Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Australian women to be placed in combat roles

Australian women will now be permitted to serve as frontline combat troops:

Women will be allowed to serve in frontline combat roles after the Gillard government ordered the Australian Defence Force to bring forward the removal of bans that have stopped women from applying for the most dangerous and demanding military jobs.

Given that liberalism is the state ideology this is not an unexpected development. According to liberalism, we are human because we are self determining. We do not determine our own sex; therefore, our sex must be made not to matter when it comes to life choices.

So, if you accept liberal first principles, the decision to allow women to serve in combat will seem moral and just. It will be thought sexist and discriminatory to maintain the combat ban.

The liberal position was described well enough in an editorial in the Brisbane Courier Mail some years ago. The editorialist considered a number of objections to women serving in combat roles but concluded:

Yet all of these objections, however practical and well-meaning, represent a denial of the right of women to choose for themselves what roles they will fill in time of war.

The highest good, according to the editorialist, is that women self-determine their own role in life. So much so, that he thinks it progressive and liberating for women to be exposed to combat:

Yes, this issue might well appear to some to be a case of social engineering gone crazily immoral, but the irrefutable fact is that society has changed since the dark days of WWII.

Women have chosen to throw off the limitations imposed on them, even those limitations intended for their own protection.

It isn't difficult to predict where the state ideology will take society. But for those of us who don't see autonomy as the sole, overriding good in society, the decision to put women into combat will appear to be wrong in principle.

Why? Those who oppose women in combat often limit themselves to practical objections. They argue that women don't have the physical strength for combat roles, or that the presence of women will disrupt male esprit de corps, or that the protective instincts of men means that men will interrupt their combat missions to help wounded female soldiers.

These are all good arguments. We should, however, be arguing at the level of principle. Why do we really think it wrong for women to serve in combat? Isn't it because we perceive that women embody an important feminine principle in life, one that is oriented to the nurturing of new life, which is physically more vulnerable, and ideally gentler?

Training women to kill in combat and placing them on the front line in wartime denies the feminine principle as a significant good in life. It sends the message that men and women are essentially interchangeable. Which means too that it will be more difficult for young men to look on military life as a distinctly masculine service to society.

If you think that manhood and womanhood are meaningful to human life, and that men and women are created to live in a complementary relationship with each other, then you are likely to be dismayed by the decision to place women in combat roles.

26 comments:

  1. News recently revealed, aptly enough, the suicide rates spike for women in combat zones. As far as I can tell, being the U.S. military, these are not even women in combat roles, just in combat zones.

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/military/2011-03-18-1Asuicides18_ST_N.htm

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  2. And who are they defending?

    From the Guardian:

    Musa Khan, the governor of Ghazni province, once associated with the fundamentalist warlord Abdul Rasul Sayyaf, marked international women's day on 8 March. Unfortunately, he appeared to have missed the point of the event.

    According to Alex Dietrich, the head of a US military female engagement team operating in Ghazni, in a morning of speeches, only two women were invited onstage to participate. Instead ranks of burqa-clad women watched a group of men dominate proceedings with speeches on the importance of practising marital obedience.

    Khan told them they should not leave their homes without permission from their husbands. "At the end the men sat down for a feast, while the women waited outside in the cold for some of their leftovers," Dietrich said.

    [So your women are going to die in order to keep their women burqa-clad and obedient. Yaaaay, liberalism!]

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  3. I all works out as long as you stay out of wars.

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  4. The fact is that most if not many men are not suitable for front line roles. The idea then that women will be suitable is ridiculous. We had a mixed Kiwi unit with us in the Solomons and they spent all their time screwing each other.

    This decision I have been dreading for a long time and it made me feel ill. It seems probable that it won't happen though. This is probably just an exercise to distract the news cycle from the other defence reports. Also the Liberals won't support it (I pray!!!) and Labor won't be re-elected.

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  5. "Which means too that it will be more difficult for young men to look on military life is a distinctly masculine service to society."

    Which would mean we'll hear more of the argument that women are needed in the military because men aren't volunteering in adequate quality and numbers.

