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Tilting at Windmills

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April 24, 2008
By: Kevin Drum

SUPPORTING THE TROOPS....Over at The Corner they're having a rollicking discussion about Rep. Paul Broun's effort to ban the sale of Playboy on military bases. I eagerly await Roy Edroso's take on this, the high point of which (so far) is this plaintive cry from Kathryn Jean Lopez:

I love men. I love men being men. I love military men. And I thank God they are military men. But I find it hard to believe that all military men are "drinking and whoring Saturday night," and if they are in any kind of majority, yeah, that bears scrutiny.

Hoo boy. On the other hand, the whole thing might be worth it just for Lisa Schiffren's post about how the military solved the problem of ensuring plentiful enlisted nookie during the Gulf War. Turns out Romania is involved. And party ships. Just goes to show that the Army still needs the squids and flyboys after all.

Kevin Drum 3:54 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (104)

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LOL! Strippers and beer are what keep a grunt sane! Sorry Jean, we ain't Boy Scouts...

Posted by: elmo on April 24, 2008 at 4:05 PM | PERMALINK

Don't forget the tailhookers

Posted by: anonymous on April 24, 2008 at 4:05 PM | PERMALINK

I know this is a terrible thing to say, but I wish K-Lo would just go ahead and get laid. Maybe even married.

She is the flip side of Maureen Dowd. Dowd is entirely bitter about men because of her failure to land one and K-lo is pathetic in her attempts to suck up to them because she can't get a man. If you combined these women, you might actually get one decent one.

Posted by: Anonymous on April 24, 2008 at 4:13 PM | PERMALINK

Clash of the conflicting ideologies. Totally. No wonder Lopez's readers are telling her that it's not a hill to die on...

Posted by: grape_crush on April 24, 2008 at 4:13 PM | PERMALINK

I think we should have only gay men in the military. That way, no playboy, no degradation of men, and no need of nookie from Romania.

Posted by: sensible on April 24, 2008 at 4:16 PM | PERMALINK

I wish it were a joke but it is well known we are gonna see an influx of hookers for the Republican National Convention this summer.

The party of "family values" indeed.

Posted by: Tripp on April 24, 2008 at 4:16 PM | PERMALINK

What an utterly revealing post you linked to. First, she admits that grunts get paid a pittance. Hmmm...no suggestion that there is a problem with that? Then when she writes of single mothers who join up and leave their children behind while they go off to combat, she argues that the military shouldn't allow this, because it "shouldn't be a welfare program". Uh...say what you will about mothers who enlist, but they EARN their money, even by conservative standards. Remember welfare-to-workfare? I thought conservatives were for forcing the poor to make tough decisions and choose work. And not only does she seek to ban single mothers from service, but also married males (and presumably, women).

First, do they have writers over there who understand more than a smidgen about constitutional law? You aren't allowed to discriminate on the basis of marital status in employment, and while the military could mount a case on necessity, I doubt it would hold up in court. Second--has she noticed that we are, um...short of soldiers? This is caused by the unpopularity of the Iraq war and the unprecedented lengthy and numerous deployments. Her solution to the problem of parents who have seen their kids for 3 of the first 6 years of their lives is..no more married grunts? Instead of, I dunno, stopping the insanity? And again, who the hell is going to replace all the married soldiers she is going to ban?

Even for NRO, this is grade A dumb crap.

Posted by: Jerry Mayer on April 24, 2008 at 4:16 PM | PERMALINK

I think we should only allow gay men in the military. That way no playboy, no degradation of women, no need of nookie from Romania.

Posted by: sensible on April 24, 2008 at 4:18 PM | PERMALINK

It figures that Rep. Broun is a Republican from rural Georgia.

For more on him and his ideas:

http://www.opinionjournal.com/diary/?id=110010370

Posted by: Keith G on April 24, 2008 at 4:21 PM | PERMALINK

So you can die for your country, but you can't masterbate for it?

Is reading Playboy whoring?

Does one have to get drunk before opening those illicit pages?

Is there an unspoken rule about only reading such magazines on Saturday night? What about the delicious early morning hours of Wednesday?

Does Rep Paul Broun know that there are far more critical issues upon which to waste public attention, such as the fundraiser for Saving the Virginity of WA Interns or Petition for Yellow Caution Lines in MN Bathroom Stalls? Or ending the Iraqi War too, if one is into that sort of thing.

Nice to know that someone cares about smut, and others care enough to comment about the smut-caring person, and still others to comment on the comment of the person who.....

Posted by: Zit on April 24, 2008 at 4:21 PM | PERMALINK

This is why I support the war but oppose our troops.....

Posted by: Stefan on April 24, 2008 at 4:27 PM | PERMALINK

When I was in college, all the enlisted men I knew could talk about was pussy and booze. There was no other topic of conversation.
.

Posted by: Grand Moff Texan on April 24, 2008 at 4:27 PM | PERMALINK

But I find it hard to believe that all military men are "drinking and whoring Saturday night," and if they are in any kind of majority, yeah, that bears scrutiny.

The meaning of this sentence is unclear to me. If Kevin or anyone else can parse it apart, I'd appreciate it. Is she saying that if they are in the majority it's worth doing something to change, or that it's believeable that a majority is like that, but not that basically all are like that?

I remember there used to be this urban legend I got from my older brother that they put saltpeter (an ingredient of gunpowder) in soldiers' food to decrease their libidos.

