28 August 2012, 20:49

How did dead Taliban fighters spoil US marines’ career?

How did dead Taliban fighters spoil US marines’ career?

U.S. soldiers have been disciplined for urinating on dead Taliban fighters. The punishments could stall their future advancement and end their military careers.

U.S. Defence Department officials failed to inform whether the punishments would include the reduction of rank, extra duty or forfeiture of pay. In any case, they are still serving in the 3rd battalion of snipers of the second marines’ regiment which is based in North Carolina. The incident occurred when this regiment served in the Afghan province of Helmand between March and September last year, and an unidentified user posted the video on the Internet. It shows how four soldiers desecrate over blood stained dead bodies while surrounding people are laughing and cheering. After an investigation the U.S. command admitted that the video was authentic. However, for some reason, only three of the four soldiers were punished. In fact, practically, the command just wagged a finger at them, says Professor at the Military University Oleg Kulakov.

“What the American soldiers did does not come under any article in military crimes. It was an emotional and brightly coloured deed that angers ordinary people. But if someone looks at the incident from the point of view of those soldiers, he will feel that they had done nothing wrong. The soldiers did not think of the consequences and what would be the public response if it were revealed,” Oleg Kulakov said.

This was not the first incident with American soldiers in Afghanistan that could damage the American Army’s image. Earlier, the press published scandalous photos where soldiers were shown on the background of killed Taliban fighters. Reportedly, American soldiers cut off parts of the bodies as souvenirs. In February, hundreds of religious books including Korans were incinerated at Bagram Air Field. At the same time, soldiers from other countries of the coalition maintain discipline in Afghanistan, says expert at the Institute of Oriental Studies Victor Korgun.

“This is the style of behavior of Americans under such military conditions where impunity is not only at the level of soldiers but at the level of all ranks. This is characteristic of the American Army. Germans are a lot more careful, and the Afghans’ attitude towards them is different. British soldiers behave more decently than the Americans. They do not challenge Afghan traditions and have no disregard for Afghan people. Americans are the most disliked because they publicize that they are fighting for and helping the Afghan people,” Victor Korgun said.

After the incineration of several Korans by American servicemen, Barack Obama apologized to his Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai. The incident sparked rioting in Afghanistan that claimed 30 lives. The Afghan President Demanded that the culprits were severely punished. However, the outcome of the investigation by the U.S. Defence Department was an administrative punishment saying that it rejected any suggestion that those involved acted with any malicious intent to disrespect the Koran and did not expect that their act would anger Moslems.

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