Big Man posted on this over the weekend. Thank you for opening my eyes.
I believe that our soldiers have placed their lives in our hands. For whatever reason they may have joined the military they have effectively abjured many of the rights of civilian life and given themselves over to us, to be used as we see fit. We elect the people who put them in harm’s way. They serve each of us, whether we want them to or not. It is a sacred trust and we betray that trust when we allow their lives to be spent unnecessarily, but I digress.
Our armed forces are not only made up of men, but of women as well. Although women are not supposed to be serving in forward combat units the reality of Iraq is that there aren’t any safe zones, every soldier there is a combat soldier. This week, while Generals and Ambassadors speak with Congressmen and Senators about the war our soldiers will continue fighting and dying in Iraq, our veterans will continue suffering physical and psychological pain that most of those in the upper echelons cannot comprehend and that the rest of us don’t want to. In the shadows of all of this, away from the morning news and the hour-long investigative reports female soldiers are being raped and violently harassed in record breaking numbers.
These women are putting their lives on the line alongside men, they are leaving their families behind to wait and worry alongside men, and they are performing their duties alongside men. Each night as darkness falls in the barracks, on the bases where our soldiers are supposed to be safe these women are being savagely attacked in record numbers. Their attackers are not being court-martialed and many times these women have to continue serving daily with men who have brutally raped them. There is nowhere for them to turn. There is no justice.
Magazines and newspapers like Salon.com, The LA Times, and The Nation have broken stories on this atrocity, but the women risking their lives and their sanity for this country have been betrayed by their fellow soldiers, their leaders and we will compound that betrayal unless we speak up now and put a stop to this. Please follow the links and read these articles. I don’t think you will be able to stay silent once you do.
Many of you have readerships far larger than my own, I ask you now to share this news, don’t let them bury these women under statistics. I ask you also to e-mail your senators and your congressperson. Call your local newspaper and ask why no one is covering this story. From these numbers I can practically gauarantee you that there is at least one female soldier from your town who has lived or is living this nightmare. We can, we must put a stop to this and the first step is to shine a light into this darkness. Go on the message boards at CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX and make noise. Make enough noise that they can no longer sweep these women under the rug. We must speak for these women. We cannot accept this. This cannot stand. If we can’t help them then what are they fighting for?