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That's my conclusion, too. We may have differing reasons for reaching the same conclusion. But we have the same conclusion. Who among the current crop of Republican candidates has reached this condusion? With Huntsman's withdrawal, it's only one, Ron Paul.
In sum, if these Marines are tried and conficted for urinating on the bodies of three Taliban whom they just killed in action, they would have been found guilty of committing a war crime, under the 1949 Geneva Convention, likely backed up by the Hague Convention, and most certainly will do considerable time in prison. Whether you simpathize with their plight, or are outraged with their conduct, these guys did wrong, grevious wrong, and had the stupidity to arrange to get caught with [so to speak] their pants down!
And for this, Alan West would only administer a slap on the hands and an appology vented before their brigade? Shame on you, Alan West!
Time to get out of afganistan. While we're at it, close all foreign bases and sell our military products to those that can afford it,and stop all foreign entitlement programs. Let's bring home all of our personnel, put them on our own borders. We cannot be the policeman of the world, but we can help those who need to police themselves. As for those marines, I'm outraged, but let the military tribunal/court decide their fate/punishment. A few bad apples does not a marine corp make. Thank you all that served in the military, willing to pay the ultimate price to protect our Constitution/Bill of Rights. Godbless and Godspeed.
By asking me "Where was your outrage" I suppose you imagined that my response to the pole was " I was outraged and hope all involved pay a harsh punishment." While I was dissappointed at the behavior of these Marines, and do believe that they are entitled to sever punishment for their disappointing acts, "understand" not "outrage" is the better term. Sure there is a reason for this sort of human behavior. The article I copied delves into that issue. But a "reason" does not make an excuse.
And regarding your feelings on the matter, as judged from your attempt to justify these actions by quoting equally outrageous acts of an enemy, I suggest you read the entire article. Your attempts at reasoning are addressed, too. We are not in Afghanistan to find out who are the White Hat wearing good guys and who are the Black Hat wearing bad guys. We all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God. We all are wearing Black Hats.
Note: Dela Cruz was a witness, and was not the defendant. His urinating testimony was given to show how angry he became when he saw whatever it was that made him and apparently the defendant who then went on to kill 24 Iraqis. And that is a USMJ violation. Wonder now if he'll be charged?
The bad words appear to have been c r a p , h e ll , p e n i s , and s c r e w e d.
Now for the second to last paragraph.
"I did a [heck] of a lot worse in Vietnam than urinate on some dead bodies," he said. "We cut left ears off and wore them around our necks to show we were warriors, and we knew how to get revenge."
Now I'll cut out the second to last paragraph and see if the last one goes.
[cut out here]
Gary Solis, a former Marine Corps prosecutor and judge, said the Internet has added a dimension that soldiers in the past did not have to deal with: "In Vietnam, when you [messed] up, no one back home heard about it."
I'm having troubles with the Trib's automated sensor. So after having deleted all of the offensive words I can recognize, and still not getting by, I'm having to send the following out piece by piece so I can find out what is still offensive. Be patient. If the automatic sensor would just identify what if found to be offensive, I'd get it altered the first time through! [Note Editors. The sensor is a real pain in the behind]
It would appear that desecration of battlefield dead has been illegal since the Geneva Convention of 1949 and before that, the Hague Convention. Here is the best article I have yet to find. It's from Montana.
Bottom line -- It's time to leave Afghanistan. The longer we stay, the more enemies we will make.
Great Falls MT NewsDesecration of the dead is as old as war itself10:00 PM, Jan. 15, 2012 Written byALLEN G. BREED and JULIE WATSON
Since before Achilles dragged Hector's body around the walls of Troy, warriors have been desecrating the corpses of their vanquished enemies, whether to send a message or exact revenge.
And for just as long, they have known in their hearts it was wrong.
The video that surfaced this week of four Marines apparently urinating on three Taliban corpses has stirred outrage in the U.S. and beyond, but also focused attention on the brutalizing effects of war on those sent to wage it.
Reserve Marine Lt. Col. Paul Hackett, who teaches the law of war to Marines before they are sent off to Afghanistan, made it clear Friday that he was not condoning the Marines' actions. But he warned against judging them too harshly, saying: "When you ask young men to go kill people for a living, it takes a whole lot of effort to rein that in."
In the long history of war, the episode pales in comparison to other battlefield atrocities. But one difference this time was that, in the Internet age, it was captured on camera and instantly shared with the rest of the world.
