Why It Is Not Our Position To Judge Actions Of Marines In Combat

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United States Marine CorpToday is one of those very rare days that my blog will be "off topic," meaning there will be no tie to the Tallahassee real estate market.

Every so often I feel compelled to share my viewpoint on a current event, and today I want to share a unique perspective on a hot global story that differs from many who were quick to speak out.

By now, most Americans have heard about or seen a widely "popular" video that is making the rounds of most news organizations and social media online. This video appears to show several US Marines urinating on three Taliban corpses.

The Washington Post reported:

Real Estate Quote Tallahassee FloridaThe video, which runs for less than a minute, depicts four Marines in combat gear laughing and joking as they urinate on three male bodies. The caption refers to the corpses as “dead Talibans,” but it is unclear whether the men were civilians or fighters killed after a battle.

US Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta, said he had viewed the video and considered it “utterly deplorable,” and so do I.

U.S. Secretary of State Clinton expressed “total dismay” at the behavior depicted in the recording, as would most civilized people who view it.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai described the video as “completely inhumane and condemnable in the strongest possible terms.” He is demanding the most severe punishment for those involved. While I agree with his sentiment, I have a very strong disagreement and contempt for his demanding anything from the United States Marine Corp.

I do believe this video needs to be investigated, but not by the Press. Not by people (like me) who sit their heavy posterior in an air conditioned office every day, while 18 year old marines fight to keep us safe.

And certainly not by a Head of State who would have been dead a long time ago were it not for US service members in Afghanistan. Mr. Karzai should have made a statement to the effect that "this doesn't sound like the US Marines that I have come to rely upon for my life, and I am confident they will handle this appropriately."

These "men" are given the control over life and death on a battlefield every day, it is no wonder that their perception of right and wrong is significantly different than what you would expect from a "boy" here in the United States.

But they are not here in the United States.

This video and any actions shown in it should be judged by US Marines, on the ground in Afghanistan. This would be the proverbial "jury of their peers." Stateside Marines are not their peers. US politicians are not their peers. And Tallahassee real estate brokers are not their peers.

And the Corps should feel no political pressure to punish these men beyond what its leadership feels is right for the United States Marine Corps.

Now do not misunderstand what I am saying. I in no way condone these alleged actions by US marines, very specifically I do not. I just know that I'm not in a fair position to judge them.

I am not a US Marine who looks down the barrel of a sniper rifle every day, trying to kill somebody. Nor am I being targeted with sniper fire and IEDs on my way to work. My daily stress is a joke compared to the world in which we have placed these young men.

I ask you to consider this.

If we were to investigate the background of the men in this video, before they became US marines, do you think that they have ever done anything before to desecrate a body? Do you really think that is who these men/kids really are? Is it possible that we have changed them?

The fact is that most likely they were all in high school just a few short year(s) ago, and they probably had similar values as do most 18 to 21 year old boys. They want to be chasing girls, listening to music, and going to parties, but that is not where we have sent them.

The Few The Proud The Marines TallahasseeHowever, unlike most 18 to 21 year-olds, these young men bravely answered the call to defend our Country, and our way of life. They have made it safe for me to write this and for you to read it; to comment, to agree, or to disagree.

We are not scared to express our opinions, because at the end of the day, we have the United States Marine Corps covering our backs!

Let the men and women of the US Marine Corp in Afghanistan judge them, not you and I. But there is something you and I should do...

Reach out to a past or present US Marine and say "thank you."

Thank you for making this scary world safer for us. Thank you for your sacrifice. Thank you for your service. Thank you for taking the battle away from our shores.

Thank you John Krause. Thank you Josh Payton. Thank you Peter Coukoulis. Thank you to all our Tallahassee Marines. Ooh-rah!

Give To The Wounded Warrior ProjectIf you want to really say thank you, consider a small donation to the Wounded Warrior Project. You don't have to give a lot, just give them something to let them know you care. You can click on the Wounded Warrior Project image on the right to be taken to their website. I think it speaks for itself.

Grip hands Marines, you most likely will be trashed in the media and belittled by liberals the world over who have no concept of the sacrifice you make to keep us safe. Just know that there are plenty of us who know that this was an isolated incident and we are proud and grateful for your service.

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Joe Manausa Real Estate
1934 Dellwood Drive
Tallahassee, FL 32303
(850) 366-8917

Comments (11)

Bryant Tutas
Tutas Towne Realty, Inc and Garden Views Realty, LLC - Winter Garden, FL
Selling Florida one home at a time

Joe. I don't watch the news or read the papers so hadn't heard about this. I was not in the military. I grew up in the 60s and  was a lover not a fighter. But....both of our boys were Marines. For those of us who have not been in battle we have ZERO comprehension of how it changes a person. Acts far worse than peeing on corpses have been done by many warriors in the stress of battle.

These young men should be held accountable for their actions because there is always a price to be paid. That's what makes us civilized. However I will withhold any judgment against their characters. That is not my place. I hope others see it that way.

