…they also offend the shit out of some people when they pose with letters they’ve coopted for their MOS.
The USMC scout sniper MOS has for a long, long time adopted the SS mark as theirs. Of course, some other people made it famous first. Of course, the Marines don’t care. It contributes to the bad boy image using a logo that some people will get mad at. I can’t think of any other units that have ever done that ever.
Even if it’s branded as a “hate symbol“.
Nope, never. This is a totally new development that hasn’t totally been around for years. You totally can’t buy the t-shirt.
Never happened before. No bad boy units have ever copied anything done by other bad units before.
Now, the Schutzstaffel runes and the Confederate flag are obviously two very different things and have different histories, but they share common ground in that they are considered horribly politically incorrect and they offend, but they point to a strong martial heritage of those who’ve ultimately coopted the symbols for themselves. Obviously Marines with the Confederate flag in the Pacific weren’t claiming islands for the Army of Northern Virginia, and the Marines with the SS flag aren’t blasting terrorists in Iraqistan in the name of der Fuhrer (not the least of which because der Fuhrer was and would be allied with the Islamic terrorists). They took those symbols and adopted them as a statement of rebellion against the enemy, against challenges put before them, against convention, against threats to them – saying “screw you, we’ll do what we want and we’ll win”.
And it isn’t just because it’s a cool, stylized symbol that they decided to co-opt. Totally not the case, it’s totally not because the letters are the same and it’s really convenient.
Meanwhile, some people are offended, but that’s also some people’s profession.
Mikey Weinstein of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, headquartered in Albuquerque, N.M., said the scandals hurt U.S. military missions. His organization sent a letter to the head of the Marine Corps, Gen. James Amos, and Panetta on Thursday calling on them to “condemn this stomach-turning display without equivocation or delay and severely punish all of those responsible.”
“This shameful display of SS ‘lightning bolts’ by U.S. service personnel enrages our regional allies, emboldens the extremist Islamist forces with whom we are contending, and eviscerates good order, morale, and discipline within the U.S. Marine Corps,” said Weinstein, who founded the advocacy group that calls attention to violations by the military in regards to respecting people of all beliefs.
Mikey, guess what? They don’t care. They shouldn’t care. These are Marines in a combat zone. They are under threat by people who will murder them and butcher them in the street, burn them, drag their bodies through the street and hang their lifeless bodies for the whole town to gather round and cheer. Y’know what’s stomach churning? That the people in Afghanistan who these Marines fight stone people to death.
Mikey, if by our regional allies you mean Israelis – if they don’t like it, they’ll say something. They also know what it’s like to be in a state of conflict. They probably don’t care – if they do, they’ll voice their opinion themselves. You don’t need to go being offended on their behalf. They can take care of themselves. They also have a sense of perspective and know that one platoon of guys with one flag is not a great Nazi conspiracy that somehow simultaneously fights for freedom around the world.
Islamic forces make up propaganda anyway. It doesn’t matter what the case is. They do not care. They lie. Who cares what the enemy thinks? The people of Afghanistan (where this photo was taken) in the region they were at probably knew these guys better than you do, Mikey.
Good order, morale, and discipline comes from a cohesive unit. A unit that celebrates its own profession, albeit with a tasteless copy of a historically infamous banner, is one that is going to function well anyway.
Considering we’ve just gone over this whole sense of perspective thing just recently with Marines peeing on dead terrorists, it’s kinda sad we have to bring it up again.
Colonel Kurtz had this to say:
We train young men to drop fire on people. But their commanders won’t allow them to write “fuck” on their airplanes because it’s obscene!
It’s worth noting that in 2003 there were units told to take down US flags in Iraq because they were offensive. To some people, everything’s offensive. The constant crying wolf really diminishes any sense of when something is upsetting. The outrageously outrageous outrage that the blame-America-first crowd and the professionally offended whiners have is something that results in people just no longer caring what they have to say – especially when it comes to something like this, where again there is a world of difference between a symbol with bad associations used by the good guys and actual actions by the bad guys.
All the hand-wringing and whining for diversity and outrageously outrageous outrage and petulant demands for immediate punishment and sending them to the death-camp-of-tolerance teaches the fighting end of the Corps is that the whiners are non-warriors, non-hackers, weak, spineless cowards who attack with paper on the home front, who have no will to win, no understanding of war, no comprehension of the Marines’ lives, and that the whiners desire to make the Corps weaker and weaker in order to force it to succumb to the enemy, who the whiners ultimately empathize with as victims of ‘Murica. Every time the Commandant and the SgtMaj have to deal with this, the response at the troop level is “oh, this shit again”. The Commandant being politically forced to storm down to Stone Bay and wherever it is the rest of the scout sniper units are at and yell about offending no one and what is and is not politically acceptable is going to reinforce again that there are elements in the US that are out to get the US military, that everyone is always offended. The snipers are still expected to put high-velocity projectiles into jihadis, but who are really just misunderstood freedom fighters fighting for their freedom to oppress women, but they’re really just oppressed third-world victims of American imperialism, and diversity must not be a casualty, and all that archetypal politically correct garbage. SSDD.
A simple letter from a Jewish vet, patiently worded, not outraged, but outlining why he would prefer the scout sniper profession cease the use of the SS runes, would probably go a lot further. Chastising Marines who face death every day just reminds them that the REMF brass and some citizens back home are wretched coward bastards like Bill Arkin. By contrast, a solemn old-school vet, who’s been in their shoes, who has been too young to drink but old enough to kill in a foreign land – if he were offended (pretty good chance he would be) – he would be the kind of guy who these Marines would look up to, and whose words would make a world of difference.
Coming from the quarters it comes from, this helps no one, and reinforces this:
Hope they never learn about Teufelhunden.
Update: Welcome Jawas. Utinni!