Let the annual bromides begin.
He wants it rooted out, pronto. Same as he wanted it rooted out last year, and the year before that. And just to show how much he cares, he's punted the scandal of a 37% increase in military sexual assaults in one year over to yet another wishy-washy defense secretary to
I’ve … indicated to him that we not only have to step up our game but exponentially go after it,” Obama said.It is never a good sign when the big boss frames dealing with a rape epidemic among his troops in terms of a sport. Women being beaten to a pulp in the good old boys' club? Just step up your game, fellas; shoot a few hoops, have a few beers.
And you know it's a bad sign when even one of the Senate's most outspoken feminists frames her outrage in jingoism. My comment to Maureen Dowd's column today:
Sen. (Kirsten-NY) Gillibrand said, "Obviously, there's a failing in training and understanding of what sexual assault is and how corrosive and damaging it is to good order and discipline and how it's undermining the credibility of the greatest military force in the world."
How about undermining the rights of the victims? I'm hearing echoes in American officialdom of the Vatican response to the child sex abuse scandal. How awful that the failure of a few sickos damaged the rep of the Church, what with its grand history of inquisitions and crusades and extermination-by-disease of native peoples. How terrible for American Empire that serial rapists are now harming the "good order" of the biggest war machine on the face of the earth, interfering with our capacity to invade, bomb, occupy and operate an obscene 1,000 military bases abroad, even as our leaders impose cruel austerity here at home.
It's not a lack of training. It's too much training. It's training generation after generation how to kill, and rewarding them for it with stars and bars and perks. Rape has been a feature, not a bug, of military cultures since the dawn of time.
That it's so rapidly escalating in our own armed forces is an indication that our military itself has grown too large to control, just as our banks have become too big to fail. We have entered the new age of American feudalism.
Restore good order and discipline. Cut the Pentagon budget, stop the wars, heal the corrosion right here at home.