COTO posts an article by Robert C. Koehler titled “The Dignity of Corpses”. [I’ll come to my extension of the title later.]
Robert’s story is so real, so appropriate, so ‘telling’ that it is important to read it.
We are talking about disrespect in regards of the enemy dead. That it is apparently not disrespectful to urinate on a dead body, or perhaps cut off some part of his body, from a fighting point of view. Admittedly, the US government has something to say about it being wrong.
Yet they, the government, send their young men out expressly to kill the “enemy”, where theybecome relatively inhuman in the act of so-doing, but much worse if they get carried away by their enthusiasm in carrying out their duty in ‘defending their country’ and getting into trouble for it. Of course, so they should, BUT who is really at fault here?
So the poor soldier, trained to kill, psyched up to “kill the mother-fxxxxers”, in reality turned into an animal by his country, confused about right and wrong, often soon mentally unbalanced, ignored and mistreated on return to his home country, cops the blame for his indiscretions.
“Civilization hasn’t successfully drawn a moral border at the sanctity of human life itself, but because it needs to put some limit on human behavior, it has, apparently, taken a last stand at the dignity of corpses.
It’s OK to kill your enemy, but not to urinate on him, at least not after he’s dead.”
“Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, exercising code-red damage control, said the men may be guilty of a war crime. Official condemnation of the act has been far swifter and more severe than the routine statements issued by Pentagon spokespersons after the mere bombing of a village and the deaths of disputed numbers of women and children.”
“The point is made with more vehemence further down in the story, when the reporters quote a Vietnam vet who sneers at the public’s “naïveté” about war: “I did a hell of a lot worse in Vietnam than urinate on some dead bodies,” he said. “We cut left ears off and wore them around our necks to show we were warriors, and we knew how to get revenge.”
When war is merely upcoming — with Iran, for instance — we talk about it with matter-of-fact abstraction and, of course, urgency. Gotta do it now or . . . or . . . Iran will become a member of the nuclear club, and then there will be hell to pay. And then we go to war and there is, indeed, hell to pay, but we pay it with a shrug and the unspoken words: What did you expect? “When you ask young men to go kill people for a living, it takes a whole lot of effort to rein that in.””
“Let us stop shrugging off the madness of war — and I mean that term literally. We try to contain this madness with crisp rhetoric, discipline and honor codes, but human psychology will have none of that.”
The reader surely cannot fail to understand Robert’s story and message, all of which can be read here.
My reaction to this incident is the same as it is to the whole war scene.
Where is the dignity and respect for the dead?
More important, where is the dignity and respect for the living? Once, it was the heathens, the barbarians, the gangsters, the pirates, the Nazis, the militant islamists, (not islamists in general) and a few more who were reputed as barbarians placing no value on human life.
Now, once normal, peace-loving, family-loving, on-the-whole western, citizens have become so used to this continuous warring, they too are losing sight of the value and dignity of human life. They are prepared to see their young soldiers sacrifice their lives, bodies and minds in these false ideals of stopping terrorism and creating democracy.
As Robert says – “war is madness”. To accept it as a normal way of life makes a mockery of our so-called civilization, where civility is becoming a thing of the past.
The US philosophy of interference and control in other countries is neither civilised nor legitimate. It is based on lies, misconceptions and hidden motivations.
It is up to the citizens of all Western countries to wake up to this madness and help prevent all the animal behaviour of which we need to be ashamed. It seems that we easily lose the concept of right and wrong and forget about the humanity of the “enemy” who are very often innocent, women and children.
By all means remind the offenders that although they were basically incited into this animal behaviour, if they want to maintain human respect for themselves, be able to tell their grandchildren that they were brave and worthy soldiers, they need to recognise their disrespectful behaviour. Alternatively, if they are the types who would boast that they killed and peed on another human being, I am sorry for them and their family.
The real blame rests on the shoulders of the warring governments and the citizens who support these atrocities. Most of these ‘wars’ are unnecessary and we lower ourselves far below acceptable human behaviour. Where is the dignity and pride in our behaviour?
Source link (missed previously)
- Corpse abuse a ‘war crime’ (smh.com.au)
- Peeing on the Dead (donhall.blogspot.com)
- Marines May Face Prosecution For Peeing On Corpses (minx.cc)