Friday, June 24, 2005

May these brave Marines -- both male AND female -- rest in peace. May we find their killers and deal with them accordingly.

May we ALSO now honestly discuss the fact that women do NOT belong IN COMBAT -- and may we honestly discuss the fact that the current crop of generals and admirals in charge of our military simply have neither the spine nor the cojones to attack this politially charged, but incredibly important, issue.

I would like to suggest that we need to distinguish between the courage of individual women on the one hand (which I do not for one moment dispute) and the impropriety of the POLICY and PRACTICE of putting women in combat (or direct combat support) positions. And, yes, I am also including combat aircrew positions, as well (both helicopter and fighter/bomber crew positions, which WERE all male until the days of Clinton the Impeached One), in the scope of positions that BY POLICY and PRACTICE should remain all male.

Okay, I will let it all hang out: We should never have introduced females to our military academies, either. If necessary, let us start an all female/all branch US Women's Military Academy. Guess how much sexual harrassment of female cadets occurred in the military academies while these institutions remained all male? ZERO.

All the calls on the part of the military brass for a stop to sexual harrassment sound rather hollow, as long as our generals and admirals still blithely house, train, deploy and employ males and females together. Do our generals/admirals really think they can change human nature -- and, here is the height of absurdity -- change it only until graduation or end of deployment?

Women are not men and vice versa. It is not an issue of intelligence (score one for the ladies). It is not an issue of commitment. It is not an issue of desire. It is not an issue of ability (as in hand-eye coordination).

It IS, however, in some cases (e.g., Infantry) and issue of physical strength, as well as physiology (the old UTI thing, for example). If it is NOT an issue of strength, then would someone please tell me why no women start for the football or basketball teams at any of the military academies? NCAA rules do not prohibit this, at least in the case of football. If women can do "anything" that men can, I say bring on the female football players. (And let us all admit that there are female specimens who are pretty tough and strong -- certainly tougher and stronger than this writer!) And, yet, the root reasons as to why no women start on the academy football teams goes much deeper than physical prowess only.

The core answer as to why there are no women on the military academy football teams gets to the real root of the issue -- even more than the obvious one of physical strength. It is, frankly, a matter of chemistry. It is a matter of esprit de corps. It is a simple matter of admitting that a team of all males bonds and gels differently than a co-ed team does. And, that is as it should be. after all: I say, Vive la Difference.

So, then, why is our miliary leadership continuing with the fiction that "there is no difference" when it is convenient to say so -- while at the same time manifestly allowing FOR such a differences when that stance is more to their advantage. (Hey, we still have male and female restrooms on our bases, thank God, but, logically speaking, WHY do we, if there really is no difference?)

Again, the root issue is one of policy, not of personal courage or conviction. There are brave and strong women -- much braver and stronger than I. But a POLICY which insists on deliberately injecting them into combat or immediate combat support positions is shortsighted and ill-considered, as their very presence changes the "chemistry" of the situation, on the one hand, and invites a coarsening of male treatment of females on the other -- something no lady I know wants.

5 Comments:

Blogger Rob Gutkowski said...

Maybe you are not aware of it, but we need an Army and Marine Corps where the people who work and train as a unit can deploy as a unit. Everything you suggest ultimately results in military females not leaving the US. A US bound force is not needed or wanted.

What makes the death of a woman in combat any more tragic than the death of a male?

Sat Jun 25, 05:39:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Kat said...

As a person that follows this issue closely, I must say that you have thrown out there every, dare I say, chauvanistic idea ever entertained on the subject of men and women in the forces.

Are you aware that 20% of our deployed forces are women? Are you aware that recruitment is down. Exactly where would you get the replacements for these 30k deployed women in afghanistan and Iraq? That isn't even to mention the 200k active and 100k reserve and guard that fill important positions all over the world, even in places that are right on the edge of potential combat, like Korea.

And, frankly, the fact that this is an IED, not even "combat" hand to hand, but the most deadly type of attacks for ALL of our troops seems to have left your mind. They were in a convoy of men, too. Not by themselves. No ability to carry a 100lb ruck sack, nor shoot an m60 from the hip would have changed their fate nor the fate of the men who died with them and have died before from the same devices.

What we should be concentrating on is how to improve our technology and techniques to save ALL our men and women.

I have it on good authority that this "disparate" physical training programs aren't just separate for men and women, but have different benchmarks depending on age, position and rank, branch of the military, whether male or female.

So, this is a totally bogus argument.

Last but not least, are you aware that, whether you call them "combat positions" or not, women serve in medical units and other units, have done so since the beginning of this country and have been wounded, killed or imprisoned. In world war II women were med evac pilots and nurses. Several spent years in Japanese and German POW camps after having their male piloted planes shot down. Should we go back in history and tell those woment they were not wanted? Without these women, you might not even be here since one of them could have saved your father or grandfather's life.

The nurses on corregidor were taken prisoner with their male patients.

some even went into the jungles with the soldiers, suffering the same deprivations and dangers in order to treat the men.

This occured in Korea, in Vietnam, in every war, whether they were in separate "branches" or even civilians, women served and sacrificed without your acknowledgement, without the acknowledgement of the world. A world that tried to pretend as you do some how that this separation made it better and kept them from danger.

In war, there is no such thing. We share the danger here on the homefront. Terrorists did not distinguish between men and women on the four flights or in the tower.

There is little difference in the danger. If we don't succeed, we don't succeed as a nation, as both men and women. If we don't succeed, it endangers both men and women at home.

