Thursday, January 11, 2007

SEX OFFENDS MILITARY JUSTICE

Celina DeLeon writes “For Female Soldiers, Sexual Assault Remains A Danger” (www.alternet.org/story/46294).

If yesterday’s Post (“Sex and Sex and Sex”) explored the awful convergence of sex-offense mania, the media, and the government police power, then today’s adds another powerful element: the military justice system. And of course, hanging over us all, is Iraq and – even more importantly – its consequences for us. The feminists (which I do not use as a synonym for all-the-women-in-America) helped fuel the sex-offense mania, then the sex-offense mania lavishly lubricated the Iraq debacle, and now as we speak that Advocacy is using the sex-offense mania to widen its influence in the military (presently with its hands full and its collective butt under fire on that Eastern front) by using the sex-offense mania to skew the already fundamentally poisoned military justice system.

The scriptwriting possibilities boggle the Hollywood mind. Except that this isn’t happening on a soundstage in Tinseltown. Unless of course, you agree with Shakespeare that all the world’s a soundstage. Which, come to think of it, is very much what the feminists (getting their notes from the deconstructionists et al.) do believe, and it may be the only point of agreement between themselves and ‘that dead, white, European male’. That poor man, that poor deadwhiteeuropeanmale man.

The plaint in the present article is right there in its title. I’ve never quite understood this whole women-in-the-military thing; nor has media coverage and the talking-head circuit helped much. If feminism’s assumptions about women are correct, then why would such reasonable yet emotive creatures want to go to war? A battlefield is an awefull place, really, and in many ways more viscerally repulsive than the birthing-bed (which at least yields an immediate gain of fresh life as a reward for the blood, sweat, and tears). And if feminism’s assumptions about men are correct, then why would any female want to place herself in their sustained presence, let alone under conditions of enforced intimacy, and – granted that the men are potentially quite assaultive and dangerous at the best of times – why want to cultivate a close presence to them especially when they are on a battlefield and in the throes of a berserker rage? From feminism’s foundational assumptions it would clearly appear that the two things a woman doesn’t want to be in close proximity to are Men and Battle.

But huge logical lacunae were never allowed to get in the way of the revolutionary agenda, nor has the media deployed any skepticism or even competent analysis.

Surely, if for reasons of a purely pragmatic nature – the pay, the status, the symbolism of societal gain, even the “constitutional right” to serve (existing in the penumbras of the Constitution, perhaps) – it was essential for women to go to war, then they could save themselves a great deal of trouble by setting up all-female units or crews. Then at least the women would be free from the irritating and dangerous distractions of sex and sexual-assault while concentrating on the already awefull challenges presented by combat operations. But – oddly – no, their spokespersons would have none of that. Why the feminist ‘leadership’ – or at least the elite of feminist opinion makers – would condemn numerous young women to be combatants and ‘gurls’, and simultaneously, is beyond me.

Nor will I humbly accept the well-intentioned groin-kick that I “just don’t get it”. As it now appears, after quite some years of this ‘get-it’ business being flaunted as a rhetorical trump, we might submit that the aforementioned “it” excludes logic, careful and deliberate analysis, evaluation of possible consequences, and objectively-derived assessment of resources and objectives. If these are precisely the type of activities that Woman (Womyn?) is on this earth to neutralize, then I’d say this: On top of the now-irreversible contributions of the most puissant and macho President and his Gang of Bhoys and a clique of buttlick but crewcut generals and admirals – that have brought us to the Eastern front we have today, do we now really want to add the classic “woman’s” approach to generalling? Are we all on drugs? Have we all had the Kool-Aid?

Of course, a follow-on Wave may now pooh-pooh such reliance on outmoded theories as to what the “classic Woman’s” approach to things really is; perhaps that whole rhetorical vehicle has now very quietly been put up on blocks in a far-away garage. But it was on the basis of such that this whole revolution was lubricated and indeed enshrined as policy in the long-ago. If the philosophical assumptions are now – by their original proponents – declared to be no-longer-operative, then on what grounds to we continue the policies? If a doctor kept giving a patient drugs and treatment for a diagnosis that has since been shown to be faulty, she would lose her license.

