imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Subscribe Calendar Publish RSS
Tell the NSA: StopWatching.US

Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

CopWatch LA

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List





IMC Network: www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech
printable version - json version - email this article - view hidden posts - tags and related articles
link:

Those Women That Serve Us

by Sudhama Ranganathan Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013 at 9:14 AM
uconnharassment@gmail.com

When engaged in combat situations it only makes sense to say that the armed forces is a dangerous place to be. It only follows; people go in knowing this danger exists, though it is unlikely any person can be fully prepared for the horrors of war. The realities of bombs going off around them and the cries of the men and women fighting alongside them can't be prepared for with anything like even the most purposefully random drill or intensely real movie or video game. There are bullets, grenades and other devices being targeted at you with malicious intent, and there are no outcomes the enemy of the United States of America desires at that moment, but to see you dead.

Those Women That Ser...
thosewomenthatserveus.jpg, image/jpeg, 460x276

During peacetime, however, barring any training mishaps, an American military base should be the safest place on earth for those serving this great nation. It should be as secure as the US Mint, after all, what people would there be to pose a threat to our servicemen and women? What force on earth, save exceptions like the the man responsible for the Ft. Hood Shootings or Timothy McVeigh, could pose a threat to those soldiers?

Even during moments in our history when we are at war, back home and on bases located overseas, but in stable relatively peaceful regions, our men and women ought to be able to go about their day sans the worry of attack, as what place could be better for them than the base they are stationed at? Guarded by their own, policed by their own and trained to always watch each other’s backs, that is what they continuously prepare for in squads, platoons and any other sized units they may train in. The mentality is to always be there for the people you serve with, to always protect them like a brother or a sister. After all, that's what they are as a part of the US Military.

The greater the person's rank, the greater the responsibility to protect and look out for the welfare of each and every soldier that falls under that person's command. The greater the rank, the more they should be ready to fight for the safety and security of every person that falls under their purview, with the kind of dogged toughness and focus befitting a US military officer. All soldiers must be protected regardless of considerations like religion, race or gender.

And this is the image many people have as civilians. We know nothing is perfect of course, but we view the military as being far more disciplined than the civilian world, and therefore, when a member is attacked or harmed in any way in 2013 by another military service person, we expect it is just not tolerated. We expect there are measures in place to deal with the problems, and bring about the kind of moral and honorable justice befitting the world's most powerful armed forces.

As such, it typically comes as quite a surprise when we find things out that prove, at times, just the opposite can be true of our military in terms of law, order and discipline. It's the kind of thing we don't often want to look at, it's the sort of thing we often turn away from when we hear it, because it hurts, and as such it is usually not considered polite conversation. However, facts prove there are times when military justice has huge holes and there are no higher-ups, and few outsiders in the world of politics, with the courage to step up and do a thing about it.

Perhaps the best and simultaneously saddest example can be seen in the victims of military rape. Our armed services have an atrocious record of rape, and when it comes to prosecuting the rapists, it's even worse. In fact, rather than protecting and making secure and safe the victim, the victim often gets blamed, and charged with things like adultery (because the rapist was married) etc.

Here are some startling numbers, “in FY 2010, there were 19,000 sexual assaults among Active Duty personnel […] In 2010, 1,025 actions were taken by commanders on the grounds of sexual assault, in 2011 there [were] 791 [actions taken] -- a decrease of 23%. The number of initiated court-martials fell 8%, from 529 in 2010 to 489 in 2011. The number of perpetrators convicted of committing a sexual assault decreased 22%, from 245 in 2010 to 191 in 2011.” (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nancy-parrish/rape-in-the-military_b_14345...)

This has been a growing problem and that can also be seen in the numbers just going back a couple of years. “The Pentagon said it received 2,923 reports of sexual assault across the military in the 12 months ending Sept. 30 2008. That’s about a 9 percent increase over the totals reported the year before, but only a fraction of the crimes presumably being committed.

“Among the cases reported, only a small number went to military courts, officials acknowledged. The Pentagon office that collects the data estimates that only 10 percent to 20 percent of sexual assaults among members of the active duty military are reported, a figure similar to estimates of reported cases in the civilian sphere.’ [. . .] That increase includes a jump in cases from combat zones in Iraq and Afghanistan, to 165 from 131 the year before.

“Congresswoman Jane Harman, a congressional critic of the military’s handling of sexual violence, said the statistics show the problem is still rampant. […] the California Democrat said in a statement. 'Military women are more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire in Iraq.'” (http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2009/03/18/new-statistics-on-milit...)

The military is in fact much more lenient when it comes to rapists and the like and does not protect the women that help protect us. As CNN put it, “If you serve in the U.S. military and you rape or sexually assault a fellow service member, chances are you won't be punished. In fact, you have an estimated 86.5% chance of keeping your crime a secret and a 92% chance of avoiding a court-martial. […] Staff Sgt. Peter Vega-Maldonado, admitted in a plea bargain to having sex with one woman. His punishment is 90 days in jail, 30 days of hard labor, reduction in rank and forfeiture of $500 a month in pay for four months. He will be forced to leave the Air Force but without a bad-conduct discharge.

