Saturday, June 25, 2005

"Convoy of female Marines Struck" - St Pete Times

That's the headline on today's paper. I think it communicates the utter confusion this nation is suffering from. Since this news broke, where a Marine convoy, which happened to have some female members assigned to it, was attacked by the terrorists, the not so subtle message in the HBM is the complete HORROR that our females are being killed and wounded. Maybe they don’t read each other’s reports. What I can’t find are the details where the operation order had the Marines load up a bunch of women to deliver them to some location. To me, that would be a convoy of women. Think about this: if a group of trucks had been hauling fuel to a FOB and it was attacked, then the HBM would have run a headline like “Supply Convoy of Fuel Attack – Big Explosions Resulted,” They wouldn’t have reported it as a “Convoy of Men.” The headline also implies the convoy was made up of women, as opposed to having had some women service members with the men, who also were part of the force. In addition, the women were part of the convoy in order to be able to search any Muslim women they may have encountered and suspected of wrong doing. It’s amazing that our military can bend over backwards to minimize cultural conflict, and all we hear about is how some of our women are killed. Women Marines is what they were. I suspect that if they were here to speak for themselves, they might correct me and say they were simply “Marines.” It would have been a nice balancing point in light of how badly the military is accused of treating the terrorists in GTMO. Sorry, no good news for us! Please excuse me for doing something so un-“PC” as to replay a little history for the masses: It's called equal rights. I'm not talking about the equal right to be killed, I'm talking about the push through the 70's and 80's that said women are required to have every opportunity that the men of our society do. This is still a work in progress, more often played out in much less contrasting ways, when we see surveys saying women are still not earning as much as the men. Thankfully, in many ways, we have come to grips with the equality issues and there isn't the acrimony in the discussions that there was a few decades ago. We have come a long way indeed. Part of the equal rights for women has been a long standing push for women in the military to have every field opened up to them. In the attack yesterday, we see the outcome of such a societal desire. I mourn for their loss, yet am saddened that the liberally leaning media, which was always on the side of the women being treated equally equation, now seems so incredulous when women share in what men had traditionally had for themselves. The military has been enriched by the addition of the women, but it has not been without it's problems. Like everything else, we learn to deal with the right thing to do. My own career took me about 16 years to accept women as equals, and when I was "taken to school" by a very competent officer, I realized I had been wrong. If I can admit that, I'd hope the press can do that much. To pull a few threads together, the women were there particularly in order to make our presence less obtrusive in the Middle East. I think it is logical to say the very policy of equal rights had two impacts here: 1) The fact they were serving members of the armed forces gave our commanders an ability to be sensitive to local cultural issues. The women in the military concept most likely never envisioned this as a capability. It is an “unintended consequence” in a very positive way. 2) The equal rights requirements put these women in a position to be killed. That certainly has not been a unforeseen consequence, yet it has had a very negative impact on our nation and their families. I ask, which is the greater consideration? Open note to the HBM: Make up your mind, for your hypocrisy is showing. You are either for women’s rights and ALL that that means, or you must admit you are no longer in favor of that. You can't have this one both ways. Thanks for Mudville Gazette for the Open Post!

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