Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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April 7, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

BAREFOOT AND PREGNANT....Conservative columnist Kathleen Parker takes to the pages of the Washington Post today to add herself to the Dinesh D'Souza Hall of Fame: people who think that maybe the sharia-loving ayatollahs have some worthwhile social insights after all. In this case, it's their view that women should stay home with their babies and let men take care of the world's important business. The proximate cause of today's rant, you'll be unsurprised to learn, is the "humiliation" meted out to the West by Iran's release of Leading Seaman Faye Turney:

Just because we may not "feel" humiliated doesn't mean we're not. In the eyes of Iran and other Muslim nations, we're wimps. While the West puts mothers in boats with rough men, Muslim men "rescue" women and drape them in floral hijabs.

We can debate whether they're right until all our boys wear aprons, but it won't change the way we're perceived. The propaganda value Iran gained from its lone female hostage, the mother of a 3-year-old, was incalculable.

Does this barely literate frothing really deserve promotion from the syndicated ghetto Parker normally occupies? Why?

Kevin Drum 1:05 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (124)

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parker: Just because we may not "feel" humiliated doesn't mean we're not.

conservatives don't feel embarrasement either

Posted by: mr. irony on April 7, 2007 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK

I vote we put Kathleen Parker in a boat with rough men.

Posted by: Mudge on April 7, 2007 at 1:31 PM | PERMALINK

Parker claims to be an "independent" and wrote a couple of columns back during 2004 intimating that she could be persuaded to vote for Kerry for president. And she occasionally strikes a good bipartisan balance in the occasional column.

But she's also good for columns as idiotic as this one fairly regularly. No surprise, as she's long been a staple of Townhall.com. My guess is that her fakes toward bipartisanship are designed to be used in her pitch package to op-ed editors around the country to get her screeds in their papers.

Posted by: SalHepatica on April 7, 2007 at 1:35 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe the low quality of Parker's incoherent rambling is a brilliant effort to prove her own point.

Posted by: Patrick on April 7, 2007 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

Well, rightwingers like Parker may be overly influenced by Iranian propaganda, but most sensible Americans can see it for the crap it is.

Posted by: franklin on April 7, 2007 at 1:39 PM | PERMALINK

Does this barely literate frothing really deserve promotion from the syndicated ghetto Parker normally occupies?

Of course not, except inasmuch as it serves the agenda of the WaPo editorial board.

Why?

Glad you asked -- because Parker's odious little column simply serves -- as Coulter's "faggot" slur of Edwards before -- to perpetuate the myth that Republicans are manly and Democrats, well, aren't.

Of course, that the authoritarian Bush Cultists, from Coulter to Parker to Halperin to the neocons at the WaPo editorial board -- are becoming so obvious and so, dare I say it, shrill is simply a mark of how desperate they've become. In that sense, and only that sense, Parker's bullshit is music to my ears -- it has "LOSER" branded all over it.

Posted by: Gregory on April 7, 2007 at 1:40 PM | PERMALINK

Parker has lost it if she thinks that the way traditional Muslim society treats women is the way to go. Should we also take women outside and stone them to death if they are raped because they have been "dishonored"?

Posted by: Teresa on April 7, 2007 at 1:42 PM | PERMALINK

Parker's ramblings were promoted to the WP because they are congruent, roughly, with Hiatt's shameful see-no-evil support of the Bush/Cheney war on Iraq.

Posted by: devtob on April 7, 2007 at 1:42 PM | PERMALINK

Actually conservatives feel nothing but humiliation, they are singularly obsessed with it, it's virtual the only human response they have, which is why they're freaked out by everything.

We can debate whether they're right until all our boys wear aprons, but it won't change the way we're perceived.

Conservatives have never been part of any conversation we've ever had as a society, whatever is talked about they're freaked out and try to interrupt it in any way they can, usually with some hysterical distraction.

tpm has a great article by Michael Berube about how religion works in politics --to stop the conversation, to stop any conversation that might move anything forward.

That's certainly what it's done in the Middle East, and it's one of the primary reasons why conservatives have more in common with Islam than with anything in western society.


Posted by: cld on April 7, 2007 at 1:43 PM | PERMALINK

Ah, Kevin.

Parker sounds like another one of these multi-ethnic liberal PC activists, where the other culture is always right and America is always wrong.

Why doesn't she move to Gitmo. I hear they have a sizable muslim population there she can worship.

Posted by: egbert on April 7, 2007 at 1:45 PM | PERMALINK

Here's that Michael Berube article.

Posted by: cld on April 7, 2007 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

It is significant that throughout her column, Parker assumes the very point she is trying to make, and without an iota of evidence. She also ignores the fact (or the importance) that men are raped and treated badly when captured, too.

Posted by: frank logan on April 7, 2007 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK

Egbert's halfway on to something.

For the SCAMD personality the other culture is always right when they're religious psychotics.

Posted by: cld on April 7, 2007 at 1:48 PM | PERMALINK
But [Ahmadinejad] was dead-on when he wondered why a once-great power such as Britain sends mothers of toddlers to fight its battles.
Parker takes wingnuttery to new heights. Well, I suppose it's always been nutso.

WTF is WaPo doing? Publishing Parker is a disgrace.

frank logan: She also ignores the fact (or the importance) that men are raped and treated badly when captured, too.

Conveniently ignoring the rapes committed in Abu Ghraib.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on April 7, 2007 at 1:59 PM | PERMALINK

Why does she need to put nudge quotes around the word "feel"? Is it some sort of wingnut signal?

Maybe if I drink this Kool-Aid I'll understand.

Posted by: skeg on April 7, 2007 at 2:01 PM | PERMALINK

What an incredibly stupid, obtuse, illiterate and dishonest posting.

Look. Either the Iranians do feel the way in which she describes, or they do not. Her statement has *nothing* to do with her personal opinion about women serving in the armed forces.

This is am amazingly idiotic piece of barrel-scraping, even for a leftist blogger.

Posted by: am on April 7, 2007 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, egbert, she sounds verrry liberal. Oh, your tin-soldier collection is very impressive. Can you come back later, after the grownups are done talking?


Anyway, I don't see who's forcing Parker, or Phyllis Schlafly for that matter, to make a living out in public.

Posted by: Kenji on April 7, 2007 at 2:23 PM | PERMALINK

What an incredibly stupid, obtuse, illiterate and dishonest posting.

Coming from you, that's rich. I'd like to see you prove your argument. Let me get some popcorn. Go on. Entertain us.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on April 7, 2007 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

Parker doesn't get it. Not at all.

That the west sends the mothers of toddlers to fight against Muslims is a humiliation -- for *Muslims*. We're telling them that we reserve our real manly man fighters for real opponents.

Psyops, baybee.

(Note: no sexism intended -- just playing with the sexist stereotypes.)

Posted by: Disputo on April 7, 2007 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK

Good for you with that disclaimer, Disputo...:)

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 7, 2007 at 2:32 PM | PERMALINK

If only the Brits had a real man like Maggie Thatcher in charge we would all be proud

Posted by: Martin on April 7, 2007 at 2:34 PM | PERMALINK

Anyway, BG, what's with Parker's concern about "mothers" being thrown in with "rough" men? Why should anyone assume the men are rougher than the women? And has anyone around here ever met an actual mother? Most don't wear high-heels, especially while protecting (or possibly terrorizing) their young.

