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greaserkat user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 11 Jan 12, 19:23 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/11/afghanistan-marines-urinating-video_n_1200324.html?icid=maing-grid7%7Cmain5%7Cdl3%7Csec1_lnk1%26pLid%3D126791

Shit like this will keep us, the USA, being one of the most hated countries in the world.


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Posted: 11 Jan 12, 20:48 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Wow. That is just sad.


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Posted: 12 Jan 12, 06:12 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



greaserkat wrote: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/11/afghanistan-marines-urinating-video_n_1200324.html?icid=maing-grid7%7Cmain5%7Cdl3%7Csec1_lnk1%26pLid%3D126791

Shit like this will keep us, the USA, being one of the most hated countries in the world.

I'm glad normal American citizens understand why the popularity of their country has dropped in the last 10 years :) The marines are disgusting

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Posted: 12 Jan 12, 07:11 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Terrible, degrading things happen in warfare. That's the nature of it: it dehumanises both sides. This type of thing has been going on as long as warfare has. The difference today is that every combatant has access to a digital camera and can self-publish it on the internet.


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Posted: 12 Jan 12, 09:38 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

It's interesting to note how one sided this view is and how quickly some are to jump on it.

I'm sure there's similar acts of disgust performed by BOTH sides, yet the U.S. doesn't participate in the airing of that footage. 

I wonder how your Mothers would feel about choosing (1) a life of rape and torture or (2) having her dead carcass urinated on.  I'm thinking most would take #2.

Another interesting fact left out:
The United States does not censor their internet, as most arab nations and China are fond of doing.  Try searching for a Taliban killing and desecrating a Marine.  I bet you can't find one.

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Posted: 12 Jan 12, 09:44 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Micrówave:

A decent person would have said "that's terrible, it's sad to see both sides engaging in this kind of behaviour". You instantly jump onto the defensive and start writing about how the other side does things that are even worse.

That suggests you approve. And you know that.


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Posted: 12 Jan 12, 10:28 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

If Microwave approves - not the word I'd have chosen BTW -  he's certainly not alone.  I've been following the online comment sections in several major North American newspapers last night and this morning and the overwhelming sentiment is some version of what he expressed. People should not be surprised at this video.  It is the very function of the military machine to strip the enemy of all humanity so normal young men can go out and become functional killers.  The uniform helps to remind them that they're only supposed to be killers when they're in it, and helps to diffuse what would be an otherwise crushing sense of personal responsibility in any other situation.  Why shouldn't the psychology of that be understood to extend to - whatever this is.  What struck me about the video is that unlike Abu Graib and other gleefully posed war time atrocities this seemed to be as much about the act itself as finding a way to boast about it.  At some point somebody asks "did you get that on video" or something like that, suggesting that that motivation may have been at least secondary.   It seems to me that the specifics of that act embody a tremendous desire to degrade or express something like rage - I mean it's not just anywhere on the body, in appears to be their faces.  The generic and specific battlefield conditions that engender such acts should be of grave concern to any nation sending it's people off to war, but instead we see a form of dehumanization extended back home.  The excuses of moral relativism are likely what normal, good people need to tell themselves to be able to make sense out of the senseless.  I understand it.  But it doesn't make them right.

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Posted: 12 Jan 12, 11:14 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I don't understand why people always refer to the reasoning, "Well, they do it too," or "They do worse things."


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Posted: 12 Jan 12, 11:30 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

GratefulFan wrote:

>>It is the very function of the military machine to strip the enemy of all humanity so normal young men can go out and become functional killers.  The uniform helps to remind them that they're only supposed to be killers when they're in it, and helps to diffuse what would be an otherwise crushing sense of personal responsibility in any other situation.<<

Bingo.  And millions of people are sold on war by that basic principle, not just those who become soldiers.


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Posted: 12 Jan 12, 11:33 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

greaserkat wrote:

I don't understand why people always refer to the reasoning, "Well, they do it too," or "They do worse things."