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  6. I know I'm tempted to quit. The decision shows no loyalty to the soldiers nor recognition of what the job requires. I did a round of the unit tonight lambasting anyone who voted Labor. Of course some didn't mind the idea and looked forward to having ready tail in the unit.

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  7. ""I know I'm tempted to quit. The decision shows no loyalty to the soldiers nor recognition of what the job requires.""

    Even more reason to stay. Liberals want to turn the army into another branch of the insanely PC civil service. If the good eggs leave that just makes the job easier.

    I know quite a few blokes from my local Barracks here in Melbourne and their opinions are the same as what you describe. Those soldiers more serious about the Army hate the idea, those who see it as a short term thing look foward to more women around.

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  8. "Why? Those who oppose women in combat often limit themselves to practical objections. They argue that women don't have the physical strength for combat roles, or that the presence of women will disrupt male esprit de corps, or that the protective instincts of men means that men will interrupt their combat missions to help wounded female soldiers.

    These are all good arguments. We should, however, be arguing at the level of principle. Why do we really think it wrong for women to serve in combat? Isn't it because we perceive that women embody an important feminine principle in life, one that is oriented to the nurturing of new life, which is physically more vulnerable, and ideally gentler?"

    Right on.

    "Even more reason to stay. Liberals want to turn the army into another branch of the insanely PC civil service. If the good eggs leave that just makes the job easier."

    I disagree. There comes a point where the military has merely become another national symbol for liberalism. If the military actively encourages minority diversity programs and the dogma of equality over efficiency and loyalty to the nation then it's way off.

    Women in the military --- www.google.com/cse?cx=001570561176820765327%3Aalym_hnorag&ie=UTF-8&q=navy+women

    The issue concerning sexual orientation --- amnation.com/vfr/archives/018272.html

    Unfortunately the presence of some low IQ minorities does bring down where the place they are dwelling. I'm in New York right now and just passed some really bad, decaying neighborhoods a few hours ago.

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  9. This is perfectly predictable, but not on the "radical autonomy" hobbyhorse. It is predictable because the highest good to liberals is non-discrimination. To discriminate is inherently evil, because the discriminator must differentiate between people in some way. And since, according to liberal dogma, we are all born equal, blank, slates, any unequal outcomes must be the result of discrimination.

    End discrimination and all people will be able to live in the bright sunshine of total equality.

    Of course, this is a disaster of a policy if carried out. Armies are organized to win fights, and ultimately wars, not to be social programs. Inequality is inherent in any military organization; the chain of command is certainly an unequal concept.

    As Prof. Hale said, this "works" so long as you never have to fight a war. It's rather like an insurance policy with a "no-pay" clause; grand to have, so long as you don't actually expect to ever use it.

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  10. Yes Anonymous Reader, but lefties generally don't want to fight wars, nor do they value the effectiveness of the military nor see themselves under any threat, so the concern of lowering the militaries performance doesn't concern them.

    I agree Elizabeth that this decision should be combated on principle but I also see nothing but practical consequences and the lowering of the militaries edge. Why? because being a soldier means continually improving and challenging yourself. Even SAS soldiers don't see themselves as being good enough and keep trying to get better. You put women in and as said it becomes a social program or a club and not about pushing for toughness and excellence.

    Also there is no "equality" of physical standards in the Army. Female fitness requirements are considerably lower than male requirements. If that wasn't the case women wouldn't pass the fitness tests.

    A relatively small number of PC officers at the top under pressure from interest groups make these kinds of decisions and we as soldiers are just expected to accept them.

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  11. This is perfectly predictable, but not on the "radical autonomy" hobbyhorse. It is predictable because the highest good to liberals is non-discrimination.

    I agree that non-discrimination is often appealed to by liberals, alongside freedom, social justice, tolerance, equality, openness, pluralism etc.

    But we can't just take these at face value. We have to ask what a liberal means by terms like "equality" or "freedom" or "tolerance" or "non-discrimination".

