I honestly never thought I’d have to write an article on this subject. I mean seriously … why would this be major news? Terrible things happen in war, but thanks to modern media, the worst, remote incidents can become internationally-acclaimed video vignettes. And diplomatic ramifications aside, our interest and opinions of such an incident are a testimony to our culture or perhaps even human nature.
First, let’s keep in mind that desecration of bodies in war is against the [[Geneva Convention]] and US Military Law. Obviously at some point in our history we had a different view of decency or manners.
Secondly, we can’t even have an informed opinion on this since at the writing of this article, no one knows the identity or affiliation of the bodies, be they civilian, Taliban, or some random insurgent.
Undoubtedly some will say all is fair when the dead (allegedly) perpetrated inhumane acts that defy comprehension. But I will address why I would still never do such a thing.
It is the considering of others not to be worthy of human respect that allows all evils in this world to happen, from the [[Holocaust]] to [[9-11]]. A human being would never do this to another human being unless they percieve in some way the other to NOT be human.
People do evil things. But why do we call them names (non-human ones such as feces or animals, or literally “sub-human”)? Why dehumanize them by blaming ideological brainwashing, cultural inferiority, or mental illness?
It is because we do not want to admit we ourselves are capable of these things. We want to make people (like the Nazis, for example) out to be some alien species different from ourselves when they are not. They were not husbands, nor fathers, not children at one time. They never laughed at jokes around the dinner table or cuddled their children. They never fell in love or cried over the death of a beloved pet. They were just “Nazis” … or “Taliban”.
As human beings, we also fight. Sometimes it is an endless game of retaliation and retribution. Sometimes it is to stop people from doing evil things. But once one is dead, they are no longer a threat. And in death, we are all equals, no matter what we have done beforehand.
If one believes in divine judgment, then our job is done — God will “sort them out”. If one believes in [[reincarnation]], we would ideally hope they learned some lesson in this life and can do better next time. After all, who knows how many of us were Nazis.
But these are the high road. If we take the low road and think we can justify insult after victory instead of giving thanks that a violence is ultimately concluded, that is our problem, not the dead’s. And we have to live with it.