Jamie Freeze Baird
Keeping our honor clean
By Jamie Freeze Baird
January 14, 2012

Unless you've been living under a rock the last few days, you've seen this story about Marines urinating on dead Taliban soldiers. Of course, US officials have condemned this video, especially since it came out just as peace talks with the Taliban were about to begin. Ironically enough, a Taliban spokesman condemned the video by calling it "barbaric." However, not everyone was disgusted by this video. I recently came across a photo on Facebook that depicted the burning World Trade Center on the left side and a photo of the Marines urinating on the dead Taliban soldiers on the right side. The text above the World Trade Center photo said "They did this to us," and the caption above the Marine photo stated, "So we did this to them." And the caption underneath simply stated, "What's the problem?"

Well, since you asked...

The problem is that we sink to the enemy's level when we trade in human decency for cheap laughs.

I get that the Taliban is the enemy. I also get that dehumanizing your target makes it easier to kill. I also get that war isn't pretty. I get it. The enemy brutally attacked civilian targets on 9-11. The enemy beheaded civilians and filmed the atrocities. The enemy desecrated the bodies of our fallen soldiers. What I don't get is how acting like the enemy makes us different from them. Taliban fighters are still human beings who are worthy of being treated with basic human decency — even if you don't think they deserve it. Every human has intrinsic worth, despite their political or religious persuasion. Acting humanely doesn't make you a wuss; it makes you a decent human being who understands that all life is sacred.

The problem is that we lose face in diplomatic talks when our soldiers are acting irresponsibly.

On the eve of historic diplomatic talks between the US and the Taliban, the video of the Marines urinating on dead Taliban members went viral. Awesome timing, guys. Apparently, this group of Marines doesn't want to leave the inner circle of hell that is Afghanistan. Ten years is too short. Let's antagonize the enemy so this war never ceases. Brilliant idea, guys.

The problem is that we give the enemy propaganda footage to recruit more idiots to their radical cause.

As if radical Islam and the war against the "great Satan" wasn't enough of a draw for young men and women, a few of our Marines gave folks more incentive to wage war. The Taliban already uses the photos from Abu Ghraib as propaganda; now, they have images of American soldiers urinating on their "freedom fighters."

Don't get me wrong. I love our military. I fully support the men and women who serve. All I ask is that they represent the values our military was founded on. And I don't think it's too much to ask that Marines (and other soldiers) remember the first stanza of the Marine hymn:

From the Halls of Montezuma,
To the shores of Tripoli;
We fight our country's battles
In the air, on land, and sea;
First to fight for right and freedom
And to keep our honor clean:

We are proud to claim the title
Of United States Marine.

I want our soldiers to continue to fight for right and freedom while keeping their honor clean. The American military I know and love has a core of decency, honor, and integrity. Lead by example. Isn't that what being a soldier is all about?

© Jamie Freeze Baird


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Jamie Freeze Baird

Jamie Baird received battlefield experience in the war of ideology while attending the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. While earning her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and History, she served as Vice President of the College Republicans and was the lone conservative opinion columnist for The Carolinian, UNCG's student newspaper. After surviving college without becoming a liberal, she graduated in 2009. Jamie received her Master of Arts in Government, with certification in Law and Public Policy from Regent University in 2011, where she was also active in the College Republicans. You can contact Jamie at jamiebaird12@gmail.com with questions, comments, rants, and snide remarks.


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