    That requires us to go to the sources and to read the liberal political philosophers. That's when you find the underlying aim of autonomy, in the sense that human dignity is defined in terms of humans being self-determining as individuals.

    Thus Rawls is described by Michael Sandel as believing that:

    "what is most essential to our personhood is not the ends we choose but our capacity to choose them"

    Sandel describes the Kantian liberals as believing in a concept of moral right that,

    "is grounded in the concept of a subject given prior to its ends, a concept held indispensable to our understanding ourselves as freely choosing, autonomous beings."

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  12. This is perfectly predictable, but not on the "radical autonomy" hobbyhorse. It is predictable because the highest good to liberals is non-discrimination.

    Tragically, wars discriminate between armies that do not suck and armies that suck. So unfair!

    We have to ask what a liberal means by terms like "equality" or "freedom" or "tolerance" or "non-discrimination".

    And yet you seem to take the liberal concept of "autonomy" at face value. From where I sit, liberals are constantly restricting my damned autonomy.

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  13. And yet you seem to take the liberal concept of "autonomy" at face value. From where I sit, liberals are constantly restricting my damned autonomy.

    The liberal project isn't simply to let everyone choose what they want as an expression of individual autonomy. If that were the project, then people could and probably would choose something like a traditional lifestyle.

    What liberals believe is that there is an individual right to equal "freedom" or "liberty", by which they mean people having the same resources to self-determine their lives. This kind of "freedom" is considered to be what is just.

    Therefore, people may only choose what is compatible with the liberal vision of "equal freedom". Other choices are condemned as being unjust or incompatible with human rights.

    In other words, you may only choose liberal ends.

    Here is Sandel on Rawls:

    "As a straightforward moral claim the priority of right over good means that principles of right invariably outweigh considerations of welfare or the satisfaction of desire, however intense, and constrain in advance the range of desires and values properly entitled to satisfaction."

    And in Rawls's own words:

    "The principles of right, and so of justice, put limits on which satisfactions have value; they impose restrictions on what are reasonable conceptions of one's good...We can express this by saying that in justice as in fairness the concept of the right is prior to that of the good...The priority of justice is accounted for, in part, by holding that the interests requiring the violation of justice have no value. Having no merit in the first place, they cannot override its claim."

    So that's what we're up against. It's a theory which says that every individual must, as a matter of what is right and just, be equally free to choose their own ends, but that any ends or goods which violate this principle have no value or legitimacy.

    The problem, as I've pointed out so many times, is that what is disallowed is often what is most meaningful and significant in life. We get the "freedom" and the "right" to choose relatively trivial ends.

    In this sense, the project to base rights and justice on autonomy fails.

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  14. I know I'm tempted to quit. The decision shows no loyalty to the soldiers nor recognition of what the job requires.

    You should quit as soon as you can. And if you get orders to go to a combat zone, you should seriously consider desertion.

    Even more reason to stay. Liberals want to turn the army into another branch of the insanely PC civil service. If the good eggs leave that just makes the job easier.

    The problem with this logic is that the "good eggs" of the U.S. Army are getting their heads blown off with some regularity in Iraq and Afghanistan. The ADF doesn't currently have this problem, but you never know when a major war is going to pop up.

    The positive aspect of a liberal military is that young white men will be less inclined to join up, those already in will be less inclined to reenlist, and the military will look to Diversity to fill the gaps. If your government starts a civil war, you'll want the federal military to be full of single mothers, queers, and affirmative action hires.

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  15. Lest we forget, here is the story of six "good eggs" whose proper place was in the militia, who in no way served their country, and who died for a lie. Being frontline troopers, it's likely that none of them approved of women in combat. Unfortunately, they are too dead to do any culture-changing.

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  16. Van Wijk said,

    "If your government starts a civil war, you'll want the federal military to be full of single mothers, queers, and affirmative action hires."

    That's good.

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  17. We'll see how long women will want to play Amazon Warrior when these same women start going back home in body bags (and not all in one connected piece).

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  18. Mark Richardson,you seem to be engaged in self contradiction. On the one hand, you argue that liberalism is a giant project in "radical autonomy", in which individuals are to answer to no one but themselves, citing Kant in support (leaving aside whether Kant said that or not).

