Quotes of the day

posted at 10:39 pm on January 12, 2012 by Allahpundit

“Senior military officials in Kabul and at the Pentagon confirmed that the video was authentic and that they had identified the Marines as members of the Third Battalion, Second Marines, which completed a tour of Afghanistan this fall before returning to its base at Camp Lejeune, N.C. The officials did not release the Marines’ names but said one wore a corporal’s uniform.

“Pentagon officials said the video had been made between March and September 2011, when the Marine battalion was stationed in Helmand Province, a strategic Taliban heartland and a center of the opium poppy trade. The officials said that they did not know the precise location shown in the video but that it had probably been made in the northern part of the province, where the battalion had been operating. Seven of the approximately 1,000 Marines in the battalion were killed during the seven-month deployment…

“The Taliban initially indicated that the video would not undermine the push toward talks, saying that they saw it as just more evidence of what they said was American brutality and arrogance.

“But later on Thursday, in an official statement, the Taliban dropped references to the talks and emphasized the brutality message. ‘We strongly condemn the inhuman act of wild American soldiers, as ever, and consider this act in contradiction with all human and ethical norms,’ the statement said.’”

***

“Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta said he had viewed the video and considered it ‘utterly deplorable.’ He telephoned Afghan President Hamid Karzai and pledged a full investigation…

“Gen. James F. Amos, the commandant of the Marine Corps, said he had asked the Naval Criminal Investigative Service to ‘pull together a team of their very best agents and immediately assign them responsibility to thoroughly investigate every aspect of the filmed event.’ He also said he would assign a Marine general and a senior attorney to conduct a parallel inquiry.

“‘The institution of the Marine Corps will not rest until the allegations and the events surrounding them have been resolved,’ Amos said. ‘We remain fully committed to upholding the Geneva Convention, the Laws of War, and our own core values.’”

***

“Western officials in Kabul, meanwhile, described the statement Mr. Karzai issued before the conversation as levelheaded and not inflammatory. In the past, Mr. Karzai has used similar incidents to stoke anti-Western sentiment in Afghanistan…

“In Afghanistan, far fewer people have televisions, or even electricity, meaning the latest images aren’t likely to spread widely. Accounts are likely to spread by word of mouth, though, and could fuel more violence against the coalition by Afghans who feel that the disrespect shown to the dead violates Islam. In Islam, the dead must be washed and their bodies buried within 24 hours.

“The Taliban themselves have a tainted record on that score. When they took over Kabul in 1996, they brutally killed Mohammad Najibullah, the deposed communist president who was seeking refuge at a U.N. compound in the city. They hung his castrated corpse and that of his brother from a traffic light on a busy street in Kabul for all to see, in violation of Islamic tradition. The Taliban in recent years frequently hung suspected government spies’ corpses from trees in areas they control…

“Desecrating the bodies of enemy combatants is a violation of the Uniformed Code of Military Justice. The Marines involved could face a court-martial.”

***

“[C]ombat stress is no excuse for the behavior, retired Col. Jack Jacobs, an NBC News analyst and a Medal of Honor recipient for his actions in the Vietnam War, told msnbc.com.

“‘I’ve been through combat and been stressed out, and I’ve been out of combat and been stressed out, and I don’t think it’s a reason or an excuse for this kind of behavior. They’ve received instruction on how to act and what to do before and after their deployment.’ Jacobs said. ‘These are just idiots who are poorly supervised and led … they proved they are idiots because they took pictures of it.’

“But for another veteran the video is not shocking at all.

“‘Many people in this country that worry far more about public relations and how we are perceived by the rest of the world are shocked at Marines urinating on Taliban,’ retired Army Sgt. Maj. Herb Freidman, an author and authority on psychological operations, told msnbc.com. ‘Why? They are murderers and terrorists that think nothing of blowing up soldiers, civilians, women and children. What have they done to deserve our respect? There are Marines being killed and maimed on a daily basis by these people. They are flying in from Muslim countries all over the world to get their crack at martyrdom. If some Marine that fought them in battle fair and square feels that he has the right to urinate on a defeated enemy, what is the problem? Hell, it could be worse…. It is a fight to the death, not some sort of gentlemanly duel with seconds and everyone very politely drinking a fine wine afterwards.’”

