As the entire world has heard about by now, a video was recently leaked of what appears to be four US Marines urinating on the bodies of what appear to be killed Taliban insurgents. Initially the video was denied to have been the work of Marines, but now media correspondents are of the firm opinion that the video is indeed real.
The Marines in the 34 second video are said to be from the 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment. Reports are saying that the unit is based from Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. It has also been reported that the battalion has been deployed to numerous combat and peacekeeping duties including in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay. Previously the unit was also deployed to Idaho where they assisted in the fight against wildfires. CNN reported that they were deployed to Afghanistan in early 2011 and returned in October or September.
Global anger has erupted in reaction to the disgusting display by US forces. Afghan reactions have been ones of condemnation, many saying that it is a blight upon there nation and that it is “unacceptable behaviour”. Politicians in the nation have been quick to point out how this release will anger the population, in which a large majority already see the occupying forces as unwelcome.
US representatives have already come forward denouncing the actions of the Marines. US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta condemned the acts promising a full investigation by the Kabul-based International Security Assistance Force (Isaf). US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that she had seen the video and expressed “total dismay” towards it. She also stated that it did not alter plans to secure Afghanistan and eventually hand over operations to the local government.
Taliban spokesman Qari Yousuf Ahmadi told the BBC that this is not the first incident of such “wild actions” by US forces and vowed that the Taliban would continue to carry out attacks against Americans in the country. Another Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, said the video “is not a political process, so the video will not harm our talks and prisoner exchange because they are at the preliminary stage”.
US military defenders are quick to say that these actions are the actions of a “few bad apples”. However I disagree with such an attempt to whitewash what is the continuing of a series of actions that are a part of the War on Terror which is a crime itself. There was an incident of burning Korans, the prisoner torture in Abu Ghraib, the released video tapes of US forces slaughtering unarmed groups of civilians, suppression of protests, an invasion of Iraq which had nothing to do with terrorism. All of these actions are not those of a “few bad apples”, they are acts of imperialism. This is the savagery of the drive for the collection of wealth and power. This is the psychotic face of the US empire trying to prop itself up as it is falling.