Afghanistan - U.S. war efforts hurt again by rogue video
January 18, 2012 12:26 AM | 1133 views | 7 7 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
When the first photos surfaced of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib being abused and humiliated by their U.S. military captors, a ranking Army officer said, “You’re looking at the idiots who could cost us this war.”

In the end, that particular embarrassment didn’t cost us the war, but it unquestionably made it more difficult both in Iraq and at home.

Now, in time for the 10th anniversary of the arrival of hooded and shackled prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, comes a video purporting to show four Marines, members of a sniper team from a unit based at Camp Lejeune, N.C., urinating on the corpses of three Taliban fighters.

Nothing has surfaced to suggest that the video is anything but authentic, and it quickly appeared on YouTube and the Web. If it hasn’t already, the video will also receive prominent play on the websites of Islamic radicals as proof of their point that regardless of what the U.S. says, this is a war against Islam and Muslims. Copies are likely already for sale in Pakistani bazaars.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta condemned the action, calling it utterly deplorable and pledged that those who perpetrated it “will be held accountable to the fullest extent.”

The U.S. military has been aggressive and effective in prosecuting atrocities by its soldiers, but the verdicts come long after the damage is done. The timing of this episode could be especially unfortunate because the U.S. is engaged in delicate preliminaries leading to peace talks with the Taliban.

The Taliban issued a statement that denounced “this inhumane action by the wild American soldiers,” more or less saying: What else can you expect from the Americans? But, importantly, the Taliban said the incident would not impede peace talks.

The greater danger is that Afghan President Hamid Karzai, our mercurial and eccentric ally, will use this to block or delay peace talks, especially since they may ultimately be out of his control.

These things happen in wartime, but unfortunately, evidently this time it was our guys who did it. Considering that they are of the generation of the cellphone camera, they should have at least known better.
Comments
(7)
Comments-icon Post a Comment
dustoff
|
January 19, 2012
While what these Marines did is incorrect and they should and probably already have been punished you have to look at the broader picture.

Remember seeing American civilians being beheaded, remember the American military bodies being drug behind a jeep in Africa.

There comes a time when you just get tired of having to play by the rules when the other side ignores them. Its not an excuse for what happened by no means but remember we are sending our young men and women out to fight a never ending war where the other side has only one goal and that is to kill as many Americans as they can before they get killed.

You don't want to see our military do thing like this then demand that we get them home and keep them here rather than sticking our noses in every conflict around the world.
anonymous
|
January 24, 2012
So your rational is "our enemies are brutal, souless, unprincipaled barbarians so it is acceptable to sink to their level". The U.S. Military has alway been honored and respected because of their moral strength and character. There are no "excuses", this incident is a bad reflection on their training, professionalism and their uniform. Their ultimate concern is their mission and the actions of these marines have put that mission in jeopardy. That is unforgivable.
br548
|
January 19, 2012
Professional Soldiers would not do this. That being said in the "heat of battle" one is never sure how one might react. Never the less the act and photo are completely unacceptable. Article 15 (non-judicial) punishment should suffice and they already endure public humiliation. Next.
wonderin
|
January 18, 2012
Marines are highly trained, disiplined, professionals, proud of their traditions and their uniform and what it means, they are not wild animals pandering to the vengance of armchair commandos. They are taught to understand the rules of war and the Uniform Code of Military Justice which forbids the desicration, mocking and photographing bodies of enemy combatants. These rules exist for a reason. The actions of these marines in question have disgraces themselves and have jeopordized their mission and put the lives of fellow marines at greater risk in their efforts to win support of Afgan people. I have every confidence that the Marine Corps will deal with these individuals according to the laws of military justice.
Allison Knight-Khan
|
January 23, 2012
I agree with wonderin. They signed on as marines to follow this code of behavior before they left, knowing that there would be a time when they would be in battle.
anonymous
|
January 18, 2012
Number one, comparing this incident to Abu Grab is not fair. The dork prison guards had never seen combat, never been shot at. The studs in the video, well, we have no idea what they'd just been through.

Number two, this editorial is more befitting the New York Times. Its premise that we might hurt the "peace talks" with the Taliban....you gotta be kidding. The Taliban continues to blow up innocent civilians along with Americans, they continue their atrocities and conscripting Afghanis into their cabal, yet Obama is mistakenly and misguidedly negotiating??? Shame on the MDJ for this editorial, which joins the liberal left in maligning our warriors as though they've actually desecrated something. They peed on dead guys, guys they were ordered to shoot. If the Muslims in Pakistan don't like it, they can go join the Muslims in Iran and throughout the world who are already screaming, "Death to America." Or, maybe for once, they'll see the U.S. Marines and feel a bit of respect for our soft society.
Allison Knight-Khan
|
January 23, 2012
Did you know,

the Afghans are the descendants of the Lost Tribes of Israel?

Check out Reuters article on: Ancient Jewish Scrolls Found in North Afghanistan by Amie Ferris-Rotman

*We welcome your comments on the stories and issues of the day and seek to provide a forum for the community to voice opinions. All comments are subject to moderator approval before being made visible on the website but are not edited. The use of profanity, obscene and vulgar language, hate speech, and racial slurs is strictly prohibited. Advertisements, promotions, and spam will also be rejected. Please read our terms of service for full guides