Saturday, March 26, 2005

Women In Combat, Allahu Akbar and The Magic Bullet

Well, there is always this great debate about women in combat and whether it is appropriate. In this war, while the official line is that no woman is put directly into a "combat position", women are constantly in danger and placed in positions where they have to fight along with the men.

Today's story, from Blackfive has two women MPs along with a few of their fellows, literally kicking some jihadi ass.

24 killed, 6 wounded and 1 live prisoner.

One of the women in question rushed the enemy lines with her squad leader when they fell under ambush.

Sgt Leigh Ann Hester 617th Military Police Kentucky National Guard Posted by Hello

"At first, I shot one guy," Hester said. "I saw him fall."

"I went through my full magazine and went to reload," said Spc. Ashley Pullen.

Source: ABC - Small guard unit fends off dozens of Iraqi insurgents

Blackfive not only has after action reports, but links to VIDEOS because the jihadi bastards were trying to video it for future release to the Al Terror Network.

Unfortunately, they video taped themselves getting killed by a couple of infidel women, a black man, a mexican man and two caucasian men.

You can't see much on the video as it keeps moving, but you do see some of what the after action report indicates. The jihadists were moving up on the trucks. You hear an insane amount of gun fire. You see the sky, the trucks, the date trees and, just as this guy starts yelling "Allahu Akbar" you see the three hummers roll up and then the film goes dead.

Allahu Akbar and the magic bullet. This time, the magic bullets were fired by a group of 7, count them, 7 against 30 to 40, and the 7 included two women and a medic.

The great American Melting Pot.

Winds of Change has video of interviews with some of the soldiers, including Leigh Ann Hester, involved in the attack.

I laugh when people start hedging about women in combat.

They are there.

They are in the shit today.

Respect women in combat because they just might save your life one day.

Go see Blackfive for the whole story with additional information you won't find in the news.


riceburner147 said...

kat: in re: to a comment you made on ALa's tag board "you cant stop a cat from jumping on your counter" I have done just that. The secret is the proper discipline tool for a cat and there is only ONE, the magical spray bottle. At the time i had a persian raised from a kitten (born in my apt.) and my business was at home (so time to spend with the cat). Its really funny, when you spray the cat with water, they dont connect it with you, AND they dont like it. After a while, no more jumping on counter.

riceburner147 said...

kat: since comments are scarce i will throw mu 2 pence in 2x's. I support women in combat 100%, PROVIDED, they can do the SAME thing in training that the men do. NO BREAKS WHATSOEVER ! (sorry for shouting :).... At this time I "think" women are not trained at the same intensity as the men (correct me if i am mistaken cause i think i am using as souce material GI Jane !!)

Kat said...

Well, Ricey, while enjoyed GI Jane, I can't say I look at that as the indicator of what occurs in military training as "equal" or not.

I do know that in PT training, women are not expected to do as many pushups or sit ups as men and that boot camp is often segregated by the sexes though they do have "joint" exercises.

I'm sure that an actual GI could tell us how this works.

HOwever, in regards to "training with the same intensity", interestingly, on all the programs I watch, the women who join the marines have to go through the "crucible" just like the men. They have to learn how to use a compass, read a map, survive in the open, march for days on little food and, during other basic training, there are not different minimums for women to qualify on the target range, using grenades, etc, etc, etc.

In regards to MOS, aside from the fact that women are not allowed at this time to train in "infantry" specifically, women who operate tanks, armored vehicles, medics, MPs, etc, all must go through and pass the same tests.

I am unaware of any "lesser" qualifications for a tank mechanic or driver due to gender (also, that would be kind of silly, huh?)

So, the main issue in "infantry combat" squads has little if anything to do with a woman's ability to perform as an "equal" beyond the fact that a 130 lb person (male or female) probably cannot lift as much weight as their 200lb counterpart, yes?

I don't think this precludes them from firing their weapon accurately, setting up and triangulating mortar fire, marching 25 miles in 100* heat, etc, etc, etc.

All this "equal" stuff is, frankly, STRAWMAN because the real concern of the military and most people not involved directly, is the possibility of women on the front line all alone with a hundred other men and what sort of "antics" they might get up to.

As I've noted in several military blogs, "antics" are not limited to the front line but can happen at rear bases and medical installations as well.

The second problem is again one of "antics" and women on the front line, possibly being captured by the enemy and the sort of torture, relatively individual to women (ie, rape and other sexual abuse) that might occur, the impact on the men and the morale.

