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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 1/14/12

Marines and Afghan Dead - A Reality We Need to Discuss

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The "hot" news is about the Marine snipers urinating on the corpses of reported Taliban in Afghanistan. U.S. officialdom is pissing all over itself in apoplectic apology which hides multiple lies and nasty ironies.

The "irony" is that is is fine for the U.S. to kill civilians, have all kinds of "collateral damage," and friendly fire events. It is OK to drop "daisy cutter" bombs and kill with unmanned drones. It is OK to hold people for years in close confinement and without charge or trial; engage in "rendition," or even torture prisoners ourselves. But somehow, urinating on the dead is just a step too far.

I am honored to have friends who are Veterans - many of them Vets for Peace. I am more honored to have them share their thoughts with me on this issue and I want to share them here. These are things that need to be part of the dialog, because they are the lie that is covered up by the feigned horror of officialdom. Those apologies are not for Afghanis - they are for the U.S. and to hide the big lies of training people to kill on command.

The following are some quotes from an email conversation. In sharing them I hope it sparks thought, but also provides an opportunity for a wider conversation.

When you send people to hell don't expect them to act like angels.

War is a low down dirty thing; that's why we are against it.

These sorts of things have been going on by both sides in every war.

I knew some WWII vets that told me things most people wouldn't believe.

Of course they shouldn't have taken a leak on the Afghans, but somehow
I understand.

For some reason I am more outraged at the sanctimony response. It's like nobody has blood on their hands. Flag waving chicken hawks.

Thanks for letting me vent, hope you understand the context.


Once you say it's ok to kill people then everything else is off the table. I find this uproar somewhat laughable.
Further, when they use a phrase such as "the target (a person) has been neutralized" and then find it shocking when Marines piss on a dead Afghans it is just such bull sh*t.

There is a strange sense of American exceptionalism and racism. What concerns
me also is some people are saying "Well they were just Afghans" So racism will used to justify not only the killing but also the urinating. It's like the the brutality of war is never really examined or dealt with. It's odd when you think about it we never kill white people. Unless they are poor, uneducated then we put a needle in their arm and the state calls it o.k.

I'm outraged that there's so much said about the pissin and NOTHING about all the fuckin killing that never seems to end. I totally agree with ya [name withheld].
All my vet friends agree as well. When you are in military they teach you and use words to dehumanize the enemy. Gook, slope, chink, they use cold words like well you know. But when soldiers adapt to their environment people don't like it. Even though they "Support the Troops" whatever that means.

It's all such bull sh*t and really gets my PTSD a working.

I read a Marine Corp Sgt. analysis today on some channel, I admit I am a news junkie, highly addicted. Any who, the MC Sgt started to get to the meat of "it" and then went bull sh*t USMC. Too bad. Somebody needs to express a feeling, an understanding, of the complexities of war, how it really fucks your mind up, how you see yourself changing into something you really aren't but nevertheless changing...going along to get along...but actually feeling what HST talked about: Fear and Loathing.

So the events depicted in the video are much more than a side incident of a few bad actors. It is systemic. Just as what happened at Abu Ghraib was not a few bad actors but systemic. Until we address the reality of what we are creating we will continue to allow it to be created. Generation after generation of troops will have to keep the stuff of nightmares bottled up inside, or it will come out in another attack and another prison sentence.

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Rowan Wolf is an activist and sociologist living in Oregon. She is the founder and principle author of Uncommon Thought Journal, and Editor in Chief of Cyrano's Journal Today.

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