"This outrage is so interesting to me because it almost tops that" of other, more ghastly war crimes, said psychologist Eric Zillmer, a Drexel University professor and co-editor of the book "Military Psychology: Clinical and Operational Applications." "Because of the technology, the video, you actually see it. Most of the other war crimes, you heard about, you read about."
The Geneva Conventions forbid the desecration of the dead, and officials in the U.S. and abroad have called for swift punishment for the four Marines, identified as members of the 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines, which fought in the Afghan province of Helmand for seven months before returning to Camp Lejeune, N.C.
The prohibition against desecrating the battlefield dead is almost as old as war itself.
In Homer's "Iliad," the epic poem about the Trojan War, which may have occurred in the 12th century B.C., Achilles kills Hector and refuses to allow for a proper burial. He relents after Zeus sends word that Achilles "tempts the wrath of heaven too far" with his desire to "vent his mad vengeance on the sacred dead."
In the 7th century, Abu Bakr, father-in-law of the prophet Muhammad and Islam's first caliph, issued 10 rules to his people for their guidance on the battlefield. Among them: "You must not mutilate dead bodies."
In 1907, the Hague Convention said that after every engagement, the combatants should take steps to protect the dead against "pillage." The first Geneva Convention in 1949 addressed preventing the dead from "being despoiled."
The history of war is replete with stories of atrocities committed to send a message. In the 15th century, Prince Vlad III of Wallachia struck fear in his Turkish enemies — and earned his gruesome nickname, Vlad the Impaler — by littering the battlefield with the impaled corpses of the vanquished.
Over the centuries, fingers, scalps and other body parts have been taken as battlefield trophies.
Nevertheless, Zillmer said the desecration of a dead foe is "taboo across cultures."
"It doesn't need to be explained to be inappropriate," he said. "Anybody who looks at it says it's disgusting."
But, like Hackett, he said it can be difficult for soldiers, particularly members of a tight knit group, to go on killing missions and then just "switch off." And he said the inhibitions against such misconduct tend to fall away as the number of participants increases, a phenomenon he calls "diffusion of responsibility."
Soldiers have long understood that savagery begets savagery — or at least breeds indifference.
In his World War II memoir "With the Old Breed," E.B. Sledge wrote of seeing the bloated, blackened corpse of a fellow Marine on the Pacific island of Peleliu, his head and hands cut off, his severed ----------- stuffed in his mouth.
"My emotions solidified into rage and a hatred for the Japanese beyond anything I ever had experienced," he wrote. "From that moment on I never felt the least pity or compassion for them no matter what the circumstances. My comrades would field-strip their packs and pockets for souvenirs and take gold teeth, but I never saw a Marine commit the kind of barbaric mutilation the Japanese committed if they had access to our dead."
Urinating on the dead is not exactly a new idea.
In the same book, Sledge wrote with disgust about a young Marine officer on Okinawa: "If he could, that 'gentleman by the act of Congress' would locate a Japanese corpse, stand over it, and urinate in its mouth. It was the most repulsive thing I ever saw an American do in the war. I was ashamed that he was a Marine officer."
On the very day the video from Afghanistan emerged, Sgt. Sanick Dela Cruz took the stand in a courtroom at Camp Pendleton in California and testified that he urinated on the skull of a dead Iraqi in 2005. Dela Cruz made the admission during the court-martial of a Marine charged in the killings of 24 Iraqis in the town of Haditha.
Dela Cruz said he was overcome with grief over a comrade killed by a roadside bomb. "The emotion took over, sir," he told a military defense attorney.
Marty Brenner, an anger management specialist in Beverly Hills, Calif., who treats combat veterans and civilians, said the acts depicted in the video — and the Marines' recording of it — demonstrate rage.
"They have no other way of expressing their anger at these people," Brenner said, "so what they're doing is urinating on them to show, 'I'm better. I want the world to see you guys are -------------- and that's what you deserve."'
In Jacksonville, N.C., the home of Camp Lejeune, some people resented criticism of the Marines over the video, and some expressed fear the footage would make their job harder.
"It demolished me to see that," said Arthur Wade, a Vietnam veteran who retired in 1989. "If one of those men being urinated on was your father, would you want to help the United States?"
But Maynard Sinclair, a Marine veteran of Vietnam and the peacekeeping mission in Beirut, said the outrage shows the public's naivete about war.
"After 25 minutes spent reviewing the USMJ as contained in the Manual for Courts-Marshall, I can find nothing which appears to specifically address this conduct."
So, your Lordship of Bovine Excrement, all of your bristling up and chest thumping and declaring prison time for urinating on dead bodies turns out to be another Dale Whiting Red Herring?
