Our Continuing Moral Decay, and I Blame Scott Beauchamp

Every time I listen to wingnuts talk about family values, I wonder just what kind of fucked up family they come from. We’re used to hearing conservatives talk about the corruption of the American soul, and usually the corruption they are talking about is stuff they just don’t like- women controlling their own bodies, someone saying fuck on a tv show, gay people and brown people breathing, etc. I really did think, though, that at one point, there were a few things we all, from every political persuasion, agreed on. Torture got tossed off that list during the Bush years, and now it appears that conservatives have decided that desecrating corpses (heckuva job, CNN) and urinating on the dead should also be yanked off the list of things we all abhor. I wish I was surprised, but I’m really not. Fortunately, the military still at least is pretending to take this seriously.

And remember- the people defending this are the EXACT same people who wanted you to believe soldiers never told an off color joke in a cafeteria, or ran over a dog, or the other stuff they furiously attacked Beauchamp for a couple years ago.

137 replies
  1. 1
    ciotog says:

    If instead of thinking of wingnuts as “pro-family” you start thinking of them as “pro-patriarchy” their worldview actually makes sense.

  2. 2
    Martin says:

    I’m going to upload a video to YouTube later where I prove using my daughter’s sandbox that it’s physically impossible for a kung-fu grip GI Joe to pee on an incinerated Mohammed doll.

  3. 3

    I think you are being too harsh on our right-wing friends. They don’t give the military a pass on everything. They are quick to condemn soldiers when they do something disgusting, like teh butt sex. Have you already forgotten them booing a serving service member for being gay?

  4. 4
    fasteddie9318 says:

    Conservatives have been urinating on the living for most of human history, so why not take a quick leak on the dead too?

  5. 5
    catclub says:

    @Martin: lol.

    Just don’t go shooting any watermelons in that sandbox.

  6. 6
    BGinCHI says:

    @Martin: Reveal your funding, O’Keefe!

  7. 7
    kwAwk says:

    Yep, young men put under threat of life and limb for months at a time will do some things that aren’t fit for public consumption.

    Shocking I know.

  8. 8
    BGinCHI says:

    @John – A Motley Moose: Or for wanting to go to college after they serve. Or extended healthcare. Or jobs.

  9. 9
    Hypnos says:

    I like the reasoning. “These are the people who killed 3,000 American civilians” (they aren’t). So given that the Americans have killed 30,000 Afghan civilians, I guess the Taliban are entitled to dragging naked American servicemen corpses through the streets.

    Wonder what they would say then.

  10. 10
    catclub says:

    has the justification “Well, those goddam savages would do the same thing” come up yet?

    Reminds me that military training is supposed to make them a bit better than said savages.

    realistic traing would be: Unless a commanding officer two levels higher is there and approves, in writing, what is being done, do not video.

  11. 11
    Mnemosyne says:

    I probably should be more shocked by corpse desecration, but after all of the other horrors that have come of out Iraq and Afghanistan, my thought was mostly, “Well, at least they were already dead, unlike those poor bastards at Abu Ghraib.”

    After you have US servicemen raping 14-year-olds and murdering their entire family, a little urinating on the dead seems rather tame. Comparatively.

  12. 12
    fasteddie9318 says:

    @Martin: This is depressing. If the kung-fu grip doesn’t provide the action figure with the ability to get a good hold on his junk, why are we allowing toy companies to mutilate their arms like that?

  13. 13
    kindness says:

    @John – A Motley Moose: The rightwingnutz aren’t against butt sex. They are only against guys having butt sex with other guys.

  14. 14
    gaz says:

    Clearly then, the soldiers just need more on the job experience right?


  15. 15
    jl says:

    Poor Cole, he just doesn’t get it, does he?

    “the people defending this are the EXACT same people who wanted you to believe soldiers never told an off color joke in a cafeteria, or ran over a dog,”

    Yes, but those things would be bad, if they had happened, which they didn’t.

    Desecrating enemy dead is just understandable something or others that aren’t a big deal.

    So, what was this nattering by pathetic liberals about how sanctioning torture could degrade a society?

    Edit: that last bit was more a comment on our civilian front sociopaths (who may be moving on up to psychopaths), not the soldiers. Things like this happen in all wars, but they are inexcusable on several grounds and this incident should be taken very seriously. Edit edit, and if the situation is what it looks to be, they need to be held accountable.

  16. 16
    Soonergrunt says:

    You have to remember, John, The Troops ™ are untouchable for them.
    Until they collect money from the lobbyists for Kroger and Safeway, and then they want to privatize the Commissary system.
    Until they collect money from the lobbyists for AHIP and then they want to privatize the VA.
    I, and anybody who’s actually been a troop or been around them for more than five minutes knows they aren’t any more (or less) virtuous than anybody else.
    But whether they are or not, the Republicans will work very hard to destroy the benefits that were promised to them.

  17. 17
    gaz says:


    I like the reasoning. “These are the people who killed 3,000 American civilians” (they aren’t). So given that the Americans have killed 30,000 Afghan civilians, I guess the Taliban are entitled to dragging naked American servicemen corpses through the streets.

    I’m thinking they should produce a chart or something, so we’re all clear on how many afghan lives correspond to one american life, etc.

    You know, just so we have some kind of quantifiable metric.

