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Home/Rod Dreher/More From SJWs Under Arms

More From SJWs Under Arms

Under the command of Capt. Merrill Stubing, USN (meunierd / Shutterstock.com)

Here are a couple of extraordinary letters from readers in response to the “SJW Pentagon” thread. Here’s the first:

I feel an urgent need to speak out in defense of the retired Marine, and to buffet his statement with my personal observations during my service with the U.S. Navy. I have slightly modified some information in order to protect my identity.

I served five years on board an East Coast aircraft carrier, with my time ending in the 2010s; during this time I deployed to the Mediterranean thrice. I was a deck seaman, and by the time of my departure I advanced to the rank of second class petty officer. While my service is substantially different from that of the Marine- I honestly take my hat off to him and cheer him- I can directly attest to the dire (and very real) impacts of social engineering on the military at the division level, meaning at highly localized levels.

By the time I arrived for duty, the policy of co-ed commands, especially with women serving with men aboard the “flat tops”, had been in effect since 1994. No doubt, the brass of our chain of command, both on board the ship and in Washington DC, lauded this program as a stunning success story of gender inclusion. However, this is what I directly observed:

* Sexual encounters on board the ship in berthings and other darkened spaces (both in port, out to sea, and on deployment). And, on the third deployment, the captain did NOT hold these sailors, both men and women, accountable. The Love Boat was tolerated and tacitly encouraged.

* Within a year of our second deployment, I personally knew over 30 female sailors who left our ship due to pregnancies. Over 30 SAILORS possessing a variety of skills that then had to be urgently replaced, right before a major deployment. Our division lost six (6) females within SIX MONTHS of the second deployment. Another left two days prior, and one was flown off the ship one (1) week later.

And the thing is, there are no repercussions for skipping out on deployments for these sailors. No Page 13s, nothing- they get to avoid sea duty for up to a year. Is that acceptable? Is that a Fleet we want and deserve as a nation?

* Unequal physical and body standards between men and women. Meaning, my lowest PT scores would amount to average, or even great, standards for most female Sailors.

* Females sailors are granted 18 weeks of maternity leave (now lowered to 12 weeks since I left), whereas men only have 10 days.

* Overall, I arrived to a Fleet where men and women are treated extraordinarily differently. In order to benefit women, men were given the short end of the stick. Some equality, eh! This is not a strong culture for the military. This modern military would not have survived one month during World War Two. Camaraderie is dead, except for the bastions of the Special Forces.

Let me be absolutely clear: I am NOT stating that women should be booted from the service and denied entry into the military henceforth. Women have served honorably for decades in this nation’s military. What I am saying is that men and women should NEVER serve together, especially not in forward deployed bases and sea going ships. The temptation for sexual fraternization, sexual encounters, flirting, favoritism, and all other absolutely inappropriate behavior far outweighs the need for military units to be morphed into Boys and Girls Clubs.

In order to restore good order and discipline, we need to return to gender separate commands. To detractors of this idea, I say that women have proven themselves completely capable of holding their own and leading their own commands. So, they don’t need men to succeed in this modern military.

Rod, I was hoping to honorably serve our nation for 20 years plus. But in this era of rampant political correctness, I could not fulfill this objective. The social engineers are out to completely emasculate the mighty Armed Forces of the United States. Overall, these radical ideologues have been successful. In terms of the Navy, the final objective of their demented social plans is to dismantle the strength of the U.S. Navy Seals, the last bastion of of traditional camaraderie and masculinity within the Fleet. The traditions and identity of the SEALs drive these ideologues completely insane. What is hindering them is a promise to not “lower the standards,” as the vast majority of these brave MEN do not wish for their lives to be carelessly destroyed because of sophomoric social policies.

However, lowering standards is the goal. Ray Mabus, political appointee and Secretary of the Navy, said that the SEALS should bring women into their ranks under, get this, FAIR standards. “Fair standards” is obvious code for lowered standards. The social engineers will not be satiated until the SEALS resemble a transgendered, half male, half female multicultural college team.

Does the Navy have a fleet of warships, or is it a fleet of fertility clinics at sea? Are we the mighty Navy, or Match.com Afloat?

