Thursday, January 24, 2013

Women in combat

 Women will now be allowed to participate in combat- in the near future. I'll admit, I am decidedly in the anti-war, or is it pro-peace camp, and I, for sure favor non violence.  I'm not happy with Men in combat either. I do think current soldiers are used as pawns in the military industrial complex. I genuinely mean no disrespect.

The most decorated Marine in U.S. History, Smedley Butler, declared that War is a racket, and went on to say politicians should be paid the same pay as the lowest paid soldier, during wartime. He also said only those who would go to combat, should be the ones to decide if the country goes to war.

There are issues with Women-- they want them to pass equal physical requirements as male soldiers must pass. There are probably issues w menses (lucrative contracts w tampon and sanitary napkin manufacturers!) & having separate latrine, dressing, sleeping quarters & shower areas. The military already has huge issues w female military members being sexually abused, & discriminated against. One female soldier dubbed it "the Brass ceiling", certain higher ranks which women have never been allowed or admitted.

I don't view this so much as equal opportunity, but more like equal exploitation. I'll just say it-- I'm not looking forward to our Sisters in the military coming home in flag draped coffins. By the way, no one has ever answered Cindy Sheehan's question: What IS the noble cause?
Because officials always use that line (this deceased soldier) "Died for a noble cause".

What are we still doing in Afghanistan? Warring since 2001.. honestly if the US superpower can't win the war in 10 years, an additional 3 or more years is really not going to yield anything different.
Why do the slow wind down?
They got bin Laden-- call it a victory & get the hell out-- now & stop playing 911 to the world.
 Military spending is the biggest expense in the budget. You don't hear the GOP demanding we cut back on that spending-- it's not even mentioned, or it's justified heavily. It IS the elephant in the room of budget issues. Let's go to the chart:

So there you have it. I heard someone say you generally have to do time in the "theater of war" to move up the ranks in the military. Yes it is a career track, but I am turned off by a career track that involves blood on your hands (I'm not talking about medics & such, I am talking about the dirty work of being in the military. Last year more US soldiers died committing suicide, than were killed in the Afghanistan war.  I don't need to elaborate on that-- it speaks volumes, that soldiers would rather die than have to do multiple tours in endless wars, that they are not even sure why they are still fighting, more than a decade later. The problem with the "surge" strategy is you can't sustain it. Once troop draw downs happen the problems resume, and or the trouble makers simply set up shop elsewhere. 

The war profiteers are already working on new products....  body armor that is designed to fit the ladies, and other misc stuff. I suppose the fashion industry will have a surge of it's own, with camo bras, unders & accessories. Gross. 

So many women have lost their lives already. 
152 in the line of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan alone. 

About 1 in 3 female soldiers (30%) 
are raped by male soldiers. 
Actual numbers are higher, as many do not report sexual assault, for fear of threatened retaliation. 

I'll wrap this up w one hellova oxymoronic statement:

Rep Loretta Sanchez D-Calif said"We're saying if they can be effective & they can be a good soldier or a good Marine in that particular operation, then give them a shot."

Problem is that "shot" can land you in a flag draped casket. 


Jerry Critter said...

A big part of the problem is that Democrats also will not talk about cutting the defense budget. It is the biggest and most important expenditure to BOTH parties.

Killing people is big business.

Christopher said...

I'm no gun nut and I'm certainly no war Hawk.

However, I don't see any reason why women can't serve in combat if they so desire. Women serve in military combat in Israel, Canada, France, Finland, and Germany, to name a few.

If gay people can serve in the U.S. military, why not women in combat?

Women are every bit as capable as men.

Fran said...

I added the rape statistics-- 1 in 3 or 30% of female soldiers are raped- that is the ones that DO report. The statistics are ugly.

I don't want anyone to have to go to war!

Fran said...

Jerry ~ sadly so. It is a profiteering scheme. We are not installing democracy in the Middle East. ..
It is not just a matter of "opening the door", in fact they opened 1200 military positions to females & wound up with 130.

Since it is MLK jr day/week, I will say that one of his issues was that the poor & people of color wind up going to War in greater quantities out of desperation.

I have to say, I love the idea of politicians getting paid the lowest soldier's wage @ wartime. THAT would bring wars to an end

Jerry Critter said...

The king use to lead the army. I say the president and congressional leaders should be on the front lines next time we go to war.

Fran said...

Jerry- Remember when Michael Moore did ad hoc on the street interviews, asking members of Congress if they would sign a petition that if they vote to go to war, their kids would be the first to go to war ( you know front line, boots on the pavement kind of positions, not a desk job in Hawaii).

The guy looked at Moore like he was a alien from space!
They are OK with sending *someone else's kid*

Fran said...

Malia Obama will be 16 in 1 year-- she can get a special waiver to join the military & do that boots on the pavement thing, her Dad talks about.

Life As I Know It Now said...

Women being equal to men has nothing to do with the military war machine being a racket. Defense of the country is a different matter. However, it is funny how our country has never been invaded--our government, at the behest of multinational corporations, invades other countries to extract or defend the extraction of other country's resources. I don't want my son, my daughter, or my grandchildren having anything to do with that. Let the rich fight their own damn wars.

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to establish that war is a racket & the military industrial complex is exploitation at it's worst.
Just read a Gail Collins article stating support workers are just as much in danger as those in the front lines of combat.
She stated that support workers got ambushed & killed en route to another site.
Don;t know if that was meant to be a comfort???
But she did go on to say the biggest concern is about sexual attacks from fellow members of their own service.
3,192 cases of reported rape in 2011.
She tried to spin it that more women in the various ranks will be better.
I say bullshit.
I think this will wind up being a last ditch choice of impoverished, and lacking women who don't have other choices.

I think of the slogan
What if they had a war & nobody came?

Because like you said.... those authorizing the wars are not themselves going to war, nor are they sending their own children.

I don't view this so much as "coming a long way", but more as off by a long shot.
Degradation, exploitation, abuse, and violence as a solution are not things Women (or any human) should subscribe to.