“After striking this deal with prosecutors, Vega testified that he actually had improper contact with 10 trainees. He is not immune to further prosecution, but his admission of guilt cannot be used against him in future procedures. Each victim will have to come forward, and the prosecution will have to start from scratch.” (http://edition.cnn.com/2012/06/21/opinion/speier-military-rape/index.htm...)

Recent numbers generated by surveys done at military academies have shown things are worsening. In fact, “Secretary Panetta expressed dismay at the figures themselves, which also showed that more than half of all women and 10 percent of men said they had been sexually harassed in the past 12 months. The response rate to the survey among the male and female students at the US military academies ranged from 67 to 88 percent.” (http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/Military/2012/1221/Sexual-assault-reports-j...)

These numbers are well known, and though minor lip service has been paid, neither President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Attorney General Eric Holder or really even Defense Secretary Panetta have had much if anything to say about this. I seriously doubt anybody will be interviewing ret. Gen. David Petraeus on the matter any time soon. But they should all be outspoken and vocal about protecting these women that have worked to carry out their orders, objectives and have risked their lives to protect theirs and every other Americans. To not do so is cowardly and shirking their responsibilities as American leaders that have the power to change this immediately.

These servicewomen have earned the right not to be raped and/or otherwise sexually assaulted on the job just as much as women do in civilian life. Recently, a judged dismissed a case regarding military women being raped and sexually assaulted, because in his words it was “an occupational hazard” inherent to the job. Really? So the message is, 'if you serve you have a really high chance of getting raped – much higher than in civilian life? Oh and, BTW, you might get killed by enemy fire but that risk is actually less.' Gonna wrap that around a Hummer, and park it outside a mall? How dignified sounding...

To read about my inspiration for this article go to http://www.lawsuitagainstuconn.com.
Report this post as:
Share on: Twitter, Facebook, Google+

add your comments



Freenet/Sone comments box:

This is a comment system called babcom, which is a decentralized, anonymous, encrypted, troll-resistant, comment system that runs atop Freenet. These comments are not stored on this IMC server - they exist in the Freenet cloud, and you must be running Freenet and Sone to see the comments. Install Freenet and try it out.

Use Node:

⚙ Babcom is trying to load the comments ⚙

This textbox will disappear when the comments have been loaded.

If the box below shows an error-page, you need to install Freenet with the Sone-Plugin or set the node-path to your freenet node and click the Reload Comments button (or return).

If you see something like Invalid key: java.net.MalformedURLException: There is no @ in that URI! (Sone/search.html), you need to setup Sone and the Web of Trust

If you had Javascript enabled, you would see comments for this page instead of the Sone page of the sites author.

Note: To make a comment which isn’t a reply visible to others here, include the red link below somewhere in the comment text.

Add this link to the comment:

Local News

New ID Verification Feature on this Site O21 1:06AM

Sierra Club endorses activists for Water Board O20 2:02PM

INDY has been hijacked or sold? to commentators ? O17 9:58AM

Columbus Day Protest, Downtown L.A. O14 4:44PM

Demonstration in Los Angeles: In Solidarity with Kobani O11 12:23PM

Voters Rally Against Proposition 1 Outside the Beverly Hills Mansion of Water Barons O03 5:35AM

The Uber-fication of the Democratic Party O01 2:16AM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Activists Hold Prayer Vigil for Lexi Dillon and Jonah Rief in Orange County O31 2:32PM

Fed Ends QE O31 1:58PM

fbi,federal/state/local cops team up to commit crimes O31 8:43AM

Ferguson: an episode in the war class O31 7:04AM

Iowa Libertarian Candidate D Butzier Died In A Mysterious Plane Crash... To Whose Benefit? O31 7:00AM

Cracks in US/Israeli Special Relationship? O31 2:16AM

“Da’ Hip-Hop Wizzard of Oz,” an Upbeat Version of the Classic Story, Comes to you in April O30 11:46PM

The Shortwave Report 10/31/14 Listen Globally! O30 5:17PM

Vote!!!! O30 3:58PM

Israel's War on Islam O30 1:35PM

Murderous corruption at fbi, DPS, Texas AG, O30 9:46AM

America's Rogue Agenda O30 7:02AM

The Myth of the Unexpected Crisis and Security O30 5:56AM

Irresponsibly Targeting Russia O30 3:47AM

De Malik Oussekine à Rémi Fraisse, éréthisme policier O30 12:27AM

America's Deplorable Afghanistan Legacy O29 1:54PM

CT Republican Candidate For Gov Disappears An Island O29 1:02PM

In Ohio Governor Race, Disturbing Facts About John Kasich Emerge O29 9:52AM

Lavrov on Ukraine O29 3:40AM

Duplicitous Ukrainian Electoral Postmortems O28 1:41PM

Iowa Senate Race: Candidate Joni Ernst Voted To Block Women's Access To Contraceptives O28 9:39AM

Ukrainian Electoral Postmortems O28 7:31AM

Reinventing Vietnam War History O28 3:16AM

USA Government Is Overthrown O27 1:18PM

Putin Addresses World Order Rules O27 12:44PM

Neoliberalism has brought out the worst inus O27 10:41AM

MSM Misinformation on Ukraine's Parliamentary Electioms O27 9:24AM

Crisis of Freedom O27 5:00AM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2003 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy