Bush’s Dishonorable Culture Of War Led To Marines Urinating On The Dead

Bush War Crimes The dishonorable culture of war that the Bush administration wrought on our military is endemic to atrocities like Marines urinating on the dead.

It is difficult for anyone who has not been in the theater of war to understand the mindset of a soldier who is sent out to kill another human being. Combat veterans are unlikely to talk about their experiences in battle because it is painful and distressing to recollect taking a life or seeing a fallen comrade perish before their eyes and they are due the utmost respect for sacrificing a bit of their humanity by serving their country in war. Experienced combat veterans have a degree of respect for enemy soldiers because they understand that their enemy is following orders or defending their homeland and families from conquest and occupation. America’s military garners praise from enemies and friends alike for adhering to high professional standards and dedication to protecting and serving their fellow soldiers without hesitation. This is not to say there are not rogue soldiers who, although valiant in battle, fail to live up to the military code of conduct befitting honorable service and recognition as heroes.

America’s military suffered shame and humiliation over the behavior of guards at Abu Graib prison who disgraced themselves by mistreating prisoners and, to make matters worse, posed for photographs that were leaked and caused untold damage to America’s reputation around the world. The recent release of a video showing four U.S. Marines urinating on corpses of alleged Taliban fighters has brought indignation and outrage at the despicable behavior of America’s finest, but there is more to the story than the bad behavior of four young soldiers.

There was no reason for the soldiers to engage in such sophomoric and demoralizing actions and the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) has already launched an investigation into potential criminal activity shown in the video. The USMC has identified the soldiers and Marine Lt. Gen. Thomas Waldhauser will determine further action according to a statement released by the USMC. One thing is certain; the soldiers were expressing disregard for the Geneva Convention and code of conduct because of previous statements by former president Bush, Dick Cheney, and other Bush administration officials who flaunted their disregard for the Geneva Convention.

It is unfortunate, but there are Americans who advocate for and praised the type of activity the video displayed. CNN political analyst, editor-in-chief of Andrew Breitbart’s Big Journalism, and Tea party hero Dana Loesch praised the Marines for their behavior. Loesch said on her radio show that, “I want a million cool points for these guys. Is that harsh to say? Come on people, this is a war. What do people think this is?” Loesch had one part right; it is a war and as Muslims around the world view the video, they will acknowledge that the Marines (presumably) followed orders and killed the enemy. That is war and killing the enemy is the goal; not desecrating dead fighters by urinating on them. Loesch’s comments have engendered outrage surpassing the disgust at the Marines’ actions and any criticism leveled at Loesch is well-deserved, but she is parroting the Bush doctrine that says there is no Geneva Convention or military code of conduct applicable to Americans. CNN must terminate Loesch’s contract as an analyst if they are to have a semblance of respectability as a responsible media outlet.

Allen West (R) is a former Army Lieutenant Colonel and congressman from Florida who had a similar take on the Marines bad conduct as Loesch. West agrees that the “Marines were wrong” and opined that the Marine Corps should “Give them a maximum punishment under field grade level Article 15 (non-judicial punishment), place a General Officer level letter of reprimand in their personnel file, and have them in full dress uniform stand before their Battalion, each personally apologize to God, Country, and Corps videotaped and conclude by singing the full US Marine Corps Hymn without a teleprompter.” However, West sought to diminish the bad behavior by assailing media pundits for not being outraged at what happened to soldiers in Mogadishu or Blackwater security contractors in Fallujah. Apparently, Americans should expect the same from our soldiers as gangsters in Mogadishu or Iraqi insurgents and instead of expressing horror, they should as West said, “Shut your mouth.” West is wrong.

The dishonorable culture of war that the Bush administration wrought on our military is endemic to atrocities and instead of criticizing the public and media for being outraged, West and his ilk should question why the soldiers conducted themselves in such a dishonorable fashion. Bush administration officials are still advocating torture and conservatives are still protecting a culture of American exceptionalism that dictates Geneva Convention does not apply to Americans tasked with killing Muslims. There are estimates that anywhere from 300,00 to over 655,000 (as of 2006) Iraqi civilians were killed during the Iraq war and returning soldiers share horror stories of war crimes that went unreported by the media or units in the field and it reflects on the mindset of Bush warmongers.

