Two US Marines in abuse video identified. No Heroes Here! Just Shameless and Pathetic Vulgarity
by Johnny Punish
Is this what America is all about?
Two of the four US Marines seen in a video appearing to urinate on dead Afghan bodies have been identified, a Marine Corps official told the Reuters news agency today. The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that the Marines believed the video was authentic.
The two that were identified are still part of the 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines, based out of Camp Lejeune in North Carolina, according to the official who spoke to reporters on Thursday. That unit served in Afghanistan’s Helmand province from March until September of 2011, the official said.
Earlier on Thursday, Afghan President Hamid Karzai condemned the video.
“The government of Afghanistan is deeply disturbed by a video that shows American soldiers desecrating dead bodies of three Afghans,” said a statement from Karzai’s office on Thursday.
“This act by American soldiers is simply inhuman and condemnable in the strongest possible terms.”
The footage, first posted on the Live Leak website, shows four men in military uniforms urinating on three bloodied bodies on the ground, apparently aware that they were being filmed.
In a phone call to Karzai, Leon Panetta, the US defense secretary, expressed his regret over the incident and promised an investigation.
“I have seen the footage, and I find the behavior depicted in it utterly deplorable. I condemn it in the strongest possible terms,” Panetta said in a statement.
Panetta ordered the Marine Corps and General John Allen, the US commander of international forces in Afghanistan, to immediately and fully investigate the incident.
“This conduct is entirely inappropriate for members of the United States military … Those found to have engaged in such conduct will be held accountable to the fullest extent,” he said.
Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State, also expressed “dismay” and condemned the “deplorable behavior”.
The international coalition forces in Afghanistan, as well as the US embassy in Kabul, have also strongly condemned the video.
About 20,000 marines are deployed in Afghanistan, mostly in Kandahar and Helmand provinces, in the south of the war-ravaged country.
Al Jazeera’s Rosiland Jordan, reporting from Washington, said the video will make the work of US forces in the country much more difficult.
“The timing could not be more difficult. The US is trying to work out efforts to engage in direct peace talks with the Taliban, it is trying to support the Afghan government’s efforts to promote reconciliation,” she said.
In a statement, the Taliban said the incident was “against all international human rights” but “not the only example of the horrific actions that the Americans have done in Afghanistan”.
“American soldiers are trained to spread horror and this is one of the examples,” the Taliban said.
However, the group’s statement added that the incident would not affect negotiations with the US after US officials said Washington would send an envoy to Afghanistan to prepare the ground for direct peace talks between the two sides.
Lieutenant Colonel Jay Stout, a former US Marine Corps pilot, said he found the incident “disturbing”.
“Look, marines kill to win, and sometimes they kill a lot and that’s good, that’s fine, that’s war,” he said.
“But in victory, we are trained to be compassionate, we are trained to be respectful and this incident was neither of those.”
The US military has been prosecuting soldiers from its army’s Fifth Stryker Brigade on charges of murdering unarmed Afghan civilians while deployed in 2010 in Kandahar province.
In that case, photographs published last March by two magazines – Der Spiegel and Rolling Stone – showed soldiers posing with the bloodied corpse of an Afghan boy they had just killed.
A Final Comment
Truly saddened, I must say that the now long-standing collective culture of vulgarity where we are collectively conditioned to arrogantly hate and view others as less than not only those outside the USA but within is the culprit.
These soldiers are victims of this engrained vulgarity. Whatever motivated these young men to think that pissing on dead humans is something to do for kicks shines a horrible reflective light on the sickness that is the U.S. culture; from top to bottom.
It’s time to stop blaming everyone in the world for our own collective falling from grace or just admit that we are no longer a leader and take our place in the long line of pathetic cultures and bottom-tier nations that neither influence or have standing in the minds of those of us who live and aim high in the 21st century.
In my view, the US has many wonderful people seeking wonderful things. But this collective downward spiral of our consciences is appalling and really needs a massive overall. It’s everything! It’s making fun of people with towels on their heads or calling someone of color “hey boy” or laughing at our working man neighbors in Mexico who only seek to feed their families.
It’s many things! And first and foremost among them is re-learning how to respect our fellow man and not merely piss on them. I remain embarrassed as I should be! And you?
Johnny Punish is the founder and owner of VT. He is also a writer, global citizen eco-activist, visionary, musician, artist, entertainer, businessman, investor, life coach, and syndicated columnist. Punish was educated at the University of Nevada Las Vegas (1980-81) and California State University Fullerton (1981-1984) with studies in accounting and business. Before the “internets” had been invented, he owned and ran (5) national newspapers in the United States of America from 1987-1998
Punish has over 100 original songs written. He records and produces music. A member of ASCAP, Punish has several songs placed in feature films. His music is promoted worldwide and played on all digital networks and net radio.
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