Sunday, January 15, 2012

Piss Hard

The Marines I have seen around the world
have the cleanest bodies, the filthiest minds,

the highest morale, and the lowest morals

of any group of animals I have ever seen.

Thank God for the United States Marine Corps

--Eleanor Roosevelt

The Marines have landed

and have the situation well in hand!

--Richard Harding Davis

Marines know how to use their bayonets.

Army bayonets may as well be paperweights

Navy Times (1994)

The news is abuzz with the story of the four Marines filmed pissing on the bodies of dead
suspected Taliban fighters.

Begin with the premise that these are corpses are "suspected Taliban" -- dead, necro, stiff, checked out, finis, kaput . . .
suspected. When did being Taliban become a death sentence? Don't Taliban sit in the Afghanistan parliament?

These Marines are warriors; it is extremely doubtful that a soldier would piss on a dead enemy fighter, but clearly the warrior culture permits the behavior. Presidential candidate Perry says the action was that of "kids" making a stupid mistake. Now Marines wielding deadly weapons are relegated to kid status. That statement seems as egregious as calling a black man a "boy", and yet it has passed nicely under the scrutiny of the porous Republican radar.

The pissing Marines are emblematic of a warrior culture run amok. Killing is no longer sufficient, so humiliation must be heaped upon the dead. However, this impulse to desecration runs up against the Geneva Conventions which were passed into law to provide minimal standards of conduct between combatants. Pissing on dead bodies is not in keeping with the intent of the conventions.

How do things like this happen? What is the command climate that permits
such disregard of civilized human conduct? Does our training or our never-ending wars contribute to this mindset?

Some say, "What matter?" -- this is one small episode in a larger SNAFU. While that may be true, that fact does not diminish the import or significance of the act. The abject disdain and revilement shown in the act and its filming may be seen as the embodiment of the culture of elective wars, writ small. Peeing on dead opposition soldiers is a microcosm of a destitute military policy. The videotape of actions like this one will serve as future
naufrages of a time and place.

The fact that fighting men would photograph this disgusting behavior is indicative of a bankruptcy of spirit which results from adopting warrior values. Warriors must be brave, but what matter if they are morally bankrupt? If the warriors are bankrupt, our social fabric is rent.

Psychologically, this is a sado-masochistic act in which the Marines are sexually humiliating a fallen enemy. The behavior is aberrant, but moreso when death and killing are involved. It is also (possibly) homoerotic.

You would not applaud the behavior in a snuff film, and yet a trash-talking female "news commentator" proudly declares she would
"drop trou" and join in the Marine's pissing game. Most who oppose the situation only find fault with the filming of it. But would you want your daughter dating such men?

What sort of society are we when we execute and defend such behavior? Ranger believes the Marine's action signify a personality disorder, and he would recommend psychological evaluation and discharge on that basis.

This is a real pisher. The values of warriors are not the values of a liberal democratic philosophy.

--Jim and Lisa 

[UPDATE: One of the Marines, Rob Richards, died of a suspected accidental overdose of painkillers AUG 2014. See, "For Marine who urinated on dead Taliban, a hero's funeral at Arlington".]

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Blogger Underground Carpenter said...

Hi Jim and Lisa,

"Obviously, 18-, 19-year-old kids make stupid mistakes all too often. And that's what's occurred here," Perry told CNN's "State of the Union."

The biggest mistake those kids made was joining the military and putting "following orders" above individual thought, which shows that they are still, in fact, children. Childhood is not an age, it is a condition; a condition that education might lead them out of.


Monday, January 16, 2012 at 5:16:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You nailed it Jim - the difference between citizen soldiers and "warriors".

Also, the USMC has always been the tip of the US imperial spear and this, IMO, accounts for much of the difference in Corps culture versus Army, with imperialism demanding a more of a warrior than a citizen soldier.

I doubt those scout snipers are 18/19 years old. My guess would be 20 something.



Monday, January 16, 2012 at 6:23:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Repo Man said...

" But would you want your daughter dating such men?"

Would you want your daughter dating a SUSPECTED Taliban Ranger? Google Taliban atrocities, then rethink your moral outrage.

Men in war kill. I've seen dumb shit on the battlefield, this war is no different.