But I think the nub of it is right here. The whole dynamic of this Revolution – and perhaps of all of them – has NOT been the standard scientific sequence: hey, we’ve found some new stuff out, checked the figures and verified it, and now we have to insist on a few changes because we’re doing stuff based on demonstrably wrong assumptions.

Noooo. That’s science. And what this country has been through for 40 years is revolution, or at the very least a force-play. The idea of science is to find out the truth, get an accurate and demonstrable and verifiable picture of how things work, and then make conclusions and formulate future actions based on the new knowledge. The force-play approach is simply to “create facts on the ground” that cannot be denied, and then the very existence of your fait-accompli will force everyone else to come to your terms. Thus, you use human beings – the very little people of your own Revolution’s Identity – as pawns, move them into some field while simultaneously bypassing any deliberation or examination of the reasoning for such a move, and then once a few are in there then you can force everyone else to deal with you as if you’d been in there all along.

And in advanced-level play you can simultaneously claim to be a long-established player with every right to be at the table while also complaining that you’re new at this and you’re being picked on. And naturally, when problems that were utterly foreseeable arise from the move, your very presence precludes anyone asking how the hell you got into this thing to begin with. And the beat will go on, or rather: the game will go on even as the beat starts to get erratic.

And if somebody really starts trying to ask questions, then – like a wise bank-robber trying to get away from a botched job – you take your own pawns as hostages, fling them in front of the cameras, and shriek that they are being oppressed and are in danger.

It’s as pretty a plan as any that Stalin and his team (not all males by any stretch) thought up. And while we’re on the subject of Stalin, it seems – the hot ironies! – to be the very game-plan that the military justice system itself has used to grab a legitimate-looking spot at the table of American legal systems (see “Military Justice Is No Music”, parts 1 and 2, on this site).

And from the point of view of finding a long-term Cause and even making a living off it, then putting females not only into the military but then insisting that they be integrated into the same units with males is absolutely so totally the way to go. If males can be counted upon to “oppress” – and they have been apparently doing it since Adam and Eve according to the Theory – then tossing your pawns into the testosterone-cauldron of men-in-combat as well as into the kettle of combat itself is most certainly going to provide a steady stream of “assaults’. And if you are using current sex-offense ‘science’ and civilian sex-offender terms and legislation and praxis, then you can expand those “assaults” into a veritable war on your pawns. And again – as at Santa Anita – you are off!

This is not in any way or shape or form a condoning of any unwanted sexual contact anywhere, anytime. But here We are faced with the likelihood of significant military defeat, involving (for the first time since the Civil War) the bulk of our ground combat forces, and a President who may deal with that by widening the war even to other nations and other weapons (air, naval, nuclear … NUCLEAR!) on the assumption that even if Armageddon is induced America (or at least him and his ‘base’) will be Raptured out on the last heavenly helo, and at a time like this We are being asked to devote time, attention, and resources to participate as good Soviet citizens in an utterly preventable, suspiciously manufactured melodrama most often found on the Lifetime channel.

Now from the article it becomes clear that very shortly there will be announced a push to ‘reform’ the laws in the military justice system to make them more ‘responsive to’ and ‘sensitive to’ sex-offense issues. As in the civilian demonstration and article discussed in a Post of yesterday, so now we see the same script being deployed in the military.

It is ironic on several levels. Not least is the fact that just as civilian justice is starting to recognize (and correct) the dangers of skewing law to this or that particular ‘interest’, the game-plan is about to be run in the military. And on top of that, the military justice system itself is already – and by its very nature – so flawed and dangerous to any accused that it is almost a guaranteed bad thing for anyone it decides to go after. And on top of that is the question of whether troops in a dangerous war (we’re losing it, we’re not equipped well, our major combat concepts can’t even begin to deal with it) need further to be saddled with concerns that at a vulnerable moment they could wind up fighting the sex-offense legal praxis and script. Do they need this over there? Haven’t We allowed enough crap to flow downhill to them?

