Friday, October 23, 2009

Does military service turn young men into sexual predators?

From Truthdig today. The numbers are from the American military establishment. I can't imagine ours are any different.

Does military service turn young men into sexual predators?

A culture that encourages violence and misogyny, says Helen Benedict, attracts a disproportionate number of sexually violent men: half of male recruits enlist to escape abusive families, a history that is often predictive of an abuser.

But whatever attracts them, and wherever they come from, this is about a system plagued by rot, and not about a few bad apples. American veterans embody the inevitable, predictable blowback from that rotten system.

Pretty troubling statistics, and interesting that the sexually abused men in the military, though much smaller by percentage than women, are virtually equal in numbers. A constant military culture is a safe haven for psychos and sexual predators. To keep the numbers up, they have been reduced to accepting just about anybody, regardless of poor education, low I.Q. or previous convictions for violent crimes, including rape.

One reason women are overwhelmingly against war in all its forms is that it endangers them and kills their children.

Not surprising that most weapons of war are phallic, and don't give me the aerodynamic argument. Kites and birds do a splendid job of flying.

Don't tell me that your basic tank isn't a set of male genitalia on tracks with its little friend pointing proudly forward and upward.

How about the lingo of war - penetration, deep penetration, on and on and on. The new Iran bunker-buster bomb on rush order by the U.S. military is supposed to provide deep and superior penetration.

It reminds me of the ongoing, but until recently covered-up, problems with the Catholic Church. It must have been well known, and probably a drawing card, for pedophiles that the Catholic priesthood gave maximum opportunity to predate upon children, with an understanding that crimes would never be prosecuted and the victims would never be believed.

The Church has a recruiting problem too.

I'd go with the anti-Federalists on this one, who deplored the evil of standing armies as a drain on the public purse and danger to liberty.

Brutus on the Evil of Standing Armies

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

At least we don't get raped

As well as the useless second round of elections (we all know how it's going to turn out, don't we?), the waffle and bafflegab about the goals, and the rogue military commanders whose only purpose is to keep this blood-and-money black hole going for as long as possible - or until they retire, crushed beneath a chestful of medals - Toronto Star columnist Haroon Siddiqi had this to say about one of the supposed reasons for NATO efforts in Afghanistan:

"The lot of some Afghan women has improved, but not for the majority. Many were scared off the presidential election by the Taliban. Many remain victims of a lack of security, prompting some to say of the harsh law and order in Taliban-controlled districts: 'At least we don't get raped.'

One can't imagine a worse indictment of NATO."

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Maybe there is a god

If things like this keep happening, I may become a believer yet.

South Ontario meterorite fragment hit SUV

Nah...not really.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Torture - part trois. Still in denial

Stories are bursting onto the pages of Canadian newspapers today about the probability of torture of prisoners taken by Canadian forces in Afghanistan and handed over to Afghan or U.S. forces.

Many comments seem to be ignorant of the laws of war, one of which is that prisoners taken on the battlefield may only be handed over to another authority if there is no possibility that they be tortured.

Quaint, I know, as that prime crook Alberto Gonzalez would protest, but those are the laws.

If Canada could not guarantee that, it had to make provision for detention of prisoners in a secure facility of its own.

But this isn't new. Richard Colvin, a Canadian diplomat in Afghanistan, warned of this more than three years ago. Stephen Harper dismissed it as "Taliban propaganda".

I wrote about this in 2007, here and here.

One of the diplomat's concerns was that Canadian soldiers could be complicit in war crimes if they transferred prisoners and knew what would happen to them.

But that's the Stephen Harper way. Don't like the law? Just ignore it. After all, he's the king.