    I’m off now. After writing this snark, I need a shower.

  18. 18
    Soonergrunt says:

    @Mnemosyne: But the first rightfully resulted in Courts-Martial with lengthy prison sentences, and the second should result in Courts-Martial and appropriate punishment if convicted.

  19. 19
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    Note to Andres Serrano: everything would have been forgiven if you had just had the foresight to join the Marines and staged your artworks in a third world country.

    Future budding postmodern artists take note.

  20. 20
    slag says:

    @kwAwk: Young men are being held responsible for the actions they took.

    Shocking, I know.

  21. 21
    fasteddie9318 says:

    @gaz: That’s not so easy, considering that there’s clearly not a single value for an American life. I mean, are we comparing Afghan lives to the lives of young bucks buying t-bones with their welfare checks, or are we comparing Afghan lives with the blessed lives of our Holy Anointed Job Creators? You’ll get vastly different answers, and there are degrees in between.

  22. 22
    aimai says:

    Martin, you’ve had a lot of truly great comments in this last year and a half but this is one of the best.


  23. 23
    Mark S. says:

    Allan West really lives in another universe from the rest of us:

    I do not recall any self-righteous indignation when our Delta snipers Shugart and Gordon had their bodies dragged through Mogadishu.

    That’s funny, I kind of do. Of course, we didn’t immediately nuke Mogadishu, which West probably feels would have been the only appropriate response.

  24. 24
    Mino says:

    Vicarious. What else is trickle down? The joke’s on us.

  25. 25
    rea says:

    As I recall, some of the guys in Scott Beauchamp’s unit–the ones who couldn’t possibly have done the brutal things reported by Beauchamp, because American troops don’t do such things–were later convicted of murdering Iraqi civilians.

  26. 26
    Flukebucket says:

    You send them to kill people and then freak out when they piss on the bodies. It brings to mind the quote that I believe is from Apocolypse Now but nevertheless I paraphrase, “we can rain fire down on women and children but we cannot write the word fuck on a bomb because it is obscene”

  27. 27
    Anne Laurie says:

    Cole, for the newbies, you should add a link to the “Curse you, Scott Beauchamp” entry in the Lexicon…

  28. 28
    Gilles de Rais says:

    We lost and we’re leaving, so you won’t see much more of this kind of crap regardless.

    Vietnam fucked our national psyche but good. Afghanistan will be the third major conflict in a row that we’ve lost. Any ideas on how the country is going to deal with that?

  29. 29
    redshirt says:

    @Gilles de Rais: Try again! It’s the American Way!

  30. 30
    Benjamin Franklin says:

    Dana Loesch-The disproportionate anger on the part of progressives is fueled by their dislike of our military.

    Hoo boy!

    No one loves our military more than conservatives, as long as they’re getting combat pay. But when veterans actually expect their Country’s promises to
    bear fruit after they’ve returned home with catastrophic injury, they should seek
    privatized/non-profit help with their issues.

    Progressives have more genuine regard for the military. They don’t wish to expose our citizens to more risk than is necessary, and our nannyism gives them aid and comfort on their return.

    On the urinators; You’ll find the best and the worst people in the Marines.
    Based on statistics, you are gonna have the occasional psychopath/sociopath.
    Maybe a little higher in the military, since they might be drawn to occupations where they can blow shit up. But, in the main, they are decent folks.

  31. 31
    cathyx says:

    @Flukebucket: I have to agree with you somewhat. We teach them to look at the enemy as inhuman. For them it’s like urinating on an inanimate object.

  32. 32
    Holden Pattern says:

    @Mark S.: And of course, we flattened Fallujah when those mercenaries, er, security contractors were killed and their bodies desecrated.

    It’s not what is done, but who does it, that matters.

  33. 33
    Holden Pattern says:

    @Mark S.: And of course, we flattened Fallujah when those mercenaries, er, security contractors were killed and their bodies desecrated.

    It’s not what is done, but who does it, that matters.

  34. 34
    jl says:

    I don’t buy the ‘it’s understandable given the stress’ excuse.

    These kinds of crimes happen in every war, and good people do crack under stress. But if you want an effective military operation and maintain discipline (so military people have told me) and also, perhaps a side note, retain the nation’s honor, or whatever remains of it, these kinds of crimes cannot be excused or dismissed.

    Revolutionary war soldiers were under stress too, and Washington issued a command that violations of the rules of war by his troops were to be punished, up to the death penalty if that were justified.

    If there is some excuse or explanation for war crimes because of stress or PTSD, etc., that can be taken into consideration at trial. But there is no way these kinds of crimes can be excused, from desecrating dead enemy bodies to raping and killing civilians.

    Of course, my comments apply to government workers only. I guess the civilian contractors with guns can do whatever then want, since whatever they do is for the best, otherwise it would not happen. (/snark)

  35. 35
    The Sailor says:

    @kwAwk: Young people who volunteer and are accepted for military service should be aware of the immorality of war crimes.

  36. 36
    g says:

    And of course, we flattened Fallujah when those mercenaries, er, security contractors were killed and their bodies desecrated.

    And if you recall, the rightwing pearl-clutchers excoriated Kos for expressing pretty much the same sentiment Dana Loesch just aired on CNN. Only in the other direction.