Monday, January 16, 2012 at 7:50:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

repo man ,
i'm not morally outraged. my comments are as cool as my old man dick. a rule in the military is to keep control of your dick. when you don't bad things always follow. on or off the battlefield.
my outrage is that we throw soldiers into no win situations and they have nothing to win for this country. sad but true the Taliban will always be there even after the piss evaporates. our whole pwot is a macrocosm of this event-we've been pissing up a rope , into the wind and the whole US effort has been a POLISH FAN.
i fail to see how the killing of Taliban equates to the security of America.
when a soldier loses his humanity then he's no longer a soldier. when this happens he becomes a warrior.somehow my feeble mind equates warriorhood with paganism and barbaric activity. it's all to biblical for my sorry ass to comprehend.
what would you do if you saw someone/anyone pissing on a grave in Arlington Natn cemetery???!?
i'm pleased that you participate in the blog.

Monday, January 16, 2012 at 8:11:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

to all,this is a cmt that i made at abu m this morn.
every one of you that discount or defend this action i have a little question.
what would you do if you saw a person pissing on a grave site in any national cemetery??
just wondering.
btw - i never proposed LOVING an enemy. i proposed not hating them.
you guys are often young troops looking forward to life , and i'm an old washed up fart and one thing is certain in life. ALL WARS END!! and what do you do with the hatred when it's over.?
we do not have the luxury to hate IF WE WANT TO LIVE a meaningful life. please remember that soldiering is a transitory stage and someday you must move beyond it's strictures.
hate is not a christian virtue.
did christ hate his killers??

Monday, January 16, 2012 at 8:22:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

to all,
we now have a Marine general in charge of the AFGH enterprise, operationally speaking.
obviously hearts and minds are no longer relevant in our phony war.
i'd guess that this event will be swept under the rug.
what in the hell puts US Marines in a land locked country that is out of range of naval gunfire?? wtf?
has piss replaced naval gunfire?
Imagine this scenario- 20 years from now-- i'd like you to meet the CSM of the USMC. he was one of the guys that pissed on dead bodies!! will this ever happen?

Monday, January 16, 2012 at 8:37:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Repo Man said...

I'm no dummy. The US nation building mission in Afghanistan is destined to failure. After the US exits AF/Pac the real bloodbath begins. Every non-Taliban Afghani knows the US does not have the staying power and are already thinking of the bloody unintended consequences of a US exit.

Many Americans are blissfully unaware of those consequences after the last helicopter left the roof of the American embassy in 1975

History repeats itself

Monday, January 16, 2012 at 8:41:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

repo man,
fwiw- i never said, nor indicated that you are a dummy.

Monday, January 16, 2012 at 8:46:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Repo Man said...

" i have a little question.
what would you do if you saw a person pissing on a grave site in any national cemetery"

There's one in particular I'd like to piss on... a three star

FYI, some of the bravest men on the battlefield were CO medics. They believed killing to be antithesis of their religious beliefs. The one's I know are still haunted by their battlefield experience.

Monday, January 16, 2012 at 9:01:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Repo Man said...

Ranger, I never thought you said I was a dummy. No problem here, keep up the good work.

Monday, January 16, 2012 at 9:05:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


I do not like hypocrisy, and changing labels as befits an agenda is hypocrisy.

Are the Marines boys or men? I'd go for "men". As you state, maturity is a function of the mind, not the chronological age.

Monday, January 16, 2012 at 1:00:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous tw said...

In all wars the military tries to dehumanize the enemy. That leads to a lot of this stuff

To kind of change the subject a bit, this event brought back memories to me. Upon first arriving in VN in 68, being a nug (new guy) with the unit I got stuck pulling KP. After one meal we had to take the garbage to the dump off base. There were lots of Vietnamese scronging in the dump. (One old pappasan was picking up beer and pop cans and drinking any leftovers) Anyway, we dumped the garbage off the truck. It contained lots of leftover food. I'll never forget, this Sgt in charge stood on the tailgate and pissed all over the food right infront of those Vietnamese. Talk about winning the hearts and minds. Welcome to VN. My first dealings with the locals.

Monday, January 16, 2012 at 1:12:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

not a good memory. their still there and we're long gone.
actions like you describe is why we'll NEVER win an insurgency.

Monday, January 16, 2012 at 3:56:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger FDChief said...

Interesting - what came to my mind when I heard about this, jim, was the old stories about "warriors" taking enemy heads or fingers, or torturing their captives to see "how brave" they were (as well as for the fun of it...)

Same-same, ISTM, and this is just part of the point about Westerners NOT gettign involved in land wars in Asia or foreign civil wars or just these nasty little brushfire wars in general.

Because they ARE nasty, and if you wade into the shitstream for long enough you start to develop a pretty shitty attitude yourself, as these guys seem to have.

But my question would be - where the FUCK were these guys' NCO chain? Didn't ANYone take them by the dick and point out that doing shit like this - even worse, taking movies of shit like this - just helps your enemy? Trust me - these dead muj or whatever they were did and are doing more for the Talibs dead and pissed on than they would have if they'd lived to be 100 and been the next best thing in Western ass-whipping since Suleiman the Magnificent...