BWA HA HA HA HA HA!
So, where is your outrage for:
DU OB, Afghanistan - Cupped in a pristine river valley and surrounded by peaks that seem to glow with pale fire at dawn, Du Ob would fit many people's idea of paradise. Its tidy almond orchards are fenced with rows of golden-leafed poplars. Its rich brown fields await turning for winter wheat.
But there are no plows at work today--just the clink of spades on bone.
"They didn't interrogate them or give them a trial," said Sayed Sher Agha, a villager searching for the bodies of eight relatives, including his son, left in a mass grave by the Taliban. "They just shot them just because they were Hazaras."
The stoic farmer pulled a rotting turban out of the pit. Next came a human rib and some foot bones. When he spotted a pen cap, clearly a loved one's belonging, he stared at it hard, not breathing. Then, after placing it reverently in his coat pocket, he set grimly back to work.
Patrons of terrorists, oppressors of women, willful destroyers of ancient culture, Afghanistan's Taliban regime has much to answer for. When it comes to human-rights abuses, nothing appears to match the evidence of atrocities now coming out of the remote heart of Afghanistan, where the nation's minority Hazara people live.
Gruesome details of mass executions and Balkans-style "ethnic cleansing" are beginning to emerge from the central province of Bamiyan as journalists visit the region for the first time since it was conquered by the Taliban in 1998.
A tour through the rugged area on Sunday revealed a haunting landscape of empty farms and mud villages reduced to rubble by Taliban forces, in some cases by crews who leveled each house with pickaxes.
In Bamiyan, the depopulated provincial capital, the local warlord and a team of U.S. Special Forces ground spotters have resorted to living in a hospital because every home and business has been damaged or demolished. Thousands more houses have been systematically destroyed in the town of Yakoalang and its surrounding villages, Hazara leaders say.
In valley after valley, accounts of deadly Taliban reprisals against Hazara civilians spilled out of the few people who remain to tell the tale.
"The Taliban takes revenge on all who oppose them," said Khayer Ullah, 50, who saw a neighbor beaten to death and then hanged by Taliban soldiers."But they always treat the Hazaras the worst. They hate us."
Most human-rights experts agree.
The Hazaras, who make up about a fifth of Afghanistan's population of about 26 million, have occupied the lowest position in Afghanistan's ethnic pecking order. Descended from nomadic Mongol warriors who settled in Afghanistan centuries ago, they have been discriminated against on racial grounds by a long series ofAfghan governments.
Under the Taliban, they have been doubly despised because of their sympathies with the Northern Alliance rebels and because their branch of Shiite Islam is held in contempt by the Sunni Taliban leadership.
In places such as Bamiyan, the mosques of the Hazaras were singled out for demolition. The Taliban used bulldozers or explosives, residents said.
Rumors of the harsh crackdowns against the Hazaras have been trickling out of their high mountain homeland for months.
In February, a Human Rights Watch report noted that "several hundred men were rounded up and shot, along with some Afghan relief workers, by firing squad" in Bamiyan province as part of a series of "arbitrary detention and summary execution of male civilians."
Similar stories of killings were repeated by villagers living along a newly reopened road into the region, with impoverished Hazara farmers describing a largely successful campaign of violence designed to rid local valleys of their people.
The Taliban's ranks are overwhelmingly filled by Pashtuns, Afganistan's majority ethnic group. Years of battle against opposition forces, mostly minority Tajiks, Uzbeks and Hazaras, has hardened ethnic divisions in the country.
"The Taliban cut down our fruit trees, ran cattle on our wheat fields and used the timber from our homes as firewood," said Mohammed Ewaz, 32, a Hazara farmer who remained on his land only because the Taliban forced him to live and work as a laborer in a military outpost.
"They made most of us run away to Iran or Kabul or Pakistan," Ewaz said. "Maybe a quarter of us are still left here."
Gangs of men armed with hand tools tore down every single house in communities such as Qatar Haq, where the Hazaras were cooperating with Northern Alliance rebels, Ewaz said. Today, the town looks like an ancient ruin, with few walls standing, and in a war where prisoners are usually spared because they can be counted on to defect to the victorious side, the Hazaras were shown no mercy.
The people of Du Ob told of 21 Hazara rebels captured by the Taliban in 1998 and executed on the spot. Their commander, Ibrahim, was hung upside-down and then shot, they said.
