“Cute little puppy, huh?”
Yesterday there was a video going around the internet of two Marines in Iraq throwing a very cute puppy to his death, or at least great harm. One Marine throws the puppy a great distance and the other one laughs along. I didn’t write about this yesterday because I thought it might be fake, but now it looks like it’s real. And the Marine base in Hawaii is investigating.
They have now removed the video from all the sites I’ve seen. People were disturbed by it obviously because it’s almost like a snuff film for puppies. I never understand people like the guys in this video. What joy could you possibly get out of hurting such a defenseless animal? And it looks so damn cute that you have to overcome some serious human instinct to want to hurt it.
But I’m not writing to say what a bad guy this Marine is for throwing the puppy like he does. That’s obvious. I’m not writing to implicate the whole Marine Corps for the act of two goofballs who are not representative of our troops over there. As the Marines investigating the incident wrote, “There have been numerous stories of Marines adopting pets and bringing them home from Iraq or helping to arrange life-saving medical care for Iraqi children. Those are the stories that exemplify what we stand for and how most Marines behave.”
No, I’m writing about our reaction as a society. I have now seen this story everywhere from all over the internet to the local news. Everyone is outraged. Are you kidding me? We caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians and we’re outraged over a puppy?!
Yes, I feel terrible for that puppy, but I feel much worse for all of the Iraq families who have had their lives ripped apart and their family members killed. But that barely measures as a blip on our moral radar screen. Look at the picture of this little Iraqi girl who has been scarred for life (don’t look if you’re understandably squeamish about this type of thing). Why was that not huge news? Are little Iraqi puppies more innocent than little Iraqi girls?
There have been many estimates of how many civilians have been killed in this absolutely unnecessary war. Some range from a little under a hundred thousand to several million. I think the most reliable one had the estimate at about 225,000 innocent Iraqis killed. And we’re outraged over a puppy?
Where’s our moral center? Those are real people who died. Daughters, uncles, grandpas, moms. Some of them were killed “accidentally” by our bombs and some were killed by the sectarian violence we carelessly unleashed (I put “accidentally” in quotes because how accidental could it be when we started a war we knew would have a tremendous amount of “collateral damage”). And yes, believe it or not, even though they’re Iraqis, they were completely innocent (these civilian casualty counts don’t include any hostile forces killed fighting us or each other).
We’re a democracy. That means we’re responsible for the actions of our government. Where’s the outrage about this hideous, murderous war we started for no good reason? And now we get upset about an Iraqi puppy. It almost seems like a cruel joke.