***

“Alex Lemons, a former Marine sergeant who deployed to Iraq three times – including once as scout sniper – reflects on the video of four Marines urinating on the corpses of three dead Taliban in Afghanistan:…

“War is not a moral agent. ‘War is hell, shit happens and trophies get taken,’ is a copout from an irresponsible person. War doesn’t make anyone do anything because it is not a living thing…

“The Marine Corps doesn’t teach anyone to do this.

“Choices were made and they were not good ones. This is what maintains our moral high ground. It doesn’t matter if the Taliban cut heads off and videotape them.

“The whole point, as I was told since 2001, was not to become like them, or to be comparable to them.”

***

“But the missing ingredient, so far, is Afghan outrage. There have yet to be protests, let alone violence — although it’s possible that will take time to build. Yet just this past spring, Afghans rioted in response to a preacher who burned Korans in Florida, which occurred shortly after photos surfaced of a rogue U.S. ‘kill team’ posing with their gruesome trophies. Twenty people died in those riots after protesters in Mazar-e-Sharif stormed a United Nations compound…

“Perhaps the outrage is taking longer to build than usual. Even so, that would amount to a tragic popular judgment on the war: Afghans — who’ve lived through 30 years of war with Russians, Americans, and rival Afghan factions — just might not be so surprised by a videotaped outrage anymore.”

***

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Yakko77: Action Figure Therapy

I swear I’ve seen alot of stuff in my life… but. that. was. Awesome!

Terp Mole on January 13, 2012 at 11:55 AM

Could…not…care…less.

What I think is inappropriate and obscene is the fact that folks in power like Hillary and Leon, the little staff guy turned tin soldier, still believe that we can placate the Taliban by treating them ‘nice’ and with respect. Cartoons piss these guys off…pun intended…to the point of murderous rage. Or even that the Taliban is Muslim. No they’re not. They’re USING Islam as a façade to control the Afghan people and re-impose their tyranny. That’s what all these guys are doing! And the left, in their desperation to placate these goat fornicating little butt monkeys, is falling all over it.

PorchDawg on January 13, 2012 at 11:55 AM

And you think we should? Sorry to disappoint, but the preponderance of your military forces would very much look down on this behavior.

hawkdriver on January 13, 2012 at 10:37 AM

Hawk, we agree on a lot, but I respectfully disagree only as a matter of degree.

First off, it’s not professional and it’s not encouraged, but I don’t believe it rates court martialing.

At the same time, I can support when in sensitive areas, the CDR explicitly tells his troops to be on their best behavior and that he will not tolerate it. But this should be at the discretion of the Co/Bn level and not coming down from on high at DA, because all too many times, the blanket policies can do more harm than good. Especially when circumstances might warrant the soldiers venting.

Finally, I think peer pressure would be more effective than some General Order. To wit, let’s say one soldier after a deadly firefight unleashes his rage at a corpse. Now, because of ROE and fear of CM, the whole squad feels obligated to protect their ‘brother’ and the next thing you know, they’re ensnared in a web of deceit that can only come to a disasterous end.

I’m thinking in particular, Haditha. Since we don’t know all the details, I’m pretty sure that for those involved, it wasn’t just some odd one-time incident. Most likely the genesis was months before when the ring leader did something minor, but in breach of protocol. The rest felt bound to cover it up and one little thing led to another and before they knew it – it ended in cold-blood murder of civillians.

Peer pressure on the other hand would have allowed the others to nip it in the bud w/o consequence. And in the case of leaving the discretion to the CDR, he can evaluate for himself whether dismiss, punish or escalate.

AH_C on January 13, 2012 at 12:16 PM

OK to shoot them but peeing on them… not so good.

V7_Sport on January 13, 2012 at 12:23 PM

This is a really small deal.

Old Country Boy on January 13, 2012 at 10:01 AM

No, this is what encourages blowback. We’re doing more to create terrorists than we are in stopping them.