Posted by: Kenji on April 7, 2007 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

What an incredibly stupid, obtuse, illiterate and dishonest posting.

Thanks for warning us in advance, am, but all your posts are that way.

Posted by: Gregory on April 7, 2007 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK

I dunno Kenji. Hasn't she seen Mean Girls? I mean really!

I don't know what her particular pathology is, but it is definitely manifest and getting worse.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 7, 2007 at 2:41 PM | PERMALINK

eegburb: Parker sounds like another one of these multi-ethnic liberal PC activists...

Townhall.com (from where Parker hails) publishes liberal columnists? Uh-huh.

Martin: If only the Brits had a real man like Maggie Thatcher in charge we would all be proud.

IIRC, Niall Ferguson was pining for the Iron Lady over Blair last week. His column sounds unhinged from reality especially now that the British soldiers have been released without a bomb dropped.

Posted by: Apollo 13 on April 7, 2007 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK

amazing. we were "humiliated" in the eyes of the japanese in wwii because weak allied soldiers surrendered instead of fighting to the death. our soldiers became pawns of propaganda as they were paraded about in front of cameras and through towns on the home islands. i guess that's why we lost the war, the lesson being that we should always adopt the standards of our enemies.

Posted by: mudwall jackson on April 7, 2007 at 2:44 PM | PERMALINK

"Actually conservatives feel nothing but humiliation, they are singularly obsessed with it, it's virtual the only human response they have, which is why they're freaked out by everything."

This is too true to be funny, yet I laughed out loud.

Posted by: gus on April 7, 2007 at 2:46 PM | PERMALINK

Our youngest daughters boyfriend was involved in a minor car accident and the guy who hit him tried to extort money from him for his car - even though he was driving a stolen car and caused the accident. The guy who hit him climbed into his car and demanded money. He didn't know what else to do, and was terrified, so he came to our house (where he was headed anyway) and thought that my husband would deal with it.

I handled it. Forcefully. No money changed hands, and the cops were called.

Our son explained to him later that Dad was a good ally - if you can get him on your side - but when the shit is hitting the fan, you call Mom. She'll take care of it right now - and pray you aren't the one in the wrong, or she'll deal with you, too after the dust settles.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 7, 2007 at 2:49 PM | PERMALINK

Maybe someone should take her job away from her and remind her her place is in the home. NOT

Why do working woman who wouldn't have the jobs they have if women like me and others in the 60s and 70s hadn't fought for long hard battles so that these working women could be working. I am way too angry at all the young women who are trying to put women back in the barefoot and pregnant mold. If you don't continue to fight for what you already have, you will lose it.

Posted by: Mazurka on April 7, 2007 at 2:53 PM | PERMALINK

Global,

You should tell your daughter's boyfriend to go join the British Marines.

Posted by: minion on April 7, 2007 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK

Should we also take women outside and stone them to death if they are raped because they have been "dishonored"?

Posted by: Teresa on April 7, 2007 at 1:42 PM

Well, duh! Most women (not Kathy) are too dumb to figure out when they or their country have been dishonored. And if you stone them inside, who's going to clean up the mess? Especially if the woman you stoned was the primary housekeeper. I know you're a woman, but *try* to think before you post.

And before you get started, please don't whine about my roughness, OK? It comes with the territory.

Posted by: jussumbody on April 7, 2007 at 2:57 PM | PERMALINK

He was kicked to the curb long ago.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 7, 2007 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

I just now totally humiliated Kathleen Parker.

The fact that she doesn't feel humiliated, in fact refuses to actually be aware of my humiliating her, is of no importance. It doesn't mean that she wasn't humiliated.

She should instantly conform her behavior to my standard. She can debate all she wants that she hasn't been humiliated, that she has no idea who I am, that she doesn't believe what I believe, that she is right, but it won't change the way she is perceived. The propaganda value I have gained from humiliating her is incalculable.

I'm sure there are 'some' who will argue that it's only incalculable because you can't calculate the size of something that is purely imaginary and which doesn't actually exist, but they are wrong. Because I say so.

If a tree is 'humiliated' in the forest, and the other trees, (being trees after all) don't give a damn, does it blush?

Posted by: biggerbox on April 7, 2007 at 3:03 PM | PERMALINK

am: "Look. Either the Iranians do feel the way in which she describes, or they do not. Her statement has *nothing* to do with her personal opinion about women serving in the armed forces."

Ah, yes, the old Glenn Reynold's "I'm just the messenger" defense.

Maybe Parker should have included one of those TV disclaimers: "The following column does not reflect the views of its writer. I'm just throwing it out there for shits and giggles."

Posted by: Dwight on April 7, 2007 at 3:07 PM | PERMALINK

If Ms. Parker is so against women working, how does she defend her job as a syndicated columnist instead of a dishwashing baby factory for a virile man's man?

Posted by: Joe on April 7, 2007 at 3:13 PM | PERMALINK

You should tell your daughter's boyfriend to go join the British Marines.

Does anyone besides me remember when China captured our airmen and Bush pussed out and didn't nuke China 'til it glowed? Didn't even threaten them with a big stick? And was weak and indecisive like a little boy?

Bush isn't fit to be a towel boy for the Texas Rangers much less the British Marines. When he was young he ran from the Vietnam war right into a bottle and used his silver spoon to snort coke. Now he runs from press conferences and wipes his ass with the Constitution because he isn't man enough, powerful enough, or persuasive enough to enact his agenda and carry at his policies within the bounds of the law.

Let's not demean soldiers who allowed themselves to be captured rather than start WWIII, let's talk about the moral and physical coward who has single-handedly placed us at the brink of war with Iran.

I presume you're posting while patrolling dangers waters?

Thought not.

Posted by: trex on April 7, 2007 at 3:20 PM | PERMALINK

I think John Derbyshire's meltdown at the Corner over the cowardice of the captured British Marines is much more funny. And he is the more rational one of the uberboys there.

Posted by: gregor on April 7, 2007 at 3:26 PM | PERMALINK

If I'm the 3-year old, I'd want my mother home with me, not out paddling around the Persian Gulf.

Posted by: Ken on April 7, 2007 at 3:27 PM | PERMALINK

Kids want their Dad's home, too, Ken.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 7, 2007 at 3:31 PM | PERMALINK

>"But [Ahmadinejad] was dead-on when he wondered why a once-great power such as Britain sends mothers of toddlers to fight its battles."

Folks (left and right)... Think about this for a moment... and I mean really think about it.

Ignore for a moment all the specious arguments tossed out so far about Iran, Islam, rape, stoning, burkahs, women's rights (etc etc)and focus on some essential question.

-----------
What ARE the priorites of a society that sends mothers of young children into combat?
-----------

Where do the interests of the children come into the picture?
-----------

Posted by: Buford on April 7, 2007 at 3:35 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin and pretty much all of his commentators (except maybe Ken) are really the clueless ones if they think Parker's argument doesn't resonate far beyond the Muslim world. Eliminating most forms of discrimination against women is one thing - pretending that there isn't any difference between men and women another, and incidentally an extremely obtuse, one.

