Who claimed that it was? How would that even be possible?
"Well, we're under fire and in the midst of combat... I think instead of fighting back or seeking cover, I will collect all these dead bodies in a big open space and set them alight! Marshmallows anyone?"
I'm not saying its right, but I've never been in war. Therefore I can't say its wrong, who knows what they have seen out there. To me I could see it being very confusing to ask a man to go and kill other men, to live in constant threat of death...but to have civilized rules to such a barbaric environment
Karzai Condemns Alleged Body Desecration By AMIR SHAH
The Associated Press
Friday, October 21, 2005; 8:28 AM
KABUL, Afghanistan -- President Hamid Karzai on Friday condemned the alleged desecration of the bodies of two dead Taliban fighters by U.S. troops, but he said mistakes happen in war and Afghans shouldn't let it mar their impression of the United States.
His apparent attempt to reduce Afghans' anger over the incident came amid warnings by Islamic clerics of a possible violent anti-American backlash.
"Sometimes things happen in these sort of operations, during war. Soldiers make mistakes," he told reporters in Kabul. "We are very grateful for the international community's assistance. ... Their soldiers have shed their blood in our country."
But he added, "We in Afghanistan in accordance with our religion ... are very unhappy and condemn the burning of the two Taliban dead bodies. I hope such incidents will not occur again."
Karzai on Thursday ordered an inquiry into television video that purportedly shows U.S. soldiers burning the bodies of the two dead Taliban fighters to taunt other militants. The U.S. military also launched an investigation.
The U.S. military declared the alleged abuse "repugnant" and vowed to investigate, while the State Department directed U.S. embassies to say such actions don't reflect American values.
Australia's SBS television network broadcast the video purportedly showing soldiers burning the bodies of two suspected Taliban fighters in hills outside Gonbaz village in the southern Shah Wali Kot district _ an area plagued by Taliban activity and considered by the local security forces as too dangerous to venture into unless accompanied by U.S. troops.
Viewers of the video saw a group of about five troops in light-colored military fatigues, which did not have any distinguishing marks, standing near to a bonfire in which two bodies were laid side by side. The flames obscured the view of the bodies, making it impossible to tell if the remains were of Taliban fighters.
The network said the video was taken by a freelance journalist, Stephen Dupont. Dupont, who told The Associated Press that he was embedded with the Army's 173rd Airborne Brigade, said the burnings happened Oct. 1.
Cremating bodies is banned under Islam, and one Muslim leader in Afghanistan compared the video to photographs of U.S. troops abusing prisoners at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison.
"Abu Ghraib ruined the reputation of the Americans in Iraq and to me this is even worse," Faiz Mohammed told The Associated Press from northern Kunduz province. "This is against Islam. Afghans will be shocked by this news. It is so humiliating. There will be very, very dangerous consequences from this."
A cleric in Kabul, Said Mohammed Omar, said, "The burnings of these bodies is an offense against Muslims everywhere. Bodies are only burned in hell."
Video of the alleged act has not been broadcast yet in Afghanistan and though the local media has reported on it, many people were still not aware of it. There have been no demonstrations such as the anti-American protests in May that turned violent and killed 15 people over a report _ later retracted _ that U.S. soldiers at the Guantanamo Bay detention facility desecrated Islam's holy book, the Quran.
Stench Prompted U.S. Troops to Burn Corpses
The desecration of Taliban dead prompts outrage in Afghanistan Oct. 21, 2005
There simply wasn't enough room on the rocky hilltop above Gonbaz village in southern Afghanistan for the U.S. platoon and the corpses of the two Taliban fighters. The Taliban men had been killed in a firefight 24 hours earlier, and in the 90 degree heat, their bodies had become an unbearable presence, soldiers who were present have told TIME. Nor was the U.S. Army unit about to leave the hilltop commanded a strategic view of the village below where other Taliban were suspected to be hiding.
Earlier, Lt. Eric Nelson, the leader of B Company, I-508 platoon leader had sent word down to Gonbaz asking the villagers to pick up the bodies and bury them according to Muslim ritual. But the villagers refused probably because the dead fighters weren't locals but Pakistanis, surmised one U.S. army officer.
It was then that Lt. Nelson took the decision that could jeopardize his service career. "We decided to burn the bodies," one soldier recounts, "because they were bloated and they stank." News of this cremation may have remained on these scorching hills of southern Afghanistan, had the gruesome act not been recorded on film by an Australian photojournalist, Stephen Dupont. Instead, when the footage aired on Australian TV on Wednesday, it unleashed world outrage. A Pentagon spokesman described the incident as "repugnant" and said that the army was launching a criminal investigation into the alleged desecration of the corpses, which is in violation of the Geneva Convention on human rights.
Fueling the furor was the fact that the TV report showed that after the bodies were torched, a U.S. Psychological-Operations team descended on Gonbaz in Humvees with their loudspeakers booming: "Taliban, you are cowardly dogs. You are too scared to come down and retrieve the bodies. This just proves you are the lady-boys we always believed you to be."
Muslims traditionally bury their dead, and as one Kabul cleric Mohammed Omar told newsmen, "The burning of these bodies is an offense against Muslims every where. Bodies are burned only in Hell." But as one U.S. officer in Kandahar pointed out, the Taliban and al Qaeda never show any qualms about defiling the bodies of dead Afghan or American soldiers. Afghan President Hamid Karzai, anxious to quell any new wave of protests against the U.S. troops in Afghanistan of the sort that followed allegations of Koran desecration at Guantanamo, publicly condemned the burnings. A statement from the U.S. military command for Afghanistan said, "Under no circumstances does U.S. Central Command condone the desecration, abuse or inappropriate treatment of enemy combatants."
First of all, I take anything N8 says with a grain of salt (how the fvck do you set a body on fire by mistake? (2nd posted article) That's not even a lapse of integrity, it's a vicious act). Second, I think it is somewhat comparable to WWII, in the way that they are 'taking revenge' after the battle; they've been through a lot and the adrenaline is high. Third, it's still very wrong, and they need to be punished.