can’t come back to bite YOU in the ass! I respect and salute you.

  Ooh-rah, and semper fi!

~gj duerrschmidt

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