They are children being asked to perform as men. They made a childish mistake.

Jan 13, 2012 12:30 AM
Joe Manausa - Tallahassee, FL
Joe Manausa Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Tallahassee Real Estate

Thanks Bryant.

"They are children being asked to perform as men. They made a childish mistake. "

I agree completely, it is a heck of a change for a young man, I hope these 4 recover.

Jan 13, 2012 12:43 AM
Fernando Herboso - Associate Broker MD, & VA
Maxus Realty Group of Samson Properties - Clarksburg, MD
301-246-0001 Serving Maryland, DC and Northern VA

Knowing myself. . in the heat of battle. . when my neck is on the line. . .with guys wanting to kill me at any given moment. . I wold be all out and no rules shall apply

What should they do?

Here's a gun. . shoot them to  blow their heads off. . but respect them?


Jan 13, 2012 01:28 AM
Doug Rogers
Bayou Properties - Alexandria, LA
Your Alexandria Louisiana Agent

Frankly I think there is too much media in the combat zone. Imagine if FOX News was reporting live from Gettysburg. Think anything "shameful" happened there? What about Iwo Jima? My guess is bad things happened there as well, on both sides.

 And in closing...How would the Taliban have treated these young men if the roles were reversed? These young men need a PRIVATE ass-chewing by their local commander on the ground. Nothing more.

Jan 13, 2012 01:35 AM
Joe Manausa - Tallahassee, FL
Joe Manausa Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Tallahassee Real Estate

Have you been "in the heat of battle" Fernando?

Jan 13, 2012 01:35 AM
Joe Manausa - Tallahassee, FL
Joe Manausa Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Tallahassee Real Estate

Doug, you ask the million dollar question "How would the Taliban have treated these young men if the roles were reversed? "

That is what many will focus on ... but not me.

I see it another way.

1. I don't care about what the Taliban think or what they would do anymore. They are our enemy.

2. We sent Marines over there to kill them.

3. The Marines killed them. Regardless of what the Marines do after killing them, the dead Taliban have moved on to their Paradise and will not be harmed any longer.

4. My concern is for our Marines. Why are they urinating on corpses? This is not the way we behave. This is not the way Marines ever behave. What has changed so drastically that these young men chose to do such a disturbing act?

5. This should be a wake-up call for Politicians/mothers/fathers/sisters/brothers. When you send a young man to combat, you will change him severely. Even though 99.99% of our Marines were not involved in this, it doesn't mean that they have not been scarred by their combat experiences.

6. I have combat experience, yet I am not qualified to judge these Marines. They are involved in a fight that I have not experienced. Let their peers judge them.

7. It would be nice if everybody in the world loved Americans … and we loved them. I no longer care about that. I just want to ensure they understand that we have a resolve to survive and prosper, and we have the US Marines if they mess with us.

Jan 13, 2012 02:04 AM
Charlie Ragonesi
AllMountainRealty.com - Big Canoe, GA
Homes - Big Canoe, Jasper, North Georgia Pros

What gets me is what ever possess these folks to do this stuff on camera. don't they know what a S%^&%%&t storm they are going to be in for?  As to the actiions to be taken I agree with your analysis. but please folks have some brains. In todays world nothing  you email blog or film will stay private. Understand that

Jan 13, 2012 03:10 AM
Pacita Dimacali
Alain Pinel - Oakland, CA
Alameda/Contra Costa Counties CA

I have to admit I was appalled that these guys did what they did, espeically after all the bad press about how prisoners were tortured by the U.S But to post it online? The battle fatigue affected their collective brain cells to do something that is immensely damaging to the already battered image of the United States --- a country that has become the world's 911.

Jan 13, 2012 04:28 AM
Denise Hamlin, Broker/Owner
Cardinal Realty ~ 319-400-0268 - Iowa City, IA
Helping Happy Clients Make Smart Choices

You had me until you made the disparaging remark about liberals Joe. 

I consider myself a liberal and know perfectly well what kind of sacrifices these young men are making. Through experiences related to me by both my brother and my father who served in combat situations I know better than to judge a book by its cover. Whatever this unfortunate event looks like, that's not what it is.

Unfortunately prejudging people seems to be par for the course these days. 

Jan 14, 2012 02:01 PM
Joe Manausa - Tallahassee, FL
Joe Manausa Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Tallahassee Real Estate

Charlie/Pacita ... that's kind of the whole point. Who in their right mind would do that (on camera or not). Perhaps they are not in their right minds? But they used to be ... until we sent them to war. Read the remarks by REP Allen West ... far more eloquent than I.

Jan 15, 2012 03:40 AM
Joe Manausa - Tallahassee, FL
Joe Manausa Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Tallahassee Real Estate

Denise ... not intended to offend. Personally, I have no idea why people label themselves as liberal or conservative ... both parties have become intolerable and divisive.

Jan 15, 2012 03:42 AM