Anyway, I had a friend who was in the Marines and my impression was that this kind of stuff was common among the enlisted Marines. I heard some pretty dirty stories about antics in Okinawa, and-- what's the name of that scuzzy little Mexican town new Cali?

But I think Playboy is a pretty far cry from any problem we have to worry about. Anyway, I expect this story is some kind of weather balloon, and there's not at all any realistic, immediate threat of banning Playboy. But didn't Utah or Arizona have a very high violent rape rate that people thought was correlated to the state-wide ban of pornography? So then Playboy probably plays a beneficial role in our society for all the poor people who aren't scoring. I'm sure the pornography scene can be a pretty scuzzy scene, but then, I'm sure there must be a lot of otherwise perfectly tame men who occasionally flip through a Playboy.

Posted by: Swan on April 24, 2008 at 4:29 PM | PERMALINK

I love men. I love men being men. I love military men.

Oh honey, we all do.....

Posted by: Stefan on April 24, 2008 at 4:30 PM | PERMALINK

Anyway, I had a friend who was in the Marines and my impression was that this kind of stuff was common among the enlisted Marines.

I meant drinking and whoring, not the saltpeter thing.

Posted by: Swan on April 24, 2008 at 4:30 PM | PERMALINK

no need of nookie from Romania.
Posted by: sensible on April 24, 2008 at 4:18 PM

hey, now!

Signed
A gay nookie supplier from Bucharest.

Posted by: Umba on April 24, 2008 at 4:31 PM | PERMALINK

So then Playboy probably plays a beneficial role in our society for all the poor people who aren't scoring.

I meant it keeps every male Playboy reader who isn't scoring from going nuts, of course, not just the ones who are capable of committing rape- I didn't intend to express any sympathy for the people who have so little self-control that they rape.

Posted by: Swan on April 24, 2008 at 4:33 PM | PERMALINK

Tripp: that's a myth perpetuated at every political convention every time.

it also never turns out to be true. same thing happened in NYC. it's an urban legend (for both parties)

Posted by: Nathan on April 24, 2008 at 4:37 PM | PERMALINK

It tells you everything you need to know about the conservative mindset that the biggest problem (or is it the only problem?) that the NRO has with the war is over the soldiers whacking off.

Posted by: junebug on April 24, 2008 at 4:39 PM | PERMALINK

It's not the nude pictures; it's the content of the articles about politics.

Posted by: egadfly on April 24, 2008 at 4:43 PM | PERMALINK

Yes, our republican leadership has nothing more imprtant to do than prevent soldiers from looking at tastefully done nudity. How taliban of them!

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on April 24, 2008 at 4:43 PM | PERMALINK

Once again the right-wing shows that while it knows how to mouth platitudes about supporting the troops in the abstract, when it comes to actual flesh and blood troops, whether they're reading Playboy, writing for The New Republic, or asking questions of Don Rumsfeld, they literally hate the individual soldiers.

Posted by: Boots Day on April 24, 2008 at 4:43 PM | PERMALINK

So, what is the official "conservative" position on whether our troops (men originally, now women) should get "nookie" while on duty? And would they think it OK to get it unbidden from the enemy's women?

Posted by: Neil B. on April 24, 2008 at 4:44 PM | PERMALINK

Back, all ye heathens! Every time a man masturbates, an angel's wings are clawed of by a Demon of Hell, and it falls, screaming, down into the abyss, ensuring one less soldier for the final battle!

Kev wrote:

Hoo boy. On the other hand, the whole thing might be worth it just for Lisa Schiffren's post about how the military solved the problem of ensuring plentiful enlisted nookie during the Gulf War.

But, to be serious instead of parodic for a sec-- that doesn't actually sound that happy, when the military and military academies have such a hard time ensuring safety to women. For some reason I hate to admit it (I guess it's because the military should really be fixing the problem instead of women running from it), but if I knew any woman who wanted to join the military, my hnoest advice to her would be not to.

Posted by: Parody Fundamentalist on April 24, 2008 at 4:45 PM | PERMALINK

*

Posted by: mhr on April 24, 2008 at 4:45 PM | PERMALINK

But, to be serious instead of parodic for a sec-- that doesn't actually sound that happy, when the military and military academies have such a hard time ensuring safety to women.

I'm talking about the horrible rape problem, of course.

Posted by: Parody Fundamentalist on April 24, 2008 at 4:48 PM | PERMALINK

Anyone who calls PLayboy porn has obviously never seen porn.

Playboy is just Maxim with clothes on its models and more intelligence in its writing.

And yes, I do read the articles, thank you very much. (Seriously ... there's some outstanding writing. This month, there's a look at the men who hate Hillary and how so many have mommy issues. Truly a great read.)

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go to the store and pick some more Jergen's and a box of tissue.

Posted by: Mark D on April 24, 2008 at 4:53 PM | PERMALINK

I honestly don't think it's possible to have a war without having either lots of raping or lots of whoring.

Has it ever happened in human history?

Posted by: MNPundit on April 24, 2008 at 4:54 PM | PERMALINK

There is no need for the US to ban Playboy on military bases. See story below, folks in the Congo have found a way to keep men in line.

KINSHASA (Reuters) - Police in Congo have arrested 13 suspected sorcerers accused of using black magic to steal or shrink men's penises after a wave of panic and attempted lynchings triggered by the alleged witchcraft.