Posted by: CapitalistImperialistPig on April 7, 2007 at 3:38 PM | PERMALINK

CIP, we are all well aware that sexism sells. That is precisely why we are fighting it.

Posted by: Disputo on April 7, 2007 at 3:50 PM | PERMALINK

I kind of feel sorry for the WaPo Editorial Page -the opinion part of what I consider the finest single newspaper in the US, and one of only three that I can pick up on any single day and count on reading at least three or four stories that I'm actively glad I read (others are WSJ and NYT).

They're villified by both the right, which is still stuck on memories of WaPo Vietnam editorials, and accepts it on faith that nothing has changed (seriously, check out the loony tunes at RedState or BlackFive), and the left, which considers the Iraq mea culpas inadequete (among other things). They're not doing a perfect job, as publishing Parker's buffonery indicates (though at least it was on Saturday) and Fred Hiatt may not be the Best Ever, but any institution that by design rejects perfect objectivity (meaning an editorial page), but then tries to steer down the political\ideological middle, is going to get it wrong occasionally. Chalk the Parker lunacy up to an understandable, if misguided in this case, effort at objectivity, or perhaps point-counterpoint. Don't be surprised is there is a much higher profile response, perhaps in the WaPo Sunday Outlook section.

Posted by: hotrod on April 7, 2007 at 3:56 PM | PERMALINK

Um, Buford? You got a word wrong when you wrote this: "What ARE the priorites of a society that sends mothers of young children into combat?"

It should be: "What ARE the priorites of a society that sends PARENTS of young children into combat?"

Posted by: miscellanneous on April 7, 2007 at 4:01 PM | PERMALINK

But it never hurts to ask what our priorities are when we send people into combat, whatever your worldview.

Posted by: Kenji on April 7, 2007 at 4:07 PM | PERMALINK

If those who are so keen to start them had to fight them, a lot fewer would ever be started.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 7, 2007 at 4:16 PM | PERMALINK

If only women just stayed home to raise their children they would never get raped.

Oh wait...

Posted by: AkaDad on April 7, 2007 at 4:20 PM | PERMALINK

But... but... but, if our mothers stay home to watch the kids, won't the terrorists have won?? We can't have that! In fact, all of our marines and soldiers should be women. That'd show those sharia-spewing ragheads what we think about their medieval beliefs. Can you imagine the propaganda value of that?!

P.S. I have an apron. It says "Back Away From The Barbecue, Bitch." It's a MAN's apron, man.

Posted by: josef on April 7, 2007 at 4:26 PM | PERMALINK

Hey minion,

I would agree that there are some things about the Royal Marines behavior that are of concern, but noone knows exactly what happened yet. I'm reminded of the P-3\China incident where all the brave bulletin board warriors screamed that the Navy crew should have ridden the plane to their deaths before accepting capture, ignoring the fact that crew followed their orders and did everything right. Give it a chance to shake out before you make up your mind.

For all that the fatass brigade in the US are trying to compare them with their "perception" of US Marines, it's unfair, and ignores the fact that the Royal Marines are a little different animal than the US Marines http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Marines . If memory serves (we're well outside my area of expertise), they're an selective, semi-elite force, more analogous to our Marines' Force Recon. In short, we're not talking about softies, though again, it doesn't necessarily mean they did the right thing.

But if you disagree, by all means, walk up to a Royal Marine Commando and call him a pussy. Give me a heads up so I can come watch.

Posted by: hotrod on April 7, 2007 at 4:27 PM | PERMALINK

Fred Hiatt is an embarassment, a hack of hideous proportions, a man without integrity or wisdom. Putting this kind of sexist claptrap on the Op-Ed page should be completely out of bounds — however, if you read the rag every day, which I’m afraid I do, you would know that they have also published D’nesh D’Sousa, Douglas Feith, and Victoria Toensing in recent weeks, in addition to their usual cavalcade of dicks, i.e., Krauthammer, Will, Novak, Cohen, Howie, et al.

I hate the Post — I really do.

As for Parker -- why isn't she home taking care of the kids and making her hubby feel like the man he no doubt is, rather than taking up space on the op-ed page that could be occupied by someone with dangling genitalia like myself (although askew and barely dangling as you can see from the nomme de post). Oh I forgot -- their own rules never apply to wingnuts.

Posted by: Klein's tiny left nut on April 7, 2007 at 4:28 PM | PERMALINK

What a sexist article. Pure propaganda.
Reading this brings to mind the rapes in Abu Ghraib under our watch, the pyramids of naked men degraded by American captors... dark hoods and wires, dogs, leashes...undocumented "ghost detainees," and Gonzo Gonzales' approach to "render obsolete Geneva's strict limitations on questioning of enemy prisoners and render quaint some of its provisions."
I eagerly await his senate hearing on April 17th and will treat myself to a day off to watch it live on Cspan.

Posted by: consider wisely on April 7, 2007 at 4:41 PM | PERMALINK

What ARE the priorites of a society that sends mothers of young children into combat?

Societies shouldn't be sending anyone into combat except as a last resort.

Where do the interests of the children come into the picture?

Would you favor a government policy that says that mothers enlisting in the armed forces are guilty of child neglect? What about working mothers? Hell, let's just let the government crawl up the ass of anyone who decides to raise children.

We have a volunteer military and a Constitution that enshrines individual liberty above all else. If you're unhappy with what that implies for your cherished old-fashioned social norms, tough shit. Personally, I think allowing women to serve in the military doesn't make us wimps, it says "our women can kick your ass."

Posted by: Nat on April 7, 2007 at 4:46 PM | PERMALINK

Nat, I haven't thrown one in just over two decades, but for that last comment, you get my most crisp salute.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 7, 2007 at 4:52 PM | PERMALINK

While the West puts mothers in boats with rough men, Muslim men "rescue" women and drape them in floral hijabs.

Different publics perceive different messages. Fear of capture is the reason that the Israeli army prevents women from participating in combat operations, but reserves them for training and support. It's a defensible idea. In most of the EU and US, large numbers of women want the freedom to participate in combat, and those who can qualify are permitted to. That also is a defensible idea. In the Islamic world, women sometimes participate in suicide bombings; if suicide bombings are defensible, certainly it is defensible to have them carried out by women.

Probably the British captives would have been more respected by the Islamic nations had they fought desperately, maybe until death, to avoid capture. At least Pvt. Lynch fought until her gun jammed, which was thought at first to have run out of ammunition. She was respected for that by combatants on both sides.

Sometimes when Americans on the ground in Iraq call in air strikes, the pilots carrying out the attacks are women. And on the ground American women in Iraq have distinguished themselves in combat. It's too bad that a woman captive has received more international press than those women combatants. There are definitely networks of women here in the states who follow those stories of women with martial valor and skill.

Posted by: MatthewRMarler on April 7, 2007 at 5:00 PM | PERMALINK

But if you disagree, by all means, walk up to a Royal Marine Commando and call him a pussy.

