“As for everyone else, unless you have been shot at by the Taliban, shut your mouth, war is hell.” Represetative LTC Allen West
Robert Phillip Dean was a guest on the Jimmy Z Radio Show and you can listen to the segmet of the show where Jimmy Z and Robert discuss the subject ablove:
• THE JIMMY Z FRIDAY SHOW™ Friday, January 13, 2012
Listen here: jz011312b.mp3
Yesterday morning, The American Patriot Alliance posted our official response to the controversy surrounding an incident involving four U. S. Marines filmed urinating on the bodies of several dead members of the Taliban in Afghanistan. In our response, I stated I would not condemn these young men for a very regrettable lapse in judgment and character, but I would not make excuses for, nor condone, their actions. Within the Brotherhood of the Marine Corps, we hold each other to a higher standard of morality, humanitarianism and discipline, a standard whose foundation was established in 1775 and strengthened and reinforced through 240 years of sacrifice, suffering, endurance, valor and virtue. We never proclaimed ourselves to be perfect, but we’ve always stood on the side of righteous redemption.
The backlash against me was immediate ~ mainly from Patriotic Americans who have never seen combat but who were understandably reacting in response to the memories of Daniel Pearl and Nick Berg, the attacks of 9/11 and the images of American servicemen being dragged through the street, our brothers who were gutted and beheaded and the Blackwater contractors who were beaten, tortured, burned and hung lifeless atop a bridge in Fallujah. I took none of these attacks personally. I more than understood the desire to see their perception of “justice” brought to fruition. THIS was one of those instances.
As members of America’s armed forces, unarguably the most disciplined and effective defense force in the world, we do NOT exact revenge, but rather justice against the enemy, however vile and disgusting… even when that justice seems grossly insignificant under the circumstances. It is not our position to make judgment against the enemy ~ we leave that to the will of God. Our responsibility is to arrange that meeting in the most expeditious manner. And we do this for a reason…
There was immediate reaction not only within our own government but in Islamic communities worldwide as media outlets broadcast the raw footage without any understanding or actual facts as to what had actually happened. Administration officials from Hillary Clinton to Leon Panetta to Marine Corps Commandant General James Amos assured the American people and world leaders that an investigation and appropriate punishment would be swift. Within hours, the Council on American -Islamic Affairs (CAIR) (which, incidentally, was itself an unindicted co-conspirator in the nation’s largest terrorism trial against the Holy Land Foundation) hypocritically DEMANDED in a letter to Defense Secretary Panetta, immediate justice. Yesterday afternoon, in what can be described as a justified and frustrated response, Colonel Allen West, a Florida Member of Congress, released the following statement to The Weekly Standard:
I have sat back and assessed the incident with the video of our Marines urinating on Taliban corpses. I do not recall any self-righteous indignation when our Delta snipers Shugart and Gordon had their bodies dragged through Mogadishu. Neither do I recall media outrage and condemnation of our Blackwater security contractors being killed, their bodies burned, and hung from a bridge in Fallujah.
All these over-emotional pundits and armchair quarterbacks need to chill. Does anyone remember the two Soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division who were beheaded and gutted in Iraq?
The Marines were wrong. Give them a maximum punishment under field grade level Article 15 (non-judicial punishment), place a General Officer level letter of reprimand in their personnel file, and have them in full dress uniform stand before their Battalion, each personally apologize to God, Country, and Corps videotaped and conclude by singing the full US Marine Corps Hymn without a teleprompter.
As for everyone else, unless you have been shot at by the Taliban, shut your mouth, war is hell.
I agree wholeheartedly in principle with Allen’s statement, but I am disappointed in both the structure and substance of his comments, written from his position as a retired Army Lieutenant Colonel and not as a sitting member of Congress, though at times, it becomes difficult to be able to differentiate between the two.
I believe his choice to begin this statement by reminding us of the atrocities committed against U.S military personnel was a mistake that can be viewed as providing an “excuse” or “justification” for the behavior of these Marines as well as attempting to diminish the seriousness of their actions. I agree without qualification that this should be handled at the field level by military commanders, but at this juncture, I think it has now risen above that.