Posted by: optical weenie on April 24, 2008 at 4:59 PM | PERMALINK

I can sorta see the argument about selling porn at the PX, even though I don't agree with it. But I don't understand why the reading habits of soldiers are a topic of discussion at all. Granted, once they've enlisted, they can be ordered or called upon to do things others won't do (like go to other countries and kill people) but, otherwise they're just government employees. What they do on their free time is their own business. Or is it the position of the GOP that everyone who draws a check from the government should be subject to government controls over their off-duty activities?

Posted by: Jersey Tomato on April 24, 2008 at 5:00 PM | PERMALINK

If Playboy is in fact sold in military PXs...

Surprise, surprise -- another Republican warmonger who's obviously never done military service.

... it's suprising that equal rights-obsessed liberals aren't lobbying Congress to mandate the sale there of homosexual and lesbian publications.

Excellent idea. In the meantime, it's your patriotic duty to saddle up for some glossy 8 X 10s of you in provocative beefcake poses for our neglected gay servicemen. This is the perfect opportunity to break out those red white and blue chaps that you bought in the Castro last summer.

Posted by: junebug on April 24, 2008 at 5:00 PM | PERMALINK

In the right wing fantasy world K Lo lives in, there's no sex outside marriage, so unmarried military men in her world should not have sex. Ever. For any reason whatsoever. Period. End of story.

Posted by: Librarian on April 24, 2008 at 5:01 PM | PERMALINK

When I was in college, all the enlisted men I knew could talk about was pussy and booze. There was no other topic of conversation.

You put in an extra word there - "enlisted."

Nathan,

Perhaps hookers at the Republican conventions is an urban myth. I'll let you know how it turns out in Minneapolis. If my wife will let me I'll try to get a baseline reading beforehand. Now that Jack Ryan is out of the running the hooker numbers might be down.

You remember Jack Ryan, the rich Republican from Chicago who couldn't get off with his wife Jeri Ryan (7 of 9!) unless they did it in front of other men? Now there is a guy to bring home to Momma. What is it about these Republicans? Can you explain it to me?

Posted by: Tripp on April 24, 2008 at 5:06 PM | PERMALINK

MNPundit,

I honestly don't think it's possible to have a war without having either lots of raping or lots of whoring.

Has it ever happened in human history?

I was kinda young at the time but I don't recall much of that during the War on Poverty.

Posted by: Tripp on April 24, 2008 at 5:09 PM | PERMALINK

I really need to learn how to close a bold tag.

**sigh**

I hope no one cuts a corner off of my HTML Card.

Posted by: Mark D on April 24, 2008 at 5:10 PM | PERMALINK

Whatever Judeo-Christian values we choose to practice and live among here at home, in peace, we are better off not feminizing or Christianizing the military any more than we can avoid.

I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

Posted by: AndrewBW on April 24, 2008 at 5:12 PM | PERMALINK

mhr: it's suprising that equal rights-obsessed liberals aren't lobbying Congress to mandate the sale there of homosexual and lesbian publications.

Great idea! Hey, it's worked for the Brits. The Royal Navy now has recruiting ads in gay magazines. Of course you have to wonder why a service whose traditions are "rum, sodomy and the lash" has to even bother advertising to such a demographic.

As to their army, well, they do have uniforms with short pants.

Posted by: alex on April 24, 2008 at 5:12 PM | PERMALINK

Kevin, I am surprised you are not blogging about this alleged Syrian-North Korea nuke dust-up. At least Congress is acting pissed that they were kept in the dark about this. Although I expect them to do exactly nothing about this, just like they haven’t held Bush/Cheney accountable for a damn thing in eight years.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on April 24, 2008 at 5:21 PM | PERMALINK

all the enlisted men I knew could talk about was pussy and booze

Back in my day, our horizons were broader. It wasn't just pussy and booze -- it was pussy, booze, and dope! Jeez, the kids these days...

Posted by: on April 24, 2008 at 5:24 PM | PERMALINK

Larry Craig is ready for duty, sir.

Posted by: BombIranForChrist on April 24, 2008 at 5:25 PM | PERMALINK

whoops -- me at 5:24

But selling Playboy in the PX? Really, don't those boys have broadband internet?

Posted by: thersites on April 24, 2008 at 5:26 PM | PERMALINK

The Republicans tried the same thing back in the mid-1980's. I gather some PX's actually took the magazines off the shelves - and saw a drastic decline in overall sales. A couple of magazines were permanently banned (Hustler, maybe?). I guess it's something every generation of "family values" hypocrites has to try.

Posted by: Doug on April 24, 2008 at 5:30 PM | PERMALINK

Not to be mean, but her hilarious prudishness on men makes more sense when you see Kathryn Jean Lopez's picture:
http://www.featurebank.com/?title=Bio:Kathryn%20Jean%20Lopez

Her being at the NRO and all brings to mind the George Carlin quote, "Have you ever noticed that all those women who are against abortion are the ones you wouldn't want to fuck anyway?"

Too funny

Posted by: John on April 24, 2008 at 5:35 PM | PERMALINK

Conservative - that info on the suspected Syrian site has been out for quite some time now - see http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/26/world/middleeast/26syria.html

I suspect the outrage about WH not informing congress is much ado about something else.

Posted by: optical weenie on April 24, 2008 at 5:35 PM | PERMALINK

Is not the reason the US still occupies Korea and Japan is to provide comfort women for the troops? Is that not why Kosovo was occupied?

