Marines Are Always Faithful So Why Aren’t We?

In the last few weeks, a videotape of four United States Marines urinating on some dead insurgents in Afghanistan surfaced.  Obviously, this is inexcusable behavior in polite society, but ladies and gentlemen, the places we send our Marines are not civilized places.  Never in the history of the United States have we sent our troops to a civilized place to wage war.  It is disheartening to see how quickly some Americans have turned on the men that provide them safety.

Although the methods and weapons of war have changed in the last century, the one thing that hasn’t changed is the mental and spiritual toll that is exacted from each man who picks up a weapon for his country.  Wars are just as gruesome today as they were in the fields of Europe in the 1940’s.  In fact, fighting is arguably more stressful for soldiers today, due to the cowards that dress in civilian clothes, shoot at Marines, and then go and hide amongst the populace using them as a shield.  This alone would build up hate in the heart of Marines and cause them to do things not necessarily in their character.

Lets turn back the clock about twenty years.  The year is 1993, and Operation Restore Hope in the Bakara Market district of Somalia’s capitol city of Mogadishu has not gone according to plan.  Among the dead are two Delta Force snipers: Randy Shughart and Gary Gordon.  These two men gave their lives protecting a downed helicopter pilot.  Their corpses were later dismembered and dragged through the streets in front of CNN cameras that captured it all.

Fast-forward about ten years from that point to 2004.  Four Blackwater security contractors were ambushed and then hung, burned and dismembered on camera.

In the early days of the War on Terror, there were numerous accounts of American civilians being kidnapped and executed via gruesome beheadings captured on film and broadcasted to the world, the most famous of which was journalist Daniel Pearl.

People tend to act as though this recent story of Marine misconduct is the worst misconduct that has ever happened in our military.  Going back as far as World War II, there is evidence of routine executions of prisoners as well as torture and mutilation of dead bodies.  There are even reports of American servicemen prying teeth from dead Japanese soldiers in order to harvest their gold and silver cavity fillings.  In Vietnam, there was a highly decorated Special Forces unit known simply as Tiger Force, whose job it was to take the fight to the heart of the enemy and instill fear within them.  They did this by scalping and removing the dead enemies’ ears and wearing them like jewelry.

Even more recently was the Abu Ghraib scandal, a stunning look into how things can really get when no one is watching.  These prisoners (who were still alive I might add) were subjected to horrible and dehumanizing treatment.  I will stop short of calling it torture because to my knowledge the pictures never actually showed anyone being physically harmed, just humiliated.  Yet, it is perplexing that Americans, most of whom have little knowledge of any of the events mentioned, look so judgmentally at those fighting in their place.

These Marines should be dealt with and disciplined privately, not publicly flogged by the nation that they fight and risk their lives to protect.  As Congressman Allen West so poignantly said, “As for everyone else, unless you have been shot at by the Taliban, shut your mouth, war is hell.”  No civilian is qualified to say what is right and wrong on the battlefield.

The long and short of this issue is simple: these young Marines made a mistake.  This mistake, however, doesn’t remove their honorable service to this country.  It has become apparent these brave Marines are being sacrificed on the alter of political correctness.

Mark Mayberry :: University of Tennessee at Chattanooga :: Chattanooga, Tennessee :: @MarkMayberry85

For more on this and other news stories please visit my website Lights Out Politics, and TheCollegeConservative.  You can also follow me on Twitter and Facebook.



  1. Nice try.

    It is true, as you point out, that this is not the worst misconduct by the military, not by a long shot. It is also true that the other side has often done much worse. Neither of these things, however, justify their behavior.

    You give no reasoning whatsoever, save for the two aforementioned points, and then hide behind confounding statements like “No civilian is qualified to say what is right and wrong on the battlefield.” This is almost not worth answering. Should I not talk about corruption in politics because I’m not a politician?

    Precisely BECAUSE war is such a complicated affair, citizens must keep our military accountable for its actions.

  2. C: What qualifies you to decide? Have you ever picked up a weapon in the defense of this country? You have no right to question the actions of men in a situation you know nothing about.

  3. I have to second what C said. The “justifications” above are really just rationalizations to excuse behavior that was clearly wrong. As they’ve pointed out, it’s certainly not the worst thing person has ever done, but to suggest we, as citizens of the country they represent, have no right to an opinion on the matter is ludicrous. We, as a society, not just the members who are fighting, determine for ourselves what is right and wrong by our moral standards.

    Conservatives are constantly making the argument that liberals use flawed reason and an almost obsessive avoidance of sound logic. If we are to hold our liberal counterparts to that standard, we should set the example ourselves. Your justifications above are mere fallacies and do not pass the litmus test for reaching a logical conclusion.

    I don’t disagree that this is something better handled within the military, rather than to make a public spectacle of it, but that’s what happens in the modern digital era with video cameras everywhere. If there is a public video of it, the public should express their outrage. Remaining silent would signal agreement and/or consent. Again, in conservative circles, we often hear ask of muslims to speak out against their radical brothers and sisters. Certainly, the same thing is appropriate here.

