Jun 21 2013
One should respect public opinion insofar as is necessary to avoid starvation and keep out of prison, but anything that goes beyond this is voluntary submission to an unnecessary tyranny.
Recently, there has been a video that has gone viral in military blogging circles and elsewhere, showing the Chief of Staff of the Australian Army, Lieutenant General David Morrison, making tough talk on the issue of sexual harassment in the Australian Army.
A lot of people have been impressed by this video with his plain spokeness and tough talk. I am not in the least impressed-and see this video in a much different light.
Just more pap for the masses.
A cheery “Fuck you mate”-would appear to be required in reply.
There is nothing new here-save for his actual endorsement of the long held feminist ideal, namely criminalizing speech which runs counter to the party line. That has been the stated and unstated objective in the American military as well, especially as the years have passed and women have proven “indispensable” to the service of the Armed Forces. As this blog has proven repeatedly in many posts over the past 7 years-it’s complete and utter nonsense. It would appear that Gen Morrison through either active coercion or actual belief, has bought into the myth as well.
Now I do not know the details of the Australian case, but I think without knowing exactly what occurred, the world-and the Australian military, might not want to be in such haste to condemn the rest of the service for the bad acts of a few people. Yet as in the United States that appears to be exactly what is taking place.
There are legitimate policy arguments that still need to be held about the social revolution that has engulfed the armed forces of the Western Nations, policy discussions on fairness, affects on readiness, and over all common sense of many of the decisions that are being made in the service of the diversity industry that I know is present in the United States and appears to be in place in Australia. Some very knowledgeable and brave individuals have spoken out on these policy issues and taken a contrarian view, namely that of that every societal change comes at a cost to the society making it. Expanded roles of women in the military do have a cost and if the last 20 years have proven anything, it is that the administrative overhead of running a mixed gender force is huge. And it will continue to be greater than that involved in a single gender outfit.
Now to hold that point of view is not the same as endorsing misconduct. It would appear that the Australian offenders violated the cardinal rule of existence in today’s brave new world: 1) Know your environment and 2) never conduct conversations with your female co-workers that are not strictly limited to required professional matters. As a gun owner would say, “treat every gun as if it was loaded.” The adage applies to male / female interactions in the work place. “Always, always, always, be on your guard-and watch what you say or do.” The consequences of failure to do so-appear almost weekly on the cover of Navy Times.
It is a cold day in hell when I agree with Wall Street journalist James Taranto, but the snowballs appear to be being tossed around in the infernal regions today. Taranto has pointed out the complete hypocrisy with which our elected leadership is behaving with respect to empowering our military leadership to deal with the issue of sexual harassment in the ranks:
In March, President Obama nominated Gen. Helms to serve as vice commander of the Air Force Space Command. But Sen. Claire McCaskill, a Missouri Democrat who sits on the Armed Services Committee, has placed a "permanent hold" on the nomination.
At issue is the general's decision in February 2012 to grant clemency to an officer under her command. Capt. Matthew Herrera had been convicted by a court-martial of aggravated sexual assault. Ms. McCaskill said earlier this month that the clemency decision "sent a damaging message to survivors of sexual assault who are seeking justice in the military justice system."
To describe the accuser in the Herrera case as a "survivor" is more than a little histrionic. The trial was a he-said/she-said dispute between Capt. Herrera and a female second lieutenant about a drunken October 2009 sexual advance in the back seat of a moving car. The accuser testified that she fell asleep, then awoke to find her pants undone and Capt. Herrera touching her genitals. He testified that she was awake, undid her own pants, and responded to his touching by resting her head on his shoulder………
It's fair to say that Capt. Herrera seems to have a tendency toward sexual recklessness. Perhaps that makes him unsuitable to serve as an officer in the U.S. Air Force. But his accusers acted recklessly too. The presumption that reckless men are criminals while reckless women are victims makes a mockery of any notion that the sexes are equal.
More important, Sen. McCaskill's blocking of Gen. Helms's nomination makes a mockery of basic principles of justice. As the general observed in her memo: "Capt Herrera's conviction should not rest on [the accuser’s] view of her victimization, but on the law and convincing evidence, consistent with the standards afforded any American who finds him/herself on trial for a crime of this severity."
On Friday the House passed a defense bill that would strip commanders of the authority to grant clemency. That would be a mistake. The Herrera case demonstrates that the authority offers crucial protection for the accused.
Military officers and lawmakers alike swear an oath to "support and defend the Constitution of the United States." In the case of Matthew Herrera, Gen. Helms lived up to that commitment. Will Sen. McCaskill?
The point he makes is exactly the same one I made a few weeks back. These steps to deprive convening authorities of their discretion in court martial cases is dangerous-and full of unforeseen consequences. The recently passed action by Congress requiring minimum sentences and the inability of a convening authority to overturn a sexual harassment case, doubly so. They are stupid restrictions, passed in a knee-jerk fashion. And worse yet will be unevenly applied. Have a penis? Get fucked at the drive through. Have a vagina? Here, take a tissue and lie down on the fainting couch-and let me pencil you in for your interview on “The View”.
Let me say it again, there is a difference between misconduct and sincere opposition to poorly thought out and poorly implemented policy. The former is just stupid, the latter is noble and something that happens not nearly enough in our military today. And that, Gen Morrison, is where your smooth sounding speech just falls apart. There are people who care too much about the proud traditions of the service, to see it sacrificed all too quickly on the altar of political correctness.