No. Pansy-ass minion prefers to embrace ignorance and type out gratuitous manly-man insults from the safety of his basement.

Posted by: skeg on April 7, 2007 at 5:03 PM | PERMALINK

Nat on April 7, 2007 at 4:46 PM

Well said. Society sends women into combat for the same reasons that it sends men into combat. Among those reasons, to defend and assert its values.

Posted by: MatthewRMarler on April 7, 2007 at 5:10 PM | PERMALINK

Probably the British captives would have been more respected by the Islamic nations had they fought desperately, maybe until death, to avoid capture. At least Pvt. Lynch fought until her gun jammed, which was thought at first to have run out of ammunition.

MRM illustrates here one of the primary fallacies that the wingnuts decrying the Brit sailors/marines keep making -- not being able to understand the difference between (1) being captured as the result of surviving a losing firefight initiated by the warring enemy and (2) being captured as the result of a policing action by a country with which they are not at war.

Posted by: Disputo on April 7, 2007 at 5:16 PM | PERMALINK

not being able to understand the difference between (1) being captured as the result of surviving a losing firefight initiated by the warring enemy and (2) being captured as the result of a policing action by a country with which they are not at war.

Posted by: Disputo on April 7, 2007 at 5:16 PM

Wingnuts making fallacies.

It's how they roll.

Posted by: skeg on April 7, 2007 at 5:20 PM | PERMALINK

And not to beat a dead horse, but Lynch and the Brits were following the same rule #1 - survive. Lynch, by fighting back at an enemy that was intent on killing her, and the Brits by surrendering to th overwhelming force of a country with which they are at peace.

Too much Rambo in this culture.

Posted by: Disputo on April 7, 2007 at 5:26 PM | PERMALINK

Actually, MRM, Lynch never actually fired her weapon.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 7, 2007 at 5:34 PM | PERMALINK

Boy, the Post just continues to make extremely poor choices for its guest columnists. Who's next, Glenn Beck?

Posted by: bdrube on April 7, 2007 at 5:36 PM | PERMALINK

Private Lynch was NOT captured after running out of ammunition (a la the Alamo) - she was captured, with an already broken leg, after her truck overturned. And I'm very grateful that was all the physical harm she suffered.

Posted by: Doug Stamate on April 7, 2007 at 5:41 PM | PERMALINK

Here is an excerpt from a piece in the Guardian from 2003:

And America is deter mined that Lynch will be a heroine, despite the fact that she never fired a shot, and instead got down on her knees to pray as her unit was surrounded by enemy forces. As she pointed out herself, it was her dead colleague Lori Piestewa, a Native American mother of two, who went down fighting.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 7, 2007 at 5:44 PM | PERMALINK

>"It should be: "What ARE the priorites of a society that sends PARENTS of young children into combat?"

Agree, and pondered that very element. I stuck with 'mothers' because it remained closest to the theme of the orignial statement.

>'Would you favor a government policy that says that mothers enlisting in the armed forces are guilty of child neglect?"

That is an irrational extension of the argument.

The question raised was what sort of society sends parents of young children into combat?

The obvious [rational] answer is one that has higher priorities higher than the well being of its children.

Take a good look around you and say it ain't so.

Posted by: Buford on April 7, 2007 at 5:54 PM | PERMALINK

Heh... strike the extra 'higher' in the last sentence.

Posted by: Buford on April 7, 2007 at 5:56 PM | PERMALINK

And America is deter mined that Lynch will be a heroine, despite the fact that she never fired a shot, and instead got down on her knees to pray as her unit was surrounded by enemy forces. As she pointed out herself, it was her dead

That is interesting. What of the reports of Iraqis that she kept firing until her weapon jammed (initially reported as running out of ammo)? did those reports never happen? And do you regularly trust The Guardian? All papers make mistakes, but they are rather above average.


(1) being captured as the result of surviving a losing firefight initiated by the warring enemy and (2) being captured as the result of a policing action by a country with which they are not at war.

The issue is not a failure to recognize the distinction, but debating whether the distinction ought to have been given great weight in the most recent incident. Is it true that the British prisoners would have been more respected by the Islamic nations had they chosen to fight desperately? I think we'll see what happens next time, whether the Iranians are more likely or less likely to carry out such an attack. The British were carrying out a mandate of the U.N. When next they conduct such missions, will their support be more ready to come to their assistance? And will the support assist?

Posted by: MatthewRMarler on April 7, 2007 at 5:57 PM | PERMALINK

It's a theme that runs among fundamentalist conservatives (of the Abrahamic religions): Men are the pillars of faith, society and family; women are to be 'taken care of' by those men.

Posted by: lutton on April 7, 2007 at 6:09 PM | PERMALINK

>>What ARE the priorites of a society that sends mothers of young children into combat?

I dunno...Freedom? Equality? Letting individual women make their own choices instead of the state?

Posted by: Orson on April 7, 2007 at 6:13 PM | PERMALINK

What of the reports of Iraqis that she kept firing until her weapon jammed (initially reported as running out of ammo)? did those reports never happen?

Jessica Lynch herself has said she never fired her weapon, in interviews and in her book. Are you dense?

Wait, allow me to answer for you: yes, you are.

Posted by: trex on April 7, 2007 at 6:16 PM | PERMALINK

Lynch herself has maintained that she never fired.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 7, 2007 at 6:16 PM | PERMALINK

trex got there first. Hat tip my friend.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 7, 2007 at 6:18 PM | PERMALINK

Washington Post editorial page is now foaming at the mouth neocon and their op-ed page is dominated by neocons. Kathleen Parker is just the latest installment.

When will someone launch a liberal newspaper in the nation's capitol. Right now it is either Moonie Times or neocon Washington Post. There is a need for a paper with a dissenting voice.

Posted by: Nan on April 7, 2007 at 6:20 PM | PERMALINK

Ken's and Buford's jackassery (if that's not a word, it should be) up thread raises a chance to address Parker's "argument", though Nat already addressed much of it effectively.

It's a free society represented by an all volunteer military. Women are free to make choices re family care, as they should be. There are some caveats to this, e.g. in the US a single parent (that's Mom OR Dad, Buford) generally can't deploy without a family care plan, but generally speaking, it's true. Those choices reflect similar, if less dramatic ones, made throughout our society. That's life, guys, deal with the 21st Century. Hell, let me know when you're on board with the 20th.

Most everyone is past this argument. Though we still argue over whether women should hold this or that job in the military, it's generally an issue over whether enough women could meet the physical requirements of that particular billet. No real signicance is attached, in moral or family terms, to the implications of women in combat. This is how it should be.

Though cultural\religious conservatives are not as monolithic as the left sometimes perceives them to be, there are enough willing to float people like Parker and Phyllis Schiffely (sp?) enough money to keep going. Thus the voice disproportionate to their actual influence.

Through the 90s, the right screamed bloody murder over how Clinton used the military as a social laboratory. There were some specific gripes that were legit, notably the Flynn case, but it was mostly overblown. It's not lost on me, and shouldn't be lost on anyone, how utter fools like Ken and Buford are now the first to bitch over how their nation's military doesn't fit neatly into their preconceived notions of how the world should be, and how they want to turn things that are working just fine upside down to make their worldview the template. Again, though, most are past this argument.

