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Excerpt: "The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a challenge on behalf of four US servicewomen against a ban on women being deployed in most combat roles."

BBC: 'Marine Corps Capt Zoe Bedell said existing rules had blocked her advancement in the Marines.' (photo: unknown)
BBC: 'Marine Corps Capt Zoe Bedell said existing rules had blocked her advancement in the Marines.' (photo: unknown)

US Servicewomen Challenge Combat Role Ban

By BBC News

28 November 12


The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a challenge on behalf of four US servicewomen against a ban on women being deployed in most combat roles.

he lawsuit filed in a federal court in San Francisco argues that the policy is unconstitutional.

Women can serve in front line positions in the US military, but they are barred from ground combat units.

A Pentagon spokesman said 14,500 combat positions had been opened to women under the current defence secretary.

He added that Defence Secretary Leon Panetta had "directed the services to explore the possibility of opening additional roles for women in the military".

But ACLU lawyer Ariela Migdal said the changes so far were "not enough". The lawsuit argues that continuing restrictions violate servicewomen's constitutional rights to equality.

One of the plaintiffs, Marine Corps Capt Zoe Bedell, said existing rules had blocked her advancement in the Marines.

"The military is the last place where you are allowed to be discriminated against because of your gender," she said.

Women account for about 14% of the 1.4 million active US military personnel.

The lawsuit launched on Tuesday says they are barred from 238,000 positions, but also alleges that they are already serving unofficially in combat units. your social media marketing partner


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+5 # Vermont Grandma 2012-11-28 16:49
One keeps hoping that women in the military will come to realize that Marine Gen. Smedley Butler spoke the truth when he wrote "War is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious....I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism."

As a 60+-year-old grandmother, I keep hoping that women, military and non-military, will refuse to participate in this racket and refuse to let their loved ones do so. It is very disappointing, instead, to find that military women are suing to be able to go into combat just like the men do.

Gen. Smedley Butler also said, "Like all the members of the military profession, I never had a thought of my own until I left the service. My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of higher-ups. This is typical with everyone in the military service." I wish the ACLU had provided Zoe Bedell with this quote and required her to read Smedley Butler's work before filing a suit on her behalf.
+3 # sibbaldflats 2012-11-28 21:50
Damn straight, Vermont Grannie. Maybe these women (and men who sign up) are hoping for a noble crusade to come along that's worthy of their dedication. They'll be waiting for Godot. It's pretty incredible that after the last decade of war, they still don't get it.
+1 # RMDC 2012-11-29 05:26
Yes, I too keep hoping that women will have more sense than men and refuse to fight in wars. War is always about the rape of another nation. The marines used to sing a song while running with the line "we kill all the men and fuck all the women." Raping women has for millenia been one of the spoils of war -- Read Euripedes, "The Trojan Women." It women realized that the point of war is to give men on a huge scale the same feelings of power and destruction that rape does on an individual scale, maybe they would turn against it. War is instutionalized rape. Why would women or anyone want to be on the front line of combat.

Vermont Grandma is right to cite Smedley Butler's comment about people's minds being in suspended animation while in the military. It is that way by design. Soldiers are mentally and emotionally terrorized and brainwashed by thier officers. This is the foundation of PTSD that later on destroys the lives of so many veterans.

Men will never lead the resistance to military enslavement. But women can. I hope the ACLU loses this lawsuit.
+3 # babaregi 2012-11-29 05:47
As a conscientious objector from the Vietnam War era, I completely agree about the "War is a racket" business and would hope that those in the service will come to an understanding of General Butler's criticism.
Having said that, I also support any woman getting the rights she deserves (especially a woman willing to put herself in harms way along with the men) and not being held back by the patriarcal power structure. And let's bear in mind, this is really all about power and who wields it.
It's a complex issue but asking womaen to take a backseat role in the world isn't the answer.
-1 # Doc E 2012-11-29 08:34
While equlity is a good thing, understanding the forces nature is something else. What do these women think will happen to them if taken alive on the battlefield? And to my anit-way friends, what has allowed this country to arise to the level it has without fear of invastion like what happened during WWII?
0 # Archie1954 2012-12-04 23:02
What this lawsuit will do if it's proponents win is force all women to be utilized in combat. There will be no discretion once the court approves women in combat.

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