Above are headlines for two stories regarding actions of US service members abroad. To sum them up (i’ll include links to them at the end) up to 21 US personnel (mixed secret service and armed forces) are alleged to having basically a hooker party at their hotel in Colombia while they were awaiting the arrival of the President. And separately two-year old photos have surfaced of US military personnel posing with the dead bodies failed suicide bombers who accidentally blew themselves up.
Now i am not saying that I agree with nor condone the actions of these men but I am saying that I am not qualified to sit in judgement of them and neither are you (for the most part). I’m not advocating what these men did, nor am i trying to excuse their actions, but their actions will be investigated and they face potential punishment for their behavior, which I have no problem with, so long as the trial is held in a court of law and not that of public opinion.
Until you have picked up a rifle and traveled to a hostile country where people want to murder you based on where you were born or what gods you pray to and have to live/work/exist along side people that call you friend/ally by day then try to murder you by night, and as the days apart from you loved ones turns into months and the months years, and you after you’ve seen friends you call “brother” die right in front of you then, and only then, will you be qualified to have an opinion that counts on these matters and be outraged by their actions if you choose to. But until you have walked a mile in their shoes, and then some, shut up and let them be as the process plays out.
Until you have been there, done that, seen what these men have seen and been through what they have been through, then you, and i, are unqualified to act judge, jury and executioner for these men.
If you have a problem with the way these service men conducted themselves to the point that you feel “outraged” (or some other type of inflammatory rhetoric that gets used in these situations) to the point that you feel something needs to be done about it, and are calling for some type of swift, severe punishment to be levied against them, and for people to lose their jobs or go to jail, then i have a simple solution to your problem, get off your ass, pick up a rifle and go do it yourself.
These men live in a world where every minute could be their last and, unless we have been there and done that, then you and I are not qualified to judge how they choose to blow off some steam and deal with that kind of stress and we should not judge them based on our own personal morals.
Two thoughts on what led to these stories becoming national headlines.
In regards to the soldier that turned the photos over to the press because as the LA times put it, they pointed to a “breakdown in leadership and discipline that he believed compromised the safety of the troops”, I will not be a hypocrite and presume to judge your actions. But i would ask, based on what you said your reason for turning the photos over to the LA Times was, did your actions accomplish your goal? Based on the current state of affairs in Afghanistan did your actions accomplish what you intented them to do? I am not saying the soldier is right or wrong here, I just hope he is being truthful and honest in regards to the motives behind his actions.
And in regards to the hooker party, this only came out because one of the guys refused to pay for services rendered and the girl wound up calling the police. That’s just dumb. Doesn’t he know you have to always negotiate the terms up front? I bet in retrospect he wished that he had just given the girl whatever she asked for.Furthermore, if didn’t you know that if something like this were to come out, even if it happened while you were “off-duty”, even if you paid with your own money in a place where prostitution is legal, that it would look really bad and , to put it lightly, be frowned upon by your superiors and in the court of public opinion in general. then that’s just awful judgement and maybe you shouldn’t be trusted with the responsibility your job entails.