US Marines in Corpse Desecration Video Accused of Atheism
By now most of the world is probably aware of the accusation that four US Marines urinated on corpses in what is apparently Afghanistan. One of the group videotaped the event for posterity.
The event brought out a slew of condemnations from all sides:
- Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta: “This conduct is entirely inappropriate for members of the United States military and does not reflect the standards of values our armed forces are sworn to uphold.”
- Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos: “wholly inconsistent with the high standards of conduct and warrior ethos.”
- Secretary of State Hillary Clinton: “It is absolutely inconsistent with American values, with the standards of behavior that we expect from our military personnel.”
- ISAF Spokesman BrigGen Carsten Jacobson: “activity of this kind that is grossly against all the moral values that the coalition forces are standing for are very much working against our cause and against everything that we are standing for and that we are here for.”
The reference to moral values is interesting; wasn’t the US military recently accused of inappropriately dictating morality? If you’ll recall, the policy known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was routinely said to wrongly impose “private religious and moral” standards on members of the military.
It would seem most people agree — and rightly so — there is a moral standard, though many would likely disagree upon the location from which it comes.
The strength of the immediate and near visceral response has demonstrated one thing, however: the assumed upright morality of the United States in general. Everyone assumes America holds itself to an elevated moral standard; otherwise, such acts would not have been considered so “inconsistent” with American values. Everyone believes that. Even the Taliban:
A Taliban spokesman called the video “barbaric.”
Remember, that’s a representative of group that previously stoned Afghan citizens to death, cut off their limbs and heads, and staged public executions with AK-47s. The point of the Taliban statement, of course, is to maximize the public relations hit the US will take in its supposed moral superiority. That the Taliban are guilty of far worse is irrelevant.
The Taliban even claimed its adversaries must be atheists to do something like this:
“And no religion that follows a holy text would accept such conduct. This inhuman act reveals their real face to the world,” Taliban spokesman Qari Yousuf Ahmadi said via text message Thursday.
It seems those accusations of Christian crusading Michael Weinstein has routinely made were overcome by a belief in the ‘heathen hordes’ instead.
The US is reportedly now negotiating among the Taliban and the Afghan government to bring an end to the war in Afghanistan.