Posted by: Brojo on April 24, 2008 at 5:38 PM | PERMALINK

Playboy magazine's motto:

We oppose the war, but we spurt the troops!

Posted by: chance on April 24, 2008 at 5:43 PM | PERMALINK

Remember the Iraqi who was so excited that the Americans kicked Saddam out because now he was going to get "Democracy! Whiskey! Sexy!" We've failed on the first one; the least we can do is come through on the second two. Lead by example, I say.

Posted by: afferent input on April 24, 2008 at 5:43 PM | PERMALINK

The Royal Navy now has recruiting ads in gay magazines.

The Royal Navy: Britain's Best Seamen!

Posted by: Stefan on April 24, 2008 at 5:47 PM | PERMALINK

Talk about out of touch (so to speak). Think the grunts turn to Playboy just cause they're, uh, bitter, perhaps? Maybe working-class grunts don't want the guvmint nosing around in their army cot with them and deciding what's best for them after all? Who knew? Well, if they could just get the high-pressure evangelical body-snatchers off the bases and out of the service, we'd have some good clean American living.

Posted by: q on April 24, 2008 at 6:16 PM | PERMALINK

Shorter NRO: "We must institute sharia in order to save the US from sharia."

Posted by: Orson on April 24, 2008 at 6:20 PM | PERMALINK

Somebody wrote:

I honestly don't think it's possible to have a war without having either lots of raping or lots of whoring.

Has it ever happened in human history?

I think that's just quack sociology/psychology. I think you're just repeating the myths you heard growing up because they still sound good to you, not because you've heard of any proved connection between war and this behavior. I think raping and whoring during wars has had more to do with the past than it has had to do with wars.

Modern men should be able to go to war without raping the women of the areas they occupy or the female soldiers. I think I heard that there were only 50 or so reports or prosecutions of American troops raping women in Europe during WWII. I like to think that's because the number was really close to being that small, and that it's just another example of us fighting in a mostly humane way, and still getting a great victory.

Fighting other guys and winning just doesn't have to have anything to do with becoming absolutely vicious. People who believe otherwise are punks. A bullet fired by a civilized man will drop a war criminal just as effectively as if the roles were reversed.

Posted by: Swan on April 24, 2008 at 6:24 PM | PERMALINK

MNPundit: ... don't think it's possible to have a war without ... raping or ... whoring.

Actually, you need both;
First you need media whores to sell the war,
then you need to rape the taxpayers to pay for it.

Posted by: thersites on April 24, 2008 at 6:38 PM | PERMALINK

'Or not quite consensual'?

WTF, these guys are sick.

Posted by: Crissa on April 24, 2008 at 6:41 PM | PERMALINK

wonder what the knowledge that the bushies masturbate to torture videos would do to k-lo's big fat haid..

Posted by: linda on April 24, 2008 at 6:47 PM | PERMALINK

When I received orders for Vietnam (1-71) my sister asked me if there was anything she could send me, I said, Playboy!....In 11-months one copy made it to our BN firebase, somehow the others were lost in transit. cleve

Posted by: cleve on April 24, 2008 at 6:51 PM | PERMALINK

not quite consensual

You're right, Crissa. I didn't read the NRO link until you highlighted that phrase. It's really f*cked up.
You've got to wonder, if one of these pinheads got robbed at gunpoint, would they call it a "not quite voluntary" donation? Or would they scream bloody murder?
Cretins.

Posted by: thersites on April 24, 2008 at 6:52 PM | PERMALINK

I think I heard that there were only 50 or so reports or prosecutions of American troops raping women in Europe during WWII.

Oh really?

By April 1945, 500 rape cases per week were being reported to the Judge Advocate General of American forces in Europe

Granted, these are not all, or even mostly, american troops. But the idea that a military operation conducted over multiple years involving millions of troops resulted in only 50 rapes is ludicrous.

Posted by: jimBOB on April 24, 2008 at 6:54 PM | PERMALINK

thersites >"...don't those boys have broadband internet?"

Ever hear of firewalls & IP filtering ?

I suspect there is a nice little black market going on w/in the military about getting access to "banned" sites.

"Psst, Charlie. Can you just let me access "Hookers for Christ" ? Here`s $20. Thanks buddy !"

"All animals except Man know that the ultimate purpose of life is to enjoy it" - Samuel Butler

Posted by: daCascadian on April 24, 2008 at 7:19 PM | PERMALINK

"the woman involved in the casual sex, or not quite consensual sex, is, these days, likely to be a young American soldier herself."

This is so fucking demented, this idea that if you'll just get a soldier a whore, he won't rape his fellow soldier. Because we're supposed to believe rape in wartime is caused by totally normal and good sexual impulses that we all share that have run a little amok since these guys aren't getting regular nookie, and some men just crack under the pressure and need to stick their cocks in something to relieve the terrible strain. Kind of like when you really have to pee.

We're never supposed to entertain the notion that violently turning on your own is a sign of people who are psychologically damaged by a totally fucked up situation acting out in horrible and destructive ways. Or that screwing whores is a nihilistic and self-destructive impulse of men who are consumed by the horrors of their situation. Because, you know, then we'd maybe have to acknowledge the fact that war isn't a video game or a movie, war is hell and we happily sent other people into it for no justifiable reason.