Dante on January 13, 2012 at 10:08 AM

Your thinking is very “liberal” in nature. If we are responsible for our actions, why aren’t the taliban responsible for theirs? I’m tired of the “this is all our fault meme; we caused it”. BS B double S.
I don’t care who started this (or who, in your libtard thinking. you THINK started this). The marines’ job is to finish it. We need to think like Tacitus in his description of Roman methods–They created a desert and called it peace.”

We need to create a few deserts around this world.

Old Country Boy on January 13, 2012 at 12:28 PM

AH_C on January 13, 2012 at 12:16 PM

As always, a great comment. And I know your’s come from experience.

I’ll defer to the level of discipline you deem necessary as a matter in degrees of our opinions. The bottom line is that it’s really up to their command. And I hope the command only takes the level of appropriate action based on the event and not administration or media pressure.

Some manner of UCMJ will likely be administered though. Courts Martial for them could very easily reduce discipline to NJP.

hawkdriver on January 13, 2012 at 12:39 PM

I simply don’t care.

Talk to me when they starting cutting off their heads with rusty knives.

rightConcept on January 13, 2012 at 12:59 PM

Some manner of UCMJ will likely be administered though. Courts Martial for them could very easily reduce discipline to NJP.
hawkdriver on January 13, 2012 at 12:39 PM

Hawk, how long do we stay in Afghanistan and how do we define that we have won the war? Personally, I can’t say it is a win unless:
1) The Taliban is totally defeated and disbanded
2) The Afghan people no longer live under Sharia Law.
…………… both objectives that I believe are impossible.

SC.Charlie on January 13, 2012 at 1:14 PM

SC.Charlie on January 13, 2012 at 1:14 PM

First, what does your question have to do with my quote you posted?

hawkdriver on January 13, 2012 at 1:18 PM

This is not representative of our great Marine Corps.

tonotisto on January 12, 2012 at 10:50 PM

How about this?
WW2
http://i214.photobucket.com/albums/cc85/Mamba1-0/AMERICAN-SOLDIER-WITH-JAPANESE-SKULL-WW2.jpg

Lighten up,Francis.

Solaratov on January 13, 2012 at 1:39 PM

First, what does your question have to do with my quote you posted? – hawkdriver on January 13, 2012 at 1:18 PM

We are not at peace with the Taliban. We can both agree that they are not fighting us because three Marines pissed on some dead bodies of Taliban fighters. They are fighting us because we are infidels that are in their country …………. which they want to rule. How long are we going to stay in Afghanistan, until the country converts to Christianity and/or install a western style democracy? I don’t think that either is going to happen.

SC.Charlie on January 13, 2012 at 2:00 PM

We don’t ?do this”? Please.

Malachi45 on January 13, 2012 at 10:31 AM

And you think we should? Sorry to disappoint, but the preponderance of your military forces would very much look down on this behavior.

hawkdriver on January 13, 2012 at 10:37 AM

No, as I said earlier, for breach of discipline that kind of thing can’t be allowed and if it gets out, as in this case, it is bad PR. But the over reaction and moralizing is unwarranted. And I don’t see it as despicable and immoral. They should be reprimanded and it left at that. No courts martial and no ranting by Hillary and Panetta. It’s just not a big deal to me what they did. But I understand the need for discipline.

Malachi45 on January 13, 2012 at 2:05 PM

This is a really small deal.

Old Country Boy on January 13, 2012 at 10:01 AM

No, this is what encourages blowback. We’re doing more to create terrorists than we are in stopping them.

Dante on January 13, 2012 at 10:08 AM

Tell Ron “blowback” Paul I said hi.

Malachi45 on January 13, 2012 at 2:09 PM

As always, a great comment. And I know your’s come from experience.

hawkdriver on January 13, 2012 at 12:39 PM

Thanks for the kind words, but my experience never involved shooting a gun except on the range. I’ve been shot at, mortared etc. but I didn’t carry a gun.

But my perspective on combat bravado was shaped back in when our C-130s were deployed to Howard, AFB (Panama) to take down Noreiga under Pappy Bush.