Find the article here:http://www.navytimes.com/story/military/careers/navy/2015/05/27/navy-secretary-ray-mabus-women-female-seal-navy-combat-exclusion/27653965/

Here’s a follow-up from the retired Marine:

Didn’t expect you to use my entire email almost verbatim, needless to say I was quite surprised this morning, along with the passionate comments for and against my views on the matter. Had I known you were going to publish my words, I probably would have polished my arguments and language a bit more, but I stand by my sentiments, couched as they are in the language of the barracks. I wrote the email in a white hot heat, and I think you saw that the authenticity and the earthiness would probably provoke a lively response. I know now what you mean when you say you come across differently on the blog than in real life-I sound bitter, angry and reactionary, although I apologize for none of it. I spoke for the men in the ranks, in their idiom.

As to some of the commenters, I was pleased to see a lot of anecdotal evidence from fellow combat vets and families of combat vets supporting my views. The opposing viewpoints, however, came from people who clearly had no idea what that world I lived in for four years was like, or were intent on whipping the dead horse of the folly of intervention in Iraq, implicitly tarring me as a pro-war, pro-interventionist neocon, or a knuckle dragging, grunting Neaderthal (and probably a Trump redneck to boot), so let me remove the guise of the “grunt”, put on my academic face, and provide a nuanced, scholarly, missive, more palatable to those readers who have never had to squat in a fighting hole in the night with the stench of war in their nostrils, filthy, exhausted, and throwing the dice with death. I was what Kipling would have called a “gentleman ranker”, with a degree in history and a minor in military history before I enlisted in February 2001 and was thrown into a recruit training platoon on Parris Island with the poor kids, the immigrant kids, the rednecks and the ghetto refuse. It was sublime. I found myself there, and I fell in love with the Corps, the uniforms, the rifles, the fierce pride to earn the right to wear an Eagle, Globe, and Anchor, and be called Marine. The traditions of the brotherhood, the unbroken continuity stretching back two centuries, all were instilled in us as exempla to emulate, to never cause dishonor to our Corps and be like the men who had preceded us, as the names of our past battles and long dead heroes were recited. It was indoctrination, and it worked. Those traditions, those archaic concepts of honor, formed the bedrock of setting ourselves apart as a warrior elite. It was based on turning a heterogeneous collection of individuals into a homogeneous band of brothers.

Read Martin van Creveld’s The Culture of War. He argues that the culture of warriors has been disassociated, disconnected from the Western elites, the politicians, the businessmen, the arbiters of culture and in a newest twist, the very commanders of that military as well. The drones, the technology, has insulated war (and the warrior at the point of ground combat) from the people directing it. They see war as factors of technology, sanitized and clean. Look at Obama and Clinton and their hangers on watching the footage of the bin Laden kill. Voyeurs watching a snuff film, pretending that it’s just an “operation” that they can sip coffee in the “War Room” in their bespoke clothing and see a video game with little ants on a screen in night vision, laughing as real men kill and die before their eyes. It’s not real to them. Those dead men in Benghazi were just things to Clinton. “As flies to wanton boys, are we to the gods; they kill us for their sport…”

In their hearts they despise us, as Creveld calls them “Gremlin like creatures who really think war is the continuation of politics…and nothing else. Never having served, they are oblivious to the fact that war calls for the highest sacrifice of all, and that those who wage it are made of flesh and blood. Ensconced in their offices, they deal with mere abstractions…Pundits who, whether out of ignorance or snobbery, refuse to take the culture of war seriously are committing an error so momentous as to cast doubt on anything else they may say, do, or write about it. It all comes down to this foolish question, how to win’ (emphasis mine)

