Afghan Army Responds to Corpse Desecration, Mentors US Troops On Culture Dark Laughter July 18, 2012 Marine Corps 32 Comments Follow Duffel Blog: KANDAHAR, AFGHANISTAN – Several months after Americans first saw a video of Scout Snipers from 3rd Battalion 2nd Marines urinating on a group of dead Taliban, a group of Afghan soldiers is now teaching US Marines about Afghan culture to ensure similar incidents never happen again. “We were deeply saddened by what we saw in that video,” said Maj Jagran Akhtar of the Afghan National Army, through an interpreter to a seated crowd of young Marines. “Here were the United States Marines, who claimed to be the most professional fighting force in the world, and yet they did not even know how to properly desecrate an enemy corpse.” Akhtar then looked down and slowly shook his head. “I mean, they could have cut the nuts off and put them in the corpses’ mouths, or even just thrown them on a pile of burning tires. But then, that is why we are here today…to share what we know with our friends the Marines,” continued Akhtar, smiling broadly. Major Akhtar is the officer in charge of the Afghan National Army’s first Desecration Trainer Team, or DTT, tasked with teaching American military personnel proper Afghan body-defiling techniques. Every day, Marines eager to learn more about Afghanistan’s rich culture of desecrating enemy corpses gather around Akhtar, a veteran of Afghanistan’s 1980s war with the Soviet Union, to listen to his tricks of the trade from over 30 years of experience. “Hanging a body from something and dousing it in petroleum, then setting it on fire — this is your safe zone. When in doubt, you can always get back to basics with that. And really, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Much of what you do will simply be devising subtle variations on this one basic theme.” “Yes, a question?” said Akhtar, pausing to call on a Marine with a raised hand. “Like using the corpse’s own intestines to hang it before you set it on fire?” asked LCpl Jason Tate, of Brattleboro, Vermont. “See, this guy gets it,” said Akhtar, bending forward to give Tate a high five. “Never underestimate the importance of symbolism,” continued Akhtar, “because that’s where you Americans get into trouble with our culture. I mean, Nazi flags? Do you see any Jews around here? Of course not! We didn’t even know that there had been one world war until the story about that flag came out, so how is a Nazi flag going to offend, much less intimidate, us? You must always ask yourself, ‘what does this mean to my enemy?’ to avoid such embarrassing and amateur mistakes.” A traditional Afghan corpse desecration festival “Expanding upon this idea, you don’t want to confuse anti-Afghan or anti-Islamic symbolism with anti-Taliban symbolism. Also, don’t feel like you must always use big political and religious ideas. You can make strong statements that are much more personal or topical. For instance, when a Taliban official came to [the district of] Delaram and announced a tax on the opium crop, we stuffed his mouth and ass with poppies before hanging him in the square and setting him on fire. Yes, another question?” “Yeah, does the symbolism also extend to what you hang them from before setting them on fire?”, asked Sgt Casey Porter of Crete, Nebraska. “An excellent question,” beamed Maj Akhtar, “it most definitely does.” “So, beyond hanging bodies and lighting them on fire, what do you think of, say, chopping off heads?” asked Sgt Porter, looking up from his notes. A traditional Afghan corpse desecration festival “Okay, let’s not get ahead of ourselves,” said Akhtar, who looked around in confusion at the laughing Marines until the interpreter explained the pun he had inadvertently made when his response was translated. “To answer your question,” continued Akhtar, after the laughter died down, “that’s at the level of shooting down the Devil’s chariot, and you’re still at the level of firing rockets at the airport. Yes, I once peeled a man’s skin up over his head and tied it in a knot using only his own pocketknife, but that was after many years of routine hangings and burnings.” Noting Sgt Porter’s dejected expression, Akhtar then added, “But if it does come up, just apply what you’ve already learned. The question isn’t whether or not to chop off heads, it’s what you do with the head after chopping it off. Again, symbolism is everything.” Several hours later, media were invited to accompany Maj Akhtar as he reviewed the results of a practical application on the bodies of a dead Taliban mortar team to test the Marines’ comprehension. ”Let’s look at what you came up with. Okay, Staff Sergeant Sheppard, you took a picture of yourself shitting in the corpse’s mouth while you smile and give a thumbs up. Quite frankly, I’m disappointed. Honestly, this seems to send more of a message about your sexual preferences than what happens to your enemies. Contrast that with what Cpl Callahan did. At first glance, it seems very simple — he hung the body from a wall and lit it on fire. But look how he’s carefully modified that basic theme to make it his own. First, he hung the body upside down, a simple but brilliant change, as if to say ‘he died as he lived, with an upside down view of the world, for who but such a fool could have fought Cpl Callahan?'” “Looking further, we can see that he also gutted the corpse like a beast, as if he started butchering it from sheer force of habit. To a warrior like Cpl Callahan, this was no death to be remembered, but an animal no better than one of his deer back in…?” “Gwinn, Michigan,” added Cpl Callahan helpfully, as Akhtar