In the buildup to deploy, we had bucks young and old talking smack; yet when the shooting (miles away) started, these Rambos were terrified – soiling pants, throwing up and all when we had a mission to get the birds turned around. Combat and/or near-combat (where you think/feel like it’s really happening to you) brings out one’s true character.

One of these Rambos, on a TDY the year before talked me and a couple buddies into maybe “raiding” a local police station and stealing one of their flags. It sounded like a good prank – afterall, he’d done that once to an Arkansas State Police station. After casing the target a couple of times, we thot the better of it as the place was always full of armed police hanging around. But this dude still wouldn’t give up the idea and talked about doing it at night, but nobody would go with him, so it never happened. In his mind, we were too chicken.

Jump forward a year later, he was one of the terrified. But after it was all over, you could say that was when he became a man and put childish thots away. He recently retired as an E-9.

I don’t knock those guys because it could happen to anyone that hasn’t been tested yet; in that you like to believe that you’d have courage, instead when the moment comes, you freak out.

By the same token, we can talk ad nauseum about how these snipers should behave, but discipline can not always hold back the adrenaline rush that hits immediately after a deadly fire fight. Sh!t happens and it may be counterproductive to “building relations”, but it shouldn’t be a career ender for these guys.

Or as one Nam vet told me, it’s all theory until the bullets fly.

AH_C on January 13, 2012 at 2:10 PM

But I understand the need for discipline.

Malachi45 on January 13, 2012 at 2:05 PM

Then I don’t understand why you included me in your comment.

hawkdriver on January 13, 2012 at 2:11 PM

SC.Charlie on January 13, 2012 at 2:00 PM

Okay, let’s see. I don’t think any of those things are going to happen either. I still don’t understand your question or what it has to do with my opinion as you quoted in your first comment to me. I get the impression you’re trying to make a bigger point but I’m not following the rationale. If you think we need to leave to avoid any other occurrences like this, just say that. You don’t need my permission.

hawkdriver on January 13, 2012 at 2:25 PM

2) The Afghan people no longer live under Sharia Law.
…………… both objectives that I believe are impossible.

SC.Charlie on January 13, 2012 at 1:14 PM

How is this any of our business? I thought the purpose was going in to root out and destroy bin Laden and Al Qaeda?

Dante on January 13, 2012 at 2:29 PM

Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.), a former Army lieutenant colonel, sends THE WEEKLY STANDARD an email commenting on the Marines’ video, and has given us permission to publish it.
allenwest

“I have sat back and assessed the incident with the video of our Marines urinating on Taliban corpses. I do not recall any self-righteous indignation when our Delta snipers Shugart and Gordon had their bodies dragged through Mogadishu. Neither do I recall media outrage and condemnation of our Blackwater security contractors being killed, their bodies burned, and hung from a bridge in Fallujah.

“All these over-emotional pundits and armchair quarterbacks need to chill. Does anyone remember the two Soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division who were beheaded and gutted in Iraq?

“The Marines were wrong. Give them a maximum punishment under field grade level Article 15 (non-judicial punishment), place a General Officer level letter of reprimand in their personnel file, and have them in full dress uniform stand before their Battalion, each personally apologize to God, Country, and Corps videotaped and conclude by singing the full US Marine Corps Hymn without a teleprompter.

“As for everyone else, unless you have been shot at by the Taliban, shut your mouth, war is hell.”

You-Eh-Vee on January 13, 2012 at 2:39 PM

Okay, let’s see. I don’t think any of those things are going to happen either. I still don’t understand your question or what it has to do with my opinion as you quoted in your first comment to me. I get the impression you’re trying to make a bigger point but I’m not following the rationale. If you think we need to leave to avoid any other occurrences like this, just say that. You don’t need my permission. – hawkdriver on January 13, 2012 at 2:25 PM

Hawk, I was using your quote was just a starting point to a much larger question. I will defer to you on what should and will happen to the soldiers involved in what I would call a minor, isolated incident that has been blown all out of proportion by the media.

