A tiny excerpt/update from our eternal wars:
Several Marines gathered around Richards’s mother. It was late, and everyone had been drinking. His platoon commander started to tell the story of the video — a story that he has told dozens of times over the past two years. This time he picked it up at the moment when they were all standing over the Taliban fighters’ blood-stained corpses, just before the camera began recording. “Someone said, ‘Piss on these guys,’ ” he was remembering. “And someone else was like, ‘Yeah, you know what, let’s piss on them.’ ”[…]
There was a relentlessness to their war. But, on some days, there was also a joy to it. After shooting a Taliban fighter, Richards and Deptola would often slap hands. Sometimes Richards would do a little celebration dance. “To the average guy, you’d look like a complete psychopath,” Deptola said. Over there, he said, “It made perfect sense.”
The down time between missions — recuperating and waiting for another assignment — was often the hardest part. “We’d be like crack addicts,” Deptola recalled. “We were on that adrenaline drug. We’d get our high when we killed people, and the only way to get our high was to kill. We were honestly addicted to killing people.”
The more Taliban they killed, the more praise they received from the top brass. The commandant of the Marine Corps set aside a morning to have breakfast with them and laud them for their work. Richards’s commanders recognized his battlefield valor by nominating him for a Bronze Star. […]
The snipers were buzzing with joy, anger and adrenaline as they approached the enemy dead. Then came the moment just before the video. Then came the 38 seconds, and now several years later, Deptola was explaining why they decided to urinate on them.
“Because killing them wasn’t enough,” he said. “That wasn’t enough justice.”
Well, there you have it. And it’s much as we opined in the immediate aftermath of Richards’ public castigation. And we’re still of the same opinion – piss on it. There are far worse things our troops could be (probably are) doing.
And if president Obama gets his way and we string out our endless wars for another decade, you’ll get to read about them as well.
Please click-through to read the full article in today’s WaPo. While you’re reading remember: Richards, pre-deployment, was just another American male.