Thursday, March 06, 2008

Why Puppy Tossing Will Never Be An Olympic Event.

7/4/08 Update: According to this CNN piece, on June 13, 2008, the Marine who tortured the puppy -- and the Marine Corps now confirms that the footage is, in fact, authentic -- was "separated" from the Marine Corp and received what the disciplinary board calls a "non-judicial punishment" (meaning, I guess, that he won't spend time in the brig). Lance Cpl. David Motari, 22, will receive a dishonorable discharge for killing the puppy, while the Marine who operated the camera, Sgt. Crismarvin Banez Encarnacion, has not been discharged, but will also receive "non-judicial punishment."

Since most domestic abusers and serial killers start off by killing animals, let's hope that Motari spends the rest of his life in an isolated area, unmarried and childless. For the sake of other little defenseless things, I mean. ~C~

The Marine-Puppy Video has become the latest hot thing on YouTube, causing everyone to get all up in arms, and the Marines to launch a full-blown investigation into the video's authenticity and origin. Preliminary identifications of the Marine who seems to actually toss the puppy have led to death threats against a family in Monroe, Washington, who have not denied that the Marine in the video is their Marine.

No one loves animals more than I do. No one. I forced myself to watch the video, and I assure you, whether it's authentic or not, it is a vile, horrible little thing. If it's fake, these guys are sick, twisted S-O-Bs, who've spent way too much time watching those stupid MTV reality shows. iF If it's real... well... what is there to say? Institutionalization and shock therapy is probably what's called for. That said, ladies and germs... Death threats? Against the FAMILY of a guy who may or may not have killed a puppy? Death threats. Ya'll need to go on medication, and quick.

Now, as to the video itself and my feelings about it.... There's been a lot of "chatter" over how this is an overreaction on the part of the public, and "think of what our Marines are going through over there, and all this fuss over a little dog, and where's the fuss over the Marines?"

I'd like to address these concerns. First of all, I, for one (and there have been many others like me) have spent the better part of five years doing everything I could to persuade Americans that this war was a really crappy idea to begin with and that bringing Marines (and Army Infantry and Air Force, etc.) home as soon as possible is just an absolutely fabulous idea whose time has come. I think -- and you can correct me if you think I'm wrong -- that I've made quite a fuss about the soldiers currently serving in all branches of the US military. (Remember me? I was the one who was yelling at you guys a-way back in 2002 and 2003 that there were inspectors in Iraq, and the UN did have the Saddam situation firmly in hand, and that there were no WMDs? Remember. Hmmm... yes, it was a long time ago, I realize.)

Second, the fact that America -- as cold and callous as we've come to be in the past thirty years since the Reagan Era -- can still get all worked up over something as little as a stray pup actually kind of warms the little cockles of my heart. It gives me hope that, as a nation, in spite of the fact that, since 9/11, we've pretty much decided that the Constitution is something only to be enforced intermittently, and that torture is just dandy, thanks ever so, there is still some tiny place in our collective hearts that has some bud of compassion left.

Finally -- and most importantly -- people get upset when they see men in the uniforms of the United States military (and maybe and unfairly, Marines, in particular) commit acts (or staged acts, as the case may be) of barbarism and viciousness against helpless beings because... well... the truth is...

We're supposed to be the good guys.

Yes, war is hell. I get that. Sometimes, there's unavoidable killing and bloodshed involved. I get that, too. But what apologists for this mean-spirited little piece of cinema aren't getting is that there is no room for watching an American soldier perpetrate intentional cruelty on something tiny and helpless, whether real or invented. It isn't funny. It isn't timely. It isn't necessary. And it is definitely a sign of impaired judgement or mental capacity.

The men involved need to be disciplined, and there need to be some real consequences for this.


~C~

DOWNEY:
What did we do wrong? We did nothing wrong.
DAWSON:
Yeah, we did. We were supposed to fight for the people who
couldn't fight for themselves. We were supposed to fight for Willie.
from
screenplay by Aaron Sorkin
(based on his stage play)

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