Sunday, September 13, 2009

Marines Playing Russian Roulette

Marines in Iraq have this game they like to play where they point their weapons at other Marines saying, "Do you trust me?" Sometimes they pull the trigger. Because Marines aren't nearly as competent with firearms as they'd like people to believe, sometimes they don't know if the gun is loaded so sometimes they shoot their best friends in the face.
While, officially, the Marine Corps outlaws this "Trust Game," the fact is that officers and noncoms will order soldiers under their command to play the game. When something goes wrong and a Marine dies the commanders never face charges for tolerating, let alone ordering the game. It is always the lowest soldier in the chain who pays the price; always with prison, never with treatment.

There is no getting around the fact that all these tours in Iraq, with the occasional sojourn to Afghanistan, with all the drugs they take to stay alert on long missions or deal with combat stress, American Marines are slowly being driven insane.

Art is "Solider in an Insane Asylum" by Conrad Felixmueller.

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