What fucking assholes.

Posted by: anonymous on April 24, 2008 at 7:57 PM | PERMALINK

Modern men should be able to go to war without raping the women of the areas they occupy or the female soldiers. I think I heard that there were only 50 or so reports or prosecutions of American troops raping women in Europe during WWII. I like to think that's because the number was really close to being that small, and that it's just another example of us fighting in a mostly humane way, and still getting a great victory. Modern men should be able to do a lot of things that they can't.

But it is a fact that camps were set up with women for GIs in various locations, largely to cut down STDs.

And again, it's whoring and/or raping.

Posted by: MNPundit on April 24, 2008 at 8:10 PM | PERMALINK

I think I heard that there were only 50 or so reports or prosecutions of American troops raping women in Europe during WWII.

I think I heard? Well, with an unimpeachable source like that....You're off by a few tens of thousands of reported rapes (and consider that for every one reported rape, there were probably hundreds that went unreported).

I like to think that's because the number was really close to being that small, and that it's just another example of us fighting in a mostly humane way, and still getting a great victory.

I'm not sure "I like to think" is your most accurate lead-in to such an idiotic statement.

Posted by: Stefan on April 24, 2008 at 8:13 PM | PERMALINK

when I follow the link to K-Lo's article I see one of those little ads -- Urinary Incontinence. Hmm

In defense of K-Lo, I would guess that she is a actually a very nice lady who unfortunately is stuck defending positions (no pun intended) resulting from her Catholic upbringing.

Posted by: CSTAR on April 24, 2008 at 8:17 PM | PERMALINK

MNPundit,

I honestly don't think it's possible to have a war without having either lots of raping or lots of whoring.

Has it ever happened in human history?

Tripp

I was kinda young at the time but I don't recall much of that during the War on Poverty.


That's probably why we lost...

Posted by: Mary Contrary on April 24, 2008 at 8:59 PM | PERMALINK

Dowd is entirely bitter about men

In fairness to Dowd, she's bitter about women, too.

Posted by: kc on April 24, 2008 at 9:11 PM | PERMALINK

jimBOB wrote: Granted, these are not all, or even mostly, american troops. But the idea that a military operation conducted over multiple years involving millions of troops resulted in only 50 rapes is ludicrous.

No shit! We occupied all of Germany and other areas. Considering the anarchy that was going on and what large areas (and populations) were involved, it's not surprising that the non-American population of Europe at that time would be responsible for a lot of rapes- if your source, which you did not provide, is correct.

Again, I heard this number- 50 rapes either reported or prosecuted committed by U.S. troops- on some documentary on TV. I'm not making this shit up, and if the number is really that wrong, it's someone else's mistake. But you haven't written anything that shows that my number is wrong.

Stefan wrote:

I think I heard? Well, with an unimpeachable source like that....

Until you provide what your source is, your source is just you, and that means nothing.

Stefan wrote:

(and consider that for every one reported rape, there were probably hundreds that went unreported).

Hundreds for every one? How do you know? Magic powers?

It's interesting that a couple people have showed up arguing that rape fits in with warfare, and that we were out raping a lot of people when we showed up in WWII. You don't hear a lot about "the Greatest Generation" doing that from anyone else, though.

Anyway- I just wanted to clarify, since the trolls who may try to parse my statements some more, that I understand that a lot of rape has been committed in many wars by conquering troops. My point is just that this is more of a self-fulfilling prophecy than it is a cause-and-effect relationship. Just like you can tell well-disciplined troops not to loot, and then they won't take souvenirs, I think you can get well-disciplined troops not to rape (probably getting them home in a reasonable amount of time helps, too). It's the people who want our troops to commit atrocities against non-combatant civilians who create the breakdown of morality and the conditions of an Abu Ghraib.

Posted by: Swan on April 24, 2008 at 9:20 PM | PERMALINK

I'm kind of surprised no one has bothered to take Occam's razor out yet.
Uptight Republican Congresscritter has his briefs in a bunch over the sale of Playboy on US military bases.
Larry Flynt has mentioned on several occasions that he has evidence of licentious and lewd behavior by members of Congress, yet his fine(sic) publication is unmentioned.

Would it be irresponsible to speculate ... yada yada yada ...

Posted by: kenga on April 24, 2008 at 9:22 PM | PERMALINK

I included one more sentence of jimBOB's than I probably should have.

I meant, in my original comment, only that 50 rapes were reported or prosecuted, not that there was only 50 rapes (and I never wrote that there was only 50). My point was that if only 50 were reported or prosecuted, then however many actually happened must have not been a very large amount relative to what often happens in wars, and that that's praiseworthy of us.

I think that in the 20th century, our country and our military have often had the opportunity to set and example for the rest of the world on human rights, and that's something we should continue. It's stuff like that that got us to the point where, for example, a lot of torture of p.o.w.'s didn't happen in WWII. That's good. We should be trying to make the world more like that, and less like a world where when people's disagreements are so insoluble that they end up resulting in war, they also have to end up resulting in rape or torture. In the modern world, no one really capitulates in a war because of rapes or tortures, and these incidents therefore add no military effectiveness to our war efforts.

Posted by: Swan on April 24, 2008 at 9:26 PM | PERMALINK
You don't hear a lot about "the Greatest Generation" doing that from anyone else, though.

