Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Whither women in the war?

Kathleen Parker makes an excellent point about the extremely weird roles American women are being used for in this war against a violently misogynistic culture:

Various reports out of Gitmo suggest a consistent pattern of X-rated behavior by women toward men. (For a list taken from documents recently released to the American Civil Liberties Union under the Freedom of Information Act, go to Even if such behavior weren't offensive to the Muslim world we're trying to charm with our democratic ways, it should be condemned by us. Instead, it is apparently a policy, if unspoken, to use women in ways we never would condone in civilian life and that certainly would get men punished if roles were reversed. The MO even has a name: the 'sex-up' approach. Pithy. In some instances, (civilian) women interrogators at Gitmo partially stripped, and fondled themselves and the male prisoners, who sometimes were forced to strip in front of women. In one particularly loathsome example related by a former U.S. Army linguist, Sgt. Erik Saar, during a '60 Minutes' interview, a female interrogator put her hands in her pants, where she had hidden red ink. She then wiped her reddened hands on the detainee's face, telling him it was menstrual blood. Again, this clearly doesn't qualify as 'torture' compared to electric shock and beatings, but it's still wrong as ballet boots. And even though this particular prisoner was especially worrisome -- a Saudi training at an American flight school -- employing a woman to perform some elaborate misogynistic kabuki seems not so much torturous as depraved. The war on terror, which is also a battle of perception, is daunting enough without our handing ammo to the enemy.
I do not ascribe to the "treat these battle-hardened Muslim warriors with more respect than we show American prisoners in American prisons" viewpoint, but I think there's something profoundly wrong -- and sexist -- about the way women are being used in this war. They are not being used as comrades and soldiers; they're being used as sex objects, in the worst and most demeaning way, and it doesn't matter that their sex is being used against the enemy.