Thursday, November 18, 2004

Have You Seen My Moral High Ground?

We've had some resistance to comment on shooting of the wounded guerrilla by a Marine. The event happened on Saturday, November 13 and many people on the left have claimed it's "murder", and many on the right claim they'd like to kill the guy who shot the footage. I've resisted comment because my initial urge is to smash objects around me and write angry emails to my congresspeople in all caps saying "NO EFFING MORE OF THIS GARBAGE! GET US OUT OF THERE NOW!!!!"

On the "definition" of what happend, I'm inclined to agree with MajorDad:

...I think that the Marine in question is entitled to a trial before he's convicted of being guilty of ANYTHING.

Total agreement on this. I've never served in the military, and I've certainly never seen urban combat during a violent insurgency, so I'm in no position to judge this Marine. Yes, it's pretty effed up to shoot someone who's lying on the ground wounded and from our comfortable vantage point looks harmless, but we weren't there and we don't know why that happened. In an intense situation full of - oh god I hate to use this term - moral ambiguity, I don't know how I'd react, and unless you've been there, you don't know either. So you won't hear me calling for the head of this Marine.

My beef is with the folks on the right who either want to shoot the guy who shot the footage, or who claim that if one is disgusted by this event (or those of Abu Gahrib) one is immediatly "siding with the enemy" or "not supporting the troops". ARE YOU EFFIN' KIDDING ME?

Yes I am outraged and all of us should be. Not at the people who perpetrated the acts (the troops) but at the people who have arrogantly and cynically placed our troops into situations where not only their lives are at stake, but their souls as well.

The way ShrubCo went about this escapade - from Rumsfeld's ambivilance towards preventing the looting to Gonzales' "torture memos" to the ideology in favor of competence CPA to the inadequate troop strength - created the conditions under which people who want to serve their country are often forced into moral degredation, and it's not anyone in the administration who is going to have to live with the consequences. It's the members of our armed forces who will.

On the shoot the messenger front, did these guys want to kill their mommas when they found out there was no Santa Claus? Besides, they wanted to sit comfortably in their armchairs watching CNN or Fox or whatever and cheer our war machine like it was a football team. So they should deal when the going gets ugly and effed up stuff gets on film too. As Rush is so fond of saying, "This is war! Things get ugly!"(Although I'm not sure how Rush knows this, he's never heard a shot fired in anger).

Oh yeah, before anyone bothers to throw the tired old "where's the Liberal outrage over the beheadings, the burned bodies the...?", let me answer that with the following. I believed David Frum when he put the word "evil" in the President's mouth to describe our enemies. If they're evil, then we should expect them to do the most evil thing. However, we're the effin' United States, we should be better than that.

Update: And for a completely different take try reading Obey.