Letters: Independent Voters, U.S. Marines Video

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NPR's Neal Conan reads from listener comments on previous show segments, including responses to a conversation about independent voters, and a video depicting U.S. Marines desecrating the bodies of Taliban fighters.


It's Tuesday, the day we read from your emails and Web comments. And first, an update on Operation Migration, the program that teaches young whooping cranes the migration route south for the winter. The birds are led by an ultralight plane they're raised to believe is their mother. We talked with Joe Duff, co-founder and CEO of Operation Migration about the FAA regulations that grounded their latest flight until last Monday, when the FAA waived the rules. Joe Duff and the cranes are still in Alabama. They tried to take off this past Saturday but postponed. They expected to try again soon.

After the video surfaced last week of U.S. Marines desecrating corpses in Afghanistan, we asked Marines to tell us how does this happen. James Binn's(ph) email from Fayetteville, Arkansas: The outrage over these Marines is an overreaction. In the history of warfare, this act is small potatoes, albeit bad P.R. After the Battle of the Bulge, when the U.S. was pushing the Germans back, American soldiers sat on the dead bodies of Germans when the stopped for a break instead of sitting on the snow. Young men in a group will sometimes act foolishly. In perspective, too much is being made of this act.

Attif(ph) emailed with a very different perspective from Afghanistan: I live in Kabul. I briefly lived in Washington, D.C. The U.S. Marines urinating allegedly Taliban corpses is utterly un-American. It is extremely jeopardizing to U.S. personnel, both Army and civilians alike, and it will stir resentment against the U.S. as a whole. The Taliban issued a statement in which they say the crusaders and occupying forces have been coming with this kind of barbaric thing from the time they occupied our country. The Taliban are calling upon people to rise against the U.S. and its allies. I personally think it is extremely bad. We have tremendous respect for dead people here. It's considered a despicable act to desecrate a dead human being. The U.S. should investigate this seriously. I wish it did not happen.

And finally, after our show on the role of independent voters, Ray Peterson(ph) in Colorado emailed to complain: No one can be registered to vote as an independent. This terminology is used over and over again, and it's wrong. You register as a D or an R or a Socialist worker or a Green and so on. But if one chooses to not register with one of the parties, he or she registers unaffiliated. There's no such thing as registered independent.

If you have a correction, comment or question for us, the best way to reach us is by email. The address is talk@npr.org. Please, let us know where you're writing from and give us some help on how to pronounce your name. And if you're on Twitter, you can follow us there, @totn. It's the TALK OF THE NATION from NPR News.

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