Segregate the units by sex. What’s wrong with that? At least then we won’t be needlessly exposing all of them to the distractions of Eros while Ares seeks their blood. Ares Ferox. Ares Atrox. How dare we try to impose our domestic soap-operas, conceived in a time when we were rich enough and bored enough to have nothing else to engage our attentions, on troops in a war-zone where death stalks them around every corner of every building? Neither males nor females need this.

Is it feared that all-female combat units or all-female crews won’t actually be able to do the job? If it’s true, then how come We haven’t heard about it before? And if it’s true – and I don’t know at all if it is – then We need to talk about that right away.

But if it isn’t true, then what on earth is the problem? What is the delay? On what grounds? For what reasons sufficient to outweigh the ferocious and bloody realities of combat? Of a losing war?

It’s in the nature of these revolutions to want to skip explaining themselves and just “create facts on the ground”. This, dangerously, results in a reliance not on actualities but on beliefs and on attitudes and on ‘spin’. The whole thing will work, the theory goes, if you just believe in it (and don’t ask for facts or reasons). This is something out of “Peter Pan”, out of a childrens’ fairy-tale, out of a Soviet ethos that almost from its first day realized that it could never deliver in actuality on its promises, and resorted instead to forcing the people to stop thinking and simply to believe, and in its later stages, simply to obey.

And this reveals the nature – realized or unrealized by its proponents – of this type of revolutionary high-jinks: they are more than willing to make common cause with as monstrous a thing as the military justice system, if it will advance their agenda, if it will keep their ball in play. The consequences for the troops in the field, the consequences to our national competence and capability … none of that matters. Just so long as the desired outcome is achieved for its agenda, with no questions asked and no debate allowed, then the expansion of police power and the dangers to so many ain’t but a thang.

This Advocacy seems as ready for governing’s primetime as the Incumbent. Now there’s a compliment for you.

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2 Comments:

Blogger Davidco said...

Last year there was a video (with background music by Elvis Presley) on youtube.com showing British civilian contractors machine-gunning passing Iraqi civilian cars ad libitum and for no apparent reason. There was an 'investigation' but no charges were ever brought. Just as the civilian interrogators at Abu Graib faced no charges although they supervised the torture there.

To 'fix' this problem, as of January 1st 2007, all 100,000 gun toting civilian contractors in Iraq became 'subject to military justice' for any war crimes committed by them in that theatre.

Talk about 'engorgement' of military jurisdiction in response to crisis!!

It remains to be seen just how this vast new authority will be interpreted and whether, in fact, this new jurisdiction will ever be claimed to prosecute civilians who are valuable to the Army precisely because they can operate anonymously and without restraint outside the chain of command.

How can civilians be held to account when they have no military supervision and no training in military ethics or the law of war?

Female soldiers will never accept segregated units for the same reason that 'separate but equal' was found to be an inherently discriminatory federal and state education policy.

The whole point of equal pay and equal exposure to violence is to effect changes in womens' role in society. The assumption is that if women want more amplitude in their options they must somehow 'win' their rights to integration just as the kamikazi Tuskegee Airmen took outsize risks to bring every bomber they escorted back to base and thus vindicate their right to integration by Truman after the war.

I have American Black Muslim women friends who have remarked to me that they became Muslims precisely because womanhood is held in such high esteem in the Qu'ran.

They recalled that during the civil rights struggles in the South, Christian organizers pushed black women and girls to the front of the lines to be mauled by sheriffs dogs and battered by fire hoses on national TV where even little girls in primary grades were forced to walk gauntlets of white adults screaming abuse as objects of agitprop for The Cause.

These black women went on to say that Muslims, on the other hand, protect their women and would never throw them into the breach as cannon fodder in a merely political struggle.

Frantz Fanon notes approvingly however that Muslim women did participate in the Algerian revolt because the jihad there was seen as, in part, religious. Algerian women seem to this day to be among the most 'liberated' of Arab women (by Western standards).

