Friday, January 13, 2012


Washington (Washington Post) - The Obama administration on Thursday strongly condemned a viral video that depicts Marines desecrating corpses as U.S. officials tried to prevent a popular backlash in Afghanistan and forestall damage to nascent peace talks with the Taliban.  
As the images of Marines urinating on three bloodied bodies circulated around the globe, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta denounced the video as “utterly deplorable” and called Afghan President Hamid Karzai to assure him that the incident would be thoroughly investigated. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton expressed “total dismay” at the apparent behavior by Marines.

“Actions like those are not only illegal but are contrary to the values of a professional military and serve to erode the reputation of our joint force”, said Gen Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.  The video, which runs for less than a minute, depicts four Marines in combat gear laughing and joking as they urinate on three male bodies lined up on the ground next to a toppled wheelbarrow. The caption refers to the corpses as “dead Talibans,” but it was unclear whether they were civilians or fighters killed after a battle. A Marine official said investigators were questioning two individuals whom they had preliminarily identified as being in the video. The Marine Corps is “fairly confident” that all four were members of the 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marines, the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

Two of the soldiers appearing in a shocking video showing marines urinating on corpses of the Taliban militants have been identified.  “This conduct is entirely inappropriate for the US military and does not reflect the standards of values our armed forces are sworn to uphold,” Defence Secretary Leon Panetta said in a statement.  This apparent desecration of the dead is an immoral behavior that goes against military code of conduct and should be internationally repudiated.

The prime protector of the citizens in the Sanskrit language is called a Kshatriya. This word means warrior, but primarily as one who protects people from kshat or unhappiness.  Such a Kshatriya is said to display the characteristics of bravery, courage, vigilance, charity, the ability to display his prowess, and not retreating from battle. (Mb. 6.42.43)  Kshatriyas should take up their weapons only to protect others, such as individuals and the community at large. (Ramayana 3.10.3)  A Kshatriya must exhibit the appropriate conduct toward his subordinates. He can exercise control of the other classes in society and is thus called a statesman. He thus must exhibit impartiality in executing his duties without favoritism or disdain toward anyone. He must have consideration for the benefit of all.


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