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View Diary: The Sordid Truth about the United States Marine Corps (317 comments)

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  •  You are wrong if you think the urination was crazy (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gffish, oldpunk, Sandino

    That was a sniper team.  They pick off the enemy, combatants, targets, whatever by stealth.  It is their job to hunt people.

    The video was a "trophy" video, for bragging rights in bars or  barracks or wherever.    Whatever  the story is,.  we don't even know if the people shot were "suspects", chance individuals or combatants.

    We also don't know if the release of the video was simple braggadocio  by some member of the combat sniper team, or by someone else deliberately calculated  to inflame a controversy over staying longer or  shorter period about the future stay or  withdrawal from Afghanistan.  We don't have any firm knowledge of the backstory about how this video was popularized and what time period it represents and why it is getting the traction it is right now.  

    We just don't know at this point.

    The snipers have time and patience in their activities.

    They are trained in a cool calm deliberate and professional manner to shoot and kill.  Nothing crazy about it at all.

    If you think that you and a bunch of other people can just show up on Wall St, camp out and have any effect whatsoever.... well, you will be run off in 20 minutes., you will leave town having wasted your effort 6/18/11.

    by BeeDeeS on Sun Jan 15, 2012 at 05:20:20 PM PST

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    •  Yes, but they were not trained to urinate on (0+ / 0-)

      people by the Marine Corps.  Snipers are prime targets during battle.  Snipers are also hunted by other snipers.  

      •  This is how they are trained (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Timaeus, Sandino, David Kroning II

        From the Winter Soldier testimony:

        I think that My Lais can still take place in Vietnam, but I think because of the My Lai exposure, it's going to be less likely. In terms of why, the whys involve a lot of things. In the first place probably the main thing is Army training, and I'm going to have John talk about this in a minute, but Army training is dehumanizing. The Army knows how to train soldiers, and so do the Marines, and so do the Navy. Most of you experienced basic training, and one of the things that happens in basic training is you don't get much sleep. When you don't get much sleep, you become an automaton. When you become an automaton, you begin to follow orders--the idea of killing and sticking bayonets into the model soldiers, the whole business of the gooks, the Vietnamese are inferior, which is constantly drummed into your heads. It's a kind of programming.

        So they may not be trained to urinate on people but they certainly are trained to be racists. In Vietnam, they were trained to kill gooks, in Iraq they were trained to kill hajis.

        Marine corps officers use this racist term.

        Remember history, Clay Claiborne, Director Vietnam: American Holocaust - narrated by Martin Sheen

        by Clay Claiborne on Sun Jan 15, 2012 at 09:56:38 PM PST

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        •  No. (1+ / 0-)
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          Sharoney

          No service member is trained to be a racist. Not the Army, Air Force, Navy or the Marines. Marines are the pointy end of the stick of American policy and they are trained for one purpose and only one purpose, to kill the enemy. The Marines aren’t sent in to negotiate, and in my opinion shouldn’t be sent in to build schools and hospitals. They are sent to seek out and kill as many of the enemy as they can find.

          To accomplish this unpleasant but sometimes necessary goal, the men and women of the military and especially the Marines are trained to see the enemy as not quite human, you may think that is racist but you would be wrong it is not racist but rather necessary because it aids in easing the incredible mental burden and anguish that often comes with killing another human being. Dehumanizing the enemy in war is unavoidable and necessary if we wish our military men and women to survive and achieve success.

          We sometimes forget the psychological cost to our men and women fighting for our country. There are epidemic Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome cases of our soldiers returning from Afghanistan and Iraq. Dealing with the stress of combat is like fighting a war within a war and we shouldn’t be shocked when a release of this nature occurs. This doesn’t mean we excuse the behaviour. But we don't vilify an entire branch of service either.

          So what kind of punishment - if any - should the Marines receive? I don’t know. In the act of urination they desecrated a dead body, apart from that they weren’t torturing people, so maybe they should be punished for being dumb enough to record it.

          Life is risky, politics is war, government is force and liberty is very expensive.

          by oldpunk on Sun Jan 15, 2012 at 11:32:57 PM PST

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    •  And nothing moral about it as well. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Clay Claiborne, Sandino

      Rick Perry said a day or two ago that they were just "kids" and it was terrible to criticize them as criminals.

    •  Whatever. They don't have a right to (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gffish, Sandino

      desecrate the dead, which is an ancient taboo, not to mention a clear-cut violation of U.S. military law, international law, and common sense.

      Hard to believe anybody would be so debased and degraded as to defend them for this war crime.