This war can not be won by us, it is going to have be won by the “good” Afghans, if there are enough “good” Afghans to stand and fight the Taliban. And, the country that they create is probably not going to be our liking. It will be an Islamic state ruled by Shara Law.

SC.Charlie on January 13, 2012 at 2:42 PM

AH_C on January 13, 2012 at 2:10 PM

Similar story in reference to a Door Gunner that wanted to do a rotation with our detachment. It was a big deal to say you gunned for us. He came and practically begged to be picked over another guy from his unit were considering. We took him. About two weeks into his group’s rotation, he was in an aircraft behind mine gunning for my Detachment Commander. The compound we landed to was on his side of the helicopter and a Taliban Fighter with a PKM came around a corner and was praying and spraying. The PKM Gunner managed to hit The Commander’s aircraft a grand total of one time before my gunner killed him. As we’re taking off though you can see on an Apache video the return fire coming from this gunner on my commander’s aircraft and rounds are hitting everywhere but PKM Dude who is now mortally wounded by my guy. He was obviously unnerved. We get to Delaram to refuel and wait for the extraction call and Gung Ho Gunner finally sees the damage one 7.62 round does traveling through a cabin door, then a transition section of the tailboom, through an avionic component in the tail and out the other side and is even more unnerved. He left the Detachment the next day.

He’s no wuss because in the end, he put it on the line. Against all of his fears. I’ll admire him for the rest of my life for volunteering. But you’re right, it is not for everyone and you do never know until you’re there how you’ll perform.

I will also tell you I have a contemporary (fellow pilot) that I cannot be as gracious with in my opinion though based on his obvious avoidance of missions. It is hard because he was a good friend of mine. It is not for everyone.

hawkdriver on January 13, 2012 at 2:46 PM

How is this any of our business? I thought the purpose was going in to root out and destroy bin Laden and Al Qaeda? – Dante on January 13, 2012 at 2:29 PM

What made Afghanistan a haven for bin Laden and Al Qaeda ….. the strict rule of Shara Law of the Taliban.

SC.Charlie on January 13, 2012 at 2:46 PM

“As for everyone else, unless you have been shot at by the Taliban, shut your mouth, war is hell.”
You-Eh-Vee on January 13, 2012 at 2:39 PM

Exactly. And West should know, given the way he was run out by a PC Dubya admin.

AH_C on January 13, 2012 at 2:47 PM

He’s no wuss because in the end, he put it on the line. Against all of his fears. I’ll admire him for the rest of my life for volunteering. But you’re right, it is not for everyone and you do never know until you’re there how you’ll perform.

I will also tell you I have a contemporary (fellow pilot) that I cannot be as gracious with in my opinion though based on his obvious avoidance of missions. It is hard because he was a good friend of mine. It is not for everyone.

hawkdriver on January 13, 2012 at 2:46 PM

Yup.

AH_C on January 13, 2012 at 2:50 PM

SC.Charlie on January 13, 2012 at 2:42 PM

Not withstanding Dante’s trying to make you say something in that comment that you’re obviously not, I’ll have to say that I understand your point but don’t entirely agree. I don’t entirely disagree.

The war gets harder to win with every restriction further placed on our soldiers in regards to our ROE and also, with every episode like this that sets operations back. I don’t think this war is lost by any stretch of the imagination. We won’t meet the objectives you put in your comment, but I’m pretty sure those were rhetorical to begin with. Victory to me would be a successful withdrawal from kinetic operations being conducted by our troops actually on the ground. An Afghani government left in place that would be capable of sustaining itself and at least restricting the Taliban to a minority political entity. Anything else they do for themselves in the manner in continuing towards a semblance of democracy and greater rights for their women and children, icing on the cake. Their individual rights that I speak of may not mean much to others who proclaim we only have a right to intervene where American interests are concerned, but I have Afghani friends. What happens to them and their families is important to me also. At this point though like so many other commenters have said, that is really up to them now as a people.

hawkdriver on January 13, 2012 at 3:05 PM

It has been so long I have forgotten. Did the Muslims of Afghanistan ask to be liberated and recalibrated to western standards of morality and liberal thought?