  37. 37
    eric says:

    @cathyx: at the time they were inanimate, but that is something for which we cannot be moved because they are the enemy and their fatherless children are our future enemies — that we have all but assured.

  38. 38
    Violet says:

    This is absolutely true. I was in the car this afternoon and decided to listen to Limbaugh and then Hannity on the radio. Both of them were saying this wasn’t a big deal, it was just soldiers being soldiers, it’s not as bad as what the enemy does, sure they should be punished but not very much, etc. It was kind of amazing to listen to.

    Hannity’s show was really interesting. Some caller phoned in saying the guys should be punished to the maximum extent of military law and given a dishonorable discharge. Hannity disagreed, then said he was going to consult his expert he had on another line, some guy who was career Marine and had done six tours of duty or something. This “expert”, who I expected to be on Hannity’s side backed up the caller and said the guys should be punished, etc. Hannity didn’t agree with them and tried to explain it away as, “honorable guys can sometimes do one bad thing and it doesn’t mean they’re not honorable guys.” WTF? Try that excuse in court with someone accused of murder, especially if that person is black and male. Somehow I don’t think the “he is a person of honor except for this one not-so-honorable act” excuse is going to get him very far.

    It really was bizarro world to listen to.

  39. 39
    Calouste says:

    @Mark S.:

    I don’t think there will be much indignation if Allen West gets dragged through the streets of Mogadishu.

  40. 40
    Svensker says:

    Was this an awful thing to do? Yes, of course. What was worse was killing those people in the first place. If we weren’t there — where we have no business being — those people would probably still be alive and those kids/soldiers wouldn’t have had the opportunity to act like morans.

    Should the soldiers be held accountable? Yes, of course. But don’t put them in that situation in the first place is my best advice.

    I am more horrified by the monsters so many folks on the right seem to have become. Have they no decency? Have they no shame? What has happened to them?

  41. 41
  42. 42
  43. 43
    Amir Khalid says:

    Completely off-topic (sorry) but I saw this amazingly ignorant sub-heading on a Slate Explainer story about clergymen’s salaries:

    A priest, a rabbi, and an imam walk into a bar. Who buys the drinks?

    Imams don’t drink. (Being, y’know, Muslim.) Someone should have a word with the dunderhead who wrote that.

  44. 44
    General Stuck says:

    This is the kind of shit that happens when you invade a country and occupy it militarily, justified or not, then let everything turn to shit because there is another country you want to invade and militarily occupy, just because you wanna. And you don’t have the resources to do both. Classic fail in military strategy, not to divide your forces and lose everything.

    And let the first country invaded, the one an attack on us was launched from, turn into a bloody grinding insurgent war, with GIs fighting for ground, then giving it up, and rinse and repeat. Sound familiar?. And for an entire decade, and you are still there. Sending the same troops back over and over again, each time with a new set of scars on their psyche that war always causes, and a threshold point is reached and it gets acted out by the weaker links with something like this.

    George Bush, the mean boy president with his Chucky Doll Cheney, will hopefully answer some day for their FUBAR actions. Somehow, in some realm.

    Meanwhile, we watch as Iraq starts shaking, and the sound of the apocalypse can be picked up faintly on the breeze.

    GWB isn’t worried about history, the motherfucker will be just as dead as the people he sent to their early graves in the here and now. Way to go Murrica!

  45. 45
    Raven says:

    @jl: You sure, I just hit it and it worked?


  46. 46
    Violet says:

    Oh, I forgot to add, on Hannity’s show I heard a commercial from an anti-Romney SuperPAC. Something about finding out the truth about Bain Capital, or something. I can’t remember exactly and I can’t remember what SuperPAC it was, although they did say at the end. But what surprised me is that my state doesn’t vote until Super Tuesday. Why are they running anti-Romney ads during Hannity on our local radio station?

  47. 47
    Rafer Janders says:

    @Gilles de Rais:

    You know, for all the talk about American military prowess, the last real war that we won unreservedly, one-on-one, with no major assistance, was the Spanish-American War. And that was against a JV opponent. We might not really be as good at this thing as we assume we are…

  48. 48
    Raven says:

    Pat Lang is all over it, especially that the jar heads are somehow special.


    The Union Army did not p–s on these dead. US soldiers don’t p–s on their dead enemies. US Marines in spite of their breast beating denials of common identity with other US soldiers are US soldiers. This is a shameful thing. The culprits and those who trained them in such a way that these simpletons thought this was acceptable should be punished to set an example for other simpletons.

    I heard Secretary Clinton say today that this behavior is unacceptable but then she stupidly said that the marines “particularly” should know better. Why is that? Does she imagine that there are different rules for this self described “elite?” pl

  49. 49
    MildlyAmusedRainbowPerson says:

    Family values are the way that wingnuts express their rabidly authoritarian, nosy neighbor, douche-bag voyeur, small-town Christian fascist streak, while being able to blame big government, liberals, the Easter Bunny, persons of imperfect whiteness etc etc for the fucked-up world they’ve inflicted on the rest of us with those same values.

  50. 50
    Svensker says:


    You prolly have it in cache. I got The Ultimate CGI and a blank page with some weird message that nothing could be accessed.

  51. 51
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Amir Khalid: American bars will gladly sell you a sparkling water, soft drink, or whatever juice the bartender keeps on hand for mixers (OJ for screwdrivers, tomato for bloody marys, probably cranberry or pomogranite these days for foo-foo martinis) at approximately three times the usual restaurant rate. I’m a near-teetotler myself, but a lot of American business “socializing” still takes place in adult drinking emporiums.