I understand your anguish over hearing of so many dead. I felt anguish too, but it wasn't because they were women, but because our soldiers were dead and wounded, men and women alike, as they have been since the beginning of this war.

You don't honor them by protecting them against something that cannot be fully protected against.

We honor them by remembering they served and not white washing or pretending differently as we have in every other war.

Sat Jun 25, 06:05:00 PM PDT  
Blogger GunJam said...

Maybe you are not aware of it, but we need an Army and Marine Corps where the people who work and train as a unit can deploy as a unit.

I am aware of it. I guess that is the point of my post. Why would I advocate no women in combat but then keep the women training in combat roles? Make the combat units all-male. If you want, make women combat INSTRUCTORS, the way the Israelis have sometimes done: but send the MEN into combat. We did all right in WW1 and WW2 that way.

What makes the death of a woman in combat any more tragic than the death of a male?

This comment -- if serious -- tells me that you have already gone over to the "dark side" (regarding the role of women in combat, specifically). I shouldn't even have to explain it. Ever heard of Western Civilization and Christianity? Look into those concepts sometime. You might be amazed at what you discover. Also, please see the sentence in my post about the inclusion of women in combat leading to coarser treatment of women. Your post is Exhibit "A" proving my point. I cannot blame you, however: You have been trained to think that way by the military. Despite my disagreements with your position, thank you for posting, and my hat is off to you for the tough work you do. Thank you for being there for us.

Sat Jun 25, 11:55:00 PM PDT  
Blogger GunJam said...

As a person that follows this issue closely, I must say that you have thrown out there every, dare I say, chauvanistic idea ever entertained on the subject of men and women in the forces.

Thank you for your post: I enjoyed it richly -- and had a good chuckle, as well.

You are not responding to my content very well: You recite the history of women forced to live through tough conditions in tough times (of war) -- and who did MAGNIFICENTLY in the face of the challenges they faced. But, did you not read that I said that I have NO quibble with women's courage, commitment, or ability?

Again: my argument is NOT against women, for crying out loud. My argument is against POLICY -- viz. the POLICY of PURPOSELY placing women in combat positions. That is poor policy.

You're correct that our military is completely reliant on the 20% females that honeycomb virtually every unit in the military. Again, I have no doubt that most of these women are smart, committed, patriotic, etc. Nonetheless, my beef is with the POLICY that got us here in the first place: Feminist-influenced thinking, Marxist-influenced thinking, as well as an an immoral pragmatism on the part of our nation's leadership over the past 30 years -- you know: "Whatever works; principle be damned."

America was not founded by putting women on the front lines against the French, the Indians, or the British. Did women fight when wagon trains were attacked by Indians or their children were attacked by wolves? Of course! But did Washington have women soldiers in his tents in Valley Forge?

A fundamental tenet of Western Civilization and Christianity (and Judaism) is that the work of professional soldiering is the man's province -- it his DUTY!

Do we need women as nurses, doctors, etc? Of course -- but not in combat positions.

We didn't get to this pass over night, and we won't get out of it overnight, either.

As for the Women Marines who suffered so terribly: What would have saved them would have been their NOT HAVING BEEN in Fallujah in the first place.

If Fallujah is not safe enough, yet, for our Women Marines, then why are we putting them in harm's way? (Yes: We are too dependent on them at this point, but we just covered that point.)

The MORAL -- not the MANPOWER -- argument, is that we should never have made the decision to ignore what five millennia of military history have taught us: To wit, that the military is primarily a man's world -- for better or worse.

Sun Jun 26, 12:17:00 AM PDT  
Blogger GunJam said...

As a person that follows this issue closely, I must say that you have thrown out there every, dare I say, chauvanistic idea ever entertained on the subject of men and women in the forces.

Thank you for your post: I enjoyed it richly -- and had a good chuckle, as well.

You are not responding to my content very well: You recite the history of women forced to live through tough conditions in tough times (of war) -- and who did MAGNIFICENTLY in the face of the challenges they faced. But, did you not read that I said that I have NO quibble with women's courage, commitment, or ability?

Again: my argument is NOT against women, for crying out loud. My argument is against POLICY -- viz. the POLICY of PURPOSELY placing women in combat positions. That is poor policy.

You're correct that our military is completely reliant on the 20% females that honeycomb virtually every unit in the military. Again, I have no doubt that most of these women are smart, committed, patriotic, etc. Nonetheless, my beef is with the POLICY that got us here in the first place: Feminist-influenced thinking, Marxist-influenced thinking, as well as an an immoral pragmatism on the part of our nation's leadership over the past 30 years -- you know: "Whatever works; principle be damned."

America was not founded by putting women on the front lines against the French, the Indians, or the British. Did women fight when wagon trains were attacked by Indians or their children were attacked by wolves? Of course! But did Washington have women soldiers in his tents in Valley Forge?

A fundamental tenet of Western Civilization and Christianity (and Judaism) is that the work of professional soldiering is the man's province -- it his DUTY!

Do we need women as nurses, doctors, etc? Of course -- but not in combat positions.

We didn't get to this pass over night, and we won't get out of it overnight, either.

As for the Women Marines who suffered so terribly: What would have saved them would have been their NOT HAVING BEEN in Fallujah in the first place.

If Fallujah is not safe enough, yet, for our Women Marines, then why are we putting them in harm's way? (Yes: We are too dependent on them at this point, but we just covered that point.)

The MORAL -- not the MANPOWER -- argument, is that we should never have made the decision to ignore what five millennia of military history have taught us: To wit, that the military is primarily a man's world -- for better or worse.

Sun Jun 26, 12:19:00 AM PDT  

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