Friday, January 13, 2012

Pissing Marines

So, there are some sad Marines in the news these days. There is a viral video on Youtube of them urinating on dead Afghans believed to be members of the Taliban. I find this disgusting because of the lack it shows for human life. I find the idea of getting the revenge on anyone, even an enemy to be deplorable. The position these Marines are in is also disgusting, but maybe not for the reasons you might think.

As it turns out I'm not mad at these Marines for what they did. They are trained to view the enemy, whoever that is, as less than human. These are simply targets for them. Military personnel are praised for their aim and accuracy. They are encouraged to use lethal force rather than risk their own lives and country. Before joining the military it's very possible these guys would have never done this or even thought they were capable of it. But these are broken and redesigned men. Trained in the tactics of war.

During boot camp we break them down. Those drill sergeants don't scream at them to encourage them in a last push-up, but to break down who they are as a person, so that in time they can rebuild them into the military machines they need to be. We can't expect them to make the same rational choices as we would sitting at home watching this on our computers or on the news. We wouldn't expect someone who has been in an abusive marriage to make the same decisions about family that someone in a healthy marriage would make. Same goes for a homeless person and CEO. Different situations in life change us.

And these guys haven't just been through training. They've been in an active war zone. They have likely seen people die by explosion, they have seen children used in acts of war, they have been separated from loved ones, all that is human about them is stripped away. They are used like machines.

What I'm saying is, these guys weren't in their "right"minds when this was done, most likely. They shouldn't have done it, but they did. This is the time to cut them a little slack. We can't expect everyone to be able to mentally hold it all together. They have to numb themselves to the emotional trauma they experience everyday on the battlefield. Let's just stop hating and be more compassionate to who they are and what they're going though.

3 comments:

Stella said...

It is sad that it happened. This is something I wish never made the news. It will be humiliating to those families of the soldiers and maybe to themselves once it is on the news. I see what you mean by we have broke them down into machines. I think we should not judge and not make these soldiers suffer, but give them a penalty and move on. It was wrong yes, but not to ruin a soldiers life over. I don't like that this made the news and we sensationalize it to death. I hope these soldiers get fair judgement made of them and can become better because of a mistake and not lose everything because of it.

kevin21 said...
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