The privvits being short-sighted and cock-strong I can live with; that's what privvits are for. But the fact that not a single NCO caught up with these young dumbasses and tightened up their shot group...well, damn. And here I thought we were all high-speed professionals now...

Monday, January 16, 2012 at 6:06:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Repo Man said...

To answer your last question let me relate to you what one female Warrior Iraqi Vet told me. I asked her a question about her experience returning to Kuwait after being wounded. I won't get into the details, but I was struck dumb by her reply to my question as to why she didn't go to her up the chain of command with her very valid and serious grievances ? She looked at me and said they were either in on it or didn't give a shit. So much for Professionalism and the new 'Army of One' ethos.

Monday, January 16, 2012 at 7:30:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger FDChief said...

RM: I can't tell you how fucked up that is. I joined back in '80 after the USA had spent half a decade rebuilding the NCO Corps that had been hammered by the RVN; it took damn near a generation to relearn the hard lessons of discipline and accountability. And it sounds like a lot of that has been burned up in these Third World shitholes.

What a clusterfuck.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012 at 10:11:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Grung_e_Gene said...

What must never be acknowledged. what must never be talked about. What the MIC and the people who was eloquently about war and combat and crucible of manhood is that War itself is a Crime.

Because there is too much money at stake and those who profit from War are never, ever endangered by it.

And this is just another stain, another injury humanity and these men will endure, which will come around and damage all of us.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012 at 10:32:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...


This has always been my non-tested hypothesis: There is a cosmic scale (well, an earth scale), and it tips according to the misery or kindness which predominates at any given time.

Misery feeding upon itself, as it is wont to do, we're in a poor turn of the wheel right now. I think people are not very good at pulling out of a nosedive, so must crash before trying over.

At least that's what our myths allude to, what with phoenix's and resurrections ...

Wednesday, January 18, 2012 at 12:32:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

(sorry for mixing all the metaphors. I feel like Latka Gravis)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012 at 12:34:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

OVER AT ABU MUQAWAMA there are those that deny that soldiers can retain their humanity. further they believe that hatred is a soldierly virtue.
it's all strange. bottom line-can we name anything worthwhile that is based on hatred.
war is hatred on steroids.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012 at 1:42:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have finally sorted this incident out in my feeble old mind - took long enough.

I wonder how the defenders of the pissed off Marines would feel about the concept of urinating on dead if their local (or federal) LE pissed on dead perp.s after a shoot out.

I suspect there would be a lot more outrage and mostly for the right reasons.

This incident is only tangentially combat related. What it is directly about is red neck racism in a venue where it can fully express itself without reprecussion.

The command structure is at fault for allowing a red neck theme park atmosphere to develop for troops inclined to enjoy that kind of ammusement.


Wednesday, January 18, 2012 at 7:02:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

yes indeed. have you followed the thread at abu m re;war??
there's a hard core of support for these guys. it's strange and hard to accept.
bottom line is that we're trying to logic it out and they're using emotional thinking. this is strange for Marines to do.
i always thought that they'd think critically since that's req'd for soldiering.

Thursday, January 19, 2012 at 8:32:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes. I have been following the thread over at abu - I was going to leave a comment there yesterday, but the site was down due to the SOPA protest.

Critical thinking?!!?? It is a rare mental contortionist that can think critically while screaming "Blood makes the grass grow! Marines make the blood flow!"

That's the issue I had with the Corps that I mentioned on another thread.

But I think you jest.....


Thursday, January 19, 2012 at 9:37:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

actually i jest not.
being a combat leader is the application of pure logic.
if it is absent then you end up with wayguls over and over again.
the principles of war are pure logic.
in fact it's all perfectly understandable- even to a grunt.
we used to teach this stuff in officer development courses.
i have no idea what's happening these days, but i have a suspicion.

Thursday, January 19, 2012 at 10:03:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think it is perfectly understandable to the avg grunt. As a former "pogue", however, I can't/probably shouldn't speak to combat leader training/application because I didn't go through any of that (MOS 1391 and 0231). To qualify, I have my suspicions based on observation and interactions with combat arms types and their culture.

My son (1st Lt USA/ground pounder) seems to be ckock full of tactical logic and theories. And he seems to have integrated these into his thinking and actions; unless I am misinterpreting him. However he does indicate that he doesn't have a lot of confidence in his peers ability to lead, think, etc. and, then again, he is pretty talented and cocky, so maybe he is being unfair to his more reserved peers.


Thursday, January 19, 2012 at 11:35:00 AM GMT-5  

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