Discussion in 'WWII Today' started by Fury 1991, Feb 10, 2012.
If so then why would you not be insulted by the photo in question?
Because it does not represent to them the same thing it does to you or the same thing it did to the Third Reich. They are Marine Corps Scout Snipers, they are as representative of the NAZI party as you are of the Confederacy and Slavery.
But I never posed in front a KKK insignia.
I don't know has there ever been a Klan Rally in Florida...? and last time I checked the Klan all wore hoods so it would be hard to tell.
Because it's not an SS flag. Every SS flag I've ever seen was on a black or red field, most were on a black field with a couple on red fields that incorporate the swastika. The flag in question has a blue field. Also, as has been noted, the runes on the flag have been used by Scout Snipers since before most of the people in the picture were born. Just because you associate it with the SS does not mean they do.
BTW, you might want to change your state flag. Someone that wants to be offended may notice that the red St. Andrews cross causes it to resemble the Confederate battle flag. It doesn't matter that you do not give it that association. Never mind that it is intended to represent the burgundian cross Spain used during it's colonization of Florida. The most important thing is not, that you don't associate it with negative meanings, it is that someone might assign it those negative meanings and must be very careful not to offend anyone.
Looks more and more like a "tempest in a tea kettle" blown out of proportion by bad damage control. But it would be interstenting to understand exactly how the lightning bolts "morphed" into an SS collar tab look-alike, lightling bolts are usually depicted tapering downwards and hundreds of military units have some sort of lightning bolt as part of their symbol (US armour anyone?). A lightning bolt will resemble a rune if drawn in one stroke, AFAIK the bolt was the origin of the sieg (victory) rune.
But only if you make the sides parallel and use two of them does it starts to look like an SS symbol so the original lightning bolt may not have raised any haclkes. Does anyone have pictures of the original lighning bolts, were they used in pairs ?
I can understand your point, but isn´t it that behaviour that now comes up what makes the Nazi symbols so interesting? If no one reacts to this it is boring for the right winged guys to provoke with them. And that means not that the Marines wanted to provoke anyone with it.
I was right all along ! The Blitz on London was a Swiss-Saudi-French conspiracy ! ( And I'll bet that b****** Steve McQueen had something to do with it, too..... )
I have just thrown my beloved 1990 Tag-Heuer 1500 in the trash bin........
You could be correct Martin. If so the Marines are guilty again because Steve McQueen was one of us. An Amtrac driver if memory serves me correctly.
So the US Marines were in it with the Swiss, Saudis and French......makes sense though - Jo Siffert was Swiss.......
Gives the Blitz a whole new slant !
Nobody knows how it originally came to be but, write SS, initials of Scout Sniper, really small like you're writing on a map/map overlay, they resemble the rune. Marines have used the term Scout Sniper at least as far back as Guadalcanal in WWII (landing date 07 Aug 1942) to designate their dual role. What Jugs was saying is that the symbol was referred to as lightning bolts, it originated as the initials for Scout Sniper, and looked like lightning bolts, not that it started as a lightning bolt symbol and morphed into the runes. Somewhere, sometime, at least as far back as the early 1980's, someone used the runes as a stylized S. The SS initials Scout Sniper written in stylized form looks like the German WWII SS runes. There was no intention of it being associated with the WWII German SS. Marines associated the initials with Scout Sniper. I am sure over the years the resemblence has been noticed but why change? The German SS was not what the runes were being associated with. The 1st Marine Division, the unit these snipers were associated with is known as the "Blue Diamond" because of it's WWII patch.
I'd wager the reason the flag that caused the trouble has a blue field is this association.
Just be glad they didn't decide to incorporate the "Diamond", then there would really be a shyte storm.
The SS used that symbol also.
Another thing that amazes me is how big a stir negative reports cause and how virtually all positive reporting goes unnoticed. Here's a story that really should have gotten more coverage, but unfortunately it is positive.
