By Rob Delaney
People are understandably upset after video emerged of what appears to be U.S. Marines urinating on Afghan corpses. If they’re surprised, however, they need to pick up a history book.
Soldiers piss on corpses in every war. On both sides. Soldiers rape civilians, as a rule, in every war that has ever taken place since time immemorial. Rape is a weapon of war. Piss, some people are now learning, is a weapon of war. Some fucked-up, disgusting combination of the two, plus shit and dismemberment, is a weapon of war. Bad guys do it. “Good” guys do it. When a country’s government decides to wage war, they are deciding to sanction piss, rape, and the torture and murder of women and children who had the colossally bad fortune to be in the midst of the war. When the U.S. decided to enter into Afghanistan and then Iraq, they (i.e. Congress and the president, and the myriad companies that profit from war) knew this. I’m not singling out the U.S. here; while we’re as good at implementing the more horrific, soul-erasing weapons as anyone, we’re not alone. Does your country have a military? In times of war, they kill people, and sometimes they piss on them.
If it isn’t clear why I’m detailing this, it is because I want to express an old thought: war is the very worst thing there is. And if you command an army, you better the fuck understand, in your probably cowardly, definitely privileged, likely draft-dodging bones, that when you send soldiers out to fight and die, they are going to do some unconscionable, irreversible things. And they are doing it in your name. Because you told them to. And pissing on a corpse is a FUCKING POEM compared to issuing an order for beautiful young people to go and kill other beautiful young people in a land far away, because you, in essence, “felt like it.”
Rob Delaney is a comedian and writer. You can find him at Rob Delaney and at Twitter @robdelaney