The latest video to emerge from Afghanistan purporting to show US Marines urinating on the corpses of Taliban fighters is, if true, a sad indictment on the professionalism of the US Marine Corps. I have no doubt that senior US military commanders will be tearing their hair out.
War is a shitty business and Afghanistan particularly so and yes, the Taliban are not signatories to or bound by the Geneva Convention. They too desecrate bodies Nevertheless, to act in such a way is to lose any moral authority you might have that you are fighting for a greater good. In the wars I fought in the enemy dead were always accorded due respect. In recent times my son commanded a major unit in Afghanistan serving in the British Army and their strict protocol had it that the enemy dead were to be treated respectfully and buried facing Mecca within the 24 hour period required by the Muslim faith.
But all that aside there are practical reasons for not stooping to this sort of obscene behaviour. That video will now be played over and over again in Afghani villages by the Taliban used as a powerful recruiting tool. In one stroke these 'soldiers' have undone much of the good work of their colleagues. Their actions are to be deplored and I for one look forward to their Courts Martial.
I wait for some rambo wannabee to rubbish this post. I doubt whether they will have ever fired a shot in anger and even more that they have experienced incoming enemy fire. Real soldiers accept and abide by the rules of war ... however crazy that may sound.