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View Diary: Army chief of staff on sexual assault: 'Maybe we have a bigger problem than I imagined.' You think? (120 comments)

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  •  Very good point. (24+ / 0-)

    There is also the problem that rape is a crime therefore it is a legal matter and needs to be handled by people who know the law.
    Generals don't know the law.

    •  Nor do they seem to understand the (12+ / 0-)

      nature of the crime.  I happen to believe that beating the hell out of someone isn't that much different for various reasons, but I also know that rape and sexual harassment are different especially for victims - and in the context of the military that is even more magnified because the service people who are victimized in this way have to stick around a keep serving - and the attackers being able to stick around, too makes that situation on so many levels well beyond untenable - AND really undermining to creating an armed forces that is strong and cohesive.

      Please note that my comments are based on some very unpleasant first hand personal experiences.  So, please if someone reads this comment and makes the leap that I don't "get" sexual assault/harassment - pleases go back and read what I have said more carefully.  Also, for anyone it is important to understand that rape and sexual harassment are crimes of violence first.  They are crimes of cruelty, control and victimization in the most humiliating way.  But in my mind a beating without sexual intrusion is just as horrifying and terrible for various reasons.  Honestly, I wonder if the military chain of command believes that both are basically "ok".  We know from enough stories that they have given passes to people who carry out violent hazing in the ranks maybe believing that is a part of training and weeding out the weak.  That's a possibility - but what they are doing is undermining the "fraternity" and "sorority" that could be built to create a stronger military fighting force - one based on trust and not fear/retribution.

      But what do I know?  The only thing that I think I do know is that for every action, there is a reaction.  If the action is bad, it is a high probability that the reaction will also be bad.  So, maybe allowing bad shit to happen without any formal reaction is resulting in bad reactions - and that plan seems rather foolish for a whole host of reasons - not to mention the fact that real people's lives are often totally destroyed when they try to do anything about it.

    •  Rape is a crime, assault is a crime also (7+ / 0-)

      There are several reasons for the General's ignorance.  One is surely hre predominantly male culture of the military and the Power it gives people as they rise in the hierarchy, both power over others and power to command destruction of the enemy.  Rape is a crime of dominance, not a sexual act.  That is why armies sometimes commit wholesale rape when they vanquish the enemy.  This was pretty standard historically right through a good part of WWII and into Vietnam.  These impulses have to be deliberately curbed, which the US tried in WWII.  Of course when you have men who believe God ordained men to be dominant, it doesn't help.  Nor does it help that we lowered standards after 9/11 so we could avoid the draft and keep the volunteer army.  Taking people with criminal records and not expecting them to commit further crimes is pretty optimistic.

      Another very real problem is that women just aren't that important to these guys, it would seem.  Until they hold the purse strings for their budget.

      The is no reason for commanders to deal with allegations of criminal assault.  This is kind of like the Catholic Church insisting it have the sole power to punish abusive priests not the courts.  Both are medieval attitudes with no place in our culture.

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      by Mimikatz on Tue Jun 11, 2013 at 08:31:00 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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