There was one important detail missing from the coverage of the story. None of the stories I read mentioned this important point. Who were the victims? Were they bad people who deserved to die? Were they random people the soldiers decided to kill?
The US soldiers are a hostile occupying army. From the Afghan viewpoint, it’s acceptable to resist an occupying army. If someone is going to kill you and urinate on your corpse and keep a finger as a souvenir, then maybe you should resist them.
A pro-State troll says “This is one isolated bad example. All other soldiers are saints.” That is false. If one person gets caught, there are a lot of other people getting away with it.
There were 5 people in the video, 4 soldiers plus the guy videotaping it. How come nobody said “Hey! Maybe we shouldn’t be doing this!”? Don’t they tell the soldiers in training “Don’t do things that would embarrass the military.” or at least “If you do commit war crimes, don’t videotape it or take pictures. Make sure there’s no evidence.”
A pro-State troll says “You can oppose war, but support the troops.” That is false. If you’re opposed to war, you should also object to the people who fight the war. Without soldiers mindlessly obeying orders, pointless wars aren’t possible.
That is an impressive bit of doublethink. It is standard to say that it’s OK to oppose war, but you still should support the soldiers who fight the wars.
I am sympathetic to people who were tricked into joining the Army and realize they made a mistake. However, everyone is responsible for what they do. If you perform due diligence before joining, you should realize that war is one big scam.
A pro-State troll says “Soldiers are the best and brightest”. That is false. Many soldiers are people who want a socially-acceptable outlet for their violent tendencies. Most soldiers join the army due to economic conscription. They are so poor and the economy is so bad. Becoming a soldier is their best career opportunity.
When you watch the Super Bowl or a sporting event, there are many hidden advertisements for war. It is very offensive. When the announcer says “Support our troops!”, he’s indirectly endorsing war. When they cut away to a scene of soldiers watching the game from their base, that’s an endorsement of war. When they show John Elway standing next to General Petraeus, that’s an endorsement of war.
There was another offensive bit. To provide “balanced” media coverage, the reporter is interviewing people who say “It’s OK to disrepect their corpses. They’re evil people who deserve it.”
But the actions of the soldiers were not met with universal disapproval. A prominent anti-Muslim activist in New York, Pamela Geller, who was at the forefront of the campaign against an Islamic centre near ground zero and has been embraced by some mainstream Republicans including Newt Gingrich, praised the soldiers for desecrating the Afghan corpses who she called “murderous savages”.
Rick Perry is defending the soldiers. Can anyone really say that with a straight face?
Here’s something really ironic. Bradley Manning will probably spend more time in prison than the urinating soldiers!
When soldiers get out of the military, many of them get jobs as policemen. That contributes to the “us vs. them” attitude of police. That contributes to the militarism of police.
This is not one isolated bad example. There almost definitely are other soldiers who do bad things but don’t get caught. If you are opposed to war, you should also not support the people who fight the war. Are the US troops heroes? Or, are they killing indiscriminately and providing motivation for the next generation of terrorists?