Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Military Hides Cause of Women Soldiers' Deaths

Some female soldiers in Iraq are so afraid of their fellow soldiers raping them, that they've stopped drinking water after 3 or 4 p.m.... in the desert! When the temperature is above 120 degrees! How the hell is this permitted? What part of military discipline and unit morale allows a situation where a woman in uniform has more to fear from the men she serves with than from the enemy?
The angry part of me says we should bring back field executions for any man who rapes or attempts to rape a fellow soldier or civilian. Do we have to get to the point where women soldiers have to be given a shoot on sight order for male American soldiers? Or can we expect the officers in charge to, I don't know, do their duty?
Reported rapes and rape scandals in the U.S. military have been increasing in the last few years. From rape scandals at the Air Force Academy to scandals about the military's almost complete insensitivity and inaction in responding to female soldiers' complaints to female soldiers dying of dehydration in an attempt to protect themselves from rape in the theatre of combat. In 2002: 901 sexual assaults were reported. In 2003: 1,012! In 2004: 1,700!
And still analysts believe that many if not most attempted or completed rapes go unreported because of a military environment that not only doesn't treat these assaults with the seriousness they demand but actually assists the attacker and permits women to be "punished" for reporting. Generally, less than half of military rape complaints actually lead to punitive action.
The military has tried to claim that this increase is due solely to its attempts to increase reporting of a historically underreported crime, but the stories of female soldiers and the analysis of the military's failed, ineffectual, inconsistent sexual assault policies disprove the lie. Maybe they're going up because the attackers know they'll probably get away with it? Or perhaps due to the primitive attitude amongst male soldiers that women in uniform are either bitches or whores? (In her book, Love My Rife More Than You, former Army sergeant Kayla Williams explains that, in military "lingo," a "whore" is a female soldier who'll sleep with anyone while a "bitch" is one who'll sleep with anyone but you. Williams also details her own near rape from a fellow soldier.)
So, what do they do when a female soldier dies because of her overwhelming fear of her fellow soldiers? They cover it up! Then the Pentagon recommends promotion for men like Lt. General Ricardo Sanchez, whom Donald Rumsfeld repeatedly recommended for promotion despite his involvement in war crimes at Abu Ghraib and his outright refusal to protect female soldiers under his command.
How do they explain to these women's parents that their daughters, while serving their country, received greater injury from Americans than from the enemy? How do they explain to them that their daughters chose the risk of death over rape at the hands of fellow soldiers? When they hand the flag to these women's survivors "on behalf of a grateful nation," how do they look them in the eye knowing what they know?
How do we, as a nation, accept that the reward for a man's service is a medal, that the reward for war crimes and dereliction of duty is a promotion, but the "reward" for a woman's honorable performance of duty is rape, assault, harassment, discrimination, maltreatment, punishment and a cover-up? Support our troops, indeed.

1 Comments:

Anonymous lisa said...

Until something is done about this perversion more of our woman in combat as far as i am concerned are the heros not men,im really sick of hearing its not all men.The fact is the way the services train these men,they turn into hee men who think they have the power to play GOD!!! they are certainly are not heros to me when i hear i like to blow shit up.fact is woman ARE not constituted to fighting like men,,so it is more couragous for a woman to join the service than men!!!! on top of it we got terrorism going on in our service its perversion,and these guys bitch about gay people in the service, while we try to hide,the murders, the domestic abuse,the torture of the hetero woman and children in our country I WISH THESE MEN WOULD GROW UP ALL THEY ARE ARE A BUNCH OF perverts,that get paid with our tax money!!!

1:35 PM  

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