  52. 52
    Raven says:

    @Svensker: Does the raw url work?

  53. 53
  54. 54
    Rafer Janders says:


    Hannity didn’t agree with them and tried to explain it away as, “honorable guys can sometimes do one bad thing and it doesn’t mean they’re not honorable guys.”

    By the same metric, just because a faithful husband cheats on his wife, it doesn’t mean he’s not a faithful husband….

  55. 55
    gnomedad says:

    These guys are the ultimate relativists. As long as its the Exceptional peeing on the unexceptional, it’s all good. Full stop.

  56. 56
    Raven says:

    @Anne Laurie: Buddy of mine just posted a picture of a drink cooler near NO. 218 B, LORONG KERAMAT 12 · Kampong Datok Keramat, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia that has a sign on it that says “Sales of beer and wine are for NON-MUSLIM customers only”! When I was in the Nam they warned the hell out of us not to fool with dope if we went there on R&R. I went to Sydney.

  57. 57
    Anne Laurie says:


    I heard Secretary Clinton say today that this behavior is unacceptable but then she stupidly said that the marines “particularly” should know better. Why is that? Does she imagine that there are different rules for this self described “elite?”

    Well, the romantic view (especially among those Marines) is that they’re America’s Warrior Class.

    I wish one of the Balloon Juice classicists, or at least someone with better google-fu than mine, would put up a link to those parts of the Illiad where things go badly after one side desecrates the other sides’ corpses.

  58. 58
    The Sailor says:

    From the article: CNN, which has looked to bring in voices from across the political spectrum, also prides itself on being positioned in the center of the more ideologically driven Fox and MSNBC networks.

    Really!? Both sides do it? As in one tells the truth and the other one lies? Politico is a kettle calling the pot blah.

    And for the fucks that are supporting or ‘understanding’ about this, as human beings? FAIL.

    What, My Lai?

  59. 59
    Raven says:

    @Anne Laurie: Eat the apple and fuck the corps. My birthday is Nov 10, and I went in that day in 66 and they were drafting Marines. I get so sick of that shit like there are no jar heads in the rear, every goddamn one of them is on point.

  60. 60
    MildlyAmusedRainbowPerson says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    Things don’t, as a rule, go badly in the Iliad after corpses are desecrated. The poet expresses revulsion and even outrage, but the gods don’t descend to punish the perpetrators.

  61. 61
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Anne Laurie:
    Ah. I see. Although the (admittedly not many) imams I know wouldn’t be caught dead in a bar, even if they weren’t imbibing the Devil’s unclean liquor themselves.

  62. 62
    Svensker says:


    That one woiks.

  63. 63
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    And remember- the people defending this are the EXACT same people who wanted you to believe soldiers never told an off color joke in a cafeteria, or ran over a dog, or the other stuff they furiously attacked Beauchamp for a couple years ago.

    ZOMG! Fuckin’ soldiers are telling fuckin’ off-color (gadzooks!) jokes in a..what? Cafeteria? Try mess hall. Probably eating shit on a shingle. Or chilimac. Or some other great achievement of American military, um, cuisine.

    I think that what really needs to happen is that some fired up American soldiers raid some fortress of fascism, like say the Heritage Institute or Focus on the Family headquarters, kill with cold steel a few of the lower life forms known to frequent these locations, then ejaculate on the corpses after getting a blow job from some hot Korean chicks (female soldiers of course do something else that’s gender appropriate but equally outrageous), video tape the whole thing, then post it on YouTube under “for the kids!” and we’ll see how they fuckin’ react to THAT.

    Oh, you mean it’s only cool to desecrate the corpses of BROWN PEOPLE? Two words that you should use in such a situation. I forgot that desecrating non-brown corpses is not cool. If they don’t buy the “I forgot” explanation, well, I’ve got two other words for them: EXCUUUUUUUSSSSE ME!

  64. 64
    Mnemosyne says:


    Oh, I’m not arguing they should somehow escape punishment. I’m saying that my scale of “shocking behavior” has been warped in a major way by our decade in AfPak.


    I heard Secretary Clinton say today that this behavior is unacceptable but then she stupidly said that the marines “particularly” should know better. Why is that? Does she imagine that there are different rules for this self described “elite?”

    Well, if you set yourself up as an “elite,” you have basically created extra rules for yourself, IMO. You can’t claim you’re better than the other branches right up to the point where your guys do something disgusting and then try to backtrack and claim you’re nothin’ special. So, yes, it is especially disappointing that it would be Marines who did this because they’re constantly claiming to be better disciplined than everyone else.

    Put it this way — if your alcoholic uncle pisses on the lawn, you’re disgusted but not really surprised. If your grandmother does it, it’s a much bigger deal.

  65. 65
    General Stuck says:


    and they were drafting Marines.

    They were in 72 as well. There were seven of us lined up at the AfEEs getting inducted, and they went down the line, first 5 Army, last two Marines. The two dudes that got picked turned white as ghosts, I breathed easier. But I later heard, those drafted into the Marines didn’t have to sign the Jarhead oath, or whatever it was called.

