Burn 'Em Black and Facing Mecca
Special Broadcasting Service (SBS), Australia's multicultural and multilingual public broadcaster, aired an inteview last night betweeen its Dateline program host, George Negus, and freelance photographer Stephen Dupont, who was embedded with the US 173rd Airborne in Gonbaz, southern Afghanistan.
In what is by now the usual contemptuous religious desecration and violation of the Geneva Conventions by American GIs, Dupont witnessed and filmed the paratroopers as they burned corpses of enemy dead. But the insult was further injured when the paratroopers oriented the bodies to face west, deliberately mocking the Islamic requirement to face Mecca during prayers. A US PsyOps unit then broadcast a propaganda message on loudspeakers to Taliban fighters, taunting them to retrieve their dead and fight:
US soldiers have set fire to the bodies of the two Taliban killed the night before. The burning of the corpses and the fact that they've been laid out facing Mecca is a deliberate desecration of Muslim beliefs.
SOLDIER: Wow, look at the blood coming out of the mouth on that one, fucking straight death metal.
SGT JIM BAKER Attention, Taliban, you are all cowardly dogs. You allowed your fighters to be laid down facing west and burned. You are too scared to come down and retrieve their bodies. This just proves you are the lady boys we always believed you to be.
These soldiers have clearly been trained to denigrate and enrage Muslims. Such blatant disrespect for the corpses of their enemy is a breach of the Geneva Convention. It also heightens the perception of local people that the Americans are just as barbarous as the Taliban say they are.
The gruesome episode is explored in text, audio and video here at the SBS Dateline website.