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David Brunsvold, Published January 25 2012

Shut your mouth because war is hell

I read with interest the Jan. 21 letter by Michael A. Ross, talking about the four Marines urinating on the freshly murdered Taliban, and the responses from various radio talk-show hosts to a decorated Army veteran who now serves in the House of Representatives.

I think Ross left out some information when he was quoting Rep. Allen West, R-Fla. Yes, he said war is hell, but if Ross had reported the whole statement, it would have stated what West was really saying:

“I have sat back and assessed the incident with the video of our Marines urinating on Taliban corpses. I do not recall any self-righteous indignation when our Delta snipers Shugart and Gordon had their bodies dragged through Mogadishu. Neither do I recall media outrage and condemnation of our Blackwater security contractors being killed, their bodies burned and hung from a bridge in Fallujah.

“All these over-emotional pundits and armchair quarterbacks need to chill. Does anyone remember the two soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division who were beheaded and gutted in Iraq?

“The Marines were wrong. Give them a maximum punishment under field grade level Article 15 (non-judicial punishment), place a general officer-level letter of reprimand in their personnel file, and have them in full dress uniform stand before their battalion, each personally apologize to God, country, and Corps videotaped and conclude by singing the full U.S. Marine Corps Hymn without a teleprompter.

“As for everyone else, unless you have been shot at by the Taliban, shut your mouth. War is hell.”

If Ross is going to use the words of West, use all of them.