    On the other hand, you admit that liberals are quite content, even eager, to limit people's choices, in fact limit them to such an extent as to essentially force most to "choose" the liberal program. Where is the radical autonomy in this, if all choices are intended to lead to the same outcome?

    I think you give too much credit to liberal thinkers, frankly, in asserting an overarching, single thread to all of liberalism. Because in fact liberalism is a self-contradictory ideology, just as Marxism was.

    This should hardly be a surprise, as there are all manner of different flavors of liberals, from wets who just want everyone to sing Kumbaya to authoritarians who strongly resemble the Fascists of Mussolini at times.

    The one thing that all liberals do have in common is the notion of humans as blank slates, upon which environment draws. In the nature vs. nurture debate, liberalism comes down firmly on the far side of "nurture", allowing only cosmetics such as eye & skin color, and disease, to be attributed to genes. One can be called a racist for pointing out that black Africans from the west central part have more fast-twitch muscles in their legs and thus are on average better sprinters than anyone else on the planet. Never mind that science has proven this, it's racist to even hint that genetic variation can affect physical ability.

    The blank slate notion can easily be traced to that criminal Rousseau, who also came up with the "noble savage" myth. If one accepts that people are all the same - same intelligence, same attention span, same memory abilities, same everything -- from birth then any differences must be attributable to outside forces, to nurture.

    If anything, one could argue that liberals engage in "scientism", except that they are trapped in the 19th century for the most part, with a dollop of 20th century frauds such as Margaret Mead on top.

    I don't see how this myth, which is an underpinning of liberalism, can be traced to 'radical autonomy'. It looks more like a direct result of the "will to power" of Friedrich Nietzsche to me.

    And returning to the subject of this thread, one absurdity of the "environment is all" premise of liberalism can be seen in the demand that women must, must be able to fulfill all the same jobs as men, including firemen, policemen and now combat troops. I've been told with a straight face by liberals that women can physically match men, if only given the right physical training.

    The fact that the only way this can be achieved is by injecting large amounts of such hormones as testosterone does not faze them. It is dogma that women are just men who can have babies, and therefore they can do anything a man can do...and if they can't, why, someone must be discriminating.

    Again, I just don't see how you can get from "radical autonomy" to the coercive Utopians that we all encounter on a routine basis.

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  19. "Yet all of these objections, however practical and well-meaning, represent a denial of the right of women to choose for themselves what roles they will fill in time of war."

    Translation:

    Reality, however grounded in objective truth, represents a denial of the personal whims of women.

    Doctrine:

    Traditional mores, taboos, prescriptions and prejudices are to be overthrown when in conflict with the will of an officially recognised oppressed class of persons.

    Consequence:

    Reality shall bend to desire, Objectivity to subjectivity, reason shall serve at the pleasure of sentiment, and falsehood shall rule over truth.

    This is the pathology on which Big Lie is founded. The Big Lie is the present State Religion of the West.

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  20. I think there are some men who think women should serve in combat because it is otherwise unfair to men who serve in combat. Just as women should be coal miners, trash collectors, or whatnot. It has nothing to do with whether or not women would be very good at such jobs, or what other more suitable work they would be abandoning in order to do that.

    Thank you for your comment at AVfM's recent articles against traditionalism, Mark.

    I just wanted to give you a heads-up that I will be featuring this article on my blog tomorrow, as I have a few Australian readers and found the way you framed the topic quite interesting.

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  21. ""If your government starts a civil war, you'll want the federal military to be full of single mothers, queers, and affirmative action hires.""

    However you don't want it full of ethnic, cultural and religious groups that might poss side against your own community in the civil war.

    Esp if they have had even rudimentary military training. The worst trained soldier in the world usually beats a civilian.

    Remember, a traditionalist military was all that saved Chile and Spain from Communism.

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  22. However you don't want it full of ethnic, cultural and religious groups that might poss side against your own community in the civil war.

