Today 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:
The 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.
However, 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!
If 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.