There is a video which has surfaced with is alleged to have several Marine urinating on the bodies of killed Taliban fighters in Afghanistan. It is unconfirmed, at this time, that these were, in fact, Marines. Most people are hoping this is not the case, but that may just be hopeful thinking at this time.
Our military does, for the most part, an amazing job. Many of them suffer grievously for being placed in harm's way and even after they come home they often suffer trauma. They deserve our utmost respect and gratitude. The vast majority of those who serve our country in uniform do so in a way that makes and keeps us proud.
The Marine Corps has had a long and incredibly proud history. I have had the privilege of knowing many people who served in the Marines. No branch of the military seems to inspire more loyalty than the Marines. The are the proud and the few..deservedly so.
And then this video showed up.
Combat and war inspire hate. Engaging in mortal combat is not a dispassionate event. Combat is personal with people aiming and shooting at one another. The combination of fear and violence and mortal combat inspires hatred in most human beings. That hatred often continues when white flags of surrender are waved or even upon the death of one's enemy. We have cringed seeing the bodies of our troops desecrated and now we cringe again. It appears like American soldiers are desecrating the remains of their enemy.
It's bad and I wish the Marines, if if turns out they were Marines, had thought about their brothers and sisters in arms. They have raised the temperature of battle and inflamed people against them and against their colleagues.
In the Middle East, among those we are fighting, there is a world view of honor and shame. We can be humiliated and often overlook it, but their culture does not. It is a culture rooted with an ancient concept of honor and shame. Their is nothing worse than being dishonored and being shamed. Nothing. By bringing shame to the bodies of their enemy, these soldiers have brought shame to the people they fight. It was a bad decision and a bad move.
We can only pray for peace to prevail and for God's grace to remind us to never demean others. Even our enemies.