Swan, not to get up in your face, but in Lenny Bruce's autobiography he actually addresses that general issue - having been there.
Something to the effect that Americans wonder why Europeans don't seem to really like us, even though "we fucked their mother in exchange for a chocolate bar."

Posted by: kenga on April 24, 2008 at 9:28 PM | PERMALINK

Killing people - good
Naked people - bad

Posted by: Wacko on April 24, 2008 at 9:43 PM | PERMALINK

Schiffren almost lets this one get away unnoticed -- she says we ought not "Christianize" the boys in harm's way (silence on whether or not the girls in harm's way ought to have spank mags, too).

I wonder what wunnerful, wunnerful Lisa's position was on the proselytizing scandal in the USAF was?

And note how cleverly she tosses in that she had "Special Ops colleagues." So we have to, you know, take her seriously 'n' stuff.

Posted by: Hemlock for Gadflies on April 24, 2008 at 9:46 PM | PERMALINK

The Russians occupying Germany were reportedly responsible for the rape of 2,000,000 women. From Salon 4/24/2008 "The first rapes in East Prussia were an eruption of pure rage, bloody revenge for Wehrmacht atrocities on Soviet soil in the march to Stalingrad; -- and killed children. But revenge could not have been the sole motive, for even Soviet prisoners of war and Jewish survivors were not safe; some, as young as 16, were raped by the soldiers who set them free."

Posted by: TJM on April 24, 2008 at 9:52 PM | PERMALINK

You mean the GIs aren't furnished condoms and nylons anymore for conserting with the girls? (OK, ditch the nylons and replace them with pantyhose.)

Posted by: Vincent on April 24, 2008 at 9:55 PM | PERMALINK

What Lisa Schiffren says. And how 'bout reinstatement of the common soldier's right to bitch loud and long about officers and wars.

Posted by: ferd on April 24, 2008 at 10:05 PM | PERMALINK

Swan,

I think I heard from a guy who read it somewhere on the web that you're a complete fucking moron.

Posted by: republican henchman on April 24, 2008 at 10:15 PM | PERMALINK

No, what I meant was you're a complete fucking blithering moron.

Posted by: republican henchman on April 24, 2008 at 10:17 PM | PERMALINK

And for you trolls that want to parse my statements, let me make it clear. Swan is a moron. I know because I think I read about it on the web where a guy read a magazine about it.

Or maybe I just read some of Swan's comments and came to my own conclusion.

Posted by: republican henchman on April 24, 2008 at 10:21 PM | PERMALINK

wacko,
where do you stand on killing naked people?

Posted by: stupid white bird on April 24, 2008 at 10:35 PM | PERMALINK

I never knew of anyone in Vietnam resorting to rape. But I sure knew a lot of people doing a lot of fucking. And drinking. Officers and enlisted alike.

Given the number of cases of the clap and seriously weird things that could happen to the boy in Vietnam, it's no wonder the troops aren't allowed to get laid these days. And that's probably why they're allowed the poor, dull, tame Playboy.

I frankly can't conceive of going to war and not being able to get laid or drink booze. That's why I didn't sign up for this one. Plus there is a rare medical condition known as "DSB." Deadly Sperm Backup. And it's fatal. Don't let the troops know. Oh, and frequent ejaculation has some sort of protective effect against prostate cancer; that's no shit.

Posted by: Nixon Did It on April 24, 2008 at 10:37 PM | PERMALINK

Kenga, prostitution isn't rape.

The reason some Europeans don't like us because all the obese, upper-middle class, conservative, slutty Americans are the ones who can afford to go on vacations, so they go over there and make us look like a bunch of immature, moronic, self-aggrandizing dickwads. The Europeans therefore don't know that we have working class people in our country, or laid-back people (they meet mostly Repub-upper-middle-class dickwads, and very few cool people, and think that represents everybody).

You never hear about Europeans in Nazi-ocupied Europe being scared to have Americans show up during WWII (instead of throwing flowers at our feet, and being delighted to see us, which is what they really did, as everyone knows) and glamorizing us ever since, because we actually didn't go over there and do epidemic rapes. We went over there and we were mostly cool. If we had gone over there and been raping barbarians (not something anybody likes, or that we should aspire to be) it would be very well-known and people would mention it all the time, and we wouldn't have (often) such good or civil relations with the Europeans.

Posted by: Swan on April 24, 2008 at 10:56 PM | PERMALINK

Swan

TJM notes the massive number of rapes committed by Russian soldiers (our allies at the time) as they marched on Berlin. This is a well-established historical fact, not something you can credibly quibble with.

My point was that if only 50 were reported or prosecuted, then however many actually happened must have not been a very large amount relative to what often happens in wars, and that that's praiseworthy of us.

So you are admitting that the 50 number you provided earlier isn't credible as a likely count of actual rapes committed by U.S. soldiers in the European theater. Given this I don't see that you can draw any conclusions about actual rape rates other than that they didn't get reported much.

Posted by: jimBOB on April 24, 2008 at 11:00 PM | PERMALINK

immature, moronic, self-aggrandizing dickwad

Posted by: really really stupid white bird on April 24, 2008 at 11:06 PM | PERMALINK

You never hear about Europeans in Nazi-ocupied Europe being scared to have Americans show up during WWII

Well, if the alternative was russians bent on raping their revenge for Barbarossa, then I'd have been relieved to see the Americans too. "Better than the army that committed 2 million rapes" is a kind of low standard, though.