It is not to say that in war there will not be questionable decisions that cost innocent lives, and during the Viet Nam war, American soldiers committed atrocities that were far worse than urinating on dead Taliban fighters. However, soldiers are only as honorable as the commanders and when the commander in chief, his vice president, and Secretary of Defense tell soldiers and the world that the Geneva Convention does not apply to America, there are going to be repercussions that are manifest in images of Abu Graib or marines urinating on dead bodies. There is no real excuse for the Marine’s actions, but the culture that dictates it is acceptable to dishonor a dead soldier, prisoner of war, or torture prisoners must be addressed if Americans are to expect honor from our brave soldiers.  How can the Marine Corps reprimand the four Marines for urinating on dead Taliban soldiers if the men who approved torture are allowed to go unpunished?

The Marines should be reprimanded for their bad behavior as the military code of conduct dictates. Dana Loesch should be fired from her post as CNN political analyst, and Representative Allen West should shut his mouth and stop comparing our soldiers with gangsters in Mogadishu or Iraqi insurgents. George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and their lieutenants who continue advocating for torture all need to be tried in international court for war crimes against humanity according to the Geneva Convention so from now forward, every American soldier understands that no-one is above the law regardless of their rank or position of power.

No-one can ever know what went through the four Marines minds or why they thought it was acceptable to film their inexcusable desecration of enemy combatants’ bodies, but whatever their logic, it reverts to Bush administration officials’ mindset that America is above the law and is not required to follow what should be moral imperative. Of course, expecting Bush, Cheney, or their lackeys to have any morals is like expecting the conservatives praising and excusing the Marines’ actions to show dignity for the dead. The four Marines were only following orders from the Bush administration that told them honor, the Geneva Convention, and military code of conduct does not apply to American soldiers, prison guards, or interrogators.

Image: veteranstoday.com

15 Replies to “Bush’s Dishonorable Culture Of War Led To Marines Urinating On The Dead”

  1. …”one can ever know what went through the four Marines minds or why they thought it was acceptable to film their inexcusable desecration of enemy combatants’ bodies…”

    Has anyone asked them?

    It’s a simple; let them speak to the public, openly, honestly, truthfull and tell US citizens what was going through their head? Who had the idea to do this and why?

    Someone just needs to ask them…

  2. If anything, the anti-Muslim agitation has gotten worse since Bush left office. These petty demogogues, like West and like King, don’t even have any pretense of responsibility for maintaining international relations, and as for the Dominionists, the more they can demonize other religions, the better. Who can forget the Reverend Terror Jones? Every time we start to, he creates another incident. Bush and Cheney at least had to keep sucking up to the Saudis and the Kuwaitis. People like the foregoing don’t have even that much restraining them.

  3. We take kids, we turn them into people who after boot camp are fully prepared (in most cases) to kill people. We put them into a war zone where even the kid on the street might have a weapon, we frazzle them down to a nub on a nats ass and then we expect them to be JUST LIKE US

    Under no circumstances do I condone this, but its a little like feeding a kid candy bars from birth then yelling at him for eating chocolate when he is 18. These guys have an animosity, an arrogance or an attitude built up from being there that keeps them alive. These soldiers are snipers. To those who don’t know what that is, they are trained to kill people WITHOUT COMPASSIONATE THOUGHT. Do we expect them to lean over and pat the dead who happens to be an enemy on the shoulders and say we are sorry your dead? They are trained to separate themselves from the dead, the enemy from anything to do with what we consider reasonable emotion.

    My take you ask? Im glad you asked. Get them some help to deprogram themselves, imprison everyone that started this war and who is continuing this war right up to the president. Because that’s where the fault lies. Dont anyone dare shake your fist at these kids. You don’t have the right

  4. I saw a photo of this on another website, and it made me absolutely sick to my stomach. Needless to say, it will be shown around the world and it will evoke predictable reactions among Muslims. These young, stupid idiots are every bit as thoughtless as the young fools who post nude pictures of themselves or those who post themselves and others beating up another young person, but their actions are a lot more destructive because they perpetuate the kind of anti-American animosity that has led to things like the beheading of Daniel Pearl or the capture and murder of young servicemen in recent years.

  5. Just a ps:
    I graduated in 1968. Within 18 months of that date I had lost 9 people I graduated with in VietNam. Within 24 months the total was 15. 15 people I grew up with out of a class of 324.