And this dichotomy has also fractured the military itself. The American military tradition since 1918 has been to emphasize firepower and technology over the infantry and combat arms. The technocrats believe that technology will render infantry moot in every war and conflict, and thus the “best and the brightest” (to steal a phrase from Halberstam) are not at the tip of the spear. Ground combat forces get neglected, starved of resources and innovators to the worshipers of the newest tech. Every war, they were proved wrong. Bombing Germany, Japan, Korea, Vietnam, the Balkans, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, or Somalia does not materially affect the ability of enemy ground forces from holding ground or doing what they want to civilians under areas they control. Airpower and firepower is transient. It can inhibit enemy actions but never can fully eliminate them, only make it more difficult for them to accomplish their goal, be it moving supplies on the Ho Chi Minh Trail or murdering millions of Jews in Poland. Only the infantry can take and hold ground from an enemy. Since the vast budgets go to tech, there isn’t enough to field more divisions of well trained infantrymen to effectively control ground. Thus we have enclaves of ground troops who cannot properly blanket an enemy country and squeeze the life out of insurgency on a local level. Thus we have to rely on half trained, barely motivated auxiliaries to make up the manpower deficit from the locals such as the ARVN or whatever opportunists come out of the woodwork in the Muslim world. The only answer the military gives is “more firepower, applied from 10,000 feet”- which means the grunt fights on and on, finding himself estranged from his own commanders, who know the path to promotion is in the tech side espousing “innovation” and increasingly indecipherable gobbledygook from the bureaucracy. The warrior is isolated from the controllers of the tech, and increasingly bitter that some pimply, overweight computer gamer sitting in some air conditioned office thinks he’s a equal because he pilots a drone and kills from half a world away, and this is the crux of the matter. That isn’t “war”- war is the kid with a rifle who has to hump 100 pounds of weapons and gear up hills and through the maze of some sun blasted foreign city and shoot some jihadist animal in the face. That means he has to entrust his brothers with his life. That means he has to know that the grunt beside him won’t get pregnant, have a vaginal infection, and has the upper body strength to drag 200 pounds of wounded rifleman out of danger. It means that lowering physical and mental standards doesn’t produce better soldiers, but a Bowe Bergdahl, who deserts his brothers when they need him most (Bergdahl failed to complete Coast Guard recruit training before managing to enter the Army even though his discharge stated he was “unsuited” for the military-what he was doing in a supposedly “elite” army unit is beyond me, as his commanders knew there was something desperately wrong with him)

Not that I’m in favor of interventionist wars and more infantrymen to fight them. Far from it. I had to fight in one, and one was enough for me.The question becomes, firstly, to stay well clear of foreign wars like George Washington warned so presciently in his Farewell Address. If, however, war is forced upon us, then we fight it ruthlessly to victory and get out. I don’t care about “nation building”, nor do I care about how nations order their own affairs internally. Woodrow Wilson’s doctrine to make the world safe for democracy has no appeal to me when I came home to a country far less free and democratic after fighting her war, and with a head full of demons and a broken body. Congress hasn’t declared war since 1941. Instead we get these small, quasi wars and insurgencies, that burn on and on and on. We live in a situation where, for ten years, part of the country (the lowest socioeconomic class, white and black and brown) served in the infantry and fought, in the regulars, and came home alone, while the rest of the country just paid lip service to “supporting the troops” by dragging out the flags and some pogue who shuffles paper in some National Guard unit to stand awkwardly and receive adulation at the 50 yard line on a football field. War was the background to those of my peers who stayed home and built careers and families and got fat and happy while we suffered in obscurity half a world away, who look upon us with incomprehension, disdain, or pity now, as the veterans of my war commit suicide at a runaway pace, including Marines I served with. I remember the day when Fallujah fell to ISIS, and needing to, called a brother Marine. We sat quietly, smoking cigarettes and drinking beer on the patio of a local bar. Sam looked at me and said, with a tinge of sadness, “Well, now we know what those Vietnam guys felt like.” As we sat there, wrapped in our thoughts, I looked around at the other patrons. To them it was just another day, and the word “Fallujah” meant nothing at all to them, and everything to us. We felt betrayed, bitter, and alone.

As for the “racial integration worked, so Mr. Marine is just a racist/misogynist/homophobe” argument, again, it obfuscates the real issue. Racial integration is a non sequitur. Whatever color they are, combat infantry were men, with men’s bodies. You wrote a story recently about an Alaskan teenage boy who claims to be a girl dominating track and field as a “female”. The male MMA fighter who became a “woman” and beats his opponents mercilessly has been mentioned before as an example. Do you think it’s sexism that there are no female players in the NBA, the NHL, or the NFL? Its because professional sports is intensely, violently,  physical, and women cannot compete when put on that field. People who have never been an infantryman, an artilleryman or a tanker have no conception of the physical demands placed on your body. It isn’t just pulling a trigger. (if marksmanship was all that war was fat guys who can shoot paper targets would then be our best soldiers, no?) The reason that women think they can play in the big league of war is that we automatically stack the deck in their favor. Women do not have to perform at the same physical standard of men right from the beginning of recruit training. I linked the article, by a female Marine, no less, who lays out the case on barring females in combat units on a physical and practical level.