Posted by: jimBOB on April 24, 2008 at 11:12 PM | PERMALINK

Hoo boy, I take it she hasn't met many actual soldiers. I'm from Virginia, and let me tell you, I'm pretty sure those nighclubs in Norfolk aren't just for philosophical reflection and spicy wings.

Posted by: Harkov311 on April 24, 2008 at 11:57 PM | PERMALINK

So you are admitting that the 50 number you provided earlier isn't credible as a likely count of actual rapes committed by U.S. soldiers in the European theater. Given this I don't see that you can draw any conclusions about actual rape rates other than that they didn't get reported much.

Except that in this case, the official records and the unofficial memoirs of both American soldiers and Europeans indicate that in fact, there was not a lot of rape, nor even fear of rape. And it's not just people hiding it -- the rapes the Russians committed were well attested.

More than 50 rapes by American soldiers? Almost surely. Widespread, much less Stefan's claimed millions? Not a lot of evidence for it.

Posted by: tavella on April 25, 2008 at 12:10 AM | PERMALINK

That the US forces in Europe (let alone Asia) were guilty of committing all kinds of abuses is, frankly, beyond question. The only comfort for Americans then and now is the fact that we were allied to the Russians at the time, and they were working out some serious resentments on the German population (read Norman Naimark, _The Russians in Germany_ for a flavor of that).

Still and all, though, by 1945 Berlin women were telling each other: "Better a Russian soldier on your belly than an American bomb on your head!"

Posted by: stickler on April 25, 2008 at 1:01 AM | PERMALINK

It is really amusing hearing "K-Lo" - a perpetual virgin whose dry, barren and forever more to be untouched vayjayjay, normally as dry as an Arizona desert - but which got ever so slightly moist by that good-looking Mitt Romney fella, whine about magazines that feed fantasies. Oy. To hear moral condemnation from this pudgy, unibrowed skank, whose idea of a good time is sipping from the remnants of Pope Benedict's holy pisswater, is seriously disturbing.

Posted by: jbk on April 25, 2008 at 2:41 AM | PERMALINK

Still and all, though, by 1945 Berlin women were telling each other: "Better a Russian soldier on your belly than an American bomb on your head!"

Whence the quote? Everything I've read indicates that there was a mass hysteria in Berlin bordering on psychosis at the prospect of the approaching Bolsheviks, and a desperate hope that the Allies would arrive first. Here's a young Volkssturmer:

"Berlin was defended so bitterly only because so many of the soldiers, so many of the civilians were afraid of Soviet imprisonment. They wanted to save themselves, to keep the Russians out of Berlin for as long as they could. Everything possible was done to stop them, to gain a little more time. If we were lucky, the Americans or the British would get to Berlin first. That is what any intelligent person hoped for." Richie, p. 577.

Given that, among other things, they had mass-murdered over a million Russian POW's (via deliberate starvation mostly) before the holocaust even began in earnest, they had reason to be worried. And in fact once the Russians arrived there was ongoing, systematic mass rape. The women who were put to work picking up the bombing rubble would simply ask each other: "How many times?" See Richie, Faust's Metropolis.

This was not the case in the American sector. There simply is no comparison. If you make this particular point in history the basis for a generic argument against war, you are weakening your case.

Posted by: q on April 25, 2008 at 5:01 AM | PERMALINK

Jeepers.

No Playboy and no alcohol (for those under 21).

Fine to die for your country, but you had better be stone-cold sober and free of impure thoughts when it happens.......

Idiots.

Posted by: on April 25, 2008 at 5:56 AM | PERMALINK
Kenga, prostitution isn't rape.

The reason some Europeans don't like us because all the obese, upper-middle class, conservative, slutty Americans are the ones who can afford to go on vacations, so they go over there and make us look like a bunch of immature, moronic, self-aggrandizing dickwads. The Europeans therefore don't know that we have working class people in our country, or laid-back people (they meet mostly Repub-upper-middle-class dickwads, and very few cool people, and think that represents everybody).

Swan - don't confuse prostitution with trading sex for food your family needs to survive. It's coercion, period. We're not talking about Amsterdam's Red Light district, we're talking about refugees and survivors amid the rubble.
And just so you know, Lenny Bruce died before MLK and RFK did - he was speaking during the late 50s and early 60s, decades before obesity became widespread in the US. You know, only 10 years or so after VE day, while the memories were fresh.

Posted by: kenga on April 25, 2008 at 8:13 AM | PERMALINK

Paul Broun hates us for our freedom.

Posted by: CJColucci on April 25, 2008 at 10:04 AM | PERMALINK

Swan,

You don't hear a lot about "the Greatest Generation" doing that from anyone else, though.

Find a WWII vet, gain their confidence, and ask them about "short arm" inspection.

It was a simple procedure really. Whip it out, give it a milking, and if any puss flows out you need pills or a shot. My reliable source tells me this happened before leaving ports with the ship's Doctor walking down a long line of swabbies with their short arms out for inspection.

I admit this is not about rape per se, but you must admit that there are things about the war and the troops that were not generally talked about.

Posted by: Tripp on April 25, 2008 at 10:30 AM | PERMALINK

Way back in 68 Playboy & Penthouse were banned
in the Federal Pen at Leavenworth.
We Prisoners won that argument.

Mind I'm talking 1968-69. So now 40 Freaking
years later this asshole wants to ban
them again!

