IN DEFENSE OF UGLY WAR
They’re dead, kaput, blotto, room temperature, pushing up opium poppies. DEAD! Hey, maybe good old American brand urine helps to ward off blow flies and carrion beetles. Really, how does a young Marine peeing on a guy he has just killed make the dead guy any more dead? Frankly, Marines, having won a victory in combat, marking that victory with a group leak on the bodies of their vanquished enemies is about six degrees more virtuous than anything you would see at at university frat party.
The images of four, young United States Marines piddling on the carcasses of Taliban soldiers has seemingly ignited a firestorm of indignation across the globe. I assert that the “indignation” is feigned; a pathetic attempt by high-level politicians and media twits to appear politically correct and oh, so apologetic to Afghan sensibilities. Inwardly most Americans are cheering the act of young men who just won a victory in battle behaving like young men who just won a victory in battle. The “sadness” expressed by John McCain is a load of hooey. Leon Panetta’s knee-jerk call for a probe into the urinating incident is political posturing from an administration sympathetic to our Islamic extremist enemies. I don’t need to go into the depth of depravity and danger presented by Taliban goons. I am simply defending young men being young men.
The Marines in question won a death defying fight against foes who would kill them in an instant, and their mothers, and their children if they had any, and would enslave their wives if they happened to live in Afghanistan. But above and beyond the victory over a depraved group of enemy combatants, this was the act of soldiers making the point that their enemies suffered a final and ignominious defeat.
Some have called this an “act of desecration.” The word “desecration” infers that something sacred has been violated. There is nothing sacred about the Taliban who were justly taken out by our Marines. These young Marines were desecrating nothing. They were simply warning others that an ugly fate awaits those who defy American forces. The apparent ugliness of peeing on the bloody remains of an enemy is actually a pretty good deterrent to future acts of aggression by an adversary. Good old American brand urine may actually, in the long run, save lives.
Robert E. Lee stated that “It is well that war is so terrible — lest we should grow too fond of it.” It is a good thing that war is ugly. The sanitized and tentative war fought, not to win a decisive victory, but to minimize civilian casualties, is also the protracted, expensive, bloody, destructive, and futile war.
Let victory be what it is, especially victory over a particularly venal enemy. Our military servicemen and women are in what is called “combat” on a regular basis. That means that there are grotesquely bad guys out there who will use any and all means to kill them, including strapping an explosive belt on a child and sending said child out as bait to the good guys who have an instinctive compassion for children. Islamic extremists use American tolerance and compassion against our soldiers, and our system of government. When those bad guys kill our good guys, they will not only urinate on the bodies of dead Americans, they will drag them through the streets, separate their heads from their torsos, light them on fire, hang them from bridges, and pull them to pieces before a delighted audience of women, children, old men, and video cameras, and will then upload the images of dismembered Americans to be broadcast on Al Jazeera and Youtube.
War necessitated by the actions of national enemies from whom the United States must be defended is not immoral. Men and women who fight and kill in the name of their country are not committing wrongful acts. They are conducting themselves morally within the framework of national conflict in a contest between good and evil, freedom and oppression, life and death. It is not wrong to fight to win an authentic war, in all its blood, dirt, pain, and intensity. It is wrong to pretend that war is not war. Brothers and sisters, we are at war. Marines marking a victory by humiliating further their adversaries, dead and living, by urinating on their corpses is no more than an exclamation point to the sentence of death to barbaric and bloodthirsty foes.
By Marjorie Haun 1/15/2012