==================

I can think of a couple reasons..

a) It's more macho than expressing empathy.  Plenty of people don't evolve past the high school bully stage.

b) It's yet another device to reinforce the "we are the best" mentality.


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Posted: 12 Jan 12, 12:08 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



The Real Wizard wrote: GratefulFan wrote:

>>It is the very function of the military machine to strip the enemy of all humanity so normal young men can go out and become functional killers.  The uniform helps to remind them that they're only supposed to be killers when they're in it, and helps to diffuse what would be an otherwise crushing sense of personal responsibility in any other situation.<<

Bingo.  And millions of people are sold on war by that basic principle, not just those who become soldiers.

I'd only add that it's no less applicable to just, necessary wars.  Dehumanization is at once a prerequisite and an ongoing and deepening byproduct of war just by it's nature, and independent of any righteousness (or not).

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Posted: 12 Jan 12, 15:56 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



The Real Wizard wrote:

greaserkat wrote:
I don't understand why people always refer to the reasoning, "Well, they do it too," or "They do worse things."

==================

I can think of a couple reasons..

a) It's more macho than expressing empathy.  Plenty of people don't evolve past the high school bully stage.

b) It's yet another device to reinforce the "we are the best" mentality.


c) They're weak and full of self-egotistical pride?

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Posted: 12 Jan 12, 23:31 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I think it's a mistake to make this about the United States. These events could happen in anybody's war. That is what I meant to say I think when I talked about 'just, necessary' wars.  Really that's a rather empty turn of phrase, particularly given that my knowledge of history and warfare is superficial enough that I'm not sure I could make a truly cogent argument about whether war is ever either just or necessary. My larger point was that all war has the raw ingredients for this kind of horrific act.

Still, it's an opportunity lost for Americans to abstract this too much.   The facts bear thinking about in exquisite detail so the horror and inhumanity is not lost.   Without exaggeration, the actions on that video would not be out of place for a serial killer in another context.  It requires an extraordinary failure of empathy and humanity to do what those men did.  Unless one accepts that five psychopaths ended up in the same unit by chance, you have to accept that that war and that place changes people, at least temporarily.  While people mouth patriotic platitudes at home these men are being thrust into situations characterized by relentless and dehumanizing fear and stress. No matter where life takes them from here they will forever be the authors of a pointedly sickening and callous deed. We are all changed by our actions, and by shame.  So to the extent that war can be kept afloat in part by jingoism and dogma, it's an opportunity to take a good hard clear eyed look at how America's vision of itself diverged from this partcular stark reality, and to think about how a nation should count casualties of war.

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Posted: 13 Jan 12, 03:15 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I totally agree, GF. Also - nobody seems to ask the question how or why these people were murdered in the first place. This reminds me of the soldiers who hunted and killed civilians in a helicopter - the only question was who leaked the information and not why soldiers are hunting and murdering defenseless civilians. There is a dangerous loss of ethics and basic human decency in this society.


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Posted: 13 Jan 12, 10:29 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

No, TQ, I don't approve of what I called "acts of disgust", but you interpreted that as I'm a member of the Golden Shower Brigade.  Since you COMPLETELY missed my point, let me put it to you a little more clearly:

War Is Hell.  Terrible things happen when any kind of conflict occurs.  But since you're the war expert, why don't you point out a war where nothing bad happened.  It may have been called a "civil" war... but it was hardly that.  You're all acting like this action (the peeing incident) is the worst thing that has ever happened.  Clearly it is not. 

Yes it's horrible.  But the bodies are no longer living.  No one physically suffered, unless you wanna bring up little 5 year old Johnny who had to witness this... whatever.  There are far worse acts that have occurred during wars and they were not all committed by the United States.  For example, you British were pretty brutal, back in the day.  No, you might not have pissed on a soldier's grave, but you'd go back and bed his wife after you killed him.  But at least you didn't pee on her husband's dead body.  I believe I've heard stories about a certain German killing millions or a Russian practicing genocide 7 million times.  But US soldiers just peed on those dead bodies!!!  Now that's crossing the line.

