A G Rated War

By streiff Posted in Comments (11) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »

On the heels of other scandals in Iraq, there is finally one that elements of left and right will finally be able to unify in opposing. It seems that Defense has been sponsoring dance troupes to visit installations in Iraq.

Just to be clear, we’re not talking about the Bolshoi Ballet we’re talking about the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders and now, gasp, the Purrfect Angelz.

Read on.

The story has been brewing for at least a year and leapt onto the national scene with a snark-ridden article by the New York Times’ Michael Gordon entitled Dancers Land in Iraq. Marines Offer No Resistance.

Hands on their miniskirted hips, Amber and Renee posed at each side. Dani stood behind and held the marine’s rifle as the camera snapped the photo. Some of the young marines who lined up for the memento were so mesmerized by the experience that they had to be reminded not to leave their weapons behind.

The “Purrfect Angelz” are no strangers to touring the war zone. Last year Scripps Howard ran an article bemoaning the decadence that allowed them to entertain the troops.

Sharon Kibiloski is in Baghdad, and she's fighting mad.

The target of the U.S. Air Force captain's ire is the U.S. Army - and what Kibiloski views as the Army's misguided efforts to raise troop morale by sending a scantily clad female troupe called "The Purrfect Angelz" on a two-week tour of military installations in Kuwait and Iraq.

A lavender flier advertising the troupe's Baghdad show portrays a quartet of women wearing faux military uniforms that consist of headgear, halter tops and hot pants. According to its Web site, the Angelz' act consists of singing, provocative dancing and acrobatics.

"The show only appeals to men, and in my mind has the potential to increase sexual advances toward female soldiers afterward," Kibiloski said in e-mails and reiterated in a telephone interview. "To me, if the military really cared about sexual harassment, they would not sponsor such a show."

Kibiloski, who is serving as a public affairs officer in Baghdad's International Zone, stressed she was speaking not in her official role, but as an outraged woman.

I’m sure those who are against this are well intentioned (though one can’t help but notice Captain Kibiloski’s views on the effects of men seeing women partially clothed is remarkably similar to that held by fundamentalist Muslims) but they really need to get a life.

Ann Margaret and Raquel Welch toured Vietnam, Marilyn Monroe toured Korea, Betty Grable and others toured with the USO during World War II. I think it is safe to say that they didn’t make those tours to engage in discussions of political philosophy and comparative religion. They toured because they realized that soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines away from home represented the key demographic of their fan base: young, sex deprived men.

We went through twenty years of feminization of the military. A concerted effort was made to change the military from a workplace where women were treated with respect to a workplace where the feelings of women were paramount. The highlight of the equality jihad was the purge of the ranks of naval aviation in the wake of the Tailhook kerfuffle. The reign of terror the Defense Advisory Committee on Women In The Service (DACOWITS) carried out against military readiness cannot be underestimated.

None of this is to denigrate the contributions made by those women who have served but to highlight that those traits which we traditionally associate with the feminine are uniquely unsuited to the functioning of military units, particularly units in combat.

Units in combat are primarily young men aged 18-25 and in the immortal words of Rudyard Kipling

An' if sometimes our conduck isn't all your fancy paints,

Why, single men in barricks don't grow into plaster saints;

Now that the issue has wended its way into the august pages of the New York Times, I’m sure we will hear more about it… loudly…. And screenchingly. I hope the services don’t buckle to the inevitable pressure. A young Marine lance corporal who’s in danger of having his fourth point of contact thoroughly ventilated by a roadside bomb or gunman deserves something more satisfying in the way of entertainment than The Wiggles.

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If anyone is looking for books on the subject of the feminization of the military, look for The Kinder, Gentler Military by Stephanie Guttmann. She actually spent time with troops, and has the perspective of someone who cares about the feminist movement, but realizes that there are some areas where it goes too far, the military being one of them.

On a personal note, let me state that, when my ships were deployed, there would often times be cultural events set up in some of the ports we visited, for people to learn more about a country and its people, and attendance was rather modest. Let me also state that, when the Washington Redskins cheerleaders visited the naval base we were visiting and the cheerleaders stopped by our ship, sailors didn't know it was coming, and there was still about 50 to 100 people (out of 350-400) standing on the flight deck, cheering them on. I don't know why, though...there were cathedrals to see!

Don't be afraid to see what you see.-Ronald Reagan

What better way is there to remind soldiers what they're fighting for? Under Islamfascist rule you can forget about cheerleaders, not that you could find any willing to do floor exercises in a burqa.

If the DoD pulls these performances then they need to fly soldiers back to the States more often at government expense so they can recreate in their own fashion.

Anyone who advocates pulling these morale-boosting acts ought to be made to sit in a cramped uparmored Humvee with full battle rattle (helmet body armor, weapon and ammo with MREs stuffed in cargo pockets) to pull route security missions. Heat and dust optional but highly encouraged. Walking a mile in another's shoes can be highly educational.

