Marines Not Fighting for "Our Freedoms"
All of that said, the one line of excuse that I find especially pathetic is one that goes like this: 'You have no business criticizing U.S. troops because they are off fighting to protect you and your freedoms.' More blah, blah blah ... The problem is that this line of reactionary twaddle has no basis in reality.*
First, Iraq: We were in Iraq on false pretenses. BushCo lied their way in. Period. And all the death and devastation, for Americans and Iraqis, were a waste. The war there had nothing to do with "our freedoms" or protecting them.
Second, Afghanistan: In Afghanistan, there may have been some rationale - Al Qaeda allegedly was operating from there. But that rationale, if it ever were persuasive, is now moot insofar as Osama bin Laden is dead. (And, he, you'll recall, was killed in Pakistan.) In other words, even if these four morons had reason to be in Afghanistan before bin Laden was killed, there is no reason for them to be there now.
Finally, the Bad Guys: Please remember too, that al Qaeda didn't give a lick about our freedoms. They were pissed about U.S. military deployments in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere. The problem with al Qaeda, in other words, has nothing to do with "our freedoms." And, I will add, two more things. (1) The problem with the Taliban (a bunch of ruthless thugs, but arguably no more ruthless or thuggish than many others) is in no small part an American creation. (2) The Taliban represent zero threat to the U.S. or our much vaunted freedoms.
So, these Marines are not fighting for me or my freedoms or for you and yours. They are fighting because someone said "go fight." They were trained to not ask questions and to treat adversaries as other-than-human. And so, their behavior is wholly predictable. These guys too are a waste. And so too will be the conflicts (with more death and mayhem) that their actions encourage as this imagery circulates well into the future.
* I'll leave aside the minor notion that we allegedly live in a democracy and citizens are supposed to be commended for speaking up and criticizing those who claim to represent them.