Peeing on corpses

It is not difficult to imagine a bunch of scared 20-year-old urinating on the corpses of enemies they killed first. In today’s Washington Post Sebastian Junger thoughtfully explains the environment in which the disturbing video of American Marines urinating on dead Taliban solders was made : http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/were-all-guilty-of-dehumanizing-the-enemy/2012/01/13/gIQAtRduwP_story.html

Whether we can understand such behavior or not, it has harmed our goals in Afghanistan and increased the danger to other solders. Marine Capt. Timothy Kudo, explains this perspective well in today’s Post: http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/as-a-marine-and-afghan-war-vet-im-insulted-by-the-desecration-video/2012/01/12/gIQAswIrwP_story.html.

The event is sad but America has demonstrated to the world how a mature democracy openly discusses and deals with its mistakes. We may be proud of that.

About wcoats

Dr. Warren L. Coats specializes in advising central banks on monetary policy, and in the development of their capacity to formulate and implement monetary policy. He is retired from the International Monetary Fund, where, as Assistant Director of the Monetary and Financial Systems Department, he led missions to over twenty countries. Before then, he served as Visiting Economist to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, and to the World Bank, and was Assistant Prof of Economics at the Univ. of Virginia from 1970-75. Most recently he was Senior Monetary Policy Advisor to the Central Bank of Iraq; an IMF consultant to the central banks of Afghanistan, Kenya and Zimbabwe; and a Deloitte/USAID advisor to the Government of South Sudan. He is currently a member of the Editorial Board of the Cayman Financial Review and until the end of 2013 was a member of the IMF program team for Afghanistan. His most recent book is entitled "One Currency for Bosnia: Creating the Central Bank of Bosnia and Herzegovina."
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