      •  No one is defending that, Timaeus. (4+ / 0-)

        The anger against the diarist has to do with his smearing AN ENTIRE GROUP OF PEOPLE who have put their lives on the line for more than two centuries because of the actions of a few.

        Hard to believe that anyone would be so debased and clueless as to defend that kind of shallow, reductionist spin.

        "The truth will set you free...but first it'll piss you off." - Gloria Steinem

        by Sharoney on Sun Jan 15, 2012 at 07:43:12 PM PST

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        •  The Marine Corps can defend itself quite well. (5+ / 0-)

          They are investigating this incident and will come up with some logical sequence and address the  common article violations incurred.

          What criticism is launched here or the entire mission in Afghanistan  coming under critical review is not going to undermine America  or the Corps.

          The thrust of the diary is to ask what the real mission of the services is and has been in Afghanistan, Vietnam and elsewhere since WW 2.

          If that bothers you, refute it or tout the successes of the policy. How it has won hearts and minds for the USA.

          You want to carry on a counterattack on the mission of accountability and justification for the presence in these countries, to act as an occupying force demanding certain behaviors of people with no input?

          Go ahead, make that case.  If you can.  It is easier to protest, deliver up outrage and attack the diarist for his message.  To use the comment section to villify him.

          Did you know the killer of 4 homeless men in California just apprehended,  a 23 year old was a recently discharged Marine?  Did you know his father was also homeless recently, Did you know one of the men murdered was a homeless Vietnam Vet?  

          There is a tragedy here greater than the prosaic accounting of who was killed and how many and you want to shut down the discussion of how a force supposedly for defense has been turned into something many former veterans would be uncomfortable serving in today.

          You are hijacking the thread plain and simple.

          If you think that you and a bunch of other people can just show up on Wall St, camp out and have any effect whatsoever.... well, you will be run off in 20 minutes., you will leave town having wasted your effort 6/18/11.

          by BeeDeeS on Sun Jan 15, 2012 at 09:02:37 PM PST

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          •  I heard the father say that his son (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Timaeus, Sandino

            was never the same after he returned from Iraq. So I think if you really want to know why these 4 homeless men were killed you have to know what happened to this Marine in Iraq.

            If you want to prevent this in the future you have to look at the things I am talking about, but you would rather disassociate the Marine Corps for any fault in this and sweep that connection under the rug.

            That's why this shit keeps happening.

            Remember history, Clay Claiborne, Director Vietnam: American Holocaust - narrated by Martin Sheen

            by Clay Claiborne on Sun Jan 15, 2012 at 10:13:01 PM PST

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          •  No, the thrust of this diary (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            VClib

            was the writer's attempt slander an entire branch of the service, its members and its tradition, in a badly-written attempt to make a point that has been made much more eloquently, and with NO self-aggrandization, by others.

            And to promote his damn book.

            That's my beef. I've not excused the actions of the pigs and others like them who dishonor the service and the uniform they were privileged to wear by desecrating the dead.

            I've not excused the dehumanizing of the enemy in the name of "toughening up" a young recruit. I've not excused racism as a tool for the same.

            I've not condemned COs. I had friends in high school and in college who hated the war, refused to serve, and served their country honorably in other ways.

            I've not glorified war. I protested against it, probably before half the self-righteous commenters applauding this POS diary were out of diapers.

            But I've been accused of every one of these things by people who just had to get their antiwar creds burnished by signing on to a diary that labels every single Marine a mass murderer. Congratulations! You've just given credence to every right-wing cliche about the left.

            This place used to be better than that. Not any more.

            This diary is an over-the top hatchet job, and I stand by that statement.

            "The truth will set you free...but first it'll piss you off." - Gloria Steinem

            by Sharoney on Mon Jan 16, 2012 at 11:37:48 AM PST

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      •  Desecration of the dead of this nature (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        VClib

        doesn't meet the criteria for a war crime.

        Life is risky, politics is war, government is force and liberty is very expensive.

        by oldpunk on Sun Jan 15, 2012 at 11:38:02 PM PST

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    •  BDS - sniper teams (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Thousandwatts, Sharoney

      As you noted sniper teams look for specific targets, and are patient, so it's highly likely that the dead were armed combatants.

      The incident is regrettable, a PR nightmare, and shows a clear lack of leadership particularly by the NCO in charge of this sniper team, and his platoon leader. However, sniper teams work in a way that is often extremely stressful, frequently alone, isolated, and exposed at any time to overwhelming force by the enemy. This behavior is not excusable, but I understand why it happens.  I think most people who have been in extended combat operations have a deeper understanding of the reasons.

      VClib USA 1969-1975  

      "let's talk about that"

      by VClib on Sun Jan 15, 2012 at 10:09:55 PM PST

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