Why would they turn from Islam for money, blankets and c*alis? Outside of Karzai and gang and a whisper thin layer of secular parasites, the land is full of very very simple people with nothing to offer and no reason/chance to change due to an invisible ideology that can’t be discussed.

Continue fighting fire with the western moral high ground. The Muslims won’t notice but the latte sucking retards will be calmed.

BL@KBIRD on January 13, 2012 at 3:15 PM

There are some GREAT newbs-but HA’s taken a dive recently.
That’s not just my opinion either.
It’s far from it.

annoyinglittletwerp on January 13, 2012 at 12:34 AM

Good post! Bravo! Fantastico!

You wrote that totally as if anyone who is a “newb,” as you say, could possibly care what your opinion or that of any other Hot Gas curmudgeon is regarding the latest open reg.

BTW – steebo was right.

Horace on January 13, 2012 at 12:44 AM

And so, Horace feels duty-bound to leap to the fore and demonstrate why alt is right.
Thank you, Horace. You’re a shining light for your generation.

Solaratov on January 13, 2012 at 3:22 PM

Hawk, I will concur with your post of 3:05PM in what might be considered a victory. I will admit that I am totally frustrated with the war and our so-called Afghan allies. I can only pray that the Taliban is defeated and a much more moderate form of Sharia Law used in the government’s courts which we leave behind.

SC.Charlie on January 13, 2012 at 3:23 PM

I did not go through all the comments in this thread. At the risk of this being a repost, I want to direct you to Rep. Allen West’s email :
http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/allen-west-marines-incident-shut-your-mouth-war-hell_616699.html

galtani on January 13, 2012 at 3:47 PM

Next time, make sure they are on fire.

nico on January 13, 2012 at 3:49 PM

By Vietnam War standards this rates like a .5 on the atrocities meter! As for those bitching about it, once you’ve had the blood of a friend on your hands then, MAYBE, I’ll listen to you!

Dread Pirate Roberts VI on January 13, 2012 at 4:15 PM

They are subhumans. Google what the Taliban did to women when they were in charge. I’d treat the corpse of my dog with more respect than their corpses.

Oh noes! They’re filled with anger and resentment? They have been for decades, every time a human Westerner takes a dump in the woods. Oh, too bad. Face your societal shortcomings and fix yourselves, or die with Marines pissing on you.

quikstrike98 on January 13, 2012 at 4:50 PM

This +1. What these Marines did was objectively bad for the mission.

reginaldL on January 13, 2012 at 7:59 AM

Yes it was, given that the mission is to serve Islam.

VorDaj on January 13, 2012 at 5:12 PM

If these Marines had wizzed on a stack of Bibles as they were burning them on orders from their generals, they would be in no trouble at all and all set for a promotion if anything.

VorDaj on January 13, 2012 at 5:14 PM

I can only pray that the Taliban is defeated and a much more moderate form of Sharia Law used in the government’s courts which we leave behind.

SC.Charlie on January 13, 2012 at 3:23 PM

Why not start out small in your praying and wish for maybe a cure for cancer or a warp drive starship and if that comes about then pray for that much bigger miracle.

VorDaj on January 13, 2012 at 5:18 PM

All American lives and limbs and billions put into Afghanistan are just an obscene sacrifice to the ego driven freak generals. The whole country isn’t worth a bucket of piss, warm or cold. That anyone could work himself up into a grand state of frenzy over some wizzing on some dead Taliban would be hilarious if not so disgusting.

VorDaj on January 13, 2012 at 5:28 PM

I for one saw no big outrage from the High-and-Sanctimonious when a British soldier’s head was used for a soccer ball by the Taliban, and in the end, a little bit of payback is exactly … … well, you know what it is.

VorDaj on January 13, 2012 at 5:35 PM

Why not start out small in your praying and wish for maybe a cure for cancer or a warp drive starship and if that comes about then pray for that much bigger miracle. – VorDaj on January 13, 2012 at 5:18 PM

Point well taken.

SC.Charlie on January 13, 2012 at 5:42 PM

always take a pee on the en-ah-mee!

reliapundit on January 13, 2012 at 7:01 PM

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