Fanon thought this 'progress' (ie, more respect from men) was won by the womens' willingness to both do and suffer violence for the cause of Algerian Independence.

Do you share the lament of Muslim conservatives that this was a 'backward step' for Algerian women just as women who have been allowed by men to become suicide bombers have thus been 'debased' in Palestine and elsewhere?

6:17 PM  
Blogger publion said...

You raise some valuable points. In re the military justice system now assuming authority over all the ‘civilian contractors’ (American or all of the ‘coalition’ nationalities?): this is a classic instance of how this system expands. We have situation that requires a ‘law’ for the purposes of accountability and also for the purposes of providing at least some form of adult supervision and to keep the activities of these contractors congruent with the military objectives. The only ‘law’ available on the ground in these foreign-combat-ops is the military version. OK. But then in the public mind (often through the assistance of biased or lazy media) the public gets the idea that the military system is just a minor morph of ‘regular’ justice, like the difference between buying a military Hummer or a civilian-sale Hummer (the paint jobs area different). Although the public might be lured into that analogy, it’s a false one: the military system is different from the get-go. And as I’ve said before, it’s not well-grounded in the Constitution at all. The Framers realized this clearly and that’s why they wanted to keep the military-justice monster tethered as closely to actual combat conditions as possible (so that even the Vth Amendment is intended to be stricter than any generation has dared to accept – see my Posts on military justice).

As to the women-military thing: We quickly reach the point (never permitted to be reached in the PC public discourse) where the question becomes: what are the priorities here? Are we going to use the military as a symbolic vehicle for new concepts of female rights and as a ladder for enhanced societal status or are we going to use the military as an effective combat instrument to be deployed by the civil government? The two priorities appeared to be somewhat compatible back in the days when there were no major combat operations that might provide rock-hard reality to ‘test’ (the horror!) the Theory. That was then. Again, they can be in the military and they can be in combat (although I don’t see it as an inescapable requirement of some sort of justice that they be allowed to do so; but if we want to experiment, well, OK. The Soviets and the Israelis have had some interesting results in their day, although whether the American ‘woman’ of today is actually comparable to the Soviet woman of the early 1940s is as legit a question as to whether – mano a mano – the American infantryman of 1944 was a match for the Soviet infantryman of 1944, and I don’t think he was – nor do I mean that as a put-down of the American).

The segregation analogy is inapt here, as is the Tuskegee airmen example. The premise that black students are as capable of learning as white students is a perfectly rational one to make (in the Western setting, certainly) and the premise that black males can fly aircraft as well as white males is equally so. But the premise that the female is utterly equal to the male in combat … is not so clearly reasonable or accurate a premise at all. Yes, it is an essential (and yet perforce unspoken) presumption underlying the Advocacy’s demand that women be allowed to serve in the military and in combat, but a presumption strategically hidden so as not to impede the manipulative objective of the agenda by exposing the questionable premises of the Theory … is not a solid basis for so large an experiment, especially when the ‘experiment’ is not even allowed to be designated as such, but is PC’ly required to be construed as the righting of an historic wrong perpetrated by the imperialist, running-dog lackeys of male oppression etc etc.

And to put this whole unbaked pudding into the cauldron of combat, where sex – which not even the Theory purports to be able to erase – distracts all members from the grisly and frightful duties of war, and where ‘sex offense’ law – as it exists and as it would be applied in the gruesome military justice system – constitutes a second anxiety-provoking distraction … this is not wise.

So let them serve in the military, let them serve in combat … but I see absolutely no reason why there need to be mixed-gender units, and a number of military reasons why there should not be. This nation will never again see the heady days of the 1990s, when we had no enemies capable of inflicting hurt on us and we could indulge in the glossy blather that – as on the starship “Enterprise” (NCC-1701D) one could wage mortal combat in a setting that was essentially the concierge level of a flying Marriott, under the sage command of Jean-Luc Picard. We are going to need to rely on our military a LOT LOT more than we ever have before in this country, thanks to the combined assaults of Theory and the rabid reactions it catalyzed.

7:06 AM  

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