This wasn’t a topic that I thought I would be addressing, but I think that in the current climate I must. While I understand the urge to urinate on Taliban prisoners, the act was wrong and it would have been my duty to prevent my Marines from committing such an act. I hope that I would have done my duty in that regard.
It is far too easy to fall into the trap of justifying this act by saying that the Taliban have done worse (they have repeatedly) or by excusing this as part of war. That’s a moral hazard we all should avoid. It was wrong and we shouldn’t attempt to rationalize it away.
At the very beginning of my career a combat veteran told me “never discount the potential ferocity of the American teenager.” I never forgot that caution. He meant that if left unsupervised and if not properly lead Marines could under the pressure of combat do horrible or deplorable things. It was my job as it is the job of all Officers and Non-Commissioned Officers to prevent that from happening. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t give a crap about the Taliban and their feelings. Rather my only concern is for the young Marines concerned. I want them to come home with their heads held high. It’s our duty to bring Marines (soldiers, sailors, airmen, or coasties) home in such a manner that they are proud of their service and themselves. To that end, defiling enemy dead is wrong and we have to prevent our men and women in uniform from engaging in such a practice.
However now that the Commandant of the Marine Corps, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, and the President’s press stooge have all weighed in with their opinion of the incident I see no way that these young Marines will ever be treated fairly. That my friends is very, very wrong.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton knows nothing of honor and she should shut the hell up. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and the Commandant of the Marine Corps should back the hell off and send a very clear signal that unit leaders in that Marine Infantry Battalion should deal with the violation as if the entire World wasn’t looking over their shoulder. It is unconscionable to do otherwise. It is the sworn duty of all these people to ensure that justice and not vengeance is done.
If the President of Afghanistan, the entire Muslim world, or anyone else isn’t happy with justice – they can go screw themselves.