  66. 66
    Amir Khalid says:

    Is the law here. If I tried to buy beer in a supermarket, or order wine in a restaurant (not that I would), they would be legally obligated to refuse me. If I were actually caught drinking, I would face a criminal trial in a Sharia court. One such case here got international attention a few years ago. A Muslim woman had a beer in a bar, and was sentenced to whipping (eventually commuted).
    ETA: By the way, Kampung Datuk Keramat is right by where I live.

  67. 67
    GregB says:

    My favorite and oft repeated wingnut excuse for any war crime or act of violence.

    At least we don’t cut people’s heads off.

    Use as needed.

  68. 68
    Gust Avrakotos says:

    Wtf are you talking about Cole you fucking clown. They are fucking soldiers doing soldier shit! Young dumb full of cum soldiers in one of the most backwards ass countries in the world where more than half the population hate their fucking guts and want to kill them. They are not diners in a fine restaurant that requires a suit and fucking tie!

    I don’t know what those afghans were doing to become dead and pissed on but I’m guessing it wasn’t missionary work.

    You will never understand. You are too dumb to understand how different their reality is from your reality sitting in front of your computer petting that overweight cat of yours.

    Or is this just another one of your childishly idealistic rants about how war is bad therefore we should stop all war immediately like my hero Greenwald says.

  69. 69
    wrb says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Imams don’t drink. (Being, y’know, Muslim.) Someone should have a word with the dunderhead who wrote that.

    And priests (and nuns) don’t fuck?

    Even in the world of jokes?

    If we were to accept that the religious obeyed their rules we’d lose the best of 2000 years of jokes.

    My best drinking companion in college was a muslim who bought us the booze using a passport as ID that stated right on it that he wasn’t allowed to drink.

  70. 70
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    @Gust Avrakotos:

    Um, dumbass, Cole is a veteran.

    Just sayin’.

  71. 71
    Martin says:


    I heard Secretary Clinton say today that this behavior is unacceptable but then she stupidly said that the marines “particularly” should know better. Why is that? Does she imagine that there are different rules for this self described “elite?”

    No, she’s using the natural competition between services to everyone’s benefit. She would have said the same for any branch of the service. And military leadership has always used pride as a motivating tool.

  72. 72
    wrb says:


    The gods do speak sternly to Achilles after he desecrates Hector’s corpse.

    Preventing the desecration of corpses was a huge concern for the friends of the corpse. Not so much for the other side.

  73. 73
    Calouste says:


    After Achilles desecrated Hector’s body, one of the gods points out Achilles’ heel to one of the Trojans.

  74. 74
    General Stuck says:

    @Villago Delenda Est:

    Gust is not very good at reading comp, either.

  75. 75
    MildlyAmusedRainbowPerson says:


    Nuns and monks are notoriously interested in sex in medieval literature – and, for what it’s worth, Daoist nuns in medieval China often doubled as courtesans. I suspect that for the women, at least, going nun was often a way of escaping familial/patriarchal control of their sexuality.

  76. 76
    harlana says:

    just, Abu Ghraib, people, and all those other horrible stories of torture, murder and rape committed by our troops that i finally just got sick of reading about – nothing shocks me after seeing those pictures some years ago. and the “few bad apples” horseshit. i remember how incredibly angry i was, putting the responsibility and guilt squarely at the feet of the presidency, Cheney and that shitstain, Rumsfeld. the only thing more shocking and infuriating than watching the country go insane over invading a country which had done nothing to us having non-existent WMD’s, was the horrifying immoral, cruel and insanely wasteful way in which the war was conducted.

  77. 77
    RD says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    I wish one of the Balloon Juice classicists, or at least someone with better google-fu than mine, would put up a link to those parts of the Illiad where things go badly after one side desecrates the other sides’ corpses

    Joker’s journey to the Shit comes to mind.

  78. 78
    Gust Avrakotos says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: ….and did what? Peeled potato? Did he ever even hear a shot fired in anger?

    G. Dubya is also “a veteran”. Just sayin’

  79. 79
    Benjamin Franklin says:

    @Gust Avrakotos:

    You sound like burnie

  80. 80
    MildlyAmusedRainbowPerson says:


    Not true. Achilles’ heel is a later addition to the story. Achilles’ death is foreshadowed several times in the Iliad, but it’s never specified exactly how he will die. The story of his invulnerability except for the heel first crops up in Latin poetry. Homer even has Achilles being wounded in Iliad 21, where his elbow is grazed by a spear.

  81. 81
    harlana says:

    @Gust Avrakotos: piss off, really, Cole served in the Gulf War

  82. 82
    Karen says:

    Incest is a “family value” too.

  83. 83
    Comrade Luke says:

    I don’t know how many of you guys know who Rob Delaney is. He’s basically, a raunchy comedian, but he periodically writes good articles too.

    I like his take on this: Cooking up a war? Don’t forget the piss.

    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.”

  84. 84
    Karen says:

    So snark doesn’t pass the filter? Really?

  85. 85
    cat says:


    Until they collect money from the lobbyists for Kroger and Safeway, and then they want to privatize the Commissary system.

    WTF, are you kidding me??? AAFES pays for itself and provides jobs for Military dependents while while they are stationed overseas, provides good benefits, and even pensions.

    The system is so good there is a waiting list to get unpaid jobs working for tips as baggers.

    seriously, why can’t we have nice things???

