Posts tagged with Military
The current sexual harassment scandal comes as no surprise to those of us who understand the danger of not teaching young males to control their sex drives.
The first thing parents teach their children is to control their eating and sleeping cycles so they don't expect to eat in the middle of the night. The next thing parents teach their children is to control when and where they expel waste products so the children don't have to wear diapers. When I was young, the third thing parents taught their children was to control their sex drives.
Unfortunately, a few decades ago some very ignorant people decided there was no need to teach children to control their sexual inclinations. These people ignored the fact that all human males are natural sexual predators and encouraged them to fulfill their sexual fantasies. These people in effect told young girls that they were supposed to give into the requests of boys and learn to be sex objects.
When I was an adolescent, we boys were taught to respect girls' sexual privacy. We expected girls to tell us no if we asked to have sex with them. Girls who gave in to boys were looked down upon and considered to have a "bad reputation". Today girls who protect their sexual privacy are looked down upon.
Human males are natural sexual predators with some of us being more predatory than others. Many of us are satisfied with the situation mentioned in the old popular song -- "a boy chases a girl until she catches him." Many of us prefer a situation in which we don't have to worry about our performance being compared to other males. Many of us think there are more important activities than sex.
Other males, such as former President Bill Clinton, believe women exist to provide them with sexual pleasure and may consider themselves God's gift to women. In societies that discourage sex outside marriage these men may limit their actions to women with "bad reputations". In societies that encourage casual sex, these men may expect most women to have sex with them. They may convince themselves that women who resist their advances are "playing hard to get" while hoping to be overpowered.
A third group "goes with the flow". They will limit sexual activities if society discourages casual sex. In societies like ours they may feel that if they don't attempt to have sexual relations with women, people will think there is something wrong with them. Some of them may feel relieved if they are turned down, but still think they should make the attempt.
"Make love, not war" was a popular slogan used by anti-Vietnam War protesters. Generations of soldiers have used "making love" to forget about the realities of war. Survival in war requires soldiers to live by the law of the jungle and be prepared to kill or be killed. Wild male animals not only kill, but in many species expect to have sex. The prostitutes who served the men of Civil War Union MG Joseph Hooker are believed to be responsible for the use of the word "hooker" to describe themselves.
Soldiers fighting in foreign countries typically have used local women for sexual relief. American commanders may feel it is better for American men serving in Muslim countries to be having sex with their fellow female soldiers than having sex with local Muslim women. Officers who know they might have to send those under their command to certain death, may not understand the psychological impact of allowing their male soldiers to force their attention onto female officers.
Some male officers may have an .attitude that female personnel should consider it an honor to provide sexual services to male personnel who face potential death in battle. The more sexually aggressive men, and some women, have a less personal attitude to sex than many women do. To them, sex is just another physical activity like playing football. These men may not understand those women who only want sex as part of an intimate personal relationship.
I'm not sure of current military practices, but I have read stories in the past indicating that the military has required women to share living quarters and shower facilities with men. In addition, women have been required to exercise with men. Such practices can sexually arouse men and reduce their respect for women's sexual privacy.
In my next post, I'll discuss actions the military might take to reduce sexual assaults and harassment.
Have the Allies decided who will be in charge of preserving order and providing government services between the time Muammar Qaddafi is overthrown and a new government can be established?
Democracies don't miraculously appear after the overthrow of tyrants. Working out differences about what type of government is desired takes time. Someone has to run the interim government until differences can be resolved like the U.S attempted to do in Iraq.
Iraq isn't the only country that has had trouble developing a democratic government to replace a tyrant. Examples from European history demonstrate that the difficulties of establishing democratic government to replace tyrants.
The overthrow of the French monarchy in the late 18th Century was followed by various governments until a new strongman named Napoleon was able to establish a stable government. He then decided to expand the size of his empire to include most of Europe into Russia.
The fall of the Russian monarchy late during World War I also eventually produced a tyrant with a desire for empire. An initial attempt at democracy failed and the country descended into chaos with the communist party led by Lenin eventually conquering the country. His successor Joseph Stalin used the situation after World War II to expand the country's boundaries into Eastern Europe.
