A Marine official said investigators were questioning two individuals whom they had preliminarily identified as being in the video. The Marine Corps is “fairly confident” that all four were members of the 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines, the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is underway.
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton expressed “total dismay” at the apparent behavior by Marines. Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said he was “deeply disturbed” and that the actions “erode the reputation of our joint force.”
“I wanted him (Afghan President Karzai) to know how grieved we were at what happened here,” Defense Secretary Panetta said in an interview while traveling to Fort Bliss, Tex. “What I want is an investigation into what happened here, what laws were violated by what took place, who these individuals were.”
“Regardless of the circumstances or who is in the video, this is egregious , disgusting behavior,” said DOD spokesman Capt. John Kirby. “It’s hideous. It turned my stomach.” Source: CNN
“While we have not yet verified the origin or authenticity of this video, the actions portrayed are not consistent with our core values and are not indicative of the character of the Marines in our Corps,” said U.S.M.C. Media Officer Kendra Hardesty. “This matter will be fully investigated and those responsible will be held accountable for their actions. We are in the process of verifying what unit these Marines are with right now and as soon as we have more information, we will let you know.”
“We recently became aware of an inappropriate video on a public website that appears to involve members of our military,” ISAF spokesman Col. Gary Kolb said from Kabul, Afghanistan. “We will not speculate on the details but will take all necessary actions to determine the facts.”
The video itself is very straight forward, it shows US Marines urinating on the corpses of Taliban insurgents that they had just killed in a firefight. They have embarrassed the United States, the Marine Corps and their elite unit and they will no doubt be punished for their now very public actions. While the Marines begin their investigation many more are going to be demanding the Marines’ heads and this will no doubt stall talks that the United States has been conducting with the Taliban. Simple statements by an unhinged Florida pastor sparked anti-American riots and protests in Afghanistan and other Middle Eastern countries last year and this will no doubt do the same if not worse.
There is no doubt that the Marines were in the wrong but we have the ability to view the situation from the outside after the fact in comfy computer chairs. We have no idea the hell that these Marines went through before the video was shot or what caused them to piss on these men. This certainly doesn’t excuse their actions but it does offer an insight into the kind of war we are fighting and proves it is no different than any other war in history. War is hell. The armed forces of the United States are required to abide by the Geneva Conventions which calls for proper treatment of enemies killed in combat but the Taliban and their al-Qaeda friends are not signatories. We must “ensure that the dead are honourably interred, if possible according to the rites of the religion to which they belonged, that their graves are respected, grouped if possible according to the nationality of the deceased, properly maintained and marked so that they may always be found.” We must do this while the enemy runs away and leaves our soldiers/marines for dead only to return to the same village to rape and kill those who supported the Americans. Again this does not mean we should stoop to their level but it shows that even those who are fully versed on what they can and cannot do, right and wrong, still fall victim to the mentally taxing stresses of combat.
We have been fighting this war for over 10 years and it can be argued that we’ve made little progress against an enemy that does not wear a uniform. This enemy would rather build IED’s that blow arms, legs and genitals off of our troops than engage us in a firefight. They’re cowards and savages that wouldn’t hesitate to piss on an American before chopping their head off with a rusty machete for the world to see. They’re fighting in a way the United States will never allow itself to because we are a nation of morals and a feeling that we must remain superior to our enemy in every way. Many commenters on YouTube, who claimed to be veterans, say that what was shown in the video above is nothing in comparison to what the insurgents have done or tried to do to Americans. I tend to agree with them. The Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters have no rules and aren’t bound by international agreements and their tactics show it. After 10 years of fighting a war in a fashion that was meant for a uniformed army it doesn’t surprise me that these Marines decided to relieve a little more than stress on their enemy. Does it make it right? Not at all but we must remember that these Marines are there everyday fighting a war that most of the American people pretends isn’t happening until an incident like this comes to light.
The United States has had it’s fair share of mishaps during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and this will no doubt hamper our diplomatic efforts and enrage those in Afghanistan who have access to the internet. The main problem facing us right now is that we have been preaching that we are fighting a war based on the “hearts and minds” of the people and this will surely piss off the people of Afghanistan. Do the Marines deserve to be punished? Yes they do. They knew what they were doing was wrong and they were dumb enough to record it knowing that if it ever saw daylight it would do irreparable damage to the Marine Corps. Over the coming days and weeks there will be plenty of press coverage of what is already being called a disgusting act but we must remember that war is disgusting, brutal and often skirts the boundaries of everyone’s morals. The American public loves the 24/7 news media cycle and they especially love a scandal and instead of being enraged at the enemy who has maimed over 30,000 of our troops they will be enraged that a group of soldiers whom do no represent the military or the mission as a whole decided to urinate on the enemy after a firefight.