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The Military Abuse Video You Haven’t Heard About

Posted by at 3:11 PM | Permalink | Comments (21)


Americans and Afghans alike are rightly outraged over a video circulating on the Internet that allegedly shows U.S. Marines urinating on Taliban corpses. Pentagon officials are scrambling to do damage control, fearing that the video will hinder peace talks, and military officials are promising that those involved will be punished to the highest extent. But another video that surfaced recently also merits outrage and action: It shows a soldier viciously beating a sheep with a baseball bat while other soldiers laugh and cheer.

Blow after metallic, stomach-churning blow rains down on the terrified sheep’s skull. The convulsing and kicking animal tries in vain to rise and flee, but the man with the bat just keeps swinging. A local boy in the background jumps up and down in apparent delight while the sheep struggles on the ground. After much public outcry, military officials are finally investigating the video.

Animals don’t start wars. They don’t have political views, militaries or weapons. Yet they are often the victims of cruelty in combat zones. In 2008, video surfaced of a smiling Marine who hurled a live puppy off a cliff while another Marine laughed. Thankfully, after a massive public outcry and pressure from PETA, the puppy-tossing Marine was expelled, and another Marine in the video faced disciplinary action.

The same year, video that was allegedly taken from a CD found in Baghdad’s Green Zone depicts what appear to be U.S. soldiers taunting and tormenting a dog whose back legs were apparently crippled. The laughing men threw rocks at the dog, who snarled and yelped in pain before making a desperate attempt to flee on two legs. One of the men in the video said the dog’s attempt to run was “the funniest thing I’ve ever seen in my life.” Many other similar incidents of abuse have been recorded on video, and many more likely never see the light of day.

Whether the abuser is a military service member or a regular Joe, cruelty to animals isn’t “normal” behavior, and it must be taken seriously, for everyone’s safety. People who find pleasure or humor in harming animals aren’t just cruel; they’re also cowards because they target “easy victims” who don’t have any hope of fighting back.

Mental-health and law-enforcement professionals know that animal abusers’ disregard for life and indifference to suffering indicate a dangerous psychopathy that does not confine itself to animal victims. A history of cruelty to animals regularly shows up in the FBI records of serial rapists and murderers, and a study by Northeastern University and the Massachusetts SPCA found that people who abuse animals are five times more likely to commit violent crimes against humans. Violence is a fact of war, but the depravity shown by the sheep-beating soldier and the sick pleasure the onlookers seemed to derive from watching the beating are red flags.

All the students who have opened fire on their classmates have histories of cruelty to animals. “BTK” killer Dennis Rader, who was convicted of killing 10 people, admitted that he was cruel to animals as a child and apparently practiced strangling dogs and cats before moving on to human victims. Serial killer and cannibal Jeffrey Dahmer tortured animals and impaled cats’ and dogs’ heads on sticks. The Boston Strangler, Albert DeSalvo, used arrows to shoot cats and dogs who were trapped inside crates.

Whether it occurs at home or in a war zone, there is never an excuse for harming animals. The stakes of cruelty to animals are far too high to ignore it, to excuse it or to let those who commit it go unpunished. It’s time for the military to treat acts of cruelty to animals with the seriousness that they deserve.

 

Americans and Afghans alike are rightly outraged over a video circulating on the Internet that allegedly shows U.S. Marines urinating on Taliban corpses. Pentagon officials are scrambling to do damage control, fearing that the video will hinder peace talks, and military officials are promising that those involved will be punished to the highest extent. But another video that surfaced recently also merits outrage and action: It shows a soldier viciously beating a sheep with a baseball bat while other soldiers laugh and cheer.

Blow after metallic, stomach-churning blow rains down on the terrified sheep’s skull. The convulsing and kicking animal tries in vain to rise and flee, but the man with the bat just keeps swinging. A local boy in the background jumps up and down in apparent delight while the sheep struggles on the ground. After much public outcry, military officials are finally investigating the video.

Animals don’t start wars. They don’t have political views, militaries or weapons. Yet they are often the victims of cruelty in combat zones. In 2008, video surfaced of a smiling Marine who hurled a live puppy off a cliff while another Marine laughed. Thankfully, after a massive public outcry and pressure from PETA, the puppy-tossing Marine was expelled, and another Marine in the video faced disciplinary action.