    That bridge was crossed a long time ago over here. It's virtually certain that a substantial portion of the Army will attempt to enforce martial law. Minorities are already overrepresented in the military, but they are underrepresented in actual combat units, which are virtually all white. With two foreign wars and a likely third on the way, this is a recipe for attrition.

    The good egg theory is impossible anyway. The Army is tyranny in practice; change always comes from the top down. This is why our current "generals" are little more than politicians in fatigues. When their liberal masters give them a directive, they implement it in the form of an order, and that order is obeyed on pain of severe punishment. The most recent directive is for soldiers to get used to open homosexuality in the ranks.

    Esp if they have had even rudimentary military training. The worst trained soldier in the world usually beats a civilian.

    I'd encourage you to read up on the First Chechen War. One of the differences is that we don't lack for guns.

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  23. ""Minorities are already overrepresented in the military, but they are underrepresented in actual combat units, which are virtually all white.""

    Not in Australia. Here the military is very ethnic-European in all units. There are large numbers of Aboriginals in some units I have heard of, and this is slowly changing, but not at the level in the US because we have a relatively small military.

    ""I'd encourage you to read up on the First Chechen War. One of the differences is that we don't lack for guns.""

    I would say a traditional islamic tribal warrior who spent all his life herding goats in the Caucasus with a gun to defend his life and flock would be a considerably better fighter than the average Russian conscript.

    In the west outside the U.S gun ownership is heavily restricted, we probably need a few of our folks in uniform getting some training and maintaining an influence at the very least.

    Not everything is the same as Yankee doodle land, we don't all live in America.

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  24. I would say a traditional islamic tribal warrior who spent all his life herding goats in the Caucasus with a gun to defend his life and flock would be a considerably better fighter than the average Russian conscript.

    The Chechens had only returned from their exile in Central Asia and Siberia in 1956, and at the time of independence were in many cases only nominally religious. (I think this is the one instance where the case can be made for an outside force causing Islam to have a resurgence in an area.) Your average goatherd had a shotgun at best, and there were far too few to have given the Russians such a thorough mauling. Many Chechen fighters in that first war were urban people who had never before fired a weapon. Chechnya's most prominent guerrilla, Shamil Basaev, served as a firefighter in the Red Army because Chechens were considered a security risk by the Kremlin. When his country declared independence, he was a computer salesman working in Russia. "In the condition of dynamic urban warfare, a person could transform himself into a professional soldier in two or three days."

    The guerrillas were able to arm themselves by looting local armories and the bodies of dead Russians, and even trading with the conscripts themselves. Even so, they were perpetually low on arms and ammo (sometimes the Russians would find five or six bodies around a single AK-74). Yet they drove the Russians out of their country for a time.

    In the west outside the U.S gun ownership is heavily restricted, we probably need a few of our folks in uniform getting some training and maintaining an influence at the very least.

    What influence do you think they will have? Can Australian soldiers influence the orders they are given? Can they influence the very culture of the Army?

    If those in Jesse's position like the odds that the ADF will side with the patriots when the time comes, or that there will at least be a schism, they can roll the dice. Personally, I don't think it follows that one should volunteer to be a meat-shield (while hoping to avoid combat) on the off chance that one will influence policy later.

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  25. As a general rule I don't like my officers, but I do like the men. If it comes down to the defence of the country we can break away from our units and form our own bodies. The skill and experience we gain in the military allows us to be much tougher than the average civvie.

    We will wait and see what happens with this women in combat roles crap. The general expectation within the units is that its a political smoke screen and won't actually happen. If it does happen I think you'll start to see substantial pressure from the bottom against the hierarchy. I agree that this is harder in one sense in the military with its strict rules, nonetheless its an organisation of mutual reliance and you can't afford to upset the men in a volunteer army off too much. Unfortunately as I said many men will welcome the lowering of the toughness standards and welcome the possibility of tail on tap.

    On the meat shield argument we've been fairly lucky in knowing that our forces and nation do take strong efforts to minimise our casualties. So far we've only had 23 deaths in Afghanistan. Of course I realise that this is a tense situation for everyone involved.

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