As I've mentioned before, I'm a reserve component soldier, though far from the most experienced (no I haven't been to Iraq yet - no, I haven't been subject to UCMJ at any time that I've ever posted on this board). I'll give up a little more background and say that I was trained as a combat arms (all-male) soldier, but am now in a job that includes female soldiers in the unit. I'm still getting used to it, but can say certain things. I've met outstanding female soldiers, and am happy to serve with them. I'd have no problem going to war with them. I don't think I'm being politically correct - I'll acknowledge it takes strong leadership to deal with some of the issues of a mixed gender unit, and female soldiers (particularly enlisted) tend to skew more towards extremes - outstanding or need alot of improvement - with fewer clustered around the median than with males. Again, a leadership issue. Overall, though, there have been no more issues than with men.

Above all, show me a smart, tough, hard-nosed, motivated, thinking, trooper, and tell me that if I want them in my unit I'm going to have to accomadate the occasional piss-break on the road (for some reason, women seem to have more trouble with Gatorade bottles) or maternity leave - I'll take that soldier. In a damn heartbeat.

Posted by: hotrod on April 7, 2007 at 6:27 PM | PERMALINK

"They're villified by both the right, which is still stuck on memories of WaPo Vietnam editorials,"

1) Washington Post editorial page supported the Vietnam war early on.

2) The right villifies the MSM as a strategy, not because they think it is liberal. Unfortunately their strategy has worked. 30+ years of atttacking the MSM as liberal has scared the MSM and moved it to the right. That was the plan all along.

Posted by: Nan on April 7, 2007 at 6:27 PM | PERMALINK

"I hate the Post — I really do."

Why do you read it? By buying it you are helping bankroll an evil institutions.

Posted by: Nan on April 7, 2007 at 6:31 PM | PERMALINK

"an evil institutions (sic)"

"evil" - Wow, an evil newspaper. All of it, not just the editorial page. - Just as long as you're not overreacting.

Posted by: hotrod on April 7, 2007 at 6:34 PM | PERMALINK

The Post is *evil*? Then I guess we should just discount the Walter Reed story since representatives of the "evil" institution were the ones who broke the story.

If it annoys you so, read the news and skip the editorials.

(Hi hotrod - how the hell you been?)

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 7, 2007 at 6:44 PM | PERMALINK

Not half bad BG! Got back from a short CONUS mission with nothing worse than food poisoning. Starting a new job civilian side. Thanks for asking. And you?

Posted by: hotrod on April 7, 2007 at 6:49 PM | PERMALINK

trex: Jessica Lynch herself has said she never fired her weapon, in interviews and in her book. Are you dense?
...
Wait, allow me to answer for you: yes, you are.

Well, shucks. Another disillusioning moment.

Posted by: MatthewRMarler on April 7, 2007 at 6:51 PM | PERMALINK

Not too shabby. On the downhill slope for the semester. Had an intensive time with a couple of students in Stats who are leaving to deploy as part of the stepped-up deployments. I broke ranks with the rest of the faculty and accelerated them and gave them their grades. Least I could do.

I was worried that you had been deployed, having not seen you around for a while.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 7, 2007 at 6:53 PM | PERMALINK

>"I dunno...Freedom? Equality? Letting individual women make their own choices instead of the state?"

Er... there's more than one life at stake here.

Who speaks for the child left behind? Is a child a possession to be set aside for awhile (or forever) to allow the parent to go chase after some pursuit or other?

If you really believe so... well, good luck with this western civilization thing. It ain't gonna last.

Posted by: Buford on April 7, 2007 at 7:52 PM | PERMALINK
If those who are so keen to start them had to fight them, a lot fewer would ever be started.

I'm not so sure; back when it was far more common for kings and so forth to lead from the field and die in battle, wars weren't exactly rare.

In the modern world, I suppose if people who decided to engage in wars had to fight them, people who weren't interested in fighting wars would be less likely to seek the offices from which they could be started.

Posted by: cmdicely on April 7, 2007 at 7:53 PM | PERMALINK

trex: Jessica Lynch herself has said she never fired her weapon, in interviews and in her book. Are you dense?
...

Well, regardless of Jessica Lynch, this has nothing at all to do with her being a female. It is well known in the military that a shockingly high percentage of soliders in combat never fire their weapon. It's apparently a very common problem that the military has been aware of for decades and has tried various ways to address.


Posted by: Pat on April 7, 2007 at 7:59 PM | PERMALINK

Kenji: "Anyway, I don't see who's forcing Parker, or Phyllis Schlafly for that matter, to make a living out in public."

Exactly. The irony of a woman publishing something that says women should focus on motherhood and not service to their country is beyond the pale.

Egbert,

I know that people have heaped tons of scorn on you, but believe me you deserve so much more. The absolute mendacity of your trying to label Parker a liberal is craziness. You add nothing to the debate and you are either some fucked up shill or absolute idiot.

Posted by: Noah on April 7, 2007 at 8:55 PM | PERMALINK

BG - No, no overseas deployments yet. Probably in the next year or two, but not yet. There's been a lot going on (much of it good), and I just didn't feel like posting.

Buford - Okay, I'll bite. You're either arguing that parents (and you originally singled out mothers) should spend more time thinking of their kids when considering career issues or you're arguing for a policy response.

The former may be a worthwhile message, but without being more specific, you're just making a PSA. Parents (I'm not one), whether servicemen\women, cops, firefighters, merchant marine, or Starbucks barristas, have been worried about this for a long time now. It seems pretty inane for you to worry about it now, assuming you weren't worried about the kid of a Marine in Beirut in 1982. Or the kid of a sailor doing a Med cruise in 1989. Or the kid of a soldier in Desert Storm. Or the kid of a cop going through doors in the Bronx in 1995. Or the kid of a merchant mariner running between Lake Charles and Brazil in 1999. Or the kid of an oil rig worker in 2003. Or the kid of a long haul trucker today. So what's changed that made you speak up now, today, on a post addressing Parker's stupidity? Because military brats seem to do fairly well, in statistical terms, though anecdotally they seem a little wilder when they're young.

The other choice, ISTM, is that you're with Parker and are arguing for a policy response. That pretty, demure, gentle, fragile women need to(meaning MUST) be at home with the kids while the "rough men" go do the icky stuff. Can't let them serve the county. Heaven forbid.

Hey BG, tell me if I'm being unreasonable here.

Posted by: hotrod on April 7, 2007 at 8:58 PM | PERMALINK

Buford: Who speaks for the child left behind? Is a child a possession to be set aside for awhile (or forever) to allow the parent to go chase after some pursuit or other?

Mar. 28. 2007, The Shropshire Star:

Mrs Turney described the youngster, who is being cared for by her husband Adam, a Petty Officer in the Royal Navy in Plymouth, as “an absolute gem”.
Another UK news source citing the Adam Turney's parents:
The couple know their son and daughter-in-law are never called upon to under-take potentially dangerous missions at sea together.
One of them is always assigned land duties to allow them to be in the same country as their child.
You got a problem with the father taking care of the child?