This happens every war; I'd call it neo-Puritanism, except that the comparison's insulting to Puritans...

The Fuzzy Puppy of the VRWC.

Like the left, they wish to impose their aesthetic on others. It's seen all over the place, from the PTC and AFA ginning up indecency complaints from people who may not have seen or heard the shows in question - and just take the word of interest groups as to what was said/done when they file the complaints.

Now, they are trying to tell hotels what they can or can't provide in the way of entertainment - never mind that nobody is forced to turn on a TV or watch a specific channel if they do choose to watch TV in a hotel while on vacation.

A short example:

Obviously, the military trains frequently, in order to keep up to snuff. When a ship is underway, they will frequently hold battle stations/general quarters for training purposes. During these, if you are in a "wartime/attacked" scenario, you will not hear that al Quada or China or North Korea has attacked up. Instead, we've had attackers such as the terrorist group 'Backstreet Boys' (not that I'm denying that their music is torture), and countries such as the 'People's Republic of Carthage,' and even Country Green and Country Blue. Apparently, we don't want to upset our enemies. They might not like us anymore.

The problem is on a widespread level. We are so worried about offending someone that we pull out anything that might be offensive, treat our soldiers and sailors like little kids, and generally serve as a social lab. The Left today would hate Patton, who is famously known to have remarked, "...no b**tard has ever won a war by dying for his country. You won it by making the other poor dumb b**tard die for his country." Now, we don't want to offend people. My granddad remembers having girlie pictures hanging up wherever he was allowed to put them up. Now, in the Navy, you can't even put up a Maxim-style picture in a locker that nobody else will see. I actually seen a friend of mine get non-judicial punishment because he had a 'naughty' picture in his locker, and it was found during a random inspection looking for potential drugs and alcohol onboard the ship. You can't expect to recruit saints and get killing machines. It's like recruiting a drug addict to run the ministry in your church. It might happen one day, but the person's mind needs to be on the same plane as your organizations in order to be fully capable of doing his or her job.

I could go on and on, but I am tired of writing.

Don't be afraid to see what you see.-Ronald Reagan

At least for keeping the countries involved "quiet". Keep in mind, we had "War Plan Orange", not "War Plan Japan". The "Rainbow" designations were kept for the purpose of not complicating diplomatic relations (which is a good thing).

Now, writing up a guy for a Maxim centerfold is going too far.

These are countries and terrorist groups that are not our friends. Furthermore, there was nothing unique about the drills. It was an unclassified scenario that everyone on the ship participated in. That is my point: there is no secrecy needed. Rather, it is simply an exercise in not offending anyone. Good for diplomacy, but if countries and groups don't realize they are not on our good side, then I don't think we have to heavily strategize for them.

Don't be afraid to see what you see.-Ronald Reagan

I bet you dollars to donuts that the Maxim poster did not actually offend someone, but someone interpreted that it could offend someone. We see this ever so often in today's society. People interpolate how someone else will feel about something - often by inserting their own biases - and single-handedly enforce their new code.

People who are offended have a right to escalate the issue. If they are not willing to do it then either 1) they are not offended after all, or 2) the offense is so small as to not warrant any action. No one else can arbiter this, which is why the key to any harrassment policy is that the offended party *must* take action first in any proceeding (barring egregious situations of course.)

And as for the female captain, her complaint reminds me of the Germans who complained about the Grafenwoehr range. They just didn't like the booms and bangs that went along with living near a major artillery range. However, Grafenwoehr has been in use since before World War 1, so you have to ask what right does someone have to complain about a situation that preexisted them? This Air Force captain joined a service that had female entertainers performing for troops well before she ever took a breath, so who needs to change?

It wasn't offensive to the person, but it had been deemed beforehand (supposedly) in the area of offensive, and therefore contraband, material.

I asked someone in the chain of command later if they wanted a Maxim poster now or that sailor getting STD's later. Needless to say, I didn't get a response, other than the basic equivalent of my mom and dad saying "Because we said so."

Don't be afraid to see what you see.-Ronald Reagan

If anything, it only makes people more resentful of the "authority" that says it.

I read that article at the Times last night and my take on it was that they were a little snarky, but weren't being as tut-tutting and disparaging as they could have been. I actually thought that by the end of the piece they were expressing some grudging acceptance of the fact that the show was pretty tasteful and provided a welcome distraction for a few hours to bunch of guys who are in the line of fire. The real criticism comes next week (or maybe tomorrow) I suppose, when everyone at the University of Michigan Law School weighs in.

As far as my personal opinion of it, I'll say this: if the DoD is forced to stop funding these kinds of little distracting morale boosters, we should all take up a collection and fund them ourselves. I saw the Purrfect Angels at a motorcycle event a while back, and I came away unscathed. A little sweaty, maybe, but unscathed.

I am a hawkish warmonger with a crusty demeanour and a heart of steel. But I have a softer side.

 
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