If we desire to be perceived a moral, just and humanitarian society, we must maintain an unshakable standard, even against the most horrific of circumstances such as 9-11, Fallujah, Mogadishu, Beirut. At the point we allow ourselves to be dragged downward towards an inferno of degradation at the level of our enemy, we lose any and all credibility when we then attempt to condemn those same actions. And this in essence is what we witnessed in this video.
For the entire day, I have heard and read comments from individuals applauding this incident and advocating more of the same, in an effort to “demoralize” and “humiliate” the enemy. Have you forgotten who we’re dealing with? This is an enemy unlike almost any we have dealt with in the past. Demoralize them? How do you demoralize a people void of morals, who worship a pedophile, murderous liar that claims to be the “prophet” of a false-god? How do you HUMILIATE a cult that finds it perfectly acceptable to marry 9-year-old girls or use young boys for their own gratification… who, through abrogation, make up the rules as they go along, and through taquiyya, will lie to your face if it further their own cause? The only thing accurate about these statements is the fact we can’t fight them like a normal enemy. But I assure you of this, all this event has done is provide a RECRUITING TOOL for more suicide bombers who have no qualms, morals or humanity to stop them from strapping on a suicide vest and blowing up themselves, innocent men, women, children and non-combatants to pieces. All for the promise of 72 “virgins.”
Whether we believe this or not, the far-reaching implications are potentially dangerous in reference to the Islamic community. This video and the accompanying photograph have already been collected for use by terrorist/jihadist organizations as propaganda and recruiting material. But more importantly, while many people don’t believe our men and women can be in any more danger than they already are, I assure you they can be. One need only look to the worldwide outrage, violence and killings that accompanied the announcement by a Florida pastor of his plans to burn a Quar’an, not to mention the Fatwah, or death sentence, placed on the head of a Danish cartoonist who had the gall to draw a picture of the pedophile prophet of Islam. And most disturbing at this point, are the very real implications involving the American-born, former Marine, Amir Hekmati, who sits under a death penalty in Iran on a conviction for spying. While I pray this is not the case, I believe this incident may well have sealed his fate and erased any chance of back-channel negotiations to secure his release. Iran is ruled by an Islamic theocracy and they will demand justice. Hekmati may just well be that sacrifice.
There can be no excuse for what these men did. There is understanding and compassion in the reasoning, but facts remain and unfortunately, regardless of how ludicrous this may sound, these four individuals broke numerous military and Geneva Convention rules of warfare, most notably prohibitions on photographing dead combatants and desecrating their bodies. The lines between right and wrong are clear (or at least they were prior to November 2008). These men may well be sacrificed for international political gain, but in the end, their lapse in judgment and discipline, while understandable, is no one’s fault but their own. If we now begin to make excuses for it, we will potentially unleash more actions against our own morality and integrity. We’re already witnessing that in our own government, and its a road we cannot afford to travel, nor toll to pay. But I do have a question concerning the breakdown in leadership ~ if Abu Ghraib was blamed on Bush, will this then be blamed on Obama, or will the darling of the media allow it to even go that far?
Colonel West’s final statement of qualification, while I understand his reasoning and frustrations, were, I feel, inappropriate. If we were to digress along that same line of reasoning, we could apply it to the events surrounding the tragedies of September 11 ~ if you were not personally involved, or a victim of, the attacks on the Twin Trade Towers, Pentagon, and in Pennsylvania ~ your comments and opinions are discounted. Just as the attacks of 9/11 were an attack on an entire Nation, the men and women in Afghanistan, and worldwide, are AMERICA’S MARINES. As such, they are held as heroes and role models. Incidents such as this provide nothing more than a black eye to what has been exemplary operations for the duration of this war. It shows to us that a model of integrity has left the battlefield, and that a lack of leadership has surfaced among America’s elite.
As I have stated previously, I will not condemn these men or their actions, nor will I condone what they did. What I WILL DO is stand beside them as brothers and offer prayer, strength and encouragement for what is to become a long, hard road ahead. May God bless us all. Semper Fi.
Robert Philip Dean
United States Marine Corps
The American Patriot Alliance