patted his student on the shoulder. “Yet what’s most impressive…what I’m going to remember if I’m one of Cpl Callahan’s enemies…is that even though he hung the body by its feet, he also put a second noose around its neck and used it to hang the base plate from the man’s captured mortar. This is powerful symbolism. It almost dares onlookers to try and pick up the weapon this dead fool thought to use against Cpl Callahan.” “It’s like I’ve told you all day”, Akhtar concluded. “It can be a little funny, or kind of extreme, but what’s really important is that it makes you think. It’s almost a shame to see it burn.” United States Forces – Afghanistan (USFOR-A) believes the program’s development is a sign of positive engagement from Hamid Karzai’s government. “The role of USFOR-A and the larger International Security Assistance Force is to partner with our allies from the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and develop the security situation through mentoring, arming, and training”, said Lieutenant Junior Grade Keith Goodsell of USFOR-A public affairs. “But this program disproves claims that partnership with the Afghan National Army is just a one way street, and shows that we have just as much to learn from them as they do from us.” “Now, what does DTT stand for exactly?” Don't miss the next story.Get the latest news and alerts from Duffel Blog delivered to your inbox—free. Short URL: http://duffelblog.com/48S4y Christian Sinclair Waggoner says: April 16, 2014 at 1:09 AM brilliant Joshua Maida says: April 16, 2014 at 1:09 AM I don’t get it. I’ve seen 10 year old American kids come up with far more inventive ways to desecrate GI Joes. We don’t need to outsource this to some goat sexer. The only good part of this whole story is the picture. It looks like the dead dude on the left is posed to be in Michael Jackson’s Thriller video. Maybe he’s supposed to symbolize the non Talib’s love for America and their desire to join one of our many Zombie Outbreak Response Teams? Now that’s reading into some sh! t! Vicki Clark says: April 16, 2014 at 1:09 AM This is desecration and the innocents in those buildings were not trying to kill their attackers, the were at work earning a living for their families! http://moisturizingbodylotion.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/create-twin-towers1.jpg Prithvi Jagannath says: April 16, 2014 at 1:09 AM I hope the good ANA captain made a powerpoint with the TLOs and ELOs clearly explained. Travis IPl says: April 16, 2014 at 1:09 AM lol Axel Le says: April 16, 2014 at 1:09 AM What the fuck hahahah. David Moore says: April 16, 2014 at 1:09 AM I think one point to be made here is that our government and military still lack a thorough understanding of Afghan culture that goes back hundreds of years. Akhtar’s comment about peeling the enemy’s skin and tying it over his head – Afghan warriors were doing that to British and Russian soldiers in the 18th and 19th centuries. Taylor Crowe says: April 16, 2014 at 1:09 AM oh god this was perfect. Ervikar Von Glocken says: April 16, 2014 at 1:09 AM Welp this made my morning. Jerry Colon says: April 16, 2014 at 1:09 AM if only we could do this and get away with it my year in iraq would of been much more fun. Sergio Garcia says: April 16, 2014 at 1:09 AM I’d say, find a way to hang ‘em by their taints (symbolizing that they all stink like assholes!) Let’s give our Marine brothers some ideas. Sidney Vincent says: April 16, 2014 at 1:09 AM Make your desecration symbolic lmao. Jason D Sousley says: April 16, 2014 at 1:09 AM This is the kind of cooperation that need to occur between the Afghan and American military so that future operations can succeed. Frances Antoinette says: April 16, 2014 at 1:09 AM IKIS it’s the fact that we treat our enemies, dead and alive, with respect that differentiates us from them. I am sad and sickened to see this kind of thing published. Taff Hughes says: April 16, 2014 at 1:09 AM James McKernan – IRA goon shot dead in Belfast in September 1986, caught in the act of planting an IED. Someone in the patrol put a ‘I’ve just met the Marines’ sticker on his forehead afterwards. Allegedly. Michael Fondren says: April 16, 2014 at 1:09 AM The best thing to do is what worked for Blackjack Pershing during the Islamic Insurrection in the Philippines. He let it be know that the US Army was dipping their bullets in pig’s blood. It took the starch out of the insurrectionists. Walt Stachowicz says: April 16, 2014 at 1:09 AM Be careful of some of these ideas, you might get a 15 yard penalty for excessive celebration. Corpsman says: November 2, 2012 at 11:23 AM IKIS.. Would starting an Intravenous line with gasoline and setting him on fire from the inside be okay then? Darwin says: September 12, 2012 at 6:19 PM As a former Marine Scout Sniper i find this to be unfunny, unprofessional, and show poor discipline. We are supposed to be different from them. JCRetired says: October 27, 2012 at 1:59 AM Don’t worry Darwin. Unlike your name implies, you’ll make Lance yet. SGT N says: July 18, 2012 at 3:21 PM lawwwwwwwwwwwl CPL G says: July 18, 2012 at 2:24 PM I hope there wasnt any deaths by powerpoints!? haha Lt. Butero-Trinkejo says: July 19, 2012 at 12:45 AM Cpl G, I do believe that subsection G para graph A1 of the geneva convention specifically forbids the use of powerpoint on enemy combatants. JMac says: July 18, 2012 at 11:13 AM Haha.. good stuff! 11B20 says: July 18, 2012 at 10:25 AM One of the weaker articles I’ve read on this site…keep trying though, you got the right idea. Michael Hasbun says: July 18, 2012 at 9:28 AM LOL… I guess practice makes perfect..