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Skipper,It is not exactly what you wanted to draw attention to, but I was surprised by the statistics he cited about rape of men in the military:"According to the Pentagon, 38 men are sexually assaulted every single day in the U.S. military."He unfortunately gives no reference. At Wikipedia there is a long article on that too, and this particular section:"The Pentagon estimated that 26,000 service members experienced unwanted sexual contact in 2012, up from 19,000 in 2010. Of those cases, the Pentagon says, most involved attacks on men, mostly by other men. Out of 1,197,000 total enlisted men, approximately 1 to 2 percent are said to have experienced a sexual assault."Given you were in service, I'd like to have your take here.One thing I can't understand is how that happens in a place where everyone, supposedly, has a gun (if not something way more destructive than a gun).I mean, any group of animals can take one single guy by force. But what makes that guy not to give them one hell of a payback once he has his gun at hands again?Given those assaults look to be so common, how can it be that a payback is so rare?It doesn't make any sense at all...
The Salon article subtitle: "Forced troop worship and compulsory patriotism must end"Huh? I didn't think there were such things. I certainly don't recall ever being forced to worship troops (maybe he meant pay for troops' warships?) or compulsed to be patriotic.I'm sure it's a preach-to-the-choir article, and not being part of that particular choir, the Salon article's "music" seemed unfamiliar and dissonant to me. On the other hand, the Ace article doesn't completely resonate with me either. Sure, who doesn't feel sad about a young boy losing his dad? But I wish that I had the feeling that this highlighted death really was lost defending our freedom and not a wasted life because of a string of tactical and strategic errors by our commanders-in-chief going back more than a decade and worsening over the last few years. But I could be wrong about that too - maybe all of the decisions taken were reasonable with the information available at the time given the constraints of politics and the populace.
[Clovis:] It is not exactly what you wanted to draw attention to, but I was surprised by the statistics he cited about rape of men in the military: "According to the Pentagon, 38 men are sexually assaulted every single day in the U.S. military." Without any reference to go on, I can only make some guesses. Most importantly, there is a definitional problem here. Sexual assault is a crime defined as intentional sexual contact, characterized by use of force, physical threat or abuse of authority or when the victim does not or cannot consent. Sexual Assault includes: Rape; Non consensual Sodomy (oral or anal sex); Indecent Assault (unwanted, inappropriate sexual contact or fondling); and Attempts to commit these acts. All rape is sexual assault, but not all sexual assault is rape; indeed, probably the vast majority of sexual assault comes under the heading of Indecent Assault.Making that assumption, the indecent assaults might not arise to the level of reaching for a gun to set things straight. During my time in the service, I was indecently assaulted five or six times.Not once by a male. And while what happened each time would have fit the technical definition — I would have been one of the thirty-eight — I would have been rightly viewed as out of my mind had I decided to press any case.I don't mean to minimize the impact of indecent assault. Rather that it is possible for that number to both be true and not mean much: indecent assault by a female on a male is simply not in the same class of reprehensibility as the other way around.Also, my experience is extremely limited. I spent all my operational tours in fighter squadrons. More than 90% of the personnel were officers. There were virtually no gay personnel (over 13 years operational, I knew of exactly one). I was only deployed once (Desert Storm) and never lived in field conditions. So, keeping that veil of ignorance in mind, my guess is that most of these sexual assaults were not rapes, and were primarily male pack behavior aimed at ostracizing those who didn't fit in, for whatever reason. Of those cases, the Pentagon says, most involved attacks on men, mostly by other men. To me, that sounds like an argument against gays in the military.Given those assaults look to be so common, how can it be that a payback is so rare? Hard to imagine, unless the vast majority of assaults don't involve anything like rape.
[Bret:] On the other hand, the Ace article doesn't completely resonate with me either. Sure, who doesn't feel sad about a young boy losing his dad? But I wish that I had the feeling that this highlighted death really was lost defending our freedom and not a wasted life because of a string of tactical and strategic errors by our commanders-in-chief going back more than a decade and worsening over the last few years. I think you are missing the primary point of the Ace article and my comparison with that vile Salon vista.Regardless of lives wasted to tactical and strategic errors — they are nothing new — the real consideration here is that some people volunteer unlimited liability to protect the rest of us.Ace's post powerfully personified that liability and rooted in it the place of the US military in civil culture: it has by and large performed admirably in pursuit of imposing national security policy which, in turn, has been largely morally defendable because US national security interests are, generally speaking, not inconsistent with liberal moral values. In contrast, that Salon thing was just nasty and thoughtless progressive cant. It condenses into about 750 words why those who aren't progressives are glad of it.
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