Marines Shown With SS Flag Need to Learn History (VIDEO)

The US Marine Corps is in a heap of trouble after a photograph surfaced of a sniper team in Afghanistan posing in front of a flag with a logo that looked a lot like the symbol of the Nazi SS -- a unit that was responsible for the murder of millions of Jews, gypsies, and others during World War II.

The Marines are claiming ignorance and that the snipers thought it stood for Sniper Scouts and never intended for it to be associated with a racist organization. Sadly, ignorance isn't a good enough excuse for this debacle. 

Though the Corps, who discovered this back in November (it was taken in 2010), are using this photo as a teaching tool, many others aren't convinced. See the video below:

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Rabbi Marvin Hier, founder of Los Angeles’ Simon Wiesenthal Center, isn't buying it. He told the Washington Post:

That 70 years after the United States Armed Forces helped liberate Europe from Nazi Germany, to learn that a unit of the United States Marine Corps serving in Afghanistan adopted the SS insignia alongside the Stars and Stripes, desecrates the memory of some 200,000 Americans who gave up their lives to defend freedom against that infamous symbol.

He's got a point. And this isn't the first time the Marines have been in trouble. Last month, a video surfaced of a Marine urinating on the corpse of a dead Taliban fighter in Afghanistan.

Taken independently, we could call these separate acts, but taken together, it's worrisome. By all means, we should respect the troops and the sacrifices they make for our country. But there is also not a lot of room for such cultural ignorance and disrespect.

If you're going to pose with a symbol like the SS symbol, you better know what it is. And the fact that no disciplinary action is being taken is equally disturbing. Someone needs to be held accountable for this cultural ignorance. Not everything the Marines do is smart and this one is definitely not.

That said, it's possible that this really is simple ignorance. And though someone should be disciplined on the higher level, education (as the Marines have promised) IS the best policy here. There is no excuse for cultural ignorance like this, but given the ranking of those shown pictured, it's possible that they simply didn't have the education to recognize the symbol. 

Still, that fact is scary in and of itself. Clearly, cultural sensitivity and some lessons in history might need to be part of the training of these specialized units.

Do you think they really didn't know what this was?

 

Image via PigMine3/YouTube

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