In 1996 Dorothy Mackey wrote an Op-ed piece, “Violence from comrades a fact of life for military women.” ABC News 20/ 20 did a segment on rape in the military. By November four women came forward at Aberdeen Proving Ground, in Maryland, about a pattern of rape by drill sergeants. In 1997 the military finds three black drill sergeants to scapegoat. They were sent to prison and this left the commanding generals and colonels untouched to retire quietly. The Army appointed a panel to investigate sexual harassment. One of the panelists was the sergeant Major of the Army, Eugene McKinney.On hearing his nomination, former associates and one officer came forward with charges of sexual coercion and misconduct. In 1998 he was acquitted of all charges after women spoke (of how they were being stigmatized, their careers stopped, and their characters questioned. A Congressional panel studied military investigative practices. In 1998, the Court of Appeals ruled against Dorothy Mackay. She had been outspoken on media and highly visible. There is an old Arabic saying “When the hen crows cut off her head.”“This court finds that Col. Milam and Lt. Col. Elmore were acting in the scope of their duties” in 1991-1992 when Capt. Mackey alleged they harassed, intimidated and assaulted her. A legislative remedy was asked for and she appealed to the Supreme Court. Of course the Supreme Court refused to hear the case in 1999, as it always has under the feres doctrine. Her case was cited to block the suit of one of the Aberdeen survivors as well!
It wasn't as if they had a choice. They were soldiers whose choices had ended when they had signed contracts and taken their oaths. Whether they had joined for reasons of patriotism, of romantic notions, to escape a broken home of some sort, or out of economic need, their job now was to follow the orders of other soldiers who were following orders, too. Somewhere, far from Iraq, was where the orders began, but by the time they reached Rustamiyah, the only choice left for a solider was to choose which lucky charm to tuck behind his body armor, or which foot to line up in front of the other, as he went out to follow the order of the day.
It seems like it might go on for a while, so Tausolo takes a seat and looks around the sergeant's cubicle. There's not much to see, since the guy just arrived at the WTB, only a blank form tacked to a wall that looks like every other army form in the world."Hurt Feelings Report," it is titled. "Whiner's name," it says under that. "Which ear were the words of hurtfulness spoken into?" it says under that. "Is there permanent feeling damage?" "Did you require a 'tissue' for tears?" "Has this resulted in a traumatic brain injury?""Reason for filing this report," it says under that. "Mark all that apply." "I am a wimp." "I am a crybaby." "I want my mommy." "I was told that I am not a hero." "Narrative," it says under that. "Tell us in your own sissy words how your feelings were hurt." Finally at the bottom of the form:We, as the Army, take hurt feelings seriously. If you don't have someone who can give you a hug and make things all better, please let us know and we will promptly dispatch a "hugger" to you ASAP. In the event we are unable to find a "hugger" we will notify the fire department and request that they send fire personnel to your location. If you are in need of supplemental support, upon written request, we will make every reasonable effort to provide you with a "blankey," a "binky" and/or a bottle if you so desire.
I can see the little girl, the face of the little girl. And as much as people say that they don't care about these people and all that, I don't care about these people - but I do, at the same time, if that makes any sense. They don't want to help themselves, they're blowing us up, yeah, that hurts, but it also hurts to know that I've seen a girl that's as old as my little brother watch me shoot somebody in the head. And I don't care if she's Iraqi, Korean, African, white - she's still a little girl. And she watched me shoot somebody.
Say a king wishes to support a standing army of fifty thousand men. Under ancient or medieval conditions, feeding such a force was an enormous problem—unless they were on the march, one would need to employ almost as many men and animals just to locate, acquire, and transport the necessary provisions. On the other hand, if one simply hands out coins to the soldiers and then demands that every family in the kingdom was obliged to pay one of those coins back to you, one would, in one blow, turn one's entire national economy into a vast machine for the provisioning of soldiers, since now every family, in order to get their hands on the coins, must find some way to contribute to the general effort to provide soldiers with things they want. Markets are brought into existence as a side effect.
Forget bringing the troops home from Iraq. We need to get the troops home from World War II. Can anybody tell me why, in 2009, we still have more than sixty thousand troops in Germany and thirty thousand in Japan? At some point, these people are going to have to learn to rape themselves. Our soldiers have been in Germany so long they now wear shorts with black socks. You know that crazy soldier hiding in the cave on Iwo Jima who doesn’t know the war is over? That’s us.Bush and Cheney used to love to keep Americans all sphinctered-up on the notion that terrorists might follow us home. But actually, we’re the people who go to your home and then never leave. Here’s the facts: The Republic of America has more than five hundred thousand military personnel deployed on more than seven hundred bases, with troops in one hundred fifty countries—we’re like McDonald’s with tanks—including thirty-seven European countries—because you never know when Portugal might invade Euro Disney. And this doesn’t even count our secret torture prisons, which are all over the place, but you never really see them until someone brings you there—kinda like IHOP.Of course, Americans would never stand for this in reverse—we can barely stand letting Mexicans in to do the landscaping. Can you imagine if there were twenty thousand armed Guatemalans on a base in San Ber-nardino right now? Lou Dobbs would become a suicide bomber.And why? How did this country get stuck with an empire? I’m not saying we’re Rome. Rome had good infrastructure. But we are an empire, and the reason is because once America lands in a country, there is no exit strategy. We’re like cellulite, herpes, and Irish relatives: We are not going anywhere. We love you long time!
I took the thin magazine from the pouch in front of me and began to thumb through it. I felt self-conscious, as if I shouldn't be there. My mind began to wander, as I knew it would, back to the boonies. I was on patrol again. Monaco was on point. Peewee and Walowick followed him. Lobel and Brunner were next, then Johnson, the sixty cradled in his arm as if it were a child. We were walking the boonies, past rice paddies, toward yet another hill. I was in the rear, and for some reason I turned back. Behind me, trailing the platoon, were the others. Brew, Jenkins, Sergeant Dongan, Turner, and Lewis, the new guys, and Lieutenant Carroll.I knew I was mixing my prayers, but it didn't matter. I just wanted God to care for them, to keep them whole. I knew they were thinking about me and Peewee.
A common and natural result of an undue respect of law is, that you may see a file of soldiers, colonel, captain, corporal, privates, powder-monkeys, and all, marching in admirable order over hill and dale to the wars, against their wills, ay, against their common sense and consciences, which makes it very steep marching indeed, and produces a palpitation of the heart.