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Elliot Fuller 03-06-2008 02:10 AM

Iraq Puppy incident
If this is too political, please moderate or delete. Not trying to spark any real political controversy; just seeing what other people think about it. More of a moral than political question. Would appreciate a PM if it gets deleted, just so I know where to draw the line in the future :)

I'm not gonna post a link, but there's kind of a viral video going around of a Marine in Iraq supposedly throwing a puppy off a cliff. I'm not particularly set off by this one incident, because I know from others who have been-and-back, that this sort of thing isn't completely unheard of over on that side of the globe.

But as far as the "Give them a break; they're bored and stressed out over there" arguments go, I don't see much merit. Personally I rank all life as similarly valuable, and I'm one to feel remorse after stepping on a spider, thinking "I just killed something that took millions of years to evolve to where it was on my kitchen floor, before I ended it in the blink of an eye." I think there's a fine line between abusing or taking delight in the pain of living creatures, and doing the same towards human beings.

Is this the fault of CO's and NCO's? Is this battle stress? Or is it just folk who don't know any better? There are a lot of fanatics out there right now chastising the military and Americans for caring more about a puppy than human beings. I don't think it's quite so black and white. As far as animals go, I do tend to feel worse, because there is an innocence in animals that you don't find in humans. Humans are responsible for human-inflicted death. So naturally I feel terrible for human suffering, but at the same time it's all human-inflicted in the first place. Maybe this is some version of "original sin."

Anyways... I respect anyone who serves - I really, really do.

But frankly it scares me that this is among probably hundreds of similar incidents taking place over there in the desert. And I'm frightened that these sorts of people (honorable for serving, yes, no doubt) are going to come back with the same morals and the same stresses, to serve in my local fire department, my police force, my state legislature, etc. I would not trust someone with my family, my food, or my protection, who knowingly and intentionally took delight in such suffering -- I have a real, strong standing that someone who so brazenly dumbs down the value of life has no place in a war zone, and maybe no place in a truly civilized society without constant supervision.

So who's at fault here? Is the individual held accountable? Obviously not every poor lost puppy, goat or scorpion can be adopted and cared for, but tossing it off a cliff? War is hell... maybe civilians like myself just can't quite grasp what that hell can do to someone?

I just find it sad that such ruthlessness (by the Marines or not) is carried out on the grounds of boredom and fun, be it to a puppy or to a civilian child. I'd hoped that our boys were above that -- and I know that most of them are.

Eddie Clark 03-06-2008 04:36 AM

Re: Iraq Puppy incident
Lynne already addressed another...ahem...individual very eloquently in the "Community" forum.

Does this line of reasoning really make sense:

military person throws puppy = bad
thus all military persons are bad

White people in KKK = Bad
thus all white people are bad


Quote from Elliot:
"There are a lot of fanatics out there right now chastising the military and Americans for caring more about a puppy than human beings. I don't think it's quite so black and white."

Here is some first hand news for ya. While you were busy writing this thread 4 U.S. Army individuals were injured in a rocket attack on the base I am stationed at. I bet you folks like you won't give that news any more thought than what it took for you to tie your shoes this morning.

Quote from Lynne Pitts in community forum:

Long story short: The military is a cross-section of society. It includes representatives of (mostly) the very very best of us, and also, sometimes, the worst of us.

That's reality. I'm going to close this thread, because it's going to turn political and ugly.

You have every right to be outraged at the individuals and their individual actions, just as you (we all) should be moved to tears by Lone Survivor, our own Brian Chontosh, the men who have workouts named for them, etc., on the basis of their individual actions.

You don't, however, in my opinion, have any right to try and somehow blame or indict the military as a whole because of the actions of a few bad, bad people, who are promptly and properly dealt with in accordance with military and civilian law.


Sorry Lynne.:(

Barry Cooper 03-06-2008 06:49 AM

Re: Iraq Puppy incident
I haven't seen the video, but I'm going to assume it is someone IN A MARINE UNIFORM throwing a puppy over a cliff. First off, you need to understand that what you see is not necessarily reality, so whatever moral extrapolations you want to make need to include the very real possibility that this video stands in congruence with a long line of similar propagandistic acts.

Substantially the entire history of Vietnam as most people in the street understand it appears to have been fabricated. This would include alleged war crimes (most of them), drug use, and incidents of crime related to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Read Stolen Valor.

Secondly, if accurate, that is at a minimum "Conduct unbecoming a Marine". There is no combat value to that, and it is counterproductive. It would, I think, anger and sicken substantially ALL of our soldiers, who by all accounts do an outstanding job of maintaining their mental and moral health under very demanding circumstances.

This w/fs link is, I think, much more reflective of the general reality:

It is clear to me--and I am in the process of documenting the ideological transformatin by which this happens--that influential segments of our populace reject not just the American political system, but the values which define it. As some of the most noble exemplars of those values, soldiers come in for special attack, because they give the lie to the necessity of accomodation with evil.

Barry Cooper 03-06-2008 06:53 AM

Re: Iraq Puppy incident
Here is another relevant, w/fs link:

"In any war, we've seen that American soldiers will befriend a stray dog or a hungry cat," says Laura Salter, U.S. director of the World Society for the Protection of Animals, an agency that guides and assists soldiers in the adoption process. "Our soldiers want to do good and help others, and it extends to animals."

Mike Breslin 03-06-2008 08:25 AM

Re: Iraq Puppy incident
I try to just observe posts like this but this one time my blood is a little up. Marines, soldiers, airman, and sailors have been waging war for this country for five years. The invasion of Iraq took place in March 2003. I participated in the invasion and got out of the Marines in September 2003. My particular version of the war has very little resemblance to some of the things that the guys and gals have faced over there in the intervening years. Since I got out several Marines that I trained have been killed, several of my friends have been injured, and several others have come back with what seems to be permanent damage to their psyches from the things they have seen.

Why do I offer that little tidbit up? Simply to illustrate that unless you have seen what those American heroes have seen, you really shouldn't sit over here, in safety, and comment on their actions. I know from personal experience that the media makes mountains out of molehills. As an example, I participated in the takedown of the port city of Umm Qasr in March 2003. There was an embedded journalist from 60 Minutes II who was with us. On the third or fourth day we were there elements of my company engaged in what was essentially a minor firefight with some insurgents/plainclothes Iraqi Army dudes. We brought massively superior firepower to bear on the enemy and there was minimal danger to our guys in that particular incident.

Myself and several of my buddies were interviewed by the journalist and the interview made it onto 60 minutes in a spot titled "The Battle for Umm Qasr." A more appropriate title would have been "The minor skirmish that a well-trained squad of Marines hardly loses sleep over." My family and friends saw this segment and lost their **** because the way that the piece was portrayed. It appeared that myself and my buddies were in grave danger. The media will sensationalize any aspect of this war to get headlines. Stories about the countless lives of Iraqi citizens that have been helped don't seem to be all that important as a dumbass throwing a dog to the media machine.

If the young Devildog threw a dog off a cliff shame on him. Walk a mile in his 110 lb. combat load, in 100+ degree heat for weeks on end, on a constant edge, with the images of his hurt or dead buddies in your head before you pass judgement. Thats all I have to say.

David Wood 03-06-2008 11:06 AM

Re: Iraq Puppy incident
And, as noted, the subject has been eloquently addressed elsewhere.

Thanks to all, and good night.

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