In this post I’ve already accepted that I am going to offend just about everyone. Conservatives for not being patriotic (aka flag worship). Liberals for being “anti-woman.” The meek for being blunt. The laconic for saying things in eleven paragraphs that could be said in one. Statists for opposing their will. Generic anti-authoritarians for seeking to impose my own (albeit through persuasion). Veterans and soldiers for not blindly thanking them for their service. Leftwing anti-imperialists for even (if only for the sake of argument) accepting the premise of a national military at all. Reactionaries for daring to say I believe in equal rights. Progressives for daring to say I see a distinction between moral duties and the law. To offend was not my goal at all, but the idea has grown on me. I relish the prospect of possible backlash.
I am of the opinion that a military should be the best it can be for the purposes it was intended to serve. This is mostly separate from my opinion as to what purposes that military actually should serve.
Given this position and the fact that women generally are not predisposed to the same things men are (I side with team 1 in the nature vs. nurture debate) it is not hard at all for me to conclude that putting women in combat is among the most absurd things imaginable.
Can some women beat the tar out of some men? Sure they can. Can some be stronger, smarter, more emotionally stable, and more adaptive? Sure they can. Those are all outliers. Besides, the vast majority of both men and women are nothing special in terms of combat skill. Nor do they need to be. Soldiers do not exist for the purpose of winning wars. Rather, they are, as Henry Kissinger allegedly said to Alexander Haig, “dumb, stupid animals to be used.” If the case was anything other our entire military would be made up of Sea, Air, Land teams (although perhaps not even they are above being used).
But if your goal is to fight wars to win, regardless of whether that war is just or not (was there ever a just war?), putting women on the front lines is plain stupid and should indicate to everyone that the United States military is nothing more than another idiotic social program.
But if one of your goals is to foist “equality” upon everyone, then by all means, send every available human being you can to the meat grinder. And when you run out of volunteers, like when the regime finally loses its legitimacy in the eyes of the majority, get yourselves some conscripts. Just make darn sure you don’t discriminate in favor of those who are more likely to deliver the goods. That would be totally unfair.
I’m all for equal rights for women, as a matter of law and ethics. But when you are talking about stealing and “borrowing” billions and then trillions of dollars to impose, through force, the will of one nation upon as many others as possible, against the will of a substantial minority and perhaps against the knowledge of a majority, law and ethics are already no longer of concern and the best you can hope to achieve is some measure of pragmatism. It is not pragmatic at all to send women to go be thugs and enforcers. It is also not pragmatic to send them to their own possible demise.
As a purely moral consideration, rights are not the common denominator, so it is perfectly acceptable for someone of the libertarian persuasion to oppose the exercise (though not the enforcement) of legal and ethical rights, even under the best of circumstances (like an armed forces that does not eliminate the choices, and destroy the reputation, of the entire populace of a nation, whether they were on board with the imperialism or not; an essentially privatized or localized armed forces).
Those crying for “equality” for women, in the context of furthering the goals of imperialism (see some of my thoughts on US involvement in World War Two, the last supposedly non-imperialistic US involvement, here, here, here, and here, and look for more to come), are entirely disingenuous (or ignorant). If they truly cared about equality they would do better to think of the equal rights of brown colored foreigners to live and self-determine before getting their panties in a twist over women [formerly] not being allowed in combat.
Oh! And since when did public servants have “rights?” Are they not under a contractual obligation (the terms of their hiring as well as their oath) to do the will of the people (channeled by the text and the intent of the Constitution)? As far as I am concerned there is not a public servant alive, not a single one, not even amongst the ones I consider paragons, that was not somewhere, at sometime, in breach of their obligation, until proven otherwise. Why should I give a flaming detritus about their “rights” when my assumption, from the start, is they have already trampled on someone else’s?
But for all this, guess what! I decided that I don’t even really care that women are in combat. Why? Because I hope they get what is coming to them. That is in no way harsh. It is just the most blunt way to put, “I believe in personal responsibility.” They made their bed. Let them lie in it. So if they kill some bad guys, great. If they kill some innocents I hope they feel remorse (actually, I hope they face some actual consequences, but since I know that is not as likely to happen, I’ll start out small). If they make it home alive I hope it wasn’t because they were cowards and that they do come to realize their mistakes. If they die, I hope it was in the context of defending their friends. If it wasn’t, odds are it’s not worth shedding a tear over. This sentiment applies the same, for me, to all genders, races, religious or philosophical perspectives, and sexual orientations. How’s that for equality?