As the movie "Lawrence of Arabia" points out, as uncomfortable as it is to men, rape can occur to them as well, not just by their captors, but by their fellow inmates. And, torture and beatings are torture and beatings. Considering women's ability to spit out a 7 to 10 lb human being between their legs with little more than a few cursewords, I some how believe that women can hold up just as well to torture and abuse as men. Maybe better because we're the sex more likely to experience it in the civilian world as well.

Lastly, one of the concerns that I've heard frequently is that women on the front lines and in dangerous situations may cause their male commrades to lose all sense of discipline and cause them to involuntarily protect the woman (women) as opposed to performing their duty, causing a breakdown of discipline and possibility of losing the fight.

I believe this last issue is clearly resolved by this incident as well as an historical reference or two I will point to.

In this incident, the Squad Leader was a MAN and the squad section leader was a woman. When they came under fire, the man didn't look at the woman and say "you're a woman, I will need a man for this job", he grabbed her, told her to get some ammo and they both advanced on the enemy position, both of them killing the enemy.

He didn't tell her to stay where she was and then go find one of his male soldiers. They were in the shit together and all that mattered was that they ALL survive it.

The training is what kicked in. All soldiers are trained to use their weapons in the same manner, even if one day their job will be a clerk in a rear echelon because rear echelon's have a disturbing way of coming under attack from the enemy when they break through the lines or make sneak attacks.

All this hoopla you see today about women and their MOS being "non-combat" is slight of hand because every general in the military, the secretary of defense and even the President of the United States knows what many refuse to understand: when you are at war, every soldier is a potential infantryman (male or female). If it came down to great pitched battles, clerks and medics and mechanics would be fighting for their lives, just as much as the guy with the little blue badge, the silver laurels and the kentucky rifle on it.

Now, historically, I would like to point to the women of the Russian military who were instrumental in fighting off the Germans. They weren't clerks and nurses, they were snipers, gunners, pilots (combat pilots), you name it they did it.

That scared the hell out of your basic American citizen back in 1943. They couldn't imagine, even though the women were doing Rosey the riveter, that their women folk might want to or have to leave home and go fight off the dark forces.

Even today, somewhere in the back of men's minds is that little niggling image of June Cleaver or Harriet Osborne or even Claudia Schiffer or Neve Campbell and they can't imagine that it would be or could be in any way shape or form natural for these "women" to come out and fight (like a man).

What they totally miss is that these are not only false images, but the June Cleaver's of our world are just as likely to go out and kick some ass if their family was threatened.

Now, that doesn't apply to every woman and I don't say that it does. But neither does it apply to every man. There are obviously 99% of our population (male or female) that does not intend to enjoy military life.

But, when it comes down to it, there are women, just as well as men, who do and can. And, when it comes down to it, most people don't know what they or their fellow human beings are capable of (male or female) until the shit hits the fan.

The shit hit the fan. The women pulled their load. There were NO BREAKS provided. The jihadist would have been just as happy to kill a female soldier as a male.

Maybe even women do have it tougher than men, for the reasons I noted above about potential assault. They also have it tougher because the jihadists would consider it an extreme moral victory to capture and/or kill a female soldier so they have even more incentive to fight like hell.

I have to say, you all need to get with the reality and stop acting like women are given some sort of puff training and MOS.

It just isn't true.

Women can and do perform combat everyday.

If this doesn't convince you there are "no breaks", I don't know what will.

riceburner147 said...

kat: I am NOT like most men in regard to this issue and i hope that you would not assume so. I was raised by a woman who convinced me that she could do whatever she wanted to...and usually better than most men. She WAS rosy the riveter, she worked on fighter planes. Anyway, my point still stands, all i want is to know that the 115 lb woman next to me is strong enough to carry me if she HAS to. I dont believe in any breaks in training. If there are any, well (just MHO) that is wrong. I dont buy the "oh dear, i have to take care of the little woman in combat thing, i doubt one has much time in a real firefight for that. BUT, once a woman (or man) has passed the quals for combat, then let them have equal opputunity (cause i understand combat experience is the fastest way in the military for advancement). My respect for the capabilities of women is WHY i dont think any breaks should be wanted or needed. It is also why i believe STRONGLY that congress should be 50% female (sometime in the not too distant future) and COndi would be one of my strong pics for Prez. Kat, i am the wrong guy to try and convince that there are no breaks and that women are not equal (Tho, happily, still different) I am already there.

NOw, get into the kitchen and bake me some brownies !!..........:lol:

riceburner147 said...

ps :lol: didnt work here, oh well.....kidding about GI Jane, Dumb movie, dumb title since she was navy. Maybe we could ask free about the actual basic regs as far as male/female (just curious)

Cigarette Smoking Man from the X-Files said...