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Posted: 13 Jan 12, 12:43 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Nice try. The parallel for rape, torture and indiscriminate killing in historical military conflicts is not the modern day desecration of corpses.  It's rape, torture and indiscriminate killing  - all of which have occurred in conflicts western nations have been involved in the last  20 years.   The apparently overwhelming and widespread instinct to minimize this is understandable but wrong.  I read Lara Logan this morning summing it up as 'stupid' , the essential equivalent of drunken frat boys behaving badly . Lara Logan, who one would think might be able to speak with a little more clarity and urgency about unchecked dark human impulses in conflict situations, still apparently trying to prove she can man up.  Whatever.

I don't care how prosaic the full story turns out to be, it's going to be deceptively prosaic.  Group urination on the dead faces and bodies of war casualties, heads on sticks, ears and fingers and who knows what else kept for trophies, sadistic smiling poses with the dead and tortured - all these things harm nobody more than they've already been harmed - unless you want to count tearing a strip off the soul of the person doing it - but they are and always have been a symptom of the underlying and raging systemic illness of war.  I've made clear I hope that I don't think there is anything quintessentially American about this, and I actively deplore lazy and self serving anti-American rhetoric where it exists.  That said, I'm glad it's not me paying for the Gatorade or whatever that eventually ended up all over the faces and bodies of dead Afghan men, and I'm glad it's not me so eager to 'contextualize' that I'm whistling past such unambiguous horror. And it is horror.  It is.

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Posted: 13 Jan 12, 13:32 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Micrówave wrote:
Yes it's horrible.


And that's where you should have stopped. By adding to that, you are effectively condoning the act (or at best, trivializing it) on the grounds that worse things happen in war.


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Posted: 13 Jan 12, 15:22 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Ok... so using your logic*  (taking my comments out of context), you're saying that worse things DON'T happen in war? 

You need to quit watching Fox News.

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Posted: 13 Jan 12, 15:26 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Grateful wrote: Group urination on the dead faces and bodies of war casualties, heads on sticks, ears and fingers and who knows what else kept for trophies, sadistic smiling poses with the dead and tortured - all these things harm nobody more than they've already been harmed - unless you want to count tearing a strip off the soul of the person doing it - but they are and always have been a symptom of the underlying and raging systemic illness of war


So all those beheadings of military and civilian contractors by muslim fundamentalists was OK?  But urinating on a corpse is crossing the line?  You accused the "Western"world of atrocities, but you need to see the whole picture.

No, that's not me condoning desecration of corpses.

Remember Nick Berg?  Berg first arrived in Iraq on December 21, 2003, and made arrangements to secure contract work for his company. He also went to the northern city of Mosul, visiting an Iraqi man whose brother had been married to Berg's late aunt. Leaving on February 1, he returned to Iraq on March 14, 2004, only to find that the work he was promised was unavailable. Throughout his time in Iraq, he maintained frequent contact with his family in the United States by telephone and e-mail.

Berg's body was found decapitated on May 8, 2004 on a Baghdad overpass by a U.S. military patrol. Berg's family was informed of his death two days later. Military sources stated publicly at that time that Berg's body showed "signs of trauma", but did not disclose that he had been decapitated.

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Posted: 13 Jan 12, 16:23 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



Micrówave wrote:  So all those beheadings of military and civilian contractors by muslim fundamentalists was OK?  

Cooking device, I know you're smarter than this and I'm pretty sure you know I am as well.  Don't waste my time with nonsense.

When Western nations' justification for deploying combat or peacekeeping troops includes security through establishing or guarding systems of human rights, it's relevant to point out that there have been egregious violations of human rights.   I've never heard anybody credibly argue that it takes a good soaking in urine to stamp out beheading, but I'm willing to listen if you want to try.

I think urinating on a corpse is crossing the line, and leaving that line far behind in the desert dust.   I mean don't you?  Who wouldn't?