  86. 86
    eric says:

    @MildlyAmusedRainbowPerson: i find the contrast between homer’s hector and achilles the most perplexing in literature given that achilles is on homer’s side of the tribal ledger and he appears far less of a sympathetic character than the enemy hector.

  87. 87
    Gust Avrakotos says:

    @harlana: once again………and did what? Does that automatically make him an expert on war?

    You gloom porn addicts and Cole apologists are hilarious.

  88. 88
    wrb says:


    Oh certainly.

    I was just reading from 15th century secretary to two popes, Poggio Bracciolini, and he makes it clear that he considers nunneries whorehouses and monasteries organizations for housing of idiots and for the procuring of boys (although the Curia, in which he worked, got the prettier ones).

  89. 89
    Hob says:

    Pretty sure Gust Avrakotos is either Fred/derf or Tim/Kola Noscopy. He’s going to fling poo at Cole no matter what the topic is – it doesn’t have to make sense. DNFTT.

  90. 90
    The prophet Nostradumbass says:

    Old’ Derf, I mean Gust, probably spends much of his time standing in front of the home, yelling “YOU NO TAKE CANDLE!” at random passers by.

  91. 91
    jl says:

    @Gust Avrakotos: ‘zat u Ares? We are honored.

  92. 92
    harlana says:

    @Svensker: you’d think the shame of the Bush presidency would have put them in their place, but apparently, they are sociopaths.

  93. 93
    MildlyAmusedRainbowPerson says:


    My view is that Homer doesn’t really have a side – and that the Iliad is about how you re-integrate someone into human civilization after they step out of it. That’s why Achilles is the main character, and it’s about how he becomes a man outside the Greek and then the human community, first through his quarrel with Agamemnon, and then by his descent into bestial savagery in his treatment of Hector’s corpse. I don’t really think Homer’s main focus is Greek versus Trojan, as much as it is what it is to be human versus non-human. That’s why Hector is very much one of the good guys, whereas Achilles becomes this pathological killer, who abandons decency and slaughters prisoners as a human sacrifice, abuses Hector’s body -and in the process loses virtually everything he ought to be. I think that’s why the Iliad ends with Hector being returned to his community, while Achilles is brought back to humanity by listening to Priam and thinking of his own father. Compassion really is the key, in the end.

  94. 94
    Gust Avrakotos says:

    @The prophet Nostradumbass: How did you know?

    Hurling insults is working my little groupies. Really it is. Nothing hurts more than random handles on some backwoods blog site hurling insults at my random handles. I live and breath through my random handles on random backwoods websites.

    So keep at it my little groupies. Very productive use of your time.

  95. 95
    The prophet Nostradumbass says:

    @Gust Avrakotos: Zzzzzzzzzz

  96. 96
    jl says:

    Time for a DougJ Expose.
    A tumbrel for him, when the revolution comes.

  97. 97
    MildlyAmusedRainbowPerson says:

    @Gust Avrakotos:

    I live and breath through my random handles

    Never heard an ass called a random handle before.

  98. 98
    Fluke bucket says:

    Let me guess Gust. Grenada?

  99. 99
    Gust Avrakotos says:

    @Hob: Yes, I hate Cole with the heat of a thousand suns. But not for who he is. I have no idea who he is.

    It’s what he represents. Dumbfuck voters who can be convinced of just about anything such as voting for probably the worst president in history…..twice. And they can be convinced of it again.

    And if you think for one second that Cole has somehow changed his stupid ways think again. He still listens to what Greenwald has to say and Greenwald worships people like Ron Paul. Think about that and remember…YOU CAN’T FIX STUPID.

  100. 100
  101. 101
    eric says:

    @MildlyAmusedRainbowPerson: but if you view the Iliad as a moral bible as it were (akin to fables), there is much in it that is anti-humane but still endorsed by our noble homer. the real scene for me is hector’s running around the city to delay the battle with achilles — but it has been so long since i have read the book that the details escape me. But one has to decide whether Hector is embodying an everyman of sorts seeking to prolong sweet life or is being portrayed as a coward to offset his otherwise heroic persona as compared to the powerful, but grotesque achilles.

  102. 102
    Mnemosyne says:


    IIR my Sophocles correctly, the spirit of an unburied corpse is unable to travel to the underworld, which is why the friends and family would go to great lengths to make sure a body had some kind of burial.

    (Edited for clarity)

  103. 103
    The Sailor says:

    @Raven: Raven, I generally like your posts, but the USMC never drafted for VN.

  104. 104
    eric says:

    @Mnemosyne: That is what drives Antigone to betray her king to bury her brother. she is faced with the moral dilemma to obey her king and to obey the moral edict about burying her brother despite his treachery to country.

  105. 105
    Baron Jrod of Keeblershire says:

    @Gust Avrakotos: I can appreciate a good troll as much as anyone.

    But when the troll gets into it as much as you do, it’s really just sad and pathetic.

    You need a better hobby. Have you tried watching TV? Maybe playing video games? Masturbating? Really, just about anything would be a healthier pastime.

    In any case, we’ll just mark you down as a supporter of desecrating the corpses of our enemies. I don’t know if you really are the kind of scumbag who supports this, but I do know that you’re willing so pretend so if it allows you to snipe at John Cole. Do you really think you should be abandoning all morality in the name of mildly bugging some guy on the web? Seems like a bad bargain to me.