The same year, video that was allegedly taken from a CD found in Baghdad’s Green Zone depicts what appear to be U.S. soldiers taunting and tormenting a dog whose back legs were apparently crippled. The laughing men threw rocks at the dog, who snarled and yelped in pain before making a desperate attempt to flee on two legs. One of the men in the video said the dog’s attempt to run was “the funniest thing I’ve ever seen in my life.” Many other similar incidents of abuse have been recorded on video, and many more likely never see the light of day.

Whether the abuser is a military service member or a regular Joe, cruelty to animals isn’t “normal” behavior, and it must be taken seriously, for everyone’s safety. People who find pleasure or humor in harming animals aren’t just cruel; they’re also cowards because they target “easy victims” who don’t have any hope of fighting back.

Mental-health and law-enforcement professionals know that animal abusers’ disregard for life and indifference to suffering indicate a dangerous psychopathy that does not confine itself to animal victims. A history of cruelty to animals regularly shows up in the FBI records of serial rapists and murderers, and a study by Northeastern University and the Massachusetts SPCA found that people who abuse animals are five times more likely to commit violent crimes against humans. Violence is a fact of war, but the depravity shown by the sheep-beating soldier and the sick pleasure the onlookers seemed to derive from watching the beating are red flags.

All the students who have opened fire on their classmates have histories of cruelty to animals. “BTK” killer Dennis Rader, who was convicted of killing 10 people, admitted that he was cruel to animals as a child and apparently practiced strangling dogs and cats before moving on to human victims. Serial killer and cannibal Jeffrey Dahmer tortured animals and impaled cats’ and dogs’ heads on sticks. The Boston Strangler, Albert DeSalvo, used arrows to shoot cats and dogs who were trapped inside crates.

Whether it occurs at home or in a war zone, there is never an excuse for harming animals. The stakes of cruelty to animals are far too high to ignore it, to excuse it or to let those who commit it go unpunished. It’s time for the military to treat acts of cruelty to animals with the seriousness that they deserve.

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21 Comments

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    nancy calegari says...

    February 1st, 2012, 10:14 am

    this is even more disgusting than other abuse cases we hear about. these are supposed to be our heroes.

    Maria says...

    February 3rd, 2012, 6:21 pm

    I hope that those who abuse animals including this “soldier” will go straight to hell in the same pain as these poor animals felt…. I’m disgusted!

    paul e doody says...

    February 3rd, 2012, 6:26 pm

    this literally hurt my heart

    Melissa says...

    February 3rd, 2012, 6:44 pm

    This is so sad, it made me sick and lightheaded to watch. That poor sheep, defenseless and dragged away like trash after it was over. I hope they identify the man who did it and those who participated with their eagerness and laughter at it. We hold our servicemen in such high esteem, that to see them do something like this is even more agregious and so very disappointing. Thank you PETA for not giving up.

    PV says...

    February 3rd, 2012, 6:49 pm

    When are people like this going to learn that we are all connected animals, people, our planet. Animals are a gift.

    Beverley says...

    February 3rd, 2012, 7:26 pm

    Well, what do you expect. The military are given vaccines and eat heavily meat. So, they are driven mad. When they come back to the states, they will have no problem arresting their own kind…They are desensitized. They have no feelings..:(
    Gosh, glad i’m not living in the U.S…just because of what is coming..

    Dazzle59 says...

    February 3rd, 2012, 7:54 pm

    This is the direct result of the Army lowering its standards to meet recruiting goals, which has allowed people with behavioral problems and personality disorders into our armed forces. The simple answer is to stop these wars now, and return to strict enlistment standards!

    Chanah says...

    February 3rd, 2012, 8:27 pm

    This kind of cruelty to animals is the worst there can be, and I don’t care that often abusers of animals later turn to violence towards people.
    Why would violence to humans be worse than cruelty to animals? It’s quite sad of this impresses the public more.
    But yes it is a point to convince the public and the legal system of how serious it is and that this disgusting behaviour has to be punished.

    Kathleen Kennedy says...

    February 3rd, 2012, 8:45 pm

    I am sickened by the absolute disregard these monsters exhibit toward this poor, suffering baby. And what is even more disturbing is the child who finds joy in watching this. How…does this happen??? I am repulsed by the fact that a child and grown men (who should know better) are celebrating such ferocity. I am ashamed to be part of the human race. We brutalize eachother and every species we can get our hands on. This world needs to implode…we are a dispicable race…

    Seth says...

