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Monday, November 28, 2005 

Body Burning US Soldiers To Get Reprimanded (But Not Prosecuted?)

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (AP) -- Four U.S. soldiers face disciplinary action for burning the bodies of two Taliban rebels - a videotaped incident that sparked outrage in Afghanistan - but they will not be prosecuted because their actions were motivated by hygienic concerns, the military said Saturday.

The U.S.-led coalition's operational commander, Maj. Gen. Jason Kamiya, said two junior officers who ordered the bodies burned would be reprimanded for showing a lack of cultural and religious understanding, but that the men had been unaware at the time of doing anything wrong.

Kamiya also said two noncommissioned officers would be reprimanded for using the burning of the bodies to taunt the rebels. The two men also would face nonjudicial punishments, which could include a loss of pay or demotion in rank.

How could they not have been “unaware” they were doing anything wrong, yet two non-coms knew enough about it to taunt the enemy with it? This is the kind of stuff that makes us look like a banana republic. I fully understand and empathize with the guys on the ground dealing with this sick and twisted enemy, but we do have to draw a line if we want to remain the “good guys”.

Remember how the Vietnamese used to do things like this to killed American troops? Remember how it made us feel about them? Here is a hint, it didn’t make us fear them or respect them. It did breed more hate.