There have been a few embarrassments over the years for the US Military, but the recent video of young marines in Afghanistan urinating on the bodies of dead Taliban fighters has me reeling in utter disgust. As a citizen of the United States, this harms every one of us, opens the world up to more conflict, and burns the bridges of authenticity and goodness that the majority of our leaders and people have been trying to accomplish!
It showcases how these young men have no value for the dignity of all persons.
And God said: Let us make mankind in our image/b’tsalmeinu, as our likeness/kid’muteinu. And they will have dominion over [the animals]…․And God created humankind in His image /b’tsalmo, in God’s image/tselem He created him, male and female He created them. And God blessed them and God said to them: Be fruitfull and multiply, and fill the land and occupy it, and have dominion over the sea’s fish and the skies’ bird and every animal crawling over the land. (source)
If one desires to have positive outcomes in life, if one wants to live in community with people in our own neighborhoods and in the world, if a person wants to have true respect for anyone other than oneself – recognizing that all humans are children of God, and that even our enemies (especially after death) deserve to be given back to God and given the treatment we would want.
In the Old Testament, King David had people in his court who disagreed with how well he treated his enemies. Then King David had a man unethically and despicably placed at the front of the battle lines to steal the man’s wife. David’s General saw this and from that point forward treated their enemies more brutally and David had lost the authenticity that would have been an argument against doing harm to others.
Every time individuals make
bad unwise destructive vulgar decisions that obviously devalue the humanity of all persons, we slap our allies and friends in the face who are trying to work with us towards stability and peace in the world.
What kind of punishment does this deserve? When they discover who did this, I hope that it makes a statement that this is never okay. I hope that it comes from someone who can keep the military accountable and on their toes with some authority, and I hope that the response comes not just from disgust, but from a deep sense that all human beings who die in battle could be treated with respect and buried without desecration. We would be more than disgusted if it had been the other way around.
We are a nation that is both strong, and good. These four or five do not represent the Marines, or us.
Actual Video Link Below (Caution: Vulgar Image)
Washington Post Article (Click)