RB, you almost have it, about 99% of the way.

The executive summary to the women in combat issue is that politicians with 18th century ideas about women have rigged the system and used some of the tenets of PC to fight against the idea of women in combat.

If combat training and qualification WERE a single, standardized, uniform system that applied identically to both men and women, no breaks, no double standard, SOME women would certainly qualify, and many many others would not. I've seen some of the women would would qualify: SUPER athletic women, tough as nails, and not a damn thing any man ever did would surpass what they could do. But they WOULD be few in NUMBER, which brings up the PC tenet being used by the dinosaurs in the Pentagon and the Congress: it would create a "gender gap" or a "disproportionate representation" of women in the combat roles.

Now, it isn't that the Pentagon and the Congress actually buy IN to all the PC hoo-ha they use as a shield behind which to hide from women in combat, but the shield is convenient and handy, so they use it.

The way they use it is like this:

1) They set female physical standards lower, to make females more "representative" in the military roles they're currently in (closer to a 50/50 force male/female).

2) When asked about women in combat, they turn around and say they can't afford to set the standards lower for the combat roles (beggin the question in that way since THEY are the ones who arbitrarily set them lower to begin with).

It's circular reasoning, but the military establishment gets away with it, because people tend not to be logically literate enough to catch onto it.

riceburner147 said...

ciggy: i have this weird, old-fashioned notion, namely....we should give the men and women who ACTUALLY put their lives on the line the best chance possible. The best training, equipment, whatever. AND, we (me) who never served, their support. To that end i try my best to keep up on issues that affect the military (just now watching the Blue Angels) hey, arent you ret AF ? Dem folks cun fly, by gum !

riceburner147 said...

how's this for wallpaper

Kat said...

First, if I made brownies, you'd probably have to choke them down and get your teeth repaired.

I have to agree with ciggy that this is just double speak.

In reality, every person performs physical tasks differently. So, I don't really see the gender thing as any issue.

You want a 200lb guy moved? Odds are, two people in the unit are going to have to pick him up anyway. It can be just as easy two women or a man and a woman. How many guys do you know can pick you up and carry you over their shoulder for a mile?

They don't exist. But, I bet I could rig a sling and drag your ass if I had to.

riceburner147 said...

Kat: i bet you could....and I make GREAT brownies (my father owned a restaurant and was the cook in our family)

Cigarette Smoking Man from the X-Files said...

I got carried about, oh, 100 yards or so by a Ranger until I regained consciousness and started running alongside him. Some women might be able to do that or for some it might take two of 'em.

I also remember a training exercise where at a certain obstacle course there was a particularly athletic woman who was whipping around all the obstacles like they were made of Nerf material and she was made of helium, lighter than air, and all us "combat specialty" guys were dragging ASS trying to get anywhere close to keeping up with her. Her specialty? Personnel specialist. Basically does headcounts of the troops as they get off the plane, and takes a CD-R of all their records from the commander and loads it into her tracking computer. Talk about a waste of athletic ability.

The big irony is that today women ARE in combat, but they're just not officially recognized for it. Jessical Lynch fought like a hungry lion before being captured and was tortured for that fact. If that's not infantry material, I don't know what is.

riceburner147 said...

Kat: i went back and watched the video and the AAR and Man, Am i impressed (but NOT surprised) NOW, i have to take you to the woodshed, re: your statement "Even today, somewhere in the back of men's minds is that little niggling image of June Cleaver or Harriet Osborne or even Claudia Schiffer or Neve Campbell and they can't imagine that it would be or could be in any way shape or form natural for these "women" to come out and fight (like a man)."

I take issue with your statement "in the back of men's minds". WHICH men do you have in mind her, ALL ? That is as sexist a statement as i have ever read. It most certainly does not include me. I dont dispute that many men may feel that way (no surprise) but here you reveal the fact that we are all pretty much the same, most of us have preconcieved notions, sometimes with little basis in fact. I have never doubted that women can perform well in combat (and any other duty required of them), I DO still have a problem with unequal training (if indeed that exists, I am not sure). Lets agree that we all have limitations and strong points. I would prefer to not see women in combat (likewise men !) But if women want to fight for our country (or gay people) I say, More POwer to Them. Lets just make sure the training is rigourous and prepares them for the danger they will face (as, apparently, this female SSGT. WAS prepared).

Perhaps you need to meet a different type of man ????? One who is not put off by a strong, intelligent woman, but rather who wants that in a woman.