Du Ob's fate was hardly better. Overrun by the Taliban in the autumn of 1998, the tiny community of wheat and almond farmers lost 26 boys and men in a nighttime roundup. Accused of collaborating with the rebels, they were gunned down the next morning. The Taliban dumped their bodies in the nearby town of Qatar Haq and ordered that they be left to rot. Local women used their aprons to gather soil to cover them.
That legacy of brutality in Bamiyan province is so strong that it even has tainted the Hazaras' relations with Afghanistan's victorious rebels.
"We are a bit suspicious of any new government," said Karim Khalili, a Hazara warlord who is nominally a member of the Northern Alliance. "If there is any indication that these peace talks are turning a blind eye to Hazara rights, we will not sign them."
Afgha, who lost his son, two brothers, a nephew, a cousin and three brothers-in-law to the massacre, decided to postpone his kin's exhumation. He wanted to prepare a common grave in the village cemetery first, but there weren't enough people still around to honor the dead at a reburial.
After 25 minutes spent reviewing the USMJ as contained in the Manual for Courts-Marshall, I can find nothing which appears to specifically address this conduct. Had the Talaban been alive, something might have applied. Perhaps this is why we read that NSIC is investigating, i.e. looking for something to charge. I was surprised not to see any references to things like the Geneva Convention. There was one, conduct unbecoming, but these guys were not commissioned or non-commissioned warrant officers. So Alan West might be correct. An article 15 for being dumb just might fit the bill. Still, urinating on bodies is not good behavior.
Time will tell.
P.S. using the words c r a p & h e l l get your comment excluded. What these marines did was the first word and war is the second word.
Just read your web reference. I am not surprised that Alan West would recommend a field grade article 15, non-judicial punishment. But where these guys had the astounding stupidity to make an international incident of what they did, an article 15 just does not cut the mustard. Where the offense appears to be serious, article 15 just is not appropriate.
Think I try to research the UCMJ to see how serious this offense is. I'll get back to you. But don't throw Alan West at me. I have done reserve duty with the 101st and am impressed with their attitude. They do not put up with the sort of acts these Marines dished out. Sure war is difficult. But if one signs up for war, they'd best be prepared for it.
What's my point? Can't you read? These marines 1) chose to be Marines. There was no threat of a draft! and in choosing to become Marines during war time 2) they choose to go to war. All uniformed personnel are subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice, UCMJ, and apparently it prohibits taking action to desecrate human remains. So these Marines, once convicted are going to jail.
Now how do I feel about all of this hoopla? Do the crime, do the time! It's that simple.
As a combat medic in Viet Nam, I can assure you all that being in a combat theater makes people do stuff that they would NOT normally do. All the negative human emotions run through you every day - hate, anger, sadness, pity, rejection, and abandonment. There is NO rhyme or reason to it. You react. You do not think. That is the essence of combat training. If you think too much, you'll probably end up dead. War is truly hell. These Marines did a dumb thing in filming this outrageous act, but when you're in active combat, your sense of wanting "revenge" is at the top of the list.
"Your son's pay is higher than was the pay of those who either were drafted or volunteered for Vietnam, even when corrected for inflation."
Well duuuuuuhhh! I make more now than what I did in 1975. What's your point?
"Regarding these marines, we must assume that these stupid soldiers knew what they were doing when they had themselves filmed, even if they did not appreciate the consequences i.e. prison!"
"We" will not assume anything... you will Dale. I am not so quick to condemn these Marines as you are. I have not walked in their boots for the last year and witnessed what they have witnessed. Guess what... NEITHER HAVE YOU.
Take your condescending holier than thou attitude and stick it where the sun doesn't shine Dale.
Today's issue is not deciding who is and who is not a bad guy. Rather it is "what do you think about these marines?" I point out that we are facing a series of choices in Afghanistan, none of which are good. Sort of reminds me of the choice we faced after Nixon promised us Peace with Honor in Vietnam. And after being tried for what these marines appear to have done, they will be jailed. What they have done, like it or them or not, can only make our choices worse.
That's what I think! What do you think?
Your son's pay is higher than was the pay of those who either were drafted or volunteered for Vietnam, even when corrected for inflation. And his pay probably is higher than if he were standing in some unemployment line. Regarding these marines, we must assume that these stupid soldiers knew what they were doing when they had themselves filmed, even if they did not appreciate the consequences i.e. prison!
Illegal aliens cross the border for opportunity. They often must face the consequences. These marines will be facing consequences, too. Both do wrong. What by way of justification do these marines have? Nada!
"Because they broke the law!"
Yet, you'll never condemn illegals for crossing our borders to rob, rape murder and steal identities.