America’s First Female African American Combat Pilot - Marines Blog
Its today's lamestream media. They're not there to report news or facts, just to cause a a sensation. "Facts" don't usually stir up strong emotions in people. People without strong emotional attachment to a story are less likely to follow it. People who are less likely to follow a story are more likely to bypass the newspaper kiosk or flip to a different channel. Therefore less money/ratings coming in. So today's media ALWAYS reports sensation. And anger/bitterness is a much stronger sensation than "warm and fuzzy". So, anything you read in the newspaper or hear on the news, ALWAYS go looking for the other side of the story. Case in point, our OP article. The whole article, if you're an idiot and just skim quickly through it (like myself), slants you towards believing that these guys were deployed, and while bored between missions, had this flag made up and the photo taken because ______ (insert political rant here). There was one sentence (repeat: ONE SENTENCE) saying that this flag had been a unit flag for a while. So, these guys pictured here are in no way guilty of wanting to portray themselves as Nazis or Nazi-related SS. Its their unit flag. They're proud of their unit (as well they should be), just like countless other Marine Scout Snipers who'd been posted there before them. The article, of course, ignores all of that, and the fact that the unit NCO's, CO, and everybody up the chain of command who approved the original design should have caught it and questioned it...and if they did (I can't imagine that there wasn't SOMEONE who said "hey, my Dad/Granddad brought a collar tab back home from Berlin that looked like this, got it off what was left of some guy in a leather trenchcoat..."), and it was approved anyway...then screw it. If there's a problem with the flag, its a Marine Corps issue. They will deal with it, as they've done for a couple hundred years now. Quietly and efficiently.
Screw the media.
Her story did back in the early 2000's. Now, it is almost a decade old, and is not "news", but "olds".
In the present climate and with such an easy way to disseminate information, I would expect people to view the propaganda value of photos and actions a bit more stringently.
A war against insurgents can not be won without the support of the people, it is too easy to turn images like this and actions like urinating on corpses into a crusade against a whole way of life, religion, people, etc. It does not matter what they think it meant or why they did the action or used those symbols it matters more to what purpose they can be turned to especially if it can be turned against allied troops.
Actions and photos can give rise to increased popularity of insurgent forces and hence further loss of life to allied troops.
As a complete aside I have always wondered how the 1st SS Brigade got away with being called that for so long before being changed to 1st Commando Brigade in late 1944 (1st Special Service Brigade, British Commandos).
Thank you Takao. I stand corrected, I did not see it the first time around. That does kind of prove the point though. You couldn't miss the SS flag story it became a sensation. The story of the first female african american combat pilot becomes a blurb. It had to be 2003 or later because that's when she actually became a "combat" pilot.
Excellent start to "individual de-nazification" Martin !!!!
The story is already losing steam. A Goggle search today brings up day old links instead of - "a few hours ago".
I can see your point in relation to the urinating incident. That is something that could be used by the insurgents to their benefit. The SS symbol is another matter. It has meaning here in the west but the average Afghani doesn't know who the SS were, nor if they did, would really care. Most of them are dirt poor, uneducated and don't have access to television or the internet. If some foreign insurgent intent on inflaming the locals came by and said "see these Marines are idolizing the SS!" Joe Schmoe villager is going to say "Who the frick is the SS?" Foreign Insurgent, "They were a political arm of the Nazi Party and were responsible for killing millions of Jews!" Joe Schmoe villager, "I don't know who these Nazi's are but, Allah be praised, they have surely gained a place in heaven for killing so many infidels!"
The Afghani's that 1st Recon Battalion faced could care less about a stupid flag. They know and fear 1st Recon Battalion because they sent so many Talibani's to meet Allah. The insurgents even gave them a nickname, the "Black Diamonds" (because of the NVG mount they wore on their helmets) and the black diamonds bring death, they earned the name in Marjah, Trek-Nawa and finally Sangin. 1st Recon Battalion were actually one of the prime factors in getting the Alikozai tribe to turn against the Taliban and come over to our side during the big fight for Sangin. They got tired of being killed off, better yet 1st Recon Bn suffered zero KIA's during this period.
DVIDS - News - 1st Recon makes history in Helmand, 2nd to follow their steps
If the flag in question had a Christian Cross or a Jewish Star of David, then it would have been inflamatory in Afghanistan. The German SS connection only works with the western public. It may upset you but to say it will have adverse effect on the fighting in Afghanistan is disingenuous.
Bob, you make a fair point that local Afgani's have no idea who the SS were, but (you knew a "but" was comming didn't you ) Not every muslim is as uneducated as these. Many in the Middle East watch Al Jazzera and Western media outlets. Radical Islam has many propaganda organs who just eat up these kind of images, repackage them with hate messages and disseminate them to any potential radical in the Middle East, Europe and the States. As with all modern conflicts perception is a reality as much as actual facts. We can't do anything about outright lies, but we can act in a way that does not give them a easy 'moral' victory or a cheap shot to the nads.
The Marines at Hue and Khe Sahn fought and won great victories, but at home these were percieved as failures of strategy and not victories that gutted the NVA and VC.
As you suggested I read the full article and it goes on to state that while no members were disiplined for the photo, the Corps used the inicident as a "training tool". It kind of imply's that the Brass think somebody, somewhere 'screwed the pooch' on this one in someway.