Posted by: Apollo 13 on April 7, 2007 at 9:03 PM | PERMALINK

Doesn't sound unreasonable to me. I am a Brat, and I raised three more.

By the logic of the arguments offered, I should never have put myself in peril on all those lifeflight missions. Every hospital I ever flew out of had a row of Silent Sentries on the wall of the hallway to the helipad. People in that job die sometimes. But people in every job die sometimes.

Here is the thing - I had three children with someone I trusted to finish the job if I couldn't be there. And since when do any of us have any guarantees?

Life is a crapshoot. So don't stumble through it, put some thought into your actions before you take them, and hope for the best.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 7, 2007 at 9:07 PM | PERMALINK

Blue Girl,

It's not that the Post doesn't do some good reporting -- although there is also some shabby political reporting too. If you read Ceci Connelly during the 2000 election, you wanted to tear your hair out.

But the editorial slant has become infuriating and the mendaciousness astonishing.

It's very disheartening as a daily reader of a once great newspaper.

Posted by: Klein's tiny left nut on April 7, 2007 at 9:29 PM | PERMALINK

If Parker believes that the Muslim world uniformly thinks that sending mothers of toddlers to fight battles is a sign of weakness, she should take a look at the growing number of female suicide bombers, including the story of Reem Saleh al-Riyashi, a 21 year-old Palestinian mother of two that blew herself up in a suicide attack in Gaza in 2004, killing 4 Israelis.

Parker should then take a look at this tribute to al-Riyashi, which hangs in downtown Tehran as an homage to the young mother and seven other female suicide bombers, seemingly with Ahmadinejad’s blessing. The picture, taken from an actual photograph of al-Riyashi, shows her in combat fatigues, with an assault weapon on one arm and her two year-old son in the other.

Ahmadinejad’s childish jab at the British was his version of that ancient playground putdown, “Your mother wears combat boots”.

Kathleen Parker, however, wants to argue that he has a legitimate point.

Posted by: Dwight on April 7, 2007 at 9:32 PM | PERMALINK

Nan,

I get the Post for a few reasons:

1. My wife does public health advocacy on the Hill - she has to know what the Post is saying and they do some nitty gritty level reporting on Congress, the budget and the regulatory agencies that is fairly unique;

2. I live here and I like to know what's going on around town;

3. I'm still old fashioned enough to like the dead tree versions of newspapers. I get the NY Times daily as well;

I also believe that good newspapers are essential to the body politic. When the Post does somethig right, i.e. Walter Reed or the secret prison sites in Europe, the impact is huge. The blogosphere needs institiutions that engage in hands on reporting, so I'm not ready to consign newspapers to the scrap heap. So I torment the ombudsperson and write nasty e-mails to writers and hope that our collective voice has some impact.

But believe me, the current regime at the paper may soon overcome these factors.

Posted by: Klein's tiny left nut on April 7, 2007 at 10:04 PM | PERMALINK

Perhaps someone should remind Kathleen Parker that if her baby sitter, Dale Dinwiddie, who disappeared without a trace, would have had some military training she might have been able to defend herself and not be missing and presumed dead...Just sayin...

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 7, 2007 at 10:52 PM | PERMALINK

KTLN: We have to be informed consumers of news, just like anything else.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 7, 2007 at 10:54 PM | PERMALINK

What's the deal with this Parker chick? Why the f*ck isn't she at home making babies? Leave the thinking and the writing to men.

C'mon Kathleen, be a woman. Get knocked up and just keep yer yap shut.

Posted by: Praedor Atrebates on April 7, 2007 at 10:54 PM | PERMALINK

Point of fact: there have been women in the Iranian military both before and after the revolution.

During the Iran/Iraq war women were given training in the use of light arms on several occasions.

Posted by: Phill on April 7, 2007 at 10:55 PM | PERMALINK

Well, Rudyard Kipling had this to say:

WHEN the Himalayan peasant meets the he-bear in his pride,
He shouts to scare the monster, who will often turn aside.
But the she-bear thus accosted rends the peasant tooth and nail.
For the female of the species is more deadly than the male.

When Nag the basking cobra hears the careless foot of man,
He will sometimes wriggle sideways and avoid it if he can.
But his mate makes no such motion where she camps beside the trail.
For the female of the species is more deadly than the male.

When the early Jesuit fathers preached to Hurons and Choctaws,
They prayed to be delivered from the vengeance of the squaws.
’Twas the women, not the warriors, turned those stark enthusiasts pale.
For the female of the species is more deadly than the male.

Man’s timid heart is bursting with the things he must not say,
For the Woman that God gave him isn’t his to give away;
But when hunter meets with husband, each confirms the other’s tale—
The female of the species is more deadly than the male.

Man, a bear in most relations—worm and savage otherwise,—
Man propounds negotiations, Man accepts the compromise.
Very rarely will he squarely push the logic of a fact
To its ultimate conclusion in unmitigated act.

Fear, or foolishness, impels him, ere he lay the wicked low,
To concede some form of trial even to his fiercest foe.
Mirth obscene diverts his anger—Doubt and Pity oft perplex
Him in dealing with an issue—to the scandal of The Sex!

But the Woman that God gave him, every fibre of her frame
Proves her launched for one sole issue, armed and engined for the same;
And to serve that single issue, lest the generations fail,
The female of the species must be deadlier than the male.

She who faces Death by torture for each life beneath her breast
May not deal in doubt or pity—must not swerve for fact or jest.
These be purely male diversions—not in these her honour dwells.
She the Other Law we live by, is that Law and nothing else.

She can bring no more to living than the powers that make her great
As the Mother of the Infant and the Mistress of the Mate.
And when Babe and Man are lacking and she strides unclaimed to claim
Her right as femme (and baron), her equipment is the same.

She is wedded to convictions—in default of grosser ties;
Her contentions are her children, Heaven help him who denies!—
He will meet no suave discussion, but the instant, white-hot, wild,
Wakened female of the species warring as for spouse and child.

Unprovoked and awful charges—even so the she-bear fights,
Speech that drips, corrodes, and poisons—even so the cobra bites,
Scientific vivisection of one nerve till it is raw
And the victim writhes in anguish—like the Jesuit with the squaw!

So it comes that Man, the coward, when he gathers to confer
With his fellow-braves in council, dare not leave a place for her
Where, at war with Life and Conscience, he uplifts his erring hands
To some God of Abstract justice—which no woman understands.

And Man knows it! Knows, moreover, that the Woman that God gave him
Must command but may not govern—shall enthral but not enslave him.
And She knows, because She warns him, and Her instincts never fail,
That the Female of Her Species is more deadly than the Male.

Posted by: CatStaff on April 7, 2007 at 11:06 PM | PERMALINK

The comments on the Posts website are less than kind to Kathleen.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 7, 2007 at 11:08 PM | PERMALINK

...well, good luck with this western civilization thing. It ain't gonna last.

Posted by: Buford on April 7, 2007 at 7:52 PM | PERMALINK

Well you got one thing right.

It can't and won't survive if we wage illegal wars, tear up international treaties, ignore established protocols, and have governments that suspend habeas corpus, protection from illegal search, and subvert the legal and election apparatus.