Soldiers have been known to pry out gold fillings and collect ears as souvenirs. It's called WAR. Only the bleeding heart liberals like Dale are having a manure hemorrhage over this video. Dale, go visit Nick Berg's parents and tell them how outraged this video made you ok?
"And remember, folks, they are rather well paid volunteers."
No, they are not. My son is a Marine and his annual pay is extremely low. And they are not provided free room and board. The Corps (pronounced "core" President Obozo), charges them for everything.
Again, Captain Neo-Con confirms that some villiage is missing it's idiot.
Dale, what have we accomplished in Afghanistan?
Killed a bunch of our guys.Killed a bunch of their guys.
Given hundreds of millions of dollars to Afghan " leaders " to buy their co-operation and then they give the money to the Taliban and tip them off to our operations.
Oh yeah --- we spent hundreds of millions of dollars on guns and bullets and grenades all enriching our military / industrial complex. Lots of fat profits for certain companies.
That's why we are really at war.
You can't reason with people who throw parties and celebrate in the streets when thet see videos of the Taliban beheading Americans and / or dragging the bodies of American soldiers through town behind a truck and they run out and fire guns in the air in celebration --- but who scream bloody murder when a video surfaces showing their dead simply being urinated on.
Did our people run out in the streets firing into the air and celebrating? No - we court martial the people who did it and will put them in jail.
So who are the bad guys?
Let 'em fight it out among themselves over there.
They don't want us.
They don't appreciate us.
So *iss on 'em.
We have a choice here. Either we can stay on indefinately in Afghanistan, fighting a war in which the locals view us as the enemy, the outside force that envaded them, or we can get out. And if we choose to get out, we can choose to do it by just picking up and leaving thereby risking the loss of anything we might have accomplished, or we can negotiate with the locals [yes, guys, like it or not the locals are the Taliban]. If we choose the latter, then urinating on the dead sons of Taliban leadership is not the smart thing to do.
For those of you who sympathize with these Marines, realize that when tried for what they appear to have done, if convicted, they will do time in prison. Why? Because they broke the law! And remember, folks, they are rather well paid volunteers. Not a single soldier in Afghanistan was drafted!
Sort of a complicated situation. Too bad the Marines aren't smarter than that. Video taping that was stoopid.
On the other hand ... the Islamists greatly enjoyed pictures of their people dragging our dead troops behind a jeep through the streets of town and seeing them beheaded.
No problem there.
But our people disrespect some of their dead and woe unto the world.
Maybe if we had simply beheaded them and drug them behind a jeep they wouldn't have minded.
Now we know.
Ain't it just like some stupid mortally wounded Taliban to crawl under a group of urinating Marines right before dying?
Did you see Democrat Senator Carl Levin...jump up and say anything about this video...the answer is ...NO.
But our R.I.N.O. (Republican In Name Only) Senator John McCain was on CNN...like a shot...to get his ...."15 SECONDS OF TV EXPOSURE"...before he is out of office....saying ..."IT MAKES ME SO SAD".
No, Senator McCain....what these Marine Snipers who have seen their buddies being maimed and killed just feet away and seen other buddies being blown to pieces by Taliban I.E.D. roadside bombs every month (and then having to go back the next day and help search for body parts to send home to the families)....did was ....."half-way between dumb and stupid".....but not "SAD".....WAR IS HELL, SENATOR.....IF YOU HAD A CHANCE TO "WHIZ" ON THE BODIES OF "YOUR" VIETCONG AND NORTH VIETNAMESE ARMY TORTURERS.....YOU WOULD BE ASKING.....WHERE DOES THE LINE FORM.....FROM THE RIGHT OR THE LEFT ???
My reaction-I wish they didn't film themselves. Don't judge our guys til you've walked a few klicks in their boots. God Bless & keep them & bring em home soon!
Read the Koran, and then make a judgement. If they are mujahideen. "Jihad appears 41 times in the Quran and frequently in the idiomatic expression "striving in the way of God (al-jihad fi sabil Allah)". A person engaged in jihad is called a mujahid; the plural is mujahideen." -Wiki They were 'honored' by an enemy. And that difference in conception is one of the major reasons we kill each other.
"Oh my name it is nothin'My age it means lessThe country I come fromIs called the MidwestI's taught and brought up thereThe laws to abideAnd the land that I live inHas God on its side." Bob Dylan
I've lived long enough that you pay 80% of my medical expenses (as well as overcharge and mess it up), but I have learned that honoring your enemies isn't half as good as indulging your friends.
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