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Soldier posing with body parts: is there no end to this?
Don´t follow the link if you have a weak stomach: disturbing images

By now I am convinced that this happens in all conflicts. Soldiers lose all sense of ethics in a war. What still amazes me is that these paratroopers, like the prison guards in Abu Ghraib are able to photograph these scenes. We have seen similar pictures from Israelian soldiers posing over dead Palestinians, but again you wonder why they are allowed to photograph in the first place.

I understand that these paratroopers had to identify the corpses so they probably needed to make pictures, but why can´t the Army demand all photographic equipment including mobiles to be returned after a mission?

Instead we read this as a response on these newly surfaced pictures:
"It is a violation of Army standards to pose with corpses for photographs outside of officially sanctioned purposes," said George Wright, an Army spokesman. "Such actions fall short of what we expect of our uniformed service members in deployed areas."

I can´t even imagine what the part in bold means, but surely it must be easy to control photos like ammunition is accounted for? Having a consumer mobile with you poses a security risk anyway, so why not forbid it altogether?
The paratroopers had their assignment: Check out reports that Afghan police had recovered the mangled remains of an insurgent suicide bomber. Try to get iris scans and fingerprints for identification....
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Per Siden's profile photoNiftyHat Tom Mitchell's profile photoAnja Wessels's profile photoChris Robinson's profile photo
25 comments
 
Disrespectful! Shame! Disgusting!
 
I do not condone their actions. But, in that environment, those soldiers are trying to make a bad situation better. The only way to do that is with humor. It does not give them the right to do so in such an inhumane, culturally and politically insensitive way.
 
You raise a great point +Max Huijgen. War is horrible and I wouldn't expect the pictures to be any different. If anything it attaches the attributes to these individuals instead of the reason they're over there in the first place. People certainly change in war situations and hardly ever for the best.

I really am not sure why they have devices to take pictures on either. It seems ridiculous to me. Are they also checking their Facebook status on the front lines?
 
War is terrible, but it's no excuse for this misbehavior. It's sick! If these soldiers really think this is funny, its time for them to go home. The have lost every sense of what is normal and acceptable behavior. People like that need therapy and shouldn't walk around heavily armed.
 
+Max Huijgen Yes having a mobile device is a security risk, and you would think is would be banned.
It is a shame there is no way to conduct an ethics and common sense, ( or courtesy if you will ), test on someone before they are put in uniform and sent into battle.
 
I am glad that some soldiers have the ability to expose this behavior but I don't believe it comes anywhere near exposing the true brutality of these wars. Wars in general based on misleading the 'public'.
 
The bold part refers to documentation for evidentiary or identification purposes.

The Army does a lot of forensic work these days, and as such it is often necessary to photograph scenes of terrorist attacks inclusive of human remains, no different than a civilian police officer.
 
+Anja Wessels it is not right what they are doing, and looking at at from far away and from the outside it is even clearer, but what is normal and what is funny is very different in those situations. Those situations are "heavy". When last did you have to scrape together some bodyparts
 
+Anja Wessels I didn't say anything about those photos, I was referring to the bolded part of the quote in the original post, to clarify what "officially sanctioned" photos might be with corpses.
 
+Jason Nichols I have changed the bold part slightly as I understand the need for forensics, but that´s not the quote.
 
right, the officially sanctioned purposes would be forensic.
 
Good job +Chris Pienaar for defining "humor in heavy" situations and for understanding "...miles in their shoes."
Also, the rest us of us understood what you meant +Jason Nichols.
 
The US is non longer a leader of the world, as it's credit and math/science ratings have plummeted in recent years. Decomissioning a massive military takes time in sustainable absorption in a declining value system. This is just one of the myriad of effects that follow the base equation of sustainable expansion and contraction.
 
The article is showing a greater problem than just posing with bodies. Too bad that this is its focus.
 
+Chris Pienaar There is no excuse for this behavior. The moment you can not handle the situation, then you can not work there anymore. It is nonsense to say that someone, because he has been no part of that war, can't have an opinion. Personally I have been in contact with human remains in connection with my medical training. And always with due respect.
The blurring of boundaries leads to excesses, even killings. That happens in every war, unfortunately. But it should not. These bounderys have to be guarded! The American milatary should make sure soldiers don't cross that line!
 
I don't think anyone here disagrees with you +Anja Wessels. I think some are just commenting expressing their opinions on understanding the mind set of the soldiers at that moment in time and how poorly folks understand it. I submit a question to the thread - how many of the soldiers in those pictures (since that is the focus of this thread, opposed to the article) possibly felt remorse later for their actions?
 
There is no excuse for this kind of behavior, but war does things to people. If I had to do service as a soldier I cannot know for sure I would not do the same or anything as bad. I can hope but I cannot know.

War must be the most ineffective, most destructive, most expensive and most useless way of fighting 'terrorism'.
 
While there is no excuse, the reality is that we send men and women to war and expect them to abandon the basic tenants of civilized society and do things in war that outside of war are wrong.
I am outside of the war zone sitting happy and warm at home. For me to judge this harshly is ill considered. Better I judge myself and those I elect and clearly think about what I have asked our soldiers to do. Then take responsibility for my ballot and my actions in bringing and promoting our elected officials to office.
Like Max "I am convinced that this happens in all conflicts" and I am strongly of the mind that this is in part what we are asking for when we embark on a war and that we who send our soldiers out need to understand what we ask.
I would go one step further and note that the lack of a draft and citizen rich army insulates us from a part of reality that a moral man should not ignore.
We in the US do have an election coming.
 
Unless you have been in combat it is hard to understand what you see at times from the outside. I do not condone what has happened but I would not say it is a complete loss of ethics so much as desencitization to things that normal human beings should never have to see, hear or feel. I know that I an several of my old navy buddies look back now and feel horrible about the things we were involved in. Military personnel detest war and all its horrors more than any civilian cam imagine.
 
+Victoria Rabelisoa Maybe you should try and imagine how you'd feel if that dead person was your brother, father, best friend. Still funny?
 
We hire our military men and women to kill people and break things, that is what they are trained to do in a nut shell. When your enemy is attacking you with suicide bombing and you constantly see your buddies maimed and killed by these attacks I'm sure it would be hard to not have some kind of victory celebration, however grotesque it may be. How is this any different than those that have drug our military personnel through the streets, mutilating their bodies in the process, or dragging killed dictators through the streets and placing them in a walk in freezer for all to see and take a picture with. How about in times past when desperado's where killed, whole towns would come out for the "party", display the bodies, take pictures etc... This is nothing new to war, it may just seem more prevalent due to how news is so quickly spread in our connected world.

As I stated in an earlier post, I in no way condone this activity and find it repulsive but I hesitate to pass judgement on these soldiers as I am not in their place, if I were, would I do the same? Would I have more self control? I hope to never be placed into that situation and am thankful that I never was in that deep while serving in the Navy, which I was very proud to do, even if I am not proud of some of the things we were involved in...

I am thankful that we have young men and women that are volunteering to serve and to go into harms way, may GOD bless them!
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