When I was in High School there were a dozen or more boys that you suspected would bite the head off a chicken without flinching. That was the time when the surfers competed with the greasers for attention. Greasers, also known as Bikers or Pachucos, tended to opt for a DA with plenty of butch wax and a Chevvy with Hollywood glass packs and a Tijuana tuck interior (not to be confused with the band Butch Wax and the Glasspacks). One of my good friends was a greaser. He wore bell-bottom jeans (not common then unless you were a sailor) with a wedge cut out at the ankle to make them even wider and tied together with a long rawhide strip. I have two remembrances of this bad boy: first, he had the same name as another student who was just the average teenager, and second, it was not unusual to see him after the weekend showing up at school with one (once even two) of his hands in a short cast: but you should-a seen the other guy!
Today we read about the marines urinating on the dead bodies of the enemy and although there is general condemnation of this heinous and damaging act, I actually have heard some Americans dismissing the act as if it was just boys being playful, or even worse, that the Moslems deserved it. I guess some people think it’s okay for the United States to piss on foreign nationals, literally and figuratively.
Not in defense of the Marines who deserve punishment for their actions, I do see a condition where we might, at least, admit to some underlying conditions that suggest this type of activity might be expected. Here I tie my friend from High School into the discussion of urinating on dead bodies. Let’s turn on the Wayback Machine and grab any of the greasers I knew, drop them in Afghanistan, and watch to see what they do with dead enemy bodies.
Unlike the idiot presidential candidate from Texas that excused the act as just boys being boys, I see the real problem as being the diminished criteria for being a soldier in today’s armed forces, a situation caused by the inability of the Bush administration to get enough young American youths to give up a part of their lives and sanity to execute an illegal war in the Mid-East. American youth may not be great thinkers but most recognize that volunteering for service may leave them dead, so why volunteer. The result of Bush lowering of standards to increase the availability of future dead bodies is:
- More recruits accepted with formerly disqualifying medical conditions;
- Less physically and mentally fit recruits accepted;
- More recruits allowed who did not graduate high school;
- Lower scores allowed for entrance exams;
- More waivers for recruits with felony convictions.
Is it any wonder that we are seeing evidence of decreased performance in our fighting forces? I just close my eyes and picture my greaser friend from High School with an M4 in his hands looking for trouble.
I read that the United States lost more fighting men through suicide in 2010 than were lost in combat. We must be doing something wrong.