But It goes beyond that merely physical argument, and into the meat of the issue of transgenders, homosexuals and women into the heretofore exclusively masculine world of combat. It strikes at thousands of years of culture, across societies all over the world. War, real war, is a supremely physical endeavor, but our recent Western obsession with feminizing men and masculinizing women has completely ignored this basic fact of biology. However, combat is not just physical, but mental. Men are, by and large, hardwired to be violent under certain circumstances and cultural taboos. I challenge any anthropologist to find any tribal society, now or ever, anywhere in the world, where the men were gatherers and the women hunters, or where the women were warriors while men raised children. It flies in the face of human development to claim women can be trained to hunt and kill other humans like men can. And there, in places where the bureaucrats don’t like to go, is where the heart of war lies. It’s getting blood on your hands.

However, the problem that all these meddlers in human nature fail to get is the deep, mystical psychology of combat. Real men should be ashamed that we are sending their daughters, wives, and mothers into harm’s way, to be exposed to that brutality, or as Shakespeare said, “to hold their manhoods cheap” while they allow women to do what men should do-protect women and children from harm. I don’t hate women. In fact, I love them so much that I was willing to kill and die for them. I dated a girl once who’s mother asked me over a dinner why I was dead set against women in combat. I looked her straight in the eye and said “I was expendable. Your daughter is not.”

As for the “Spartans were homosexual and they were great soldiers” argument some are so fond of quoting, lets be clear on just what Spartan homosexuality was. It was most emphatically not the “love wins” rainbow flag homosexuality of today. Essentially, the agoge was enforced child rape from around age 12 or so. Ancient Greek, Persian, and Roman homosexuality (and the Muslim kind practiced in Afghanistan etc.) was more of a prison rape than a consensual act. It was about exercising dominance and penetrating anything seen as “weaker”-such as male and female slaves or social inferiors. Coincidentally, using the Spartans also demolishes the premise that homosexuality is innate or genetic instead of learned behavior, unless we are to think that 100% of Spartan men were born gay. Homosexuality was also seen as a stage permissible only before a Spartan warrior married a woman. Thenceforth he was expected to sire children and thus perpetuate more Spartan hoplites. The agoge system aimed to do exactly the opposite of the homosexual and transgender and female policy of the DoD today-that is, weld men into a ruthlessly efficient killing machine.

Whatever anyone says, what they miss, and what I know is that a combat unit is not just interchangeable parts. A solid combat unit has a personality, based on the smallest components and working up. Four men in a fire team must learn to trust each other, rely on each other and bond intimately together to survive. That extends upward to the squad, the platoon, and finally the company. The introduction of any element that does not mesh completely with that, that stands in any way differently physically, mentally or socially from the majority, and is given special privileges above and beyond the others, will wreck a unit. Sexual politics replaces combat efficiency. Promotions and punishments are no longer performance based, but gendered or transgendered. Above all, it wipes out that trust necessary to fight on a battlefield.

In a follow-up note, the writer adds:

I bear no ill will towards homosexuals. Those dead in Orlando were Americans too, and they did not deserve to be slaughtered by another Islamic barbarian. I fought for them, too, to live as they wish. What I did not fight for was to have their lifestyle or beliefs imposed on me, or anyone else. All they deserve from me is tolerance, and that is what I voluntarily give, but no more. I will not be coerced. I bow to no man on this earth. What really scraped me raw about the transgender DoD announcement was the tone of it, just like the Obergefell decision. The smug, triumphant, veiled truculence of imposing their will on those they deem regressive, the celebratory lighting of the White House in rainbow colors, it smacks of the self satisfied smirking of Trotsky as he tells the Constituent Assembly in 1917, “You are pitiful isolated individuals; you are bankrupts; your role is played out. Go where you belong from now on, into the dustbin of history.”

This Marine is a very, very good writer. He sent me a photo of himself in Iraq, on deployment.

UPDATE: From the mailbag, related to this entry:

Didn’t add this in comments in hopes of staying mostly anonymous as well.

I am an Air Force officer on active duty orders and, without rehashing what was posted, I can attest to the truth of these statements.