  106. 106
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @The Sailor: Over 42,000 draftee jarheads would say you are wrong.

  107. 107
    MildlyAmusedRainbowPerson says:


    I think you could see Hector as a human being confronted by a rampaging superhuman monster in terrifying armor – and doing what any sane human being would do. We’ve already seen him as a formidable fighter in his own right, which makes it hard to just put him down as a coward. At the end of the day, he’s a sane man, fighting for his city and his family, who runs up against a force of nature. Achilles has already done battle with the river-god Scamander, and so we, and by implication Hector, know just how formidably out of the ordinary world he is.

  108. 108
    gnomedad says:

    Via @pourmecoffee:

    We’re all guilty of dehumanizing the enemy

    But of course they have dehumanized the enemy — otherwise they would have to face the enormous guilt and anguish of killing other human beings. Rather than demonstrate a callous disregard for the enemy, this awful incident might reveal something else: a desperate attempt by confused young men to convince themselves that they haven’t just committed their first murder, that they have simply shot some coyotes on the back 40.

    When the war on terror started, the Marines in that video were probably nine or 10 years old. As children they heard us adults — and political leaders — talk about our enemies in the most inhuman terms. The Internet and the media are filled with self-important men and women referring to our enemies as animals that deserve little legal or moral consideration. We have sent enemy fighters to countries like Syria and Libya to be tortured by the very regimes that we have recently condemned for engaging in war crimes and torture.

  109. 109
    Amir Khalid says:

    Generally speaking, imams do indeed not drink. Generally speaking, Catholic priests do indeed not rape children and their nuns are indeed not promiscuous sluts. (Regardless of what one might read in smutty fiction from medieval times, whose descriptions of widespread priestly sexy-times should be taken with a grain of salt.) In making these assertions, I know better than to claim that people of the cloth are all angels. It’s kind of an honor thing for them to be more observant than others, like Hillary said about US Marines.

    Your Muslim drinking buddy from college wasn’t studying to be an imam, I would bet.

  110. 110
    Benjamin Franklin says:

    @Gust Avrakotos:

    So keep at it my little groupies. Very productive use of your time.

    A tacit admission that his only purpose is to derail, and quite proud of his cock-puppeting.

  111. 111
    eric says:

    @MildlyAmusedRainbowPerson: i dont disagree with your reading. It may be precisely a lack of fealty to the greek qua greek that leads Plato to bar the poets, along with their penchant for showing intractable moral dramas, ala Antigone discussed above.

  112. 112
    eemom says:

    @Gust Avrakotos:

    Stop impersonating a Greek.

  113. 113
    MildlyAmusedRainbowPerson says:


    Has he confessed to massive tax evasion and fraud against the European Union as well as his other crimes?

  114. 114
    The Sailor says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Next time you cite a website as a fact, make sure your source cites facts.

  115. 115
    General Stuck says:

    @The Sailor:

    Next time you cite a website as a fact, make sure your source cites facts.

    Well, it is a fact that Marines were drafted during the Vietnam War era. I saw it with my own eyes. But since they didn’t have to sign the Marine Oath, the ones I knew were not sent into combat. I don’t know for sure if that was always the case, but it could be.

  116. 116
    The Sailor says:

    @General Stuck: Sorry, but an anecdote does not equal a fact. Even anecdota != fact.

    Citation needed.

    As I recall, (anecdote), the marines did not want those pukes.

    I’m not saying that many people joined the marines because they were facing the draft, (idiots like my brother with testosterone poisoning), but that they weren’t drafted.

    If someone, anyone, can cite actual facts that the Marines drafted men, I will concede the point.

    I work in science, if you prove me wrong I will change my mind. I won’t keep moving goal posts.

    If this is a fact, I want to learn. So far I haven’t seen evidence.

  117. 117
    Benjamin Franklin says:

    @The Sailor:

    This must be really important to you.

  118. 118
    General Stuck says:

    @The Sailor:

    Anecdote? I said I saw it with my own eyes at the AFEEs station when I was drafted and inducted into the Army. That is not a fucking anecdote, it is an eyewitness account. If you want to call me a liar, have at it, but not an anecdote.

    Omnes gave you a perfectly good source far as I know.

  119. 119
    General Stuck says:

    @The Sailor:

    the marines did not want those pukes.

    Tell that to all the draftees pushing daises from WW1 on through Vietnam. Jerk.

  120. 120
    fasteddie9318 says:

    @Gust Avrakotos: I think my favorite part is that you seem to have devoted a considerable amount of thought, emotion, and energy to hating some random dude on the tubes, but it’s the rest of us who are sad people with no life.

  121. 121
    Samara Morgan says:

    @eric: i dont agree either…..how passing strange to hear a discussion of the Illiad without the prime movers…..the gods. Apollo and Zeus, Pallas Athena with the terrible eyes that appears on the battlefield and tricks Hector into finally fighting Achilles.
    Disaster befalls both Teucrians and Acheans, but not for desecrating corpses– for flouting the will of the gods.

    i dont expect AL to understand this, but muslim practice calls for respect of the dead, and prompt interment.
    by sundown of the same day, isnt that correct, Khalid?