  4. Hmmm,,,,Really? says:

    Oh, booo hooo! You fat cat conservative cry babies need to man up and control your animal impulses. You say you stand for individual responsibility? Phoooey! You’d rather kick the teeth in of your fellow citizens who are down trodden then make excuses for some low life who happened to make it into the Marines.

    You are wrong Bozo. It is precisely the civilians who need to step in and keep the military from becoming animalistic in their behavior.

  5. Maria Shield says:

    Being the mother of an Iraq and Afghanistan vet, the daughter of a Viet Nam, Korea vet and granddaughter of a WWII vet, I get it. Thanks Mark for so eloquently stating how I feel. I’ve never been to war but the men in my life have and they are changed when they come home, those that are lucky enough to come home.

  6. Well said, Mark! It’s so ridiculous to try and make these horrors fit into neat little logical condemnations in the comfort of our own homes. I can’t imagine what having to kill a man must do a person, even more what seeing your friends and comrades brutally executed on television must do. We ought to have a little more patience with the people who suffer so much fighting for us.

  7. Yes, Maria, but according to Mark’s philosophy, you’ve never been to war, so you’re not allowed to have an opinion about it. How can you agree with what he says and express your personal opinion, simultaneously?

    Every single one of my immediate family members has fought in the armed services (with the exception of one sister). Some have been to Iraq and Afghanistan multiple times, including my husband who is currently serving in Afghanistan. And every single one of them disagrees with the sentiment of this article, both that the behavior of these marines is OK and that civilians are not allowed to have and/or express an opinion in these types of military matters.

    So, since you agree with Mark’s philosophy, their opinion trumps your own (which is not valid) and thereby proves the article wrong. How’s that for logic?

  8. We Veterans whom have served in our nation’s armed forces, along with our family members find a morbid irony in the things that come from the mouthes of those whom have not.

    Personally, I find the odd relativity between those that are so willing to run their mouthes and spout bullshit about things they know absolutley nothing about; in direct relation to their cowardice and lack of backbone while hiding behind a screen name or coded location. We call these people… Pussies!

    Gregory Romeu – USMC
    Summerfield, Florida

  9. @Gregory Well said sir….Well said.

    @Mafia Rose Actually what I said was you have no right to judge their actions. You are entitled to your opinion as misguided as it maybe. What do you know about war? As much as I respect all of the members of your family who have served bravely, this does little to increase you knowledge of what it is to experience warfare. I just believe that we as civilians do not have the right to sit in judgement of these men, that is why the military has it’s own court system.

    @Maria and Percival Thanks for your input. I always like to hear from people about my articles.

  10. An opinion is a judgment and I don’t use my real name when posting in regard to military matters, because my husband is still on active duty and it could have implications for his career. That’s not fair to him. If he wants to come out and express him opinions openly, he is free to do so, but I won’t lay my opinions at his feet. You can call that cowardice, if you want to, but I do it out of loyalty…something that seems to be a running theme throughout this article, but is only, apparently, applied selectively.

    Your ad hominem attacks do little to support the original argument, since it was based completely on fallacies to begin with. Adding another fallacy on top of that is far from productive in the discussion. As for you holy-than-thou mentality, it certainly falls short of representing the corps in a positive light. I know many marines who would be ashamed of such behavior. Remember, when you put USMC after your name, you are representing yourself as a marine, not an individual. Perhaps you should think twice about putting your own personal opinions out as that of the entire Marine Corps.

    The only reason I even brought up the military connection, is because others chose to use their military connection as some sort of proof that their opinion is correct. I actually don’t believe that is the case, but was merely trying to make that point.

    My opinion is neither misguided nor based on a lack of knowledge/experience of warfare. It comes directly from the mouths of those cosest to me who have experienced warfare. Loyalty is all fine and good, but I would easily argue that the marines who did this have already violated the trust that was put in them by the people of this country through their own actions (not to mention the trust placed in them by their fellow Marines). So, you can claim that Marines are “always faithful,” but the reality is that Marines are human beings, and as such are not perfect. To deny their mistakes and put your head in the sand is disloyal to what the Marine Corps stands for.

  11. FYI…I used to post under my real name until I was personally attacked by someone on the internet whose posts were very similiar to your own and consisted mainly of ad hominem attacks of anyone who disagreed with them. Using your real name doesn’t make your point any more valid and is just another fallacy to compound the matter further. You won’t bully me into giving my name, especially after I said my husband is serving overseas…give me a break! I’m not that naive anymore.

  12. Why is it that criticism has become something only those who experienced the thing criticized can do?

    Do you demand that your physician have had any and all problems you present?

    @Gregory Romeu: You are free to criticize but please keep it rational. Ad hominem attacks simply weaken your argument.

    I’m not a politician but I have my own ideas as to what I want in policy matters. I’ll be more of a citizen if I speak up rather than being a silent observer.

  13. Yet you watch corruption, mayhem and murder on your television sets for entertainment. Excuses for NOT putting yourselves in a position of serving your country as do these Marines whom all stepped-up and stand to defend YOUR rights to run your mouthes and talk shit still doesn’t remove your facts of your cowardice or give you any more backbone and credibility while you still remain sitting at home, on your phat asses, complaining about those that do. Too bad that we that serve cannot do it in a selective manner. It’s is also sad that your mothers didn’t take advantage of yet more freedoms that we protect, that being pro-choice.