A mere four years ago, Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was official DoD policy. Now, we have an entire month dedicated to Pride celebrations. I do not begrudge gay men and women serving this country nor do I think they are incapable of service. As anecdotal proof and for what it’s worth, I rated a lesbian as my top troop which earned her a promotion. Furthermore, I had a gay civil servant who worked for me who I also, on her annual appraisal, rated extremely highly, maximizing her annual bonus.

I say that only to say that 1) I haven’t personally held any merited individual back and 2) sadly, if my religious views on this particular matter were to be made known, I would likely not be granted the same tolerance. The same individuals I held as examples to their peers could easily lodge equal opportunity complaints against me that affect my ability to lead, to be promoted, and, ultimately, could result in my discharge from the military. I reiterate, it’s been four years since gays have been able to openly serve and, in that short time, they’ve gone from facing potential discharge to wielding so much power that anyone who does not wholly affirm their lifestyle could now potentially face discharge through equal opportunity complaints.

Needless to say, eggshells are being walked upon by me and by others holding orthodox religious views.

I have gone from fully expecting to serve an honorable military career to questioning whether or not it’s in good judgment to stick this out. I’m considering using what’s left of my GI Bill to learn a skill or trade suitable to a Ben Op lifestyle, a decision that would be not of convenience or even preference, but of necessity.

Remember kids, the Law of Merited Impossibility: It will never happen, and when it does, you bigots will deserve it.

There was a second e-mail. This one was full of highly identifying personal information, which I’ve totally excised. The writer is in the US Navy Reserve, having served on active duty until recently. He finds himself drawn to return to active duty to serve his country, even though he’s part of running a business now, living among his extended family, in a beautiful part of the US. He writes:

So here I am, on the cusp of disappointing my parents and sister to go back and serve my country, give up my pretty lucrative business (or at least alter it significantly), uproot my wife and children, move to Norfolk, VA (no paradise like [where I live now]), and now I have to deal with the idea that not only will I have to lead sailors who are mentally ill (according to the DSM), and not only lead them, but will be reprimanded, ranked lower, and lose all chances of promotion (and maybe be thrown out before the golden retirement) if I don’t play into their fantasy that they aren’t the gender their genitalia and chromosomes clearly dictate.

On top of my own personal situation, I have to think about the fact that integrating less than 1/10th of 1% of the population into the military, and all the costs of training and time associated with this (berthing, medical, training videos and presentations, logistics, lost work days) is more important than spending the money necessary to adequately supply the fleet with parts and supplies to meet readiness needs. Furthermore, I’ve seen DOZENS of great sailors kicked out for what’s called high-year tenure, whereby they don’t meet promotion criteria and quotes and are therefore let go, despite being pretty good sailors (who maybe can’t take a written test well, or don’t meet physical standards enough) only to see, again, people with a mental disorder being celebrated and ushered in. We’re downsizing, doing more with less, and we’re importing more problems into the military because this administration (and the other powers that be – corporate, government bureaucrats, etc.) wants to play social experiment with my beloved Navy.

Rod, maybe this is a blessing in disguise that this happens now instead of in a few months when I’m committed to full time active duty. Where I’m struggling however is this – am I a coward for not going in as a Christian witness to help spread the gospel no matter the consequences. Plenty of brave men did so as Christianity was spreading like wildfire through the Roman Legions despite the imminent danger to themselves and their families. All I stand to lose, for now, is my career. Is it worth the potential blaze of glory? Or, should I put my family first and just completely resign my commission? I’m probably at the point where it’s one or the other – in full time or out completely, because this reserve stuff is ridiculous and I can’t go back and forth.

Am I just a coward for not standing up to this nonsense? The stakes are high. I’ve served my country honorably. The job I had in the Navy is a dream come true for me. I love the Navy. But the Navy isn’t the same, and it might destroy my life now if I choose it as a career again and I can’t comply with the agenda.

What do I do?

God help this man decide. I think if he goes back, he will eventually be compelled to violate his conscience, which he will refuse to do, and will therefore be discharged. His life may not be ruined, but he will be in a mess. Not worth it, not to me. You can’t stand up to this nonsense. The DoD, now owned by the LGBT lobby, will flatten you.

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. A veteran of three decades of magazine and newspaper journalism, he has also written three New York Times bestsellers—Live Not By Lies, The Benedict Option, and The Little Way of Ruthie Lemingas well as Crunchy Cons and How Dante Can Save Your Life. Dreher lives in Baton Rouge, La.

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