The Nov. 28 print edition of Marine Corps Times carries both an article and a lead editorial on what the paper is politely calling “excretory etiquette” regarding Marines and Mecca – which, incidentally, is about 2,000 miles from Afghanistan. But this isn’t just about etiquette. Given its Islamic religious derivation, the Marines’ excretory instruction strikes me as a violation of religious freedom. Who is the U.S. Marine Corps to instruct American citizens to bring their personal hygiene practices into accord with Islamic law? The Corps in this case is acting as a vehicle of Islamic law, which comprehensively rules on all manner of personal habits, as well as on civil and legal affairs.
Needless to say, the Marine Corps doesn’t see it that way. Its spokesmen have contended narrowly that this lesson taught by a contractor (hired by the Corps) isn’t “formal Marine Corps doctrine,” as the Marine Corps Times editorial puts it. Formal or not, the editors also don’t think this Marine Shariah (Islamic law) is a bad idea. Headlined “Respect differences,” the editorial states: “Thing is, there’s value to this sort of insight.” Perhaps in the name of respecting “differences”?
Heavens, no. This is all about respecting Islam, not “differences.”
Nevertheless, my friends on the right currently fretting about potentially drastic cuts at the Pentagon need to look at that poor 19-year-old woman’s wedding to her cousin rapist and ponder what it represents:
In Afghanistan, the problem is not that we have spent insufficient money but that so much of it has been entirely wasted. (…)
We are responsible for 43 percent of the planet’s military spending. But if you spend on that scale without any strategic clarity or hardheaded calculation of your national interest, it is ultimately as decadent and useless as throwing money at Solyndra or Obamacare or any of the other domestic follies. A post-prosperity America will mean perforce a shrunken presence on the global stage. And we will not like the world we leave behind.