Boy! That's a lot of work done these last 6 years by a lazy, obtuse, irresponsible rich kid. Who'd a known.

Posted by: notthere on April 7, 2007 at 11:08 PM | PERMALINK

Destroying western civilization is hard work!

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 7, 2007 at 11:16 PM | PERMALINK

(Praedor, have you avoided deployment so far?)

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 7, 2007 at 11:17 PM | PERMALINK

Who the fuck is Kathleen Parker, anyway?

They really do let just about anyone publish their crap in papers these days.

Posted by: Sebastian-PGP on April 7, 2007 at 11:30 PM | PERMALINK

Having grown up mostly with my two sisters and mother through the 60s and early 70s I pretty much figure the women can make their own argument on this one.

I guess the WaPo had to find a woman stupid or conditioned enough to put forward this argument, and it takes the present blinkered management to allow the argument to be put forward in such an unreasoned and incendiary way.

Within this whole there are some valid arguments and cautions to be had. Put forward in this way they are lost.

Posted by: notthere on April 8, 2007 at 12:02 AM | PERMALINK

>>>"I dunno...Freedom? Equality? Letting individual women make their own choices instead of the state?"

>>Er... there's more than one life at stake here.

Er...in a FREE society parents raise their own children, not the State nor the Republican party.

Also, when a male soldier goes off to war with children at home, you DO say the same thing of course, right? "What about the children? Won't somebody think of the children!?!" Maybe those female soldiers have husbands at home with their children. Maybe I don't really care because it is none of my business how parents choose to raise their OWN CHILDREN. It's called "freedom." It's call "individual choice."

Maybe you would be more comfortable in a theocracy -- like, say, Iran or Saudi Arabia -- where women are kept in their place. Plus, they stone "faggots" there, too. Just a little bonus for you.


Posted by: Orson on April 8, 2007 at 12:37 AM | PERMALINK

RE: "Does this barely literate frothing really deserve promotion from the syndicated ghetto Parker normally occupies? Why?"

No, of course not. But, why? Two words: Fred Hiatt.

This has been another installment of Simple Answers to Simple Questions (h/t Atrios).

Posted by: gary1 on April 8, 2007 at 12:54 AM | PERMALINK

Well Parker has certainly provoked a lot of frothing, alright.

The froth I find most ludicrous is the idea that writing a newspaper column, quite likely in one's own home, is an abandonment of one's child comparable to deployment in a war zone half a world away.

Posted by: CapitalistImperialistPig on April 8, 2007 at 1:41 AM | PERMALINK

Hmmm.. touching a nerve here? It's certainly provoking all sorts of responses.

The most lucid response to the original question distills to:

Members of western society place a premium on personal freedom and economic success for parents relative to the needs of their children.

Ok, that's fine. Just say it outright.

That's my beef. When a person has a child (be it father or mother) it involves a committment that transcends 'self'... or it should. If you don't want that committment, don't have children.

>"... pretty inane for you to worry about it now, assuming you weren't worried about the kid who was the son of a marine in Beruit... "

Not sure why you'd make that assumption, at any rate I can assure you it is wildly incorrect. I feel deep sorrow for all victims of the mass insanity that plagues our world, be they Americans, Iraqis, Palestinains... etc.

"> when a male soldier goes off to war with children at home, you DO say the same thing of course, right?"

Yes I do... at least in terms of voluntarily leaving one's children to engage in a corrupt military 'adventure' halfway around the world. If one's country was actually threatened or attacked, that might be another matter. [situational ethics]

>"you're with Parker and are arguing for a policy response. That pretty, demure, gentle, fragile women need to(meaning MUST) be at home with the kids while the "rough men" go do the icky stuff. Can't let them serve the county. Heaven forbid."

Why would that be a rational policy response? My policy response would be that servicepeople (men and women) with young children would be assigned to base duty so they could be with their kids. Simple enough. I suppose that policy would have to be modified in the event of a 'real' war.

>"comfortable in a theocracy... where women are kept in their place."

No, I'm an athiest. To me, religion is part of the problem. I also have no interest in keeping women 'in their place'. The statement I am making is that if the priorities of our society place a premium on self-satisfaction it will ultimately lead to our disintegration. I'm anti-Randian in a big way.

>"Plus, they stone "faggots" there, too. Just a little bonus for you"

Now that's a thoughful, mature, constructive remark. Really puts things in focus.

Posted by: Buford on April 8, 2007 at 3:23 AM | PERMALINK

With apologies to my Jewish and Muslim brothers, never trust a religion that forbids bacon.

Posted by: the other white meat on April 8, 2007 at 4:16 AM | PERMALINK

In one of Parker's recent columns, she derided the fact that men and women are serving together in combat units. She said that women should be segregated from men, as "togetherness is a main cause for the high divorce rate in the military.

In Kathleen's mind, all American women should be sitting in the cotillion, sipping tea with Aunt PittyPat and making bandages for The Cause.

Someone should indeed "Take Kathleen back to the Home, again".

Posted by: thethirdPaul on April 8, 2007 at 6:49 AM | PERMALINK

Digby:

[Ahmadinejad] is a first class insult artist. Indeed, Parker's instinct to capitulate to his taunts by banning women from the military is testament to how formidable he is to these people. One off-hand comment about British manhood and she starts shrieking like a ninny that he's right.
There, ladies and gentlemen, is the result of Republican governance and influence on America's psyche. Iran can intimidate conservatards so much that Republican womin like Kathleen Parker browbeat us into giving up liberty and equality for all.

Terrorists can reduce Republicans into puddles of manly sweat so panicky that they lead an invasion against a country that had nothing to do with 9/11.

So terrified are Republicans that they eavesdrop on their own citizens because in their minds, the enemy lurks everywhere. Habeas corpus? Ah, that's a Latin phrase and real American conservatives only speak English 'cept for a hat tip to our amigos when it pleasures the Bubba King.

Before losing what remaining red-state manhood we have, take up the battle cry of Parker: Women, know your limits!

Posted by: Apollo 13 on April 8, 2007 at 7:06 AM | PERMALINK

If Parker's right, the Iranians are really gonna flip when they find out that all those HMS British warships are HER Majesty's Ships.

Posted by: otherpaul on April 8, 2007 at 7:36 AM | PERMALINK

Have felt for years, that there should be Dual-Monarchs - A true system of a King and a Queen.

Then they could have their own His and Her Majesty's Ships.

Of course, with the money crunch and all that...

Posted by: thethirdPaul on April 8, 2007 at 7:46 AM | PERMALINK

"She said that women should be segregated from men, as "togetherness is a main cause for the high divorce rate in the military.

Huh, and here one might think that long separations, enormous levels of stress, and dealing with the aftermath might be some of the main causes. Interestingly enough, that's what the military says:

"The number of active-duty soldiers getting divorced has been rising sharply with deployments to Afghanistan and Iraq . . . The stress of combat, long separations and difficulty readjusting to family life are key reasons for the surge, Army officials say. . . ."

