The video of Marines urinating on dead bodies is ………….. well, disturbing. For those who hold The Marines in high regard it’s difficult to see The Corps represented this way. It is also a significant exception to the rule based on everything you’re humble correspondent knows to be the truth about how Marines conduct their service and themselves.
It is, unfortunately, predictable that a lack of context will be present in the MSM and perhaps the administration. We should consider a few questions. What were the circumstances of the fight that led to the video? When did it happen? How many deployments have these guys endured? If PTSB is valid in a post deployment situation is it not also potentially valid in the moment? After all, the harshest critics of these men are likely the same folks who excuse nearly any manner of aberrant behavior by surrounding and dismissing moral failing with the patina of victimhood. It is perhaps for us to consider that these men may have been actual victims of the horrifically difficult situations we’ve asked them to endure. Rules of etiquette don’t get a lot of play on the battlefield.
We should also ask of those who are the most vocal of the critics; have they faced combat? Have they lived in an environment where death and injury is a perpetual reality? How much horror have these Marines seen at the hands of the Taliban? How many children used as suicide bombers, honor killings, women beaten? How many of their fellows killed? What was the motivation for the release of the video, was it a breach of trust amongst the group? Oh no, we’ll be told, ‘its self evident on the face of it.’ The reality is, that it is never self evident on the face of it. There are always points of context!
While not excusing the five involved in the video, there is no way to understand the stress, absent encountering the reality of the situation. No one appears to be upset that these Taliban are dead, just that they we ‘desecrated’.
What is equally upsetting and worthy of criticism is the reaction of Mr. Panetta and Ms. Clinton; appalled they are! They are appalled, apparently even before all of The Marines have been interviewed or even identified. They don’t even know where two of them are as of last report. Where is the courteous benefit of the doubt that, at least, Ms. Clinton seems ever ready to apply to our enemies?