The United States Marine Corps has banned audible farting in Afghanistan because it is culturally offensive to civilians working with the military and members of the Afghan National Army.
The Military Times Marine Corps blog, Battle Rattle recently posted the news that "audible farting has been banned for some Marines downrange because it offends the Afghans."
The ban has caused a stir among former and current members of the military who question the reasoning behind the decision which has ignited a firestorm of comments from readers and fellow bloggers of Battle Rattle.
Military soldiers have already been required to obey regulations ordering them to not curse around members of the Afghan army or the civilians they encounter while on patrol. They are also under orders to not discuss women or politics with people from Afghanistan. But for now, breaking wind could earn them an appearance before their superior officers.
For the military that means no more gas blasters, bean bombers, flame-throwers or anal acoustics at night. The roar of morning thunder, air biscuits or flatulence by any name will no longer be tolerated. Anything but an inaudible passing of gas could get you in trouble if it's within earshot of an Afghani, according to Battle Rattle.
Blogger Gina Cavallaro writes about the ban on the offensive behaviour:
They’re not supposed to cuss because it could be misunderstood (that one goes out the window a lot). And they stay away from talking about politics, religion or girls because those topics could escalate into major disagreements (they can’t communicate anyway because of the language barrier).
But farting? That’s practically a sport. Ok, it’s not soccer, but a good contest could open the door for cross-cultural exchanges, jokes and other gallows humor.
Jim Campbell expressed his outrage over the decision by senior military officials and wrote: "So now we understand that Muslims in Afghanistan are offended by the sound of anal gas explosions but are quite comfortable with, beheading, stoning, female genital mutilation, pedophilia, amputations, and hanging or burning homosexuals."
A few commenter's asked, "What would Chesty think of this ban on farting?" Referring to Lieutenant General Lewis B. 'Chesty' Puller, the most highly decorated Marine in the history of the Corps. Puller, who was known a marine's Marine, had a no-nonsense attitude when it came to military conduct. He is known to every Marine who ever came out of Parris Island and served in the Corps.
Dian5 said, "Is this perfectly normal human function offensive only when it escapes from the body of an American? Are the natural born Afghanistan people immune from this digestive dilemma? If we are at the point in our relationship where this has become too offensive to ignore, then perhaps we have worn out our welcome and should immediately withdraw our troops."
The ban on farting has not been confirmed by the military and no mention of flatulence could be found in the Uniform Code of Military Justice.