Several hours ago an infuriating viral fire was ignited by a video shot on location in Afghanistan.

At centre are several foreign troop soldiers standing at ease urinating. And that would not be any big deal except that these soldiers were clearly urinating on the dead bodies of some Afghan fighters.

The military in the US has announced that it has identified at least two of the soldiers in the grotesque footage. All stakeholders in the US mission in the region have not minced their opinions in calling for the soldiers in the video to be properly and severely disciplined.

But I want to consider the reality of war zone life and the practicality of abiding by internationally agreed combat guidelines.

It is the person who is in the active kitchen who always feels the unyielding heat. Most of the soldiers “in harm’s way” as so often stated in its politically correct manner are very young adults who really should have their whole lives ahead of them. Instead, they are subject daily to death and mayhem.  Undoubtedly, few  of us who have a “civilian” status can ever understand the psychological terrors these young people have to deal with every day.

I am not saying the decision to urinate on dead bodies was a good one; but I am saying that in the often unfriendly, hostile and deceptive environment that these fighters are asked to fight for the free world, they are being asked to carry a stressful burden that many of us will or probably can never really understand.

These soldiers will see their friends with whom they enlisted and have bonded as kin being injured, maimed or even killed right before their helpless eyes. It is quite probable that they may at times even feel emotionally and otherwise isolated from their western homes and ideologies. In the heat of battle, not sure whether or not they would be alive at sunset and with all of the inner  turmoil of war growing in them, who knows, if they would invariably decide to cope with such pressures in ways that are in contravention of military ethical codes.

It is my humble opinion that in the war zones of the world many unthinkable or immoral actions are perpetrated. This, I believe, by all fighting factions. It is really unlikely that a person can genuinely wage war against another without having some deep seated anger and even hatred in their heart towards that enemy.

War is not a rehearsal or sitcom.

So who knows what foreign troops, who are often called “imbeciles” have been subjected to by persons cultured in war totally differently to their formal military academy practices and protocols of the west.

Even more interesting than identifying the soldiers in the video would be to identify who exactly shot the video and why it was posted to You tube instead of being delivered to the relevant superior officers of the soldiers involved. Hmmm.

This is an opportune time for us once more to think of the price of freedom….or …..the price of war.

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