We just learned of an incident from 2010 where soldiers took photos of themselves posing with bodies of suspected Afghan insurgents. In one they are holding two disembodied legs for the camera. It’s happened in the past—the most famous was the Abu Ghraib Prison incident in
where prisoners were physically and psychologically abused, and there was also sexual abuse including torture. That was 2004. But we didn’t learn our lesson. Iraq
|Abu Ghraib Prison|
Even when 11 soldiers were convicted in courts martial, sentenced to military prison with dishonorable discharges. Two others were sentenced later, and Brigadier General Janis Karpinski was reprimanded for dereliction of duty and then demoted to the rank of Colonel. It’s hard to understand how the Abu Ghraib thing went on for so long but it did and with the media notoriety you would think that an even half intelligent person would understand the dangers involved.
|Troops urinating on dead Taliban bodies|
With the learning curve still at zero, a group of guys at a Bagram U.S. Air Force base in
apparently didn’t understand the importance of, or just didn’t care, about the Muslim bible and burned several copies of the Quran. Peter Lavoy, acting assistant secretary of defense, said it was done “unknowingly and improperly.” He stated further, “…all 140,000 coalition troops in Afghanistan are being retrained in the handling of religious materials. There’s more. Afghanistan
U.S. Soldiers urinating on dead Taliban:
Army Staff SGT. Robert Bales left his outpost in
province's Panjwai district in March going house to house allegedly killing 17 villagers. He’s described as a “gregarious” family man with five boys from Kandahar Norwood, OH, close to . In the Cincinnati massacre, the 17 villagers were shot and killed, some burned, with five others injured. Although it is not known for sure, it is believed that Bales did not know any of his victims. Kandahar
Now we know this select few are not indicative of the
military as a whole. The balance are courageous beyond the call duty and have served with honor in both U.S. Iraq, and elsewhere. And I am sure they have plenty of judgment since it takes a lot of that to just stay alive. But bad acuity doesn’t just occur in the armed forces. Look at President Obama’s Secret Service team’s fiasco in Afghanistan Cartagena on Colombia's Caribbean coast.
|Secret Service agents placed on |
On the one side you have the
conventions that dictate that the dead in war “shall be respected.” On the other side are troops that have watched buddies murdered by snipers and roadside bombs and who might see revenge in these kinds of episodic events. But this is still absolutely no excuse for behavior unbefitting a Geneva military soldier, or…a human being. U.S.
If, however, there is a breaking point in these kinds of occurrences that are happening to American servicemen and women, and this could be defined with more research, then the military should study this immediately.