Carried in the Seattle Times, and credited to the Los Angeles Times, this story:
WASHINGTON — The Army is investigating a group of U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan caught on videotape desecrating the bodies of two dead Taliban fighters and using the burning corpses in a propaganda effort to dare other enemy soldiers to "come and fight like men."
The videotape, shot earlier this month by an embedded Australian photojournalist assigned to a U.S. Army unit, was aired on Australian television yesterday and drew immediate concern from officials at the Pentagon.
According to the report, the corpses were set afire on hills above the village of Gonbaz north of Kandahar after the two Taliban fighters were killed by U.S. soldiers the night before. Five soldiers stood around the fire, and two read messages trying to provoke the enemy.
The messages, which apparently were broadcast to the enemy, highlighted that the bodies were laid out facing Mecca, apparently mocking the Islamic requirement to face Mecca during prayers. Islam also prohibits cremation.
"Attention Taliban: You are cowardly dogs," read one soldier, identified as psychological operations specialist Sgt. Jim Baker. "You allowed your fighters to be laid down facing west and burned. You are too scared to retrieve the bodies. This just proves you are the lady boys we always believed you to be."
Another unidentified soldier read a separate message: "You attack and run away like women. You call yourself Talibs, but you are a disgrace to the Muslim religion, and you bring shame upon your family. Come and fight like men instead of the cowardly dogs you are."
A third soldier is heard saying, "Wow, look at the blood coming out of the mouth on that one."
Ah, yes, planting those Seeds-O-Democracy. This ought to advance George's Noble Cause pretty well.
Yeah, come on, you cowardly ragheads. If you were real, brave men, like we are, you'd fight like men ... dropping GPS-guided bombs from a mile or two in the air, or shooting hundreds of rounds per second from your AC-130 Spectre gunships. Fighting and running away just isn't manly, like fighting (by remote control) and flying away is.
I'm wondering: if those Taliban devils-in-human-form manage to kill that "third soldier" in the story above, and burn up his body, and Al-Jazeera runs tape of one of them remarking about his charring corpse, "Wow, look at the blood coming out of the mouth on that one," what will "our" response be? I'm guessing that a few of those suspect villages will be getting the Fallujah treatment -- or the My Lai treatment. (Same thing, pretty much.)
A final cheerful thought: I bet when those particular troops get home, they'll probably get jobs ... as cops. O happy day.