Posted by: 83546-A on April 25, 2008 at 10:32 AM | PERMALINK

Oh yeah, another thing I remember. The soldiers were taught a nice little poem to try to get them so disgusted by women and sex they would not be tempted. I don't think that worked very well. Since this is a 'family' forum I won't recite the entire thing, but the first line is:

Oh Mag, you hag, you dirty scum bag . . .

Yup, now there are some good old-fashioned values for you. Women are either virginal Madonnas or filthy sluts.

Posted by: Tripp on April 25, 2008 at 10:38 AM | PERMALINK

Oddly enough, you don't hear much about the "greatest generation" cutting the ears off Japanese soldiers as souvenirs. But it happened.

We are a people who, by and large, want to think of ourselves as decent. So some things that, in another time or place, would have been material for boasting, are simply not spoken of. Doesn't mean they didn't happen.

And like Kenga says. Buying sex from starving or desperately poor women is not, technically, rape. But it ain't Friday night at the drive-in, either. So it might be technically accurate that "rape" per se didn't happen a lot in Vietnam, but what did happen was certainly not pretty or something to pat ourselves on the back for.

Posted by: thersites on April 25, 2008 at 11:35 AM | PERMALINK

Private Steven D. Green is the archetype for the sexual behavior of warriors since the beginning of organized human conflict. The behavior is probably genetic.

Posted by: Brojo on April 25, 2008 at 11:45 AM | PERMALINK

"When I was in college, all the enlisted men I knew could talk about was pussy and booze. There was no other topic of conversation."

If they were young and male, they must have occasionally talked about sports.

Posted by: nemo on April 25, 2008 at 12:14 PM | PERMALINK

is it ok if bin laden goes tits up?

Posted by: cletus the slack jawed yokel on April 25, 2008 at 1:26 PM | PERMALINK

from what I've heard, the high-speed internet access is used by lots of soldiers for x-rated video/chat with their spouse/partner. bring your own headphones and the partner at home uses the webcam. one base officer said the number of fights went way down after the internet cafe opened.

Posted by: halle on April 25, 2008 at 3:37 PM | PERMALINK

If this weren't so silly, it'd be very patronizing and condescending. It seems he has a military record. That's surprising. I guess it all comes down to what you consider pornographic. 1) the VA can't handle the demands for post-tour health care. That's pornographic.
2) Troops are starting their 4th and 5th tours...That's obscene.
3) Suicide rates are rising among active-duty troops in Iraq...that's obscene.

Maybe the right honorable congressman can sate his lust for crushing pornographic materials by providing some leadership and solutions on those first.

Posted by: Zane Safrit on April 25, 2008 at 4:50 PM | PERMALINK

After 19 years in the military, I can tell K Lo that there are more military men "drinking and whoring Saturday night" than there are military men spending the evening with their kids...come on out to Korea and check it out...or go on a deployment to Thailand, or any number of places around the world...

Posted by: JDawg1 on April 25, 2008 at 11:14 PM | PERMALINK

Schiffren sounds dangerously reasonable for a Cornerite (at least until the part about Romania, which sounds like a third-hand shaggy dog tale).

Our red-blooded American boys patriotically masturbating to Grade A U.S. softcore strikes me as infinitely better than having them cheat on their young wives, pressure junior female NCOs into sex, go to brothels pretty much anywhere, or any of the other ways they might get their rocks off. Not that it'll stop all of that from happening; if porn cured young male stupidity, it'd be mandatory in the military and everywhere else. But come on.

My thesis being, I don't enjoy seeing my thoughts on an NRO page. Is this the reason I've never heard of Schiffren--she's not as infalllibly willfully stupid as K-Lo, Derbyshire, Goldberg, etc.? Probably too much to hope for.

Posted by: Matt on April 26, 2008 at 1:19 PM | PERMALINK

I feel obliged to report to Ms. Lopez that when my father was in Brazil in WW II (keeping the world safe from the Argentines, I assume) he used to tell us that while there, he "picked a little whore-house Portuguese". And I don't think it while on MP duty.

Posted by: Robert Earle on April 27, 2008 at 1:23 AM | PERMALINK

You wonder what planet the original woman grew up on.

Sorry. My father and my uncles were soldiers.

These men face death on duty, and are away from their families and homes for months at a time.

So yes, Virginia, the needs and desires of militaries throughout history are met by the oldest profession. This is certainly better than the alternative (random civilians).

In fact, in WWII, according to my male relatives, the German Army notoriously had a lower VD rate than the British, because the German Army licensed and inspected brothels, whereas the British looked the other way. The result was yet another way German combat effectiveness was increased vs. British.

Do you think we should break it to the world that one of the other things soldiers and sailors do is fire weapons that hurt people?

Posted by: aaa on April 28, 2008 at 10:35 AM | PERMALINK

matt

I know Dubai was a major R&R center for the US military during Desert Storm. This I know because a friend's father was hotel manager out there: 17 years ago, Dubai was not the tourism center it is now. And yes the tales of eastern europeans and the world's oldest profession stack up.

Perth I think is a USN favourite: brothels are legal in some Australian states, I think.

Romania? It's definitely possible although from memory, the coup that overthrew Ceaucescu was *after* the Gulf War.

However Russian and Eastern European women were already flooding the more liberal Gulf states at that point.

Posted by: Valuethinker on April 28, 2008 at 10:38 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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