The Only Good Marine Is A Dead Marine

“I grabbed her little sister and put her in front of me. As the bullets began to fly, the blood sprayed from between her eyes, and then I laughed maniacally…..I blew those little fuckers to eternity….They should have known they were fucking with the Marines.”

Without even citing a source, one is instantly familiar with the Marine ethic inherent in the above lyrics; an ethic that romanticizes bloodshed and death, so long as those breathing their last are but an impediment to American interests, however defined. From training to combat, the U.S. Marine is laser-focused on ending life, usually with a maximum amount of needless suffering and pain. As an instrument of a terribly small (and getting smaller) minority of the American people who spend their days devising new and more acceptable methods of ensuring that the rest of us vote, think, shop, and act against our better judgment, the Marine unthinkingly — yet with great deliberation and intent — murders, massacres, rapes, and slaughters each and every human being in its path, usually with the added bonus of dehumanization. Again, these poor saps are “fucking with the Marines,” still the deadliest foe to be found in any conflict around the globe. After all, he is Colonel Kurtz’s ultimate weapon: one who can kill without conscience or hesitation, and one who has so incorporated homicide into his daily routine that bouncing a kid on his knee within minutes of having sliced infant-throats brings about nary a pause for reflection. They follow one other like sleep after sex, or tuning out after the average chick begins to recount her day.

So now there are charges, at least in one incident, and a handful of the hardened louts appear to be headed for a murder trial. There will be endless right-wingers pinching loaves of hyperbole; sighing heavily, spitting forth with teeth bared, and arguing with the fullest measure of conviction that at last, the American Liberal has criminalized combat, an act akin to “banning war” after Woodrow Wilson sent tens of thousands of our finest to the torso-laden blenders of Europe to satisfy his ever-burgeoning messianic complex. Isolationism and retreat seemed to gain momentum in those salad days, but killing burst forth once again, only this time with the end goal of humanity’s ultimate curtain call. After Hitler, Stalin, and the seemingly innumerable Japanese madmen of the Pacific rim, Americans could no longer flirt with peace, and the Marine — now a tool of might and right around the globe — would be the very symbol we look for in the darkest days of infamy. Having tried before, they’ll argue, the Democrats will once again misunderstand what victory entails, and will keep a short leash on our fighting men, as if removing organs en masse could be regulated like a coal mine. If you try these men — at this time — the message will be sent (Republicans never tire of reminding us what “the message” will be of countless acts or failures to act) that we are so consumed by protocol and niceties that victory in this war on terror, this war for our very souls, is strictly optional.

Of course, that’s what “they” will say. If in fact these men are guilty of the charges laid out before them, that they targeted and murdered an unarmed civilian (as in the case of the two dozen that died following a saintly American soldier’s evisceration), they should be tried, convicted, and sentenced to the gallows, preferably in full view of a civilian audience. Normally I oppose the death penalty out of the principle that the state should never take a life, even if that life has been wasted in a haze of cocaine, rape, and serial killing, but as these men ARE the state, their removal is far from a violation of my convictions. But more than that, it will send the only sort of message that I comfortable with; that men-at-arms, given a job to thump the life from people who have never had an ounce of hope in their nasty, brutishly short bullshit lives, are so far from the heroic as to be inherently, unmistakably evil. For every song that plays in their honor, I will shout untold obscenities. For every flag unfurled, or bugle piercing the evening sky, I will blast contempt and bile into the winds. The U.S. Marine — a brute, a scoundrel, a displeasing collection of circuits and patchwork acrimony — is, and will always be, a criminal without fear of prosecution; a sanctioned assassin defending nothing save the genitalia of our true masters. But through the example of these particular Marines, perhaps we can once again strike a blow for the idea that the only nation worth its salt, mountains, seas, and air, is that which efficiently and defiantly disposes of its trash.