Urination on Corpses? Outrageous! Killing People? Not so much.

January 15, 2012 at 4:28 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 9 Comments
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I sat around earlier in the week, as I so often am, mesmerized by our distinguished leaders, in this case, expressing their outrage over US Marines urinating on the corpses of Taliban they had killed in Afghanistan.

Now don’t get me wrong. Urinating on corpses is certainly a disrespectful thing to do. I am not actually defending these guys.

But it did strike me, as I listened,  that not a single one of our distinguished leaders alluded, even briefly, to the fact that these Taliban first had actually been killed, that is, had such damage done to their physical bodies that their lives had ended.

I don’t know about you, but as for me, I would vastly prefer to be peed upon than to be killed. But hey, that’s just me. Lots of Americans probably think that being killed in battle is far more honorable.

The pastor of my parish said this morning at Mass that some have attributed the urination, and the torture at Abu Ghraib as well, to the stress our men and women in combat are under. He thought that one solution would be for us to stop having wars.

But as for me, cynic that I am, I suspect that instead of solving this problem by renouncing war, our distinguished leaders will press ahead to have the killing of our enemies done more and more by drones, urination by drone being fairly  unusual, as far as I have been able to determine.



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  1. Oh, Marian. So true. Do you send to Judy H? Regina


  2. Yes, indeed! Love your blog Marian.


  3. On point. We have lost our way.


  4. Excellent post, Marian. Our sense of outrage seems to be misplaced in so many areas of public life.


  5. Our going into Afghanistan was arguably justified; 9/11 was planned and executed out of Afghanistan with the acquiescence, if not the active support, of the de facto government of the country. We were attacked, and we had every right to defend ourselves and to retaliate.

    However, our continued presence there not so much. Al Qaida is broken into smaller factions, those who planned and carried out the attacks are either dead or caught (those who are neither are almost certainly no longer in Afghanistan). Why are we still there?

    Granted, the Taliban are despicable; the treatment of women and religious/ethnic minorities in Afghanistan is terrible. But going around righting all the wrongs of the world by force is not our job.


  6. Thank you, thank you. I’ve been thinking this since the news broke, and waiting for some leader, pundit, general, etc., to recognize this simple truth.


  7. Fantastic comments. I teach college English primarily to young Marines and Sailors. All who have deployed and seen combat are marked in some permanent way by the taking of lives or the subsequent minimizing of human life. It is so complex and painful – many, however, see that is not how they want ot live their lives.


  8. Such great points, Marian! I, myself, keep thinking, “What do you expect when to train soldiers (Marines, etc.), you have to brainwash them into de-humanizing the enemy so as to be able to kill, maim, torture, or whatever other evil they’re ordered to do?” Combine that with being frightened of their own death or injury, and urinating on corpses shouldn’t be such a surprise. I think if this didn’t hit the public media, those who are now acting shocked and claiming that this is totally against protocol wouldn’t bat an eye and might even think it was OK. After all, as you suggest, Marian, isn’t killing worse and yet that’s accepted as OK? God forgive us all!


  9. I enjoy and learn from your writings Marion – just today discovered this blog as I was searching for religious-themed responses to Gingrich’s asinine repudiation of feeding the poor. Loved your “Food Stamp Messiah” piece. Brilliant – I already shared it (let me know if that’s ok) with my own friends.

    I am a freelance journalist who, of late, has been focusing on the ethical implications of climate change/greenhouse gas energy policy. Fracking, in particular, appears to me as a particularly violent attack on the Earths’ very structure; sounds dramatic but – that’s the technology: literally, cracking open the Earth’s mantle to release the gas (methane, itself one of the most virulent of greenhouse gases). Perhaps there will be an increasingly spiritual backlash to this modern-era ‘gold rush’, perhaps based on the wisdom of the ages found in scripture?

    I’m continuing this focus (I have a piece coming out in March in E-The Environmental Magazine) — and would welcome any scripture you can refer me to on this, generally.

    Or — would love a blog post you might write about this too. Even better 😉

    Thanks for your writing.

    Don Lieber


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