  14. By the way, great article Mark. Keep up the good work!

  15. @Gregory: I’m sad that anger is consuming your life. You criticize not knowing whether any of us have served or not.

    Confine your arguments to the issue instead of attacking people. No one is attacking you or showing disrespect for your military service.

  16. You, along with the others obviously cannot read or understand simple English either. I suggest you all go back and re-read what I wrote. Perhaps this time, get some assistance from someone that can read?

  17. Hmmm,,,,Really? says:

    @gregory–Your English is just a little too simple, vocabulary too limited, and not much more useful than a foreign language. You sound like a naughty little child that learned he could only get what he wants by being a bully.

  18. I know this is a difficult, sensitive subject, especially for those that have fought in war or had family members fight. But can we all please cut the vitriol? It does nothing to help the conversation.

    @Mark: What qualifies me to judge? I’m a human being and an American citizen, that’s what. As I said, I’ve never been a politician, but does that disqualify me from an opinion about corruption in politics? Because war is so complicated, we need all the voices we can get discussing what’s right and what’s wrong.

  19. @Gregory: It is useless to attempt discussion with you! At some point when you do not have all the answers and can respond civilly, please do so.

  20. “Because war is so complicated, we need all the voices we can get discussing what’s right and what’s wrong.”

    What’s wrong is, people that have never been in the military or in combat, (with great exception to military family members) You haven’t a clue as to WHAT the issues of discussion are. It’s like trying to discuss the theory of relativity to a kindergardner.

    You all had your chances to step-up to the plate and enlist and actually do something to protect the sovereignty of your nation, but you failed to do so. get over it and go discuss something like… Hugging a tree. Or, saving a whale.

  21. Gregory, I find it interesting that you feel like you can form an opinion on abortion. Have you ever had one?

    I can’t think of any context that would justify pissing on someone’s corpse, regardless of my combat experience. Perhaps these people were trying to kill our Marines. If so, they deserved to be stopped, even if the method required was death. Despite never having my life threatened, I think I can understand the anger that might result from it.

  22. Well, “Tray”, being that you want to take-up the feminist cause… As a matter of fact I DO have experience in the arena of abortion. I fathered a child that the mother aborted, (Read: murdered) against my will. There was no medical reason or purpose to dispose of our chiuld. She murdered our child. She proclaimed that it would alter her figure and cause her an inconveinience in her life. So, what is YOUR mother’s take on pro-choice these days?

  23. @Gregory: “…people that have never been in the military or in combat…haven’t a clue as to WHAT the issues of discussion are.”

    Then please enlighten us to what you believe the issues are so we can discuss them.

  24. @Gregory…I believe you may have missed the point that Tray was trying to make. How could you, having never been pregnant (or a woman, for that matter), understand what it’s like to carry a baby inside your body? Therefore, how could you possibly have an opinion about whether or not that pregnancy should have been carried to term?

    Your logic, not mine. Personally, I think you are perfectly entitled to an opinion and input on the matter, but, then again, I also believe I am entitled to my opinions and input, as well.

    At the end of the day, personal attacks are irrelevant to the point of the article. It is possible to argue both sides of this case without calling names or making assumptions. I hope that you will choose to engage in a more productive manner, as many people here seem eager to discuss this and are open to being persuaded by your opinion, if only it were presented in an appropriate fashion.

  25. @MafiaRose… YIKES! Yet another nimrod that cannot READ! The issue that was brought up had to do with ABORTION and yes, there are always two people involved. If you cannot realize the fundamentals of that process, I seriously believe you should strive toward higher education rather than playing ob the Internet..

    Now then, back to Mark’s writing and those that have any inside information they feel qualified to share?

  26. Well, now I’m thoroughly convinced that you are nothing more than a troll and feel stupid for ever getting sucked into such an intentionally negative discussion clearly designed to do nothing more than stir up trouble. Really, the worst part, though was the author’s decision to encourage such behavior, when your comments have contained nothing but hatred, name-calling and personal insults. You win…I’m stupid; Marines are always right; I’m a spineless coward who sits on my couch all day eating cheese puffs and watching war flicks for kicks…I admit it. Now you can live your life in fulfillment knowing that you were right and I was wrong. You’ve done the Marine Corps proud!

  27. Well said Mafia Rose. Rational discussions always mean more than one person.

    Let’s have less bombast Gregory and more rationality!

  28. If any of you bothered to pay attention to the subject matter of this entire article and the responded to, “Marines Are Always Faithful So Why Aren’t We?” perhaps you wouldn’t be all over the map with your responses?

  29. At least you are consistent Gregory in being obnoxious!

  30. …and you are still without a clue as to the subject matter. Must be Liberal. The more I look over the reparte on this comment session, it leads one to believe that most are liberals… Running off at the mouth, rambling idly and off-subject, without a clue as to the the reality or facts presented.

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