    February 3rd, 2012, 10:20 pm

    This is absolutely disgusting. And the fact that onlookers cheered is even more vile. But allow me to say that this is most definitely not common practice amongst service members. I am a Iraqi war vet with two deploments. All of the guys I worked with would stop the man forcefully and report it immediately. As a matter of fact, a lot of us would take in stray dogs to feed and lighten our moods. Some would even go through the long process of setting up the adoption so they could bring the little guys home.

    One other thing. We are not mindless, horrible people. There are a few bad apples. Please don’t generalize. It breeds ignorance.

    Miriam Spiller says...

    February 3rd, 2012, 10:34 pm

    Punish them! Not in keeping with the highest esteem of a military officer. A game of beating a helpless animal which suffers and is unable to defend itself, is outright cowardly behavior and disgusting filthy spirits! Those responsible should be beaten and dragged in return, and here I thought our soldiers were honorable! US MILITARY do the right thing!!!!!!!!

    Virginia Canino says...

    February 4th, 2012, 12:32 am

    I’m in the middle of a cat rescue from a hoarding situation and am taking a break from that horror and this makes that look like Disney World. What is wrong with people?
    I would love to see people like that interrogated by the News Media and castigated publicly.
    Their families should be dragged out publicly too.

    Amit says...

    February 4th, 2012, 2:17 am

    My heart wrinkled to hear about this cruelty, there is no one more cruel than a human being. To combat, at least, We should protest in our friend circle & in family to not let them eat any non-veg food. We should not share dining table with people those who are eating animals. I have started this & I feel good about this protest….please think about it, it will create a big influence on cruel people.

    Susie says...

    February 4th, 2012, 2:02 pm

    It’s also sad that these individuals represent the military as a whole. I’ve been in the Service for almost 17 years and have been a vegetarian for almost 25 years (which started out for the sake of animals, but overtime, realized all the health, taste, and environmental benefits that comes along with it). Beverley, yes, we’re forced to take vaccines, most that I’d rather not, and exited to not have to anymore soon after retirement, but these vaccines don’t cause one to be desensitized. I believe these individuals already had mental issues before joining the service. Yes, it’s traumatic being in a warzone, especially for soldiers, but that doesn’t result to being desensitized to the point of hurting innocent victims with pleasure, at least, not for everyone.

    Merilyn Phillips says...

    February 4th, 2012, 3:34 pm

    Kathleen Kennedy, I agree 100%! I would not watch the video. I would cry myself to death. What awful humans to commit such an atrocious act! God will get them! Oh yes he will!

    georgina armstrong says...

    February 4th, 2012, 5:39 pm

    scum.despicable.shame on the country that these vile “humans” represent.i cant imagine what enjoyment these “men” get from such a cowardly attack on a defenseless animal.real men would have been out their doing their job.if i employed them,i would not only sack them,but would make them do community service in the village that they took the sheep from.

    John says...

    February 5th, 2012, 1:02 pm

    It is definitely difficult to “Support these troops” Sounds like a bunch of psychopathic thugs to me. I still do not get the urination on the dead Taliban…somehow it is ok to put a bullet in someones head, but illelgal to urinate on them after they are dead? Very strange to me. But I see it as if you are dead, you are dead, and there isn’t much left there. What about urinating on them and then killing them?

    Linda says...

    February 5th, 2012, 3:56 pm

    I agree with Maria the abusers should go straight to Hell in the same pain the animals felt!

    Leigh says...

    February 6th, 2012, 6:52 pm

    This is sickening. It makes my stomach turn just reading this article. I hope that these horrible people will get severely punished for this disgusting treatment of animals.

    Kimberly Westfall says...

    February 8th, 2012, 6:55 pm

    Abuse of animals is wrong regardless of who the abuser is, they should be punished harshly. I have respect for the military, but I am starting to re-think my position on that. These people of all people should know better than to abuse an animal or to make an animal suffer cruelty in any way. The crippled dog should have been given food at the least, offered care as well. Our military are becoming no better than the terrorists we as Americans are supposed to rise above, to set an example. I am outraged and I believe that American soldiers that are abusing animals should be punished more harshly than any one else because they are well educated and therefore after seeing the suffering of others, they should know better. They deserve a dishonorable discharge and a sentence of jail time of not less than one year. These crimes committed by our own military is an atrocity.

    Kim says...

    April 15th, 2012, 6:59 pm

    I was so horrified about this when I heard about it a few months ago. At least the military is finally taking action on it. I didn’t think they ever would. This is truly SICK!

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