The Allied attack on the Libyan military means it will not be available to reestablish order even if people would accept its leaders after their efforts to keep Qaddafi in office. The problems other governments in the area are having mean they cannot assist with reestablishing order in Libya. One or more of the Allies will have send in a caretaker force to run things.
Qaddafi has many loyal supporters, particularly among those who have benefited from his rule, who might use guerrilla tactics against the interim government as happened in Iraq. Al Qaeda will certainly be interested in attempting to take advantage of the situation and use terrorism to force the interim government out as happened in Iraq.
The lawlessness in Somalia demonstrates what can happen without a government capable of establishing order.
Statements by military leaders that there would be no problems with allowing openly homosexual men to serve in combat zones would be more convincing if the military wasn't having a problem with its male personnel sexually assaulting its female personnel.
Female veterans on a recent PBS documentary said that women were afraid to go anywhere on their bases alone in Afghanistan and Iraq because of concerns about being sexually assaulted. The Service Women's Action Network and others have filed a lawsuit to obtain military records dealing with the extent of this problem.
The main problem with allowing openly homosexual men to serve in combat zones won't be them attacking others, but others killing them because of concerns about being attacked. Some homosexuals claim that they look at other men the way men look at women. Many could interpret this claim as indicating homosexuals might attack other men the way some men attack women. .
A woman who is concerned about a sexual assault will take defensive measures such as finding someone to accompany her when she goes some place. Men are sexual predators and when predators are concerned about being attacked they may respond with a preemptive attack, particularly when they are in a combat zone where they have to be prepared to kill or be killed.
In Vietnam, the term "fragging" was coined to refer to one American killing another particularly by using a grenade. Sometimes the target was an officer who was considered overly aggressive in combat and thus a "threat" to the life of whoever decided to attack him.
I recall reading one news article about an enlisted man in a rear area who killed his first sergeant who he claimed was putting too much pressure on him.
In Vietnam I knew some infantrymen who smoked marijuana in the rear area who said they would kill someone for smoking it in the field. There was a case just before I left Vietnam of a man who was accused of killing other members of his unit for using drugs in the field.
Rape is often associated with warfare. Soldiers released from the moral controls that discourage killing may also lose the controls that discourage sexual assault.
There is the possibility that homosexuals in a combat situation might attempt rape. A more likely situation would be a false perception that a homosexual might attack. Such a perception could lead to action against the homosexual who seemed to pose a threat.
Women know that some men sometimes misinterpret an act of friendship as an indication of sexual interest. An act of friendship by a known homosexual could also be misinterpreted, with potentially fatal consequences.
One of the motivations of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy was the murder of homosexual PO Allen Schindler by shipmate Airman Apprentice Terry Helvey in October, 1992, while Schindler was awaiting discharge for homosexuality. Helvey insisted he killed Schindler for "bossing him around" when he reached a plea bargain to avoid the death penalty.
The murder of PFC Barry Winchell at Fort Campbell, Ky., in 1999 has been blamed on anti-homosexual sentiment, but the instigator of the killing, SPC Justin Fisher, may have been motivated by jealousy because both were interested in a transsexual female impersonator who was undergoing treatment to become a woman.
The killing of Seaman August Provost while he was on guard duty at Camp Pendleton was believed by some to have been because he was homosexual. An aunt even suggested that he was killed by another homosexual to keep his sexuality secret. However, the official Navy report stated that the suspect PO Jonathan Campos, who committed suicide while in custody, killed Provost because Campos was on a crime spree.
Incidentally, Federal Judge Virginia A. Phillips violated the Constitution when she ruled against the "don't ask, don't tell" policy. The Constitution explicity assigns the powers to raise, regulate and direct the military to the legislative and executive branches. Congress and the President are free to exclude anyone from the military based on physical traits, personal characteristics or for engaging in behaviors that the Congress or President believe might interfere with military operations.
The President even has the authority to deny freedom of expression to those who wish to serve in the military as President Barack Obama did when he fired Gen. Stanley McChrystal for making negative comments about Obama. The courts can only intervene if punishment for military infractions involves something like imprisonment or death.