    And then you had to see the others come home. You seen them set next to you and shake, or talk about things that were beyond your comprehension at that time. You seen paranoia and you seen kids who were trying to be normal that could never be normal again. Dont piss on anyone who has been there. Look for the government that’s at fault

  6. The fictitious Tarantino movie, “Inglorious Bastards” comes to mind…nice American-Jewish boys turned into monsters wielding base-ball bats on their captured prey as a means of torture; I believe “acts” were performed on those they terminated…again, state of mind is key.

    And, not to project, were these particular Marines religiously motivate in their “act” of service? For our sake, I hope not…

  7. What’s ironic- the same people who support this behavior and the actions in this video are probably the same people who screamed the loudest when the videos of Middle Eastern residents dancing in the street after the 9/11 attacks came out.

    People who have no empathy can only view the world through their narrow perspective. It’s sad.

  8. They used to cut off VC ears as trophies in Vietnam. They foster this kind of thing by teaching troops, from basic on, to despise their enemy.

  9. Every military action over the centuries experiences atrocities committed against “enemy” citizens and military, from both sides of the conflict. Rape, dismemberment, torture, inhumane POW / detention conditions, and on & on.

    That is WAR.

    Soldiers are trained to dehumanize the enemy, they cannot consider the enemy as a father, son, brother or favorite uncle – they are only THE ENEMY. Citizens in a war zone are considered support to THE ENEMY with food, comfort, or housing (voluntary or not). The enemy is only referred to by disparaging names (Japs, Krauts, Gooks, Ragheads, Infidel…) to further dehumanize them. They aren’t like us – they don’t believe in freedom – they’ll kill you if you don’t kill them…. The military creates & trains these young soldiers – then expects them to respect the body. Or return home “normal”.

    This is why WAR should only be a final resort.

    Soldiers desecrating the remains of an enemy combatant is not acceptable anymore than dragging remains through city streets, yet it happens. It is a dirty secret of WAR. Unfortunately, these young men will forever have to face their now public actions. It is hard physical evidence of their inappropriate behavior. As a US military soldier, they have brought shame on our country and more fuel to the fires of war.

  10. I understand what you are saying. I am just wondering if these soldiers, subconsciously wanted the world to see the ugly side of war? We did not have video cameras recording all this in the previous wars.

  11. They are snipers. They are trained to kill in a passionateness manner. Those body’s were nothing more than a dog that’s been hit in the road or the ice you scrape off your windshield in the morning.

  12. As a nation, we have been sheltered from the true cost of war. Those ‘surrender monkeys’ in Europe remember what its like to have bombs and soldiers destroy their lives. Which is why they are reluctant to go to war.

    Our people and government strut and glower freely because we hide behind our oceans. We are bullies, demanding the rest of the world obey and fear us. And buy our weapons.

    Every one who rants against ‘radical Islam’, bombs an abortion clinic, screams at gays and threatens violence against people ‘different’ from them teach those Marines (our children) that that is the American way of life.

    Colin Powell’s Pottery Barn analogy still holds.

    20 years in the military, I understand.
    Actually wrote my doctoral dissertation on the WWII roots of this. But I recommend Slotkin’s “Gunfighter Nation” or Englehardt’s “End of Victory Culture” for a true understanding of why this happens and why we’re ‘shocked.’

    We broke them, they belong to us.

  13. Thank you……people need to walk a mile in THEIR shoes before they judge. I was a Marine, but fortunate enough to be in between conflicts in the ’80s. I know that I was fully prepared to kill anyone I was ordered to. That was a simple fact of the position. None of these kids can be held up to anything close to “normal” standards. We take them during a period of their lives when a)the testosterone levels are through the roof b) are impressionable and easily trained and conditioned. How can you possibly condemn someone in THAT position. “There are only two kinds of people that understand Marines: Marines and the enemy. Everyone else has a second-hand opinion.” — Gen. William Thornson, U.S. Army

  14. I am sad that these things happen. But I also have a clue what these people were trained for and believe me it’s not giving Sunday school classes. They were snipers who were trained to kill

    my blame gets laid on the people who put us in and keep us in a totally unnecessary war. We need to be gone. Quite frankly I don’t care if those people over there want to kill themselves off as long as it doesn’t spill over into this country

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