Small Wars Journal

Killing Fools the Right Way

Tue, 01/17/2012 - 5:29pm

Last week, America was exposed to a group of immature, inexperienced and unprofessional Marines peeing on dead bodies.

As wrong as those Marines were in lacking accountabililty, responsibility, or leadership in their actions, this incident shows me that we lost our way in the art of killing the enemy.

I don't know how to show you the art of the right way, but here is an example.  The music group The Offspring took my boys actions/feelings clearing an al Qaeda training camp and translated them into a song/video.



Additionally, Marines sent in this from Real Clear World


The video showing Marines urinating on dead enemy bodies in Afghanistan has refocused America's attention on the behavior of service members. We have been painfully aware of the strategic implications of this kind of action since we saw the photos from Abu Ghraib. How could something like this happen now? Something is broken.

We remember with sorrow the U.S. service members and contractors killed in combat whose bodies were desecrated by our enemies. The humiliations visited on bodies raise feelings of disgust for the enemy and empathy for our own, compounded by the pointlessness of the humiliations. It would be useful to assume that our enemies feel likewise today. To prevent this from happening again, or at least for the U.S. service members to be able to look themselves in the mirror and honestly say we did everything we possibly could to prevent it, leaders at every level must make unequivocally clear that they expect their troops' best behavior, even in the worst circumstances.

Americans share in responsibility. Gratitude for hard work and sacrifice should not lead us to mistakenly excuse reprehensible conduct by service members. Our behavior toward the enemy is too often excused because so many Americans do not believe the enemy is worthy of respect, relying perhaps on memories of dehumanized foes in Vietnam, Korea and World War II.




Sat, 01/30/2021 - 12:54am

Yes, killing off the fowls is not good for the entire community. Paths of the pay for essay are assumed for the betterment of all issues. The change is filed for the realm for the turns for all ideal paths for humans.

The Marines that did that were wrong and stupid. The one that recorded it and posted the video more so.
They clearly have image issues and are probably pissed off about the tactics and ROE under which they work. I would be. Like it or not, line doggies see the dead enemy precisely as vermin. They don't want to revere them or reflect on the fact that the enemy probably had a mom too. It interfered with the job.
They merit an Article 15, reduction in grade and maybe a discharge depending on their service record. period.
This is not some huge societal flaw, it was a mistake... one that needs to be responded to and corrected but lets not get all "Oprah" about it.


Wed, 01/18/2012 - 3:53am

I don't at all disagree with your point, but don't think you're interpreting the song and video in the way they're intended to be understood. Among other things, the song links the soldier ethos to school shootings in the last lines, and the video contains a lot of anti-war and in many ways anti-military imagery. (The Offspring have been pretty strongly anti-war and in many ways anti-military since at least their first album.)