  122. 122
    MildlyAmusedRainbowPerson says:

    @The Sailor:


    Marine Corps Draft: 42,633


    p.5 (1965)

    7 Sept
    USMC—The Marine Corps announced that it would probably have to start drafting men in January . Although Marine recruiting had been encouraging, more men would be needed for growing commitments in Vietnam . Volunteers increased 20 percent in August over July .


    14 Oct
    USMC—The draft call for December was put at 45,224 men by the Department of Defense . the Marine Corps was to receive 5,024 men .

  123. 123
    Samara Morgan says:

    those marines were directly contravening their orders.
    they had instruction on treatment of the bodies of dead muslims.

    no wonder we lost the battle for hearts and minds.

  124. 124
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @The Sailor: I offered a source from a Vietnam Vets organization. You have also been offered eyewitness accounts. What sourcing would you like?

  125. 125
    cat says:

    @Samara Morgan:

    we lost the battle for hearts and minds.

    Has any occupying army every won the hearts and minds???

  126. 126
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Samara Morgan: m_c, those marines knew, or should have known, that that mistreatment of the dead is against the law of land warfare regardless of the religion of the deceased.

  127. 127
    White Trash Liberal says:


    Speaking as an active duty Marine and combat veteran, you are off base. Yes, we are in the shit, and yes the locals hate us. But desecrating the dead is a violation of the laws of war. We care for the dead and wounded with respect. There is a reason for this: to keep us in a combat mindset. Well-disciplined, steel-eyed warriors.

    Not fucking barbarians.

    Those Marines violating the corpses should be punished via court martial and dishonorably discharged. That whole command should be investigated to determine why respect for the laws of war grew complacent.

    The whole “you don’t understand what it’s like MAN” defense is horseshit.

  128. 128
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @cat: Post-WWII US Army in Germany.

  129. 129
    Mnemosyne says:

    @White Trash Liberal:

    The whole “you don’t understand what it’s like MAN” defense is horseshit.

    I often notice that the only people who try to use that defense are the people who aren’t there, and usually were never there. Isn’t there a truism among veterans that the guys who brag the most about their service are the ones who never left their stateside base?

  130. 130
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:


    @John – A Motley Moose: The rightwingnutz aren’t against butt sex. They are only against guys having butt sex with other guys, except when they’re the ones having it.

    Fix’t that for ya. No charge blog post repair service here. Need your windows cleaned? No? Then have a nice day! ;)

  131. 131
    Triassic Sands says:

    Republicans are lousy people.

  132. 132
    Samara Morgan says:

    @cat: COIN and our armed social workers missionaries with guns were supposed to win the indigenes over.
    we were PRETENDING not to be invader/occupiers.

    Epic fail.

  133. 133
    The Sailor says:

    I stand corrected. I apologize. I was wrong.
    The .mil pdf convinced me. Not anecdotes. Eye witness testimony is notoriously unreliable.

    Repeat, I was wrong.

  134. 134
    dead existentialist says:

    @Gust Avrakotos: I hope this isn’t an audition to be a FPer.

  135. 135
    Brutusettu says:

    Maybe the Weekly Standard can ask experts if it’s feasible for grown human males to pee standing up.

    If the 3 men facing a court martial for peeing on the dead were to “tell the truth” that they didn’t piss on the dead, I’m sure that would be proof that they just had their junk out because it needed air.

    I think Weekly Standard would have their doubts about Marines pissing on the dead if they truly wanted to.

  136. 136
    Terry says:

    @Comrade Luke: This is why the wingnuts go crazy. It is the policies and training that create the sometimes inevitable circumstances. And with their inability to criticize “the troops,” they *almost* have to understand that. Which, of course, they shy away from emotionally.

    Three-times Vietnam Vet here, and in war some guys act like that. Not all, but some. It is still wrong. We were taught not to. And it is disgusting.

    Not to mention really, really stupid and counter to the best interests of our country.

  137. 137
    Samara Morgan says:

    Check this out Cole. AllahP and Allen West team up to whitewash the marines peeing on corpses.
    my favorite part.
    allen west:

    All these over-emotional pundits and armchair quarterbacks need to chill. Does anyone remember the two Soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division who were beheaded and gutted in Iraq?

    yeah, i remember, “Col.” West.
    Menchaca/Tucker. At the time AllahP and i were friends. I remarked that the truly horrific video suggested ritual tribal mutilation as punishment for rape.
    And sure enough, Menchaca and Tucker turned out to be part of a nine man squad that raped and murdered a 14-year-old iraqi child and murdered her family including a five year old….the Iraqi Rape Squad.
    more west:

    Neither do I recall media outrage and condemnation of our Blackwater security contractors being killed, their bodies burned, and hung from a bridge in Fallujah.

    I have always wondered what those “contractors” did to provoke that assault.
    Anyone that could tell the truth about that incident is probably long dead.

    Arent these incidents….Black Hawk Down, the Iraqi Rape Squad, the Afghan Kill Squad, Abu Ghraib, Fallujah, Haditha, Gharani, Collateral Murder….starting to accumulate a sort of critical mass?
    How is it that American troops have become the most hated in the ME, more loathed and despised even than the IDF?
    How could we ever dream to win a COIN strategized battle for hearts and minds? Do Americans actually believe building girls schools and roads balances out killing muslim dads and brothers and turning their country into a war zone?

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