View Full Version : They shoot women, don't they?

06-29-05, 12:20 PM
They shoot women, don't they?
By Kathleen Parker

The deaths of three women — two Marines and one sailor — and the injury of 11 other female Marines in an attack in Iraq last week not only raises questions about the role of women in combat, but suggests that the U.S. military may be guilty of willful denial, if not strategic negligence.

Put another way, American women in Iraq are dying unnecessarily.

And no, I'm not suggesting that men should die necessarily, but that women who are not supposed to be in or near combat are being placed in situations that increase the likelihood of death or injury.

Obviously women soldiers, sailors and Marines are sometimes injured or killed because they are unavoidably "in harm's way." War is imperfect after all. But other times, harm's way is avoidable, as was surely the case last Thursday when a convoy carrying mostly women was attacked in Fallujah by a suicide car bomber and gunmen.

While the women's deaths may not be more tragic than others' deaths — certainly not to those who have buried their sons — we are left wondering why the women were in places where they could be so easily killed.

The convenient response is that this war has no clear "front lines," that military women are bound to get caught in the crossfire. In Thursday's case, the women were going to a checkpoint where they were to search Iraqi females out of respect for Muslim sensitivities. Every vehicle and person entering Fallujah is searched as the U.S. tries to insure that insurgents are kept out.

Having women instead of men search women makes perfectly good sense, but why American women? Why not raise our exquisite sensitivity to the next level and employ Iraqi women to search Iraqi women?

Elaine Donnelly of the nonprofit Center for Military Readiness, who has put that question to the Pentagon, says that even though Marine women were authorized to be at the checkpoints, the Pentagon apparently didn't adequately think through the implications of placing women at such vulnerable posts.

Some observers wonder whether the convoy was targeted specifically because it was known to be carrying women. More buck for the bang, if you're a suicide bomber. If the goal is to undermine U.S. will and commitment to the war, the twisted mind might think, what better way than to kill their women?

Donnelly is more critical of Army procedures that have placed women at high risk in ways that are not officially authorized. She and Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, last month questioned the Army policy of "collocating" women with its infantry/armor land combat battalions. Again, translated, this means putting women who perform various auxiliary, non-combat roles near enough to combat as to be in harm's way.

Which is clearly against Pentagon policy. To change the policy — or to seek an exception — requires that the secretary of defense notify Congress 30 legislative days (or about three month's real time) in advance. No such notice has ever been given, says Donnelly. Instead, the Army has been assigning women to forward-support companies that previously were all male while the Pentagon rearranges organizational charts to make the rules seem inapplicable.

Donnelly is blunt in her appraisal that this sleight of hand is not only subterfuge, but unfair to women who enlist in the military in the belief they won't be near combat. Jessica Lynch, where are you?

To reiterate, the Marines and the Army are not one and the same. The Marines apparently were following rules when the women Marines were attacked by the suicide bomber. The Army, on the other hand, is bending rules to send women where men are supposed to be.

All of which forces the tough question: Do we really want to put our women at this level of risk if it's not necessary? The rules against placing women in combat still stand, but the slope is looking a bit slippery. As the lines between combat and non-combat become blurred, so do the roles of men and women in the military.

The battle for civilization may not be lost in Fallujah or Kabul, after all. When we decide to willingly put our nation's mothers — whether future or of the moment —in harm's way, we may already have lost the war.


06-29-05, 12:31 PM
I don't agree with all this crap. I knew exactly what I was getting into when I signed that contract. As the daughter of a retired Marine, I knew of all the hardships and issues, I'd be facing. This is War, and people are going to die! I'm sorry it had to be another Marine but whether male or female it's not different. I'm here to serve my country in anyway I can. I refuse to be confined to a desk or to play the role of a nurse. That is just not me and that is not how "America" raised me. I would like to think that this latest incident will not affect the mission we are trying to accomplish. Hopefully I will be that one female who changes the views that society has on woman in combat roles. These outside civilians, looking in, kill me because they don't know the mindset of the average Marine. I've had the honor of meeting a few combat vets and they all tell me that male or female doesn't matter. They too knew what they were doing so what's the issue? People suck is what it is! Maybe all the effort these people spend running their mouths, should be put towards finding men with the balls to serve their country! Semper FI. :marine:

06-29-05, 12:49 PM
WELL SAID, GETTEM CPL. :D :banana: :marine:

Phantom Blooper
06-29-05, 01:07 PM
I Just Want To Be Loved By You!

I just want to be lost
In a crowded room
So I don't have to hear
Your point of view


You know I don't care
About what you say
And it's the way
You say it, too


So why did you come to me
When you knew that you just didn't believe
What did you expect to get from telling me
You don't understand
Anything or how I am



I just want to be loved
I just want to be loved by you
I want to be loved
I just want to be loved by you
I want to be loved (2x's)


I just want you to stay
Away from me
With all your lies
I just don't believe


I want to be loved
I just want to loved by you



06-29-05, 01:43 PM
Crap ! Im not going to be the one to tell a young Marine who just so happens to be a female that she cant fight with the rest of the Marines who just so happen to be males, all because of her gender. Female Marines know that when they enlist just like with the rest of the men, that at some point they might have to go to war.
Iraq is a war unlike any other. I know its getting played out, but its true. There are no front lines. Women have now been playing a role that they have never had to do before. Manning turrets, Machine guns and guarding towers. All the while they have been killing , and engaging targets near and far. They are capable.
Everyday women are out their doing it, and doing it well. Im not telling them they cant do what we do ... If you want to...Go for it...
They say that Men look after women more in battle than they would a fellow man. Maybe thats true, but there is a reason for that. Thats because all of our lives we have been raised to respect women and value them. Thats what separates us from these heathens that were over in Iraq killing. They have no respect for any life .
Ill tell you this though, no matter what Gender ... I gurantee you ..... Any marine would lay down his life for his fellow buddy. Because thats who we are Marines, and thats what we do .
So I dare you to go and tell a Marine that they have to go to the rear because of their gender...
Good Luck!

06-29-05, 02:05 PM
OOHRAH Sergeant! Never stated better. Semper Fidelis. :marine:

06-29-05, 02:34 PM
I think that all females that enter in the service now days know the hazards of conflict when they enlist and they choose to do so then they should be allowed to fight right beside their male counterparts in any branch especially the core because as" that female" said she joined to be part of one of the finest that there is U.S.M.C. so let them do what they wre trained for. Semper Fi TazMatt Sgt 69-75