The Feminist Road to Abu Ghraib
by Angela Fiori
Albright, on Fox News May 7, stated that she was shocked and sickened
by the U.S.-sponsored S&M show at Abu Ghraib prison. This
is the same Madeline Albright who said that she thought it was "worth
the price" to starve (at the time) an estimated half a million
Iraqi children with U.N. sanctions.
Abu Ghraib scandal, more than any U.S. military scandal in recent
memory, has exposed the utter depravity of allowing women to enter
the armed services. As pictures of the tomboyish U.S. Pfc.
Lynndie England made their way around the world last week, it turns
out contrary to some reports that labeled her a guard at the prison,
England was actually an inmate-processing clerk. In other
words, the multiple photos of her dragging a man across the floor
on a leash, giving the thumbs up over a pile of nude Iraqi men,
and standing in front of hooded men pretending to fire rifle shots
at their penises, these photos were all taken while she was visiting
her boyfriend, Cpl. Charles Graner, while he was in charge of prisoners
at Abu Ghraib.
is now detained at Fort Bragg in North Carolina, four months pregnant
with Graner's child. Hence even if she hadn't participated
in the Abu Ghraib S&M Show, she wouldn't have remained in service
and been much use to the military. Playing probably an ever
bigger role in the scandal than England was another woman, Sabrina
Harman. Harman took the photos (note
feminist Laura Berman's attempt to blame
the male Graner for this), participated in torturing the hooded
Iraqi seen in one photo standing on a box with wires coming from
his hands, wrote "rapeist" on another prisoner's leg,
and best yet, posed for a photo with a corpse, a man who had been
beaten to death at the prison. While Harman's parents are
claiming she took the photos to document the abuse, other evidence
indicates she was an enthusiastic participant, often running and
jumping on piles of stacked, nude Iraqi men to crush and hurt them.
prominence of women in the scandal has produced several columns
from feminists and fellow travelers attempting to deflect blame.
These defenses, though, highlight how weak their arguments really
up is Salon's Cathy Hong, dumbfounded
that women could ever display acts of cruelty. Hong ironically
mentions the heated debates of the 1980s when feminists argued that
women would be a civilizing influence on the military, indeed a
force that would serve to vitiate the innate barbarity of men.
So what happened at Abu Ghraib? Clark University feminist
Cynthia Enloe has the answer: the women were "under a
lot of pressure to fit into a highly sexualized, masculine culture."
According to Hong, this male chain-of-command explanation
is the one gaining ground in Washington D.C.
astoundingly stupid, even for D.C. First, it's a concession
(unwitting to be sure) that despite huge inroads in not only the
military, but its academies (West Point, Annapolis, CO Springs)
and military-style colleges (VMI, The Citadel, etc.), women have
failed to civilize the culture of the military. (As if the
oxymoron of "civilized military" ever made sense in the
first place.) The second problem is that high up in this evil
"male" chain of command (above Graner, whom the feminists
are focusing on) was no other than a woman: Brigadier General
Janis Karpinski, who oversaw Abu Ghraib and two other prisons.
Karpinsky, thankfully, has been relieved of her duties.
up were several strange commentaries (e.g., here
that drew a polar contrast between England and last year's female
"hero," Jessica Lynch. But where is it? True,
Jessica Lynch didn't torture anybody but (contrary to early reports)
was never tortured herself. Indeed, the prisoners of Abu Ghraib
were never treated as well as Lynch was in the hands of the Iraqis
who saved her life. Lynch herself admitted that the whole
Pentagon account of her bravely fighting off hordes of hostile Iraqis
to the last bullet was a lie. The story was true, but the
courageous fighting was actually done by Sgt. Donald Walters, who
died in battle.
up is the usual neocon psychopath. At this point most people
think of V.
D. Hanson, but no, this time it's Charles
"Strangelove" Krauthammer. Krauty has discerned
that not only do radical Islamic militants hate us for our "freedom
and democracy," they hate our "liberation of women"
too. The war, see, is "deeply about"...sex.
informs us that Islamic militants are unique totalitarians because
of "their particular hatred of freedom for women...For the
men, that is a pretty good deal one threatened by the West with
its twin doctrines of equality and sexual liberation."
my friends, just may be the most intellectually dishonest piece
of writing in this whole war campaign of lies and deceit.
It's definitely news to those of us who don't worship Rousseau and
Naomi Wolf that the twin doctrines of Western Civilization are "equality
and sexual liberation." The upshot of the neocons' handiwork
in Iraq is that the country (if it stays unified) is moving steadily
toward becoming a Shi'ite Muslim state. When that happens,
Iraqi women (particularly the type Krauthammer and Neocon Co. especially
hate Christians) will long for the freedom they had under
amenability of women to military careers was always a myth.
There's now as much sex occurring on Navy ships as in the back seats
of cars. Kara Hultgren was never an ace pilot, but died in
1994 trying to land an F-14 on a Navy carrier. The Navy tried
to cover up her incompetence by first blaming the crash on a mechanical
failure. The real investigation found that she'd been cleared
to fly despite twice committing the same landing error that eventually
killed her. My all time favorite case of alleged female heroism
is that of Linda Bray. Bray was the female hero of Panama
who allegedly, à la Audie Murphy, braved wall upon
wall of enemy fire to accomplish her objective. After the
dust surrounding the tall tale of her "valor" began to
settle, it turned out that her real mission had only been to secure
a dog kennel.
these lies plus the problems at Abu Ghraib are piled on top of (no
pun intended!!) the usual enraging stories about physical double
standards between men and women and the added costs to the military
of intersex fraternization. The solution to all these problems
is for the military to do for women what it did for General Janis
Karpinski: remove all of them from duty in the armed services
Fiori [send her mail]
is an occasional contributor to AgainstTheCrowd.com.
© 2004 LewRockwell.com