NPR added, in late '05, that "U.S. military officials sa[id] the pace and frequency of deployments to Iraq is leading to greater divorce, alcohol and drug abuse, and spousal and child abuse. The Army has had to rapidly establish intervention programs, especially for National Guard and Reserve forces returning from Iraq.

How interesting. Parker looks at the situation and right off, one can hear the thumpy porn soundtrack start up in her head as she imagines enlisted men and women sneaking off together. Sensible people, on the other hand, can recognize that there might be slightly more serious problems, given the situation. Why are the ramblings of such an immature and unserious person being published anywhere besides her blog and possibly some small local paper? (Yes, yes, I know . . )

Oh my, it gets worse. In another recent piece, touching on the same point:
"Doubtless many women have suffered what they report. Doubtless, too, some women exaggerate sexual assault stories. . . . This is not to say that men at war are expected to behave badly, but there are possible explanations for some of these questionable liaisons that bear closer scrutiny.

Clearly, some of what is considered sexual harassment falls into the category of harmless sport — the usual towel-snapping that is, in fact, a way to neutralize sex.

But more overt sexual aggression may be the product of something few will acknowledge, at least on the record: Resentment.

Off the record, in dozens of interviews over a period of years, male soldiers and officers have confided that many men resent women because they've been forced to pretend that women are equals, and men know they're not.

The lie breeds contempt, which leads to a simmering rage that sometimes finds expression in aggression toward those deemed responsible. . . . "

And having read through the rest of her WaPo piece, it also gets worse, ending in an even-more-hysterical rant:

"What kind of man, one shudders to wonder, is willing to allow his country's women to be raped and tortured by men of enemy nations? None that I know, but our military is gradually weaning men of their intuitive inclination to protect women -- which, by extrapolation, means ignoring the screams of women being assaulted.

At the point when our men can stand by unfazed while American servicewomen are raped and tortured, then we will have no cause to fight any war. We will have already lost.

Positioning women to become pawns of propaganda, meanwhile, is called aiding and abetting the enemy."

Uh-huh.

Posted by: Dan S. on April 8, 2007 at 8:06 AM | PERMALINK

I always find it hilarious when a professional woman argues that women should stay home and not work. So...why are THEY working???

Posted by: martin on April 8, 2007 at 8:45 AM | PERMALINK

I think Kathleen Parker is bucking to be the next Linda Bowles, who has been banished from editorial pages over the past few years. Just as odious as a Malkin or a Coulter, but disguised in a thin veneer of Good Christian Womanhood. Part of Parker's schtick is a self-righteous personal *conviction* that women who serve are traitors to their gender. Wish she would say in person to a few current and former female service members I know what she spews in her idiotic syndicated ramblings.

Posted by: Blue Girl, Red State (aka G.C.) on April 8, 2007 at 9:39 AM | PERMALINK

Well, I'll never take you home, Kathleen, does have a point.

She is concerned that "Praise the lord and pass the ammunition" has become "Praise the lord and pass the condoms". Not like her brother's Corps days, when he was just looking for a few Good Men.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on April 8, 2007 at 9:40 AM | PERMALINK

The problem is that her original premise is wrong anyway. Does no one remember that Palestinian woman who became a suicide bomber just recently, along with that TV film of her daughter being interviewed about it?
Sure, you can project onto another society anything you want as long as you put enough vaseline on the lens and are prepared to only see your own prejudices writ large. But to try to lump together the very male dominated Saudi culture, where women are indeed kept in the harem (not allowed to drive, cannot work with men etc) with the Iranian, where women do indeed have power within society, is simply crazed.

Posted by: failingeconomist on April 8, 2007 at 10:17 AM | PERMALINK

Martin - I always find it hilarious when a professional woman argues that women should stay home and not work. So...why are THEY working???

They are probably working because they need the money or like the work. But spending a year away from your 3-year old in a warzone half a world away is hardly equivalent to spending eight hours a day at the office.

Posted by: CapitalistImperialistPig on April 8, 2007 at 10:25 AM | PERMALINK

Condolences to the families of the four, male and female, British soldiers who died by an IED explosion in Basra.

Posted by: thethirdPaul on April 8, 2007 at 10:40 AM | PERMALINK

Yeah, BGRS, Parker should discuss the gender issue with some of the Russian women who were snipers in WWII.

The women were used to stay behind advancing units, no, not necessarily to shoot oncoming Nazis, but to shoot any retreating Russian soldiers. Now, this was real male and female soldierly bonding.

Posted by: stupid git on April 8, 2007 at 10:45 AM | PERMALINK

Well, we know how much the Bush Administration cares about hostages – not a goddamn bit! The Bush Administration blocked a lawsuit by the 1979 Iranian hostages, seeking damages. Actions speak louder than words. Don’t pay any attention to what they say – watch what these filthy traitors do!

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on April 8, 2007 at 11:01 AM | PERMALINK

Capitalist - If you've read any of her columns before, she is not just against women serving int he military. She's one of the "new" breed of conservative women who espouse the opinion that a womans place is at home and as a semi-servant to her husband.
I'm pretty sure as a nationally syndicated columnist, she's not that poor, so I hardly think that money is the issue (as it isn't with Ann Coulter, etc, who share her opinion).

I agree being away form your kid in a war-zone is different, but that's the fault of the administration Parker admires and supports.
Besides, I don't hear equal qualms about single dads being shipped off or men who are sole supporters of the family and happened to be in the National Guard.

Posted by: Martin on April 8, 2007 at 11:30 AM | PERMALINK

stupid git: The women were used to stay behind advancing units, no, not necessarily to shoot oncoming Nazis, but to shoot any retreating Russian soldiers. Now, this was real male and female soldierly bonding.

Well, that would be one of Buford' 'real' wars.

Buford's point has merit if we extend from it the notion that anyone, not just parents, should be free from forced participation in a neo-con war of choice.

But then, I get the sense that most Americans would rather not have the rank-and-file pick and choose their battles.

Orderly society, chain of command, military glory, Western Civilization (!!!) and all that.

Posted by: skeg on April 8, 2007 at 11:43 AM | PERMALINK

What on earth is she talking about?

Posted by: Daryl on April 8, 2007 at 3:38 PM | PERMALINK

Kathleen Parker gives in to the same tendency that lost the GOP the 2006 mid-term elections - to care more about what Arabs think than what Anericans think. As long as conservatives keep repeating this same mistake, liberals will keep hammering them in elections. It only worked for a few years because of 9/11, but the "9/11 effect" has worn off on most Americans. That failure of conservatives to learn this simple lesson guarantees more electoral wins for liberals.

Posted by: Pocket Rocket on April 8, 2007 at 9:39 PM | PERMALINK

Lemme get this straight: The same crowd that spent the 2004 election season barking about how they would never ask for a "permission slip" to go to war now says we should all live our lives the way Islamic extremists think we should, lest we give them something to carp about?

And, um, doesn't this mean women shouldn't be so uppity as to co-opt space from men on the op-ed page?

I love this gals like Parker, Shlafly, etc. Their own kids probably couldn't pick them out of a lineup, but other women are supposed to sit home rearin' young-uns.

Posted by: sullijan on April 9, 2007 at 12:27 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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