Third Battalion, Second Marines is in the headlines, and not in a good way:
The U.S. Marine Corps is investigating a video that surfaced online today in which several Marines appear to urinate on the corpses of suspected Taliban fighters.
The video, which is less than a minute long, appears to show four men in uniform looking around before urinating on three dead bodies, at least one of the men chuckles as they do so.
“Have a great day, buddy,” one of the men is heard saying, apparently to a dead body.
The Marine Corps responded quickly after reports of the video surfaced, calling for a full investigation.
Horrible, etc. Desecration, and that. Heads should probably roll.
Which, on a possibly related note, your host is currently reading “With the Old Breed“, by E.B. Sledge. “Sledgehammer” was a young Marine first blooded on Peleliu, and I am just now catching up with his observations at Okinawa – two of the bloodiest battles fought by the Old Corps during the Pacific War.
He writes movingly and eloquently on the horrors of war, and how men – good men- can descend into a kind of inhumanity when faced with a truly hated, fanatical foe. Fallen Japanese soldiers were frequently field stripped for souvenirs, gold teeth were excised. It probably didn’t help that fallen Marines were often found tortured, their bodies viciously and almost pathologically mutilated. Their war lasted about three and a half years, give or take.
The Taliban, with their indiscriminate murders and their cowardly tactics, have probably earned a very great deal of enmity from those who have been grappling with them for going on eleven years now. The danger when good men confront evil is that, over time, they may become what they beheld.
None of the foregoing is meant to excuse.
But it may help to explain.