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on to victory

By Diogenes (articles ) | Jun 02, 2004

William Luse has a Walker Percy-ish meditation on what it feels like to be accelerating down the slippery slope. Be forewarned: it's gruesome. Multa inter alia, he makes the following point about the Abu Ghraib photos that I haven't seen elsewhere.

[Englund] looked like she knew exactly what she was doing and enjoying it. As one who opposes posting women to such duty in the first place, what ****** me off about the now pregnant-out-of-wedlock Miss Englund was the danger to which she was exposing her fellow female soldiers. Imagine what will happen the next time one is captured. I don't think she'll be subjected to any run-of-the-mill rape.

He's right.

Part of the reason -- only part, and largely unexpressed -- that men have traditionally been convinced to leave home and family and take up arms was to prevent the kind of calamity in which their womenfolk would be forced to do so. The mental image of their own sisters, wives, and -- why not? -- mothers having to endure the ordinary degradations of military life, not to mention the horrors of battle, was repellent enough to overcome men's natural reluctance to undergo the hardships themselves. What victory meant was that you returned home to find your womenfolk with their limbs, their honor, and their human dignity intact.

By that criterion, of course, we've already lost the war. Thirty years ago.

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