Citizens have been chagrined and judgmental about the incident of Marines urinating on the corpse of the Taliban. Their attitude would be understandable if these marines were not kids, a long way from home and in hostile territory, if they had not seen their buddies cut down by the Taliban and their own lives in jeopardy. American military are supposed to be correct in all their actions. We expect it while we are comfortably at home out of danger. But war is different. Atrocities happen in every war. We cannot expect perfect control when horror is the norm.
The picture released of marines urinating on the corpse of Afghanistan’s were shocking but before we get all fired up, maybe we should remember that these marines had seen their buddies fired upon by the Taliban and were in danger of being killed themselves. How could their actions be rational?
They have seen all the horrors of war while we sit in our comfortable chairs in our own living room upbraiding them. Many of these marines are kids away from home for the first time, placed in the middle of a war they had no hand in. They have seen their friends wounded and killed. Some of them are on their fourth mission in Afghanistan. Far away from safety and their loved ones. How can we expect them to always be rational?
The Taliban cuts off the arms and legs of their own people for listening to music they don’t approve of, for sending girls to school, they cut off the heads of women who are raped, They hang heads over bridges as a warning to subjects to follow their religious rules.
These enemies are such as we have no experience with. These marines do. They know who their enemies are and what they are capable of. Is it up to us to pass judgment on our forces? We send them far from home to fight for us. Remember these marines are kids not criminals.
The White House is embarrassed. Newspapers and TV programs are moaning about the damage to the reputation of the U.S.. Your average citizen is sitting at home safe and sound without the stress and horror of war. They wouldn’t have done what these marines did. Nor would the marines without the stress of being harassed by the Taliban.
We must remember these marines and all our military are in a situation where the rules are different. And not all wounds are visible. The wounds the military carries will be with then for years and maybe forever. We cannot put ourselves in their shoes. It’s not our place to judge them. War maims the body and soul.
One Vietnam soldier remembers what it is to see your own foot rot off. He remembers how it feels seeing children running up to you who are rigged to explode. He knows how it is to hear the sound of a helicopter and flash from the city to the Vietnam jungles. He can tell you about cutting the ears off dead men to wear as necklaces. How it is to crave death but be too scared to commit suicide.
Our military could tell you unbelievable horrors but they wont. They will suffer nightmares and live it over and over again. Some come out maimed in body and soul for life. They pay for doing their duty for a country that doesn’t seem grateful enough for their sacrifice.
Write your articles and earn income.