Yes, Pamela, Some People Do Care — Including the U.S. Military
The media has been abuzz the past couple of days about a video that shows four U.S. Marines urinating on dead Taliban soldiers. The military’s response to the blossoming controversy has been admirable. In addition to the Pentagon quickly confirming its authenticity, the Navy has stated that it is “deeply troubled by the video. Whoever it is, and whatever the circumstances—which we know is under investigation—it is egregious behaviour and unacceptable for a member of the military.” Similarly, the Marines said that “[t]he actions portrayed are not consistent with our core values and are not indicative of the character of the Marines in our Corps. This matter will be fully investigated.”
There is, however, at least one person who doesn’t understand what the fuss is all about: Pamela Geller, the racist right-wing blogger who runs the hate site Atlas Shrugs. Here is what she had to say in response to a CAIR press release criticizing the desecration (I won’t link to Geller’s blog, because she does not deserve the extra traffic):
CAIR has whipped itself up into an Islamic frenzy because a video surfaced that appears to show US Marines combat gear urinating on several dead jihadis.
Here’s the thing. Hamas liars, CAIR, say jihad and pure Islam is “fringe,” “extremist.” So why do they CAIR about disrespecting the Taliban? According to CAIR lies, Taliban and jihadists do not represent Islam, they have “hijacked Islam”; so why would CAIR care about “respect”? CAIR calls these Marines immoral, but considers honor killings, clitorectomies, forced marriage, child marriage, polygamy, subjugation of women, slaughter of non-Muslims, Jew hatred moral?
Would anyone have CAIRed if Marines urinated on dead Nazi soldiers during WWII? (Anyone besides CAIR and nazis, that is).
I love these Marines. Perhaps this is the infidel interpretation of the Islamic ritual of washing and preparing the body for burial.
I don’t know about the Nazis, but I do know how the military responded during World War II to the desecration of dead Japanese soldiers — the subject of a 1992 essay in the Pacific Historical Review by the excellent historian James Weingartner. Here are some snippets:
The percentage of U.S. troops who engaged in the collection of Japanese body parts cannot be ascertained, but it is clear that the practice was not uncommon. U.S. Marines on their way to Guadalcanal relished the prospect of making necklaces of Japanese gold teeth and “pickling” Japanese ears as keepsakes. An American officer told Charles Lindbergh in 1944 that he had seen Japanese bodies with ears and noses cut off… “It is the same story everywhere I go,” Lindbergh concluded.” A Marine Corps veteran of the fierce fighting on Peleliu recorded in his memoirs the horrific scene of another Marine extracting gold teeth from the jaw of a wounded but still struggling Japanese, a task which he had attempted to facili- tate by slashing his victim’s cheeks from ear to ear and kneeling on his chin.
General George C. Marshall, U.S. Army Chief of Staff, was sufficiently disturbed by these accounts to radio General Douglas MacArthur in October 1943 about his “concern over current reports of atrocities committed by American soldiers.” This was followed in January 1944 by a directive from the Joint Chiefs of Staff to all theater commanders calling upon them to adopt measures to prevent the preparation of skulls and “similar items” as war trophies, and to prevent members of the armed forces and others from removing from the theater skulls and other objects which might be represented as Japanese body parts.
Assistant Chief of Staff, the army’s judge advocate general, Major General Myron C. Cramer, asserted that “such atrocious and brutal policies” were not only “repugnant to the sensibilities of all civilized peoples,” but were violations of the laws of war as well. He recommended that a directive be addressed to each commander of an overseas theater of operations, task force, or port of embarkation, pointing out that the maltreatment of enemy war dead was a blatant violation of the 1929 Geneva Convention on the sick and wounded… In addition to flouting treaty law, practices such as those publicized in Life contravened the customary, unwritten rules of land warfare and carried with them liability to trial and the possibility of the death penalty. Commanders, therefore, were to undertake all steps necessary “to prevent such illegal and brutal acts,” and to prohibit the movement of parts of enemy dead for the nefarious purposes under discussion. A week later, the navy’s judge advocate general expressed himself in similar terms while adding the caveat that the atrocious conduct of which some U.S. servicemen were guilty could lead to retaliation by the Japanese which would be justified under international law.
Pamela Geller is as ignorant as she is disgusting.