Marines Burn and Terrorize Muslim Recruit in Industrial Dryer, Drive Another to Death…
Another Reason NOT to Support the Troops

September 19, 2016 | Revolution Newspaper |


The U.S. military puts their lives on the line so others can be “free” and “safe.” Risks it all to fight “bad guys” and help people around the world?  Real heroes? 

What about the Marine drill instructor at Parris Island, South Carolina who repeatedly berated one Muslim recruit as a terrorist: “You’re going to kill us all the first chance you get aren’t you, terrorist? What are your plans? Aren’t you a terrorist?” He even accused him of being involved in 9/11. This sergeant, on multiple occasions, forced this recruit to get inside an industrial clothes dryer and then turned it on. The recruit was left in so long he could feel his arm and neck start to burn; he was traumatized and terrorized. 

In one instance, the drill instructor ran the dryer for 30 seconds, stopped it and asked him who he was “working for.” When he replied “nobody,” the drill instructor turned on the dryer again, stopped it and asked what his religion was. When he replied “Islam” he turned it on again. The instructor stopped the dryer and asked if he was still a Muslim. When the recruit answered “yes,” he turned it on again. This is sick and depraved—it makes you think of the Gestapo! 

This torture happened in 2015. The victim reported it to Marine officials on Parris Island, who had been aware since at least 2014 of this kind of vicious hazing of recruits. But the drill instructor was allowed to continue "training" recruits. Within months this same sadistic, xenophobic dryer-burning marine drove another Muslim recruit to his death.  Raheel Siddiqui, a 20-year-old recruit from Michigan was being harassed and abused by this same Drill Instructor. On March 18, he told his instructor he wasn’t feeling well. The instructor forced him to do punishing sprints. Siddiqui collapsed and the instructor slapped him so hard it could be heard throughout the facility. Siddiqui ran away rather than endure more abuse—and died when he leapt from a 40-foot stairwell. The Marines are now claiming Siddiqui committed suicide and there was “no foul play.” But Siddiqui’s family isn’t buying it. 

This kind of an abuse isn’t an aberration; it’s baked into “Jarhead culture.” That’s why the Marines ignored the 2015 reports of this drill instructor’s torture by dryer. This is why they’re now claiming suicide and “no foul play” in Siddiqui’s death. The M.O. of the entire 3rd Recruit Training Battalion this drill instructor was part of was physical and emotional abuse, even physical injury, coupled with racist and homophobic verbal assault. And drill instructors threatened recruits that they’d be beaten if they complained about these outrages: “snitches get stitches."  

All this has continued, even though the Marines have rules prohibiting abuse and occasionally punish some Marine officers, because it had a logic and a purpose: inculcating a broader culture of brutality and dehumanization of Muslims in general. Protecting this vicious abuser and enabling him to continue—even after throwing a human being in a dryer!—sent a message to the entire base that abusing and harboring xenophobic, racist hatred of Muslims was institutionally protected and encouraged. 

Overall, this is all about preparing savage killers and torturers to carry out the barbaric war crimes demanded by U.S. imperialism around the world, and especially in the Middle East right now. This is a military that encourages and then covers up widespread war crimes against people in countries it occupies. To take but one example, in 2005, U.S. Marines murdered 24 unarmed Iraqi civilians in the city of Haditha and then blamed it on “insurgents.” 

Any military is a concentration of the kind of system and society it is fighting to maintain and enforce. In this case, one waging an unending war of imperialist domination and terror against whole regions, including those with large Muslim populations. One that demands bigotry and xenophobia at home... A society that promotes and enforces a culture of degradation, rape, abuse, and dehumanization of women... A society founded on the enslavement of Black people which is maintained by murdering and terrorizing them. This is a country that bullies, beats, and kills people who don’t conform to its reactionary heterosexual sexual and gender norms and way too often drives them to suicide... All this in the service of enforcing the global system of capitalism-imperialism, a world of exploitation and plunder, that intensifies the misery of billions on our planet every single day. 

This is what the U.S. military and its troops are fighting for and defending.

No! Just as you should not stand for the anthem, just as you should not salute the bloody U.S. rag, you should NOT support the troops!


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