Soldiers urinating on corpses: just bad apples! Not our fault!

Sebastian Junger at The Washington Post on the US soldiers who urinated on the Taliban fighters they’d killed:

There is a final context for this act in which we are all responsible, all guilty. A 19-year-old Marine has a very hard time reconciling the fact that it’s okay to waterboard a live Taliban fighter but not okay to urinate on a dead one.

When the war on terror started, the Marines in that video were probably 9 or 10 years old. As children they heard adults — and political leaders — talk about our enemies in the most inhuman terms. The Internet and the news media are filled with self-important men and women referring to our enemies as animals that deserve little legal or moral consideration. We have sent enemy fighters to countries like Syria and Libya to be tortured by the very regimes that we have recently condemned for engaging in war crimes and torture. They have been tortured into confessing their crimes and then locked up indefinitely without trial because their confessions — achieved through torture — will not stand up in court.

For the past 10 years, American children have absorbed these moral contradictions, and now they are fighting our wars. The video doesn’t surprise me, but it makes me incredibly sad — not just for them, but also for us. We may prosecute these men for desecrating the dead while maintaining that it is okay to torture the living.

I hope someone else knows how to explain that to our soldiers, because I don’t have the faintest idea.

Hysterically punishing these individual young soldiers is of course much easier than actually addressing the much more serious problem of the behaviour of those who sent them there, so let’s ignore everything Sebastian just said. BAD APPLES! NOT OUR FAULT! NOTHING WE NEED TO CHANGE ABOUT OURSELVES!

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5 responses to “Soldiers urinating on corpses: just bad apples! Not our fault!

  1. SB would probably blame it on Marxist indoctrination at state funded schools. Although to be fair this type of activity is nothing new. British troops during WW1 nailed a German soldier to a cross. Something Freudian about that mayhaps. Or could it be that the U.S. soldiers are so wrapped up in their own patriotic fervour, they are devoid of any humanity.

    Still after Abu Gharaib and the other litany of atrocities, who is really surprised? I ain’t that’s for sure. They just got sprung, one can only imagine what is really going on.

  2. I knew military people who used to say “So and so should be shot and pissed on.” whenever someone irritated them.

    Maybe these guys took the saying literally.

  3. “I knew military people who used to say “So and so should be shot and pissed on.” whenever someone irritated them.”

    As an x grunt. Yes that was grunt. The only reference to piss was.

    A piece of piss to a trained digger.

    Or a piece of train to a pissed digger.

    There will be blow back for this, that is the only certainty.

  4. I dunno what rank or what role those two were, I’m pretty sure they were in the army tho. I’ve heard other people use the term before too, maybe its not a military one.

    But the first time I heard people use it was two ex military people.

    Its pretty full on tho, seeing the fruits of 10 years of the war on peace, er terra, er terror. Those marines would have been kids when the wtc was attacked and would have been traumatised with that image at an important part of their development. Then 10 years of follow up propaganda… Junger is right – his culture is as responsible for this as the individuals who did it.

    Its not like the US hasn’t been metaphorically shooting and pissing on foreigners since they stole half their country off Mexico.

  5. “Junger is right – his culture is as responsible for this as the individuals who did it.

    Its not like the US hasn’t been metaphorically shooting and pissing on foreigners since they stole half their country off Mexico.”

    Indeed. The right accuses the left of not being able to think for themselves! Laughable. I visited a couple of old units I was posted to in the seventies some time ago with me cheese on hols, the culture is getting the same here. All Arabs, of all shapes and sizes are referred too as ‘Towel heads & Sand Nigger’s. The brass of course will deny this, stock response is ‘Yes it happens but is very limited’ Pure bollocks.

    These kids that took a leak on these people are as traumatised as the people they’re killing. ‘Rambo’ culture end of.

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