Desecration of the dead in war and modern outrage

Dan Murphy provides some perspective that often seems missing: Marines urinating on the dead? This is war.

The video that emerged online this week was filmed by the participants, yucking it up as they urinate on the dead bodies of presumed insurgents – whose bare feet and tattered clothes are a sharp contrast to the well-equipped Americans. Next to them lies a small, overturned wheelbarrow.

While callous and shocking to the vast majority of Americans who have never been anywhere near combat, I felt no surprise watching the video. Only sadness.

It’s another case of being caught by the camera. As cameras get cheaper, less expensive, and smaller, these sorts of things are being captured more often and widely distributed via video web sites to broad audiences. That means more fodder for faux outrage by those who don’t have a very good grip on reality.

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