I joined the United States Marine Corps in 1988.  That one sentence always makes me smile, because if you knew me, you’d be surprised I was a Marine. I’m not real military material – and Marines are the cream of the crop.  But I made it through boot camp and spent 3 years in North Carolina and finally a year in Okinawa.  I got out with an honorable discharge in 1992.

I did not serve in a typical Marine type of job. I worked in an office for the most part.  I spent a year working as a Chaplain’s assistant, then working for a Logistics office and finally for an Intelligence office while in Okinawa.  I basically did…paperwork.  But a Marine is a Marine is a Marine.

For someone whose job was to do paperwork, I was always surprised by the amount of time I spent out in the field on exercises and forced marches and other such non-administrative tasks. The reason for this is primarily tied to what I said already.  A Marine is a Marine is a Marine. A Marine is to always be prepared to fight – no matter what their actual day-to-day job is.

I will be the first to admit to you that being a career Marine was not for me. That’s why I got out. I had other ambitions and the lifestyle was a little more than what I wanted.  But I always understood one thing about being a Marine.  It was something to be looked at as a great honor.  Not everyone wears that title and it’s a title filled with a lot of history and should always be treated with great respect.

The Marine Corps motto is “Semper Fidelis” or “Semper Fi” which translates to “Always Faithful”.  In essence, the way I always understood this is that you are faithful to your God, your country, your family and the Corps. This is why even 20 years after getting out of the Corps, I still think of myself as a Marine.  There is no such thing as an ex-Marine.  We are a band of men and women who form a group that not many understand.  It’s an honorable group filled with dignity and blood and tears of many wars over the course of our history.  Even if you never fought in a war, you are a part of that group because you are a Marine.

This is why I find myself in a very unenviable position today. This week a video came out of some Marine soldiers urinating on dead Taliban soldiers. As of this writing, it appears the video is legitimate. And as one may expect, this video has been met with outrage across the world.

However, I have seen a very confusing reaction amongst people in our own country. I – as a conservative Republican – tend to lean towards the attitudes that most conservatives share.  So imagine my surprise when the general reaction of most conservatives I read about was basically, “eh…no big deal.”  No big deal? These Marines urinated on dead people! How is that not a HUGE deal? Being a Marine is supposed to stand for something!  I don’t care what the person who is dead did, we don’t desecrate their bodies.  Ever. Period.

I know and understand that these Taliban soldiers have done horrible things.  I know that given half a chance, they’d have taken those Marines and done unspeakable things to them that makes urinating on them look like a day in the park.  Does. Not. Matter.  We, first as Marines, and second as AMERICANS, should always be better than this. We do not stoop to the same low levels of behavior that others do.  That’s grade-school mentality…”well they did it first!”  It’s ridiculous.

Let’s look at another way.  Consider the roles reversed – because they easily could be.  Picture your brother, uncle, husband, father off fighting a war against some country.  And the soldiers of that country killed your loved one and then stood over them and urinated on them.  Then they  videotaped it and put it out on the Internet for the world to see.  At that point do you still think its ok?  If your answer to that question is: “Well the Taliban does/did horrible things to us so they deserved it!” then you are still leading with a grade-school mentality.

And how about this? If urinating on them is ok – after all their dead and they deserve it…how is that any different from chopping off an ear for a souvenir? Cutting their head off and using it for a soccer ball? Or as gross as this sounds – eating a part of them?  Why is one thing ok but the others cross a line?

Now before anyone thinks I’m taking to task only the conservative side of our country – let me be clear on one thing – I don’t support the liberal side’s position either. While there tends to be the moral outrage amongst them on this issue that I do agree with – it seems that their moral outrage is not put in the same place as it usually is when there is a Republican president in office.

A few years ago – some soldiers did some despicable things to prisoners in Abu Ghraib and the first thing many liberals did – was blame George W. Bush. Where is the outrage against Barack Obama in this case of the Marines?

The left tend to take great excitement when a Marine defends the ludicrousness known as Occupy Wall Street but then turn on them in any case involving the military and their actions against other countries.  Their moral outrage is in no way consistent and in many cases hypocritical.

Ultimately, regardless of political belief, it is my belief that what these Marines did is not only wrong, it’s criminal and it goes against anything honorable about a Marine.  They should go to jail for these actions. As Marines, we need to remember who we are, what our history is, what we stand for and always act accordingly.  These men did not and as such have lost my respect.  While I will be “always faithful” to the Corps, I will not extend that to those four soldiers.  They no longer deserve it.

  1. TheCastro Said,

    So you’re comparing Marines that defend peaceful protestors to Marines that urinate on dead bodies and wonder why liberals treat them differently?? What??

    Other than that I understand your argument. But one could argue that the whole war in Afgahnistan is “well they started it” mentality.

  2. Doug White Said,

    My issue with liberals is that they are not consistent. Like I mentioned, they treated Abu Ghraib as totally Bush’s fault. Yet I have seen nothing that pins the blame of these Marines actions on Barack Obama. They stand up for a Marine who in essence is going against the authority of the government when they support Occupy Wall Street – which as a Marine strikes a very bad chord with me – yet tend to take every other military action of a military person and judge him/her harshly for it. They only seem happy with the military people who stand up against their own government – at least that’s the way I see it.

    Yes, Afghanistan started it with 9/11 – and killing the Taliban soldiers does not bother me. That’s the unfortunate but necessary part of war. But desecrating them is not a part of it and should never be.

  3. TheCastro Said,

    Abu Ghraib was Bush’s fault though. He approved of CIA interrogations and such. And Don Rummsfeld knew about it all at Abu Ghraib. Obama didn’t approve marines to go pee on dead soldiers. And his Sec Def didn’t know marines were out there just peeing on people. Completely different circumstances. So why blame him when no one in his cabinet was doing anything?

    The marines that went down to OWS were there to protest against the government. They went down to protect the protestors from the police (local cops. Not federal, so they weren’t acting in any way against the federal government.)

  4. Doug White Said,

    Bush did not authorize the mistreatment of those soldiers as seen by those pictures – the way they were humilated and such. He may have approved of the CIA interrogations but he did not approve of the excessive humilation and mistreatment of them. But he was the Commander in Chief and as such he was and should be held accountable. Additionally, Barack Obama is the Commander in Chief and as such should be held accountable for the military’s actions now. But liberals tend to not see things this way.

    You and I have debated OWS before – so not sure how much I want to go into this again – but I see OWS as an attempt to – in essence – mutiny against our government because of a misbegotten idea that the government has not given people what they deserve. I am okay with civil disobedience which is what OWS is – as long as it is understood that civil disobedience comes with a price.

    Marines – and any military person – do NOT have the right to be civilly disobedient to their government. You have sworn an oath to serve this country and it’s leaders. You can voice an opinion – sure – but you do not have a right to stand against it. Any military person who does so is going against the oath they swore when joining. I find huge problems with that.

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