Thursday, May 19, 2005

Marching Ever Forward

Ahhh, it's so nice when the gods do the juxtaposition for you. From the always excellent Intel Dump:

American Congress Moves to Bar Women from Combat
Amendment passed by subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee may have far-reaching effects — will set back the role of women in the military by a generation*

This morning's (May 12 - Ed.) Washington Post reports on an amendment passed yesterday afternoon by the House Armed Services Committee which would bar women from service in "forward support companies" — defined very broadly — that have any chance whatsoever of seeing ground combat.
And from Boing-Boing:

Pakistan's First Female Fighter Pilots "Doing Rather Well"

Until recently, most women in this conservative Muslim society would more likely have imagined marrying a dashing fighter pilot than being encouraged to become one. But this was not true for Saba Khan, one of four female cadets to make it through the gruelling first stages of training. Coming from an enlightened Pathan family in Quetta, capital of otherwise conservative Balochistan Province, Saba was initially inspired by one of her uncles who had been in the air force.

And she says the first newspaper advertisement seeking female cadets was like a dream come true.

"I always wanted to be a fighter pilot, and eventually with Allah's wish and the full support of my parents, I made it this far," she said. (copyright BBC)

We risk getting lapped ... by Pakistan.

Okay, it may be time to just say this. Everybody who wants to live in the 21st Century, over here. Everybody who misses the 1800's over there. Good, thanks. Good luck with that.

*(The AU-smarter-then-I Phil Carter, who served, points out the nine ways that this is craptacular, including the fact that women are right now serving spectacularly in combat in Iraq.)


Bill Cunningham said...

I was in the USAF in 1986-1990 and did many sorties with visiting flights at the Red Flag training center there at Nellis AFB in beautiful Vegas.

We had many women crew people around from all over, working on aircraft, supervising and learning - together.

One thing I learned - do not fuck with a female Israeli soldier. They are integrated into their flight crews and support squadrons quite well. They are part of the team.

And anyone whose dealt with them knows - if you fuck with one Israeli you instantly have fucked with all of them...

Rogers said...

My brother Jon was USAF and would tell stories of the exercises they'd fly agaainst the Israelis, who routinely terrified everyone around them.

GaijinBiker said...

While I agree that the proposed ban is stupid, it's not a perfect juxtaposition with the Pakistani story, unfortunately.

The Intel Dump post (your link is broken by the way) talks about barring women from GROUND combat. The U.S. military allows women pilots to fly combat missions.

And I'm not sure about this, but Pakistan may very well bar its women from ground combat.

So the U.S. is probably ahead of Pakistan a bit on this one — not like that's a shining achievement.

BaltimoreLenore said...

I don't think it's designed as a move to step backward.

More like a move to start a draft - an all male draft (that way Jenna and not-Jenna get to stay home).

Just my 2 cents.

shep said...

But is anyone ahead of us on our policy on gays?

Doctor Memory said...

Shep-- The Israelis, of all people, are way, way ahead of us on that.

Rogers said...

Damn straight. Israelis integrated gays into their service about ten or so years ago, if I remember.

My juxtaposition wasn't meant to be an exact policy comparison, it was meant to show movement.

USA ---> backwards, while

stereotypically oppressive Muslim community ---> forward.

The world's watching the US give up advantage after advantage, economic and military, for dumb political reasons, and chuckling to itself. I myself kind of dig multipolar worlds, so I'm cool, but I better not hear any bitching when the US isn't the Big Dog in 2020.

And again, this is all particularly insulting to the women who have already served and died.

Laurean said...


Heh, sure, pass the bill, then when it gets to the point that you'll start *NEEDING* female troops, the woman who are forced to go into ground combat will sue that the government broke the law... which will cause even more american scandal.

Gotta love it.

Seriously, this is such BS... -_-;; I can't even believe the news just keeps getting worse and the clock is turning back. -_-;

nolo said...

I think the british are ahead of us on the gay thang too.

GaijinBiker said...

Now the Italians are ahead of us!:

The Cosa Nostra isn't exactly a bastion of women's rights. And yet, in a country that's never had a female president, prime minister or mayor of Rome, Giusy, 33, is the first woman to run one of the most important Cosa Nostra families.

shep said...

I didn't think anyone reading this blog would miss that sarcasm.

Rogers said...

hehe. I got it, but it's actually an interesting question.

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