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Pissing on the Enemy

January 12th, 2012 - 6:42 pm

Some Marines seem to have pissed on the cadavers of some Taliban in Afghanistan.  We don’t know when or exactly where.  It may well have taken place some time ago;  a military friend suggests that at least two of the alleged miscreants are no longer in the Corps, and a spokesman at Camp Lejeune said that some of the four have left the battalion in which they served — last year — in Afghanistan.  But no matter.  Our leaders are in a panic.  Hillary and Panetta are horrified, and their public comments verge on hysteria (Panetta called the behavior “utterly deplorable” and Hillary expressed “total dismay”).  Afghan President Karzai, a noted humanitarian,  declared it “inhumane.”  Our full military investigative apparatus, last seen prosecuting Marines subsequently found innocent, is in full activity, and no doubt heads, if not other parts of the anatomy, will be figuratively sliced off.

I wonder if they know there’s a war on, and what sorts of things routinely happen in wartime.  It may well be that they are so involved in trying to extend yet another outstretched hand to our enemies, that they are really shocked at the very idea that men on the battlefield aren’t devotees of Emily Post’s rules of etiquette, and even violate the Geneva Convention’s strictures against desecrating dead bodies.

Yes, I condemn the pissing.  It violates the Marines’ own rules, and, as a two-time Marine dad, I want to be proud of my Marines, and I want them to follow the rules.  For extras, these guys — assuming, as I do, that the video is “real” — were monumentally stupid when they made the video, and supermonumentally stupid when they put it online.  So by all means punish them.  And while you’re at it, haul their commander in front of a JAG tribunal and find out what he knew, when he knew it, and why he didn’t lead his men as he’s supposed to.

But our leaders’ tone is all wrong, and needless to say, the media feeding frenzy is typical of the breed.  I’ve been telling friends for months now that the Marines are winning in Afghanistan.  I always add, “it’s obvious, isn’t it?  You don’t read much of anything about their activities, which obviously means they’re doing well.”  The media pack doesn’t want you to know that, so they don’t report it, and it’s not mainly because they don’t have correspondents willing and able to do it.  It’s not even because the news is hard to come by.  All you have to do is read the material coming out of ISAF (the International Security Assistance Force) in Kabul, for example this photo essay that’s headlined “Afghan, Marine forces clear remnants of insurgency in southern Helmand.”  That’s the area from which the Brits — who are plenty good fighters — withdrew because it was just too bloody.  The Marines cleaned it up, and they are now advising the Afghans how to conduct a mopup operation.

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