It certainly looks like a bad time to be a US Marine.
First we have nearly every major politician and bureaucrat on the national scene, not to mention senior military officials, going apoplectic over a video of four US Marines p---ing on the bodies of some dead terrorists in Afghanistan last summer.
Then we have the ongoing court martial of SSgt. Frank Wuterich, a Connecticut native who is the only one of the original eight Haditha Marines to still be facing trial on murder charges - nearly everyone else has had all the charges dropped, and one other Marine who went to trial was exonerated on all charges, so how Wuterich gets singled out is perplexing to say the least.
Aside from the "so-what" factor in the international p---ing contest, given that enemy combatants have long been p---ing on each other after especially bloody battles, the fact is, US troops have endured far, far worse at the hands of our enemies going all the way back to the French and Indian War. Just ask John McCain the Vietnam era POW and current Arizona senator who was one of the first people to jump up and convict the Marines even before they were positively identified or the video authenticated.
I guess he misses his old buddy, the late John Murtha D-PA, the "King of Pork" who used the media to convict the Haditha Marines, calling them cold-blooded murderers before even a shred of evidence was presented.
And Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who has never served in the military and whose only exposure to battle was a faked claim of coming under sniper fire in Bosnia when she was First Lady sure had plenty to say about it.
Clinton apparently is upset that the video which surfaced last week even though it is at least many months old, will mess up the ticklish appeasement talks between the US State Department and the Taliban terrorists. You know, the people who joined with Al Qaeda to attack us on 9-11-2001 and whom we vanquished in 2001-2002.
Then after we handed over conduct of Afghan operations to NATO which spent the next five or six years messing the place up royally, the terrorists (Taliban) enjoyed a Renaissance of Terror which helped them achieve an explosion in recruitment. And now, according to the administration of the Commander in Chief of the US Armed Forces the Taliban "is not our enemy." Really, can it get any more Alice in Wonderland-like than this?
We even have the commandant of the Marine Corps convening a massive investigatory effort headed by a hand-picked general to get to the bottom of it ... so to speak.
Does the commandant know that according to folk lore Scottish Sword Dancing originated during the Highland Clan era when the leader of whatever clan defeated whatever other clan in battle danced over crossed swords, one his and one belonging to his vanquished foe? And that some legends even say that the swords were crossed over the bloodied head of his rival?
Kind of makes taking a p--- seem pretty tame in comparison doesn't it?
UPDATE: A reader sent me the following, which certainly gives Rep. Allen West (R-Fla.), a former Army lieutenant colonel a huge boost in my book. From Rep. West: 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 ... . As for everyone else, unless you have been shot at by the Taliban, shut your mouth, war is hell.
The over-reaction to the video of the Marines relieving themselves on enemy terrorists is similar to what occurred after the media falsely reported that Marines slaughtered innocent civilians in the town of Haditha, Iraq on November 19, 2005. SSgt. Wuterich is charged with 12 counts of unpremeditated murder associated with the deaths of 24 Iraqi civilians following an IED attack on the 12-man squad he commanded that killed one Marine and wounded two others.
Originally a total of 8 Marines were charged with crimes following the battle but all charges against all the others have been dismissed, except for one Marine who went through a full trial and was found innocent of all charges. (One Marine turned against his comrades in exchange for charges against him being dropped. But his testimony turned out to be so full of holes that he has been doing more damage to the prosecution than to Wuterich. Oh, and he claimed to have p---ed on a dead Taliban fighter in Haditha but nothing was made of it.)
Battalion commander Lt. Col. Jeffrey Chessani, also faced criminal charges for failing to adequately investigate the incident, which were eventually dropped, since the government investigation of his investigation showed that the Marines didn't murder anyone and that media reports that initiated the entire fiasco were fraudulent.
Since the government couldn't find anything to charge Lt. Col. Chessani's Marines with, they had to conclude that his investigation must have been thorough and appropriate because he didn't find anything amiss either. But Chessani's career ended nonetheless, and for reasons that defy common sense the government is still trying Wuterich, apparently attempting to salvage something, anything, of its pathetic missteps against our Armed Forces.
I have written in the past and will repeat it here, that one of the most hypocritical facets of the current political atmosphere within our military is the insistence that the people who are at the point of the spear, our ground combat forces, are required to adhere to Rules of Engagement that simply are impossible to apply in close-quarter combat without significantly increasing the risk of injury or death to our own forces.
If an artilleryman fires a shell on an approved mission that for unknown reasons goes awry and hits a friendly position or a civilian position, little to nothing is done to the man who actually fires the cannon. The shell could go long or short for many reasons - bad ammo packing back in the states; unexpected atmospheric conditions on a flight that can span a dozen miles and more for instance - but the man who pulls the trigger rarely is held accountable.
If a pilot in a jet bomber anywhere from ground level to 30,000 feet, drops a bomb that hits the wrong target, once again, little if anything is done to the pilot. Everyone knows that munitions fired from high altitudes at high speeds can go off target; even if there is an inquiry, it is rare to blame the pilot when so much is out of his control.
But put an infantryman in a warren of houses and twisted narrow streets with rocket and sniper fire all around, and insurgents running into and out of houses where civilians are cowering in fear and suddenly he is supposed to act like RoboCop instead of a scared kid whose heart is pounding, ears are ringing and whose mouth is as dry as cotton.
He is supposed to force open the doors of house after house where enemy troops had been firing at him only seconds earlier, clear the rooms without being shot himself, usually by throwing a grenade inside, and then enter the darkness and make split second decisions on whether anyone is inside and if so, if they are enemy or civilian. He is supposed to be able to see in the smoke and darkness and know without question that any movement is either friend or foe, all in a split second.
If he survives the battle, where the terrorists routinely enter homes in the towns they have occupied and kill the inhabitants before running out the back so they can blame the US for atrocities, the American fighters face an onslaught from a communist inspired media and chicken-s**t politicians and military "leaders" who have no qualms over convicting innocent members of the Armed Forces.
I dare Hillary Clinton or John McCain to go through a combat infantry course that includes house-to-house and street fighting and see how well they'd do - not in real combat where a mistake can cost you your life and the lives of your friends - but just in training. I bet they'd both fail miserably.
These continued attacks on our troops, stabbing them in the back here at home while they are overseas attempting to preserve our freedoms and way of life, are certain to have a long-term negative impact on our military.
Most warriors go into battle with an "I'm here to kick a$$ and chew bubble gum and I'm all out of bubble gum," attitude. But how long can we expect our warriors to maintain the warrior spirit if they are perpetually second-guessed by a bunch of desk riders and chair polishers back in Congress and the Pentagon?
Over-reactions as in the Haditha fighting and now the Afghanistan Urination Situation, could make this a very bad time to be in the service. Unfortunately, we have honorable young men and women who are trying to do something honorable for people who have no honor.
There is a better way to show support for our troops than to go off the wall in a needless investigation that results in a career ending court martial. Ask the Marines if they did it, and if they say yes, ask them why. Then write down their explanation, and put a letter of reprimand in their personnel files.
Oh, and write the letter in disappearing ink.
If the Taliban, those rascally little devils that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton and John McCain like so much, don't want to be shot and p---ed on I have another idea. How about they stop shooting and blowing up our guys? Then our guys will stop p---ing on them.
As for Ms. Clinton, Mr. Obama, Mr Cain and the rest of the DC political and military hand-wringing, appeasing sycophants who have so much to say about our fighters, I have three words for all of you ... pi$$ off wankers!
Monday, January 16, 2012