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You've Gotta Be Kidding Me . . . No Women in Combat? - Sauce1977 [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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You've Gotta Be Kidding Me . . . No Women in Combat? [May. 12th, 2005|06:35 pm]

Something tells me this motion is a bad thing:


Panel Votes to Ban Women From Combat
Army Leaders Strongly Oppose House Subcommittee's Action

By Ann Scott Tyson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, May 12, 2005; A08

Brushing aside opposition from top Army leaders, a House subcommittee approved a measure yesterday that would ban women from serving in certain support units in a bid to keep them out of "direct ground combat."

The vote is likely to escalate a political debate that has simmered in Washington since last fall over the role of women in war zones, as the insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan have engaged women in battle and killed and wounded female soldiers.

The legislation, backed by House Armed Services Committee Chairman Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), would require the Army to prohibit women from serving in any company-size unit that provides support to combat battalions or their subordinate companies. While not retroactive, the measure, if enacted, would block the assignment of women to thousands of positions that are now open to them, a committee staff member said.

"The American people have never wanted to have women in combat and this reaffirms that policy," Hunter said in a statement.

Army leaders strongly criticized the legislation in letters to Congress yesterday, saying women are performing "magnificently" in a wide range of units, working where battlefields have no clear front lines.

"The proposed amendment will cause confusion in the ranks, and will send the wrong signal to the brave young men and women fighting the Global War on Terrorism," Gen. Richard A. Cody, the Army's vice chief of staff, wrote in a letter delivered to the House yesterday. "This is not the time to create such confusion."

He said that the Army is in "strict and full compliance with Department of Defense policies regarding women in combat," but that it continues to "study" the role of women in light of an ongoing reorganization of Army units and the complex, changing nature of warfare. Cody wrote that Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker, the Army chief of staff, concurred with the letter, an identical version of which was sent to the House by Army Secretary Francis J. Harvey.

The legislation, an amendment to the 2006 defense authorization bill, was introduced with little advance notice yesterday after Hunter advised the Military Personnel subcommittee late Tuesday night to vote on it, congressional staff members said. It passed 9 to 7 along party lines.

The latest debate over women in combat was kindled by an Army reorganization started last year, which created new mixed-sex "forward support companies." The companies were designed to be located together with combat battalions so they could provide them directly with supplies, maintenance and other support. Critics of the change, however, including some congressional Republicans, said it violates a 1994 Pentagon prohibition on women in units that "physically collocate and remain with direct ground combat units."

The Army said it has adjusted its organization to comply with the policy on women.

Subcommittee Chairman John M. McHugh (R-N.Y.) said the legislation is aimed at enforcing a "no women in combat" policy, and denied it is a "Neanderthal initiative to keep women out of the Army."

Democrats on the subcommittee, however, criticized the amendment as unfair to women and warned that it could worsen recruitment a time when the Army is failing to meet enlistment goals.

"You are sending a message that women can't do this job," said Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.). Rep. Susan Davis (D-Calif.) asked, "Can we really afford to toss out 20 percent or more of the individuals who are serving so capably in these units?"

Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-Ga.) said the legislation amounted to "discrimination" barring women from "serving in the battlefield."

In the arena of combat, the only risk to women . . . besides being "blow'd up" . . . would be the addition of rape to possible acts of torture.

This isn't a significant risk enough for a ban.

Neither is any motion against homosexuals in the US Army . . . just to throw that in there.

Equal rights mean a double-edged sword. If we are to be an integrated and free society, we must give all benefits, responsibilities, and inherent risks equally among the demographic.


[User Picture]From: mostlie_sunnie
2005-05-13 12:58 pm (UTC)
Any woman who joins the military should just assume she's going to be raped- both by enemies and her own troops.
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[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2005-05-13 01:04 pm (UTC)
Military is a rough environment.

It's highly regulated to control the aggression.

They have their slipups (England).

They do things that could land them in jail in non-militarized regions.

War is hell. There's no other answer, and it's not glamorous, sexy, or any positive adjective.

Like the police, a military is necessary.

I'm not really sure if I'd even have wanted to sign up when I was younger or healthy enough to do it.

Most people probably wouldn't sign up . . . either.

However, I fail to see the logic of restriction of the military to the straight male population.
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[User Picture]From: so_gracefully
2005-05-13 08:39 pm (UTC)
that's totally disgusting, and probably more true than anyone can even fathom.
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[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2005-05-13 08:44 pm (UTC)
I just don't really understand where Chairman Hunter's getting the American population being against women in combat vibe.
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[User Picture]From: mostlie_sunnie
2005-05-13 11:12 pm (UTC)
That's just the nature of the beast...
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[User Picture]From: so_gracefully
2005-05-14 07:53 am (UTC)
well, just because that's the way it is now doesn't mean it's the right way, or the way it always has to be. people taking the "that's just the nature of the beast" attitude is WHY that's "just the nature of the beast".
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[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2005-05-14 12:18 pm (UTC)
The US slip-up with the prison misconduct aside . . . torture usually happens as a result from the opposition in a larger frequency than with the US captives, over the course of history.

It's always a rather tempting proposition to treat prisoners without regard to the Geneva guidelines.
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[User Picture]From: so_gracefully
2005-05-14 05:15 pm (UTC)
i don't really understand what you're trying to say.
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[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2005-05-14 05:40 pm (UTC)
In a theatre of war, the writings of proper treatment of POWs become toilet paper.

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[User Picture]From: so_gracefully
2005-05-14 05:53 pm (UTC)
no, i mean, i'm well aware of that. but this isn't the first or only time the US has done it, nor will it be the last, i'm sure. but there is so little punishment for the breaking of those rules that it self-perpetuates the tradition of breaking the rules.
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[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2005-05-14 06:12 pm (UTC)
In context of war, I believe that chivalry has most often been a myth for all countries.

War is controlled chaos for usual purpose of occupation and control.

The US has held success on levels not the highest but above other countries.

Total compliance with humane treatment ends up as a giant conflict . . . a polar opposite to the nature of combat, which is the essence of brute force.
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[User Picture]From: mostlie_sunnie
2005-05-15 05:37 pm (UTC)
Hell, I'm a woman, I don't want it to be that way. I think we're all doing what we can to fix it. I'm trying to raise my son to NOT end up like that, and I'm trying to raise my daughter to rage against it and refuse to accept that sort of treatment.
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[User Picture]From: sauce1977
2005-05-15 07:53 pm (UTC)
I don't think we'll ever solve the epidemic of stupidity.
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