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Ackerman reports: "An Air Force brochure on sexual assault advises potential victims not to fight off their attackers."

A U.S. Air Force brochure on sexual assault has come under fire. (photo: U.S. Army)
A U.S. Air Force brochure on sexual assault has come under fire. (photo: U.S. Army)

Air Force Brochure Tells Sexual Assault Victims to 'Submit'

By Spencer Ackerman, Wired Magazine

08 May 13


n Air Force brochure on sexual assault advises potential victims not to fight off their attackers.

"It may be advisable to submit [rather] than resist," reads the brochure (.pdf), issued to airmen at Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina, where nearly 10,000 military and civilian personnel are assigned. "You have to make this decision based on circumstances. Be especially careful if the attacker has a weapon."

The brochure, acquired by Danger Room, issues a series of guidances on "risk reduction" for sexual assault. Among others, it advises people under sexual attack in parking lots to "consider rolling underneath a nearby auto and scream loud. It is difficult to force anyone out from under a car." A public affairs officer at Shaw, Sgt. Alexandria Mosness, says she believes the brochure is current.

While the brochure also explains that sexual assault is not always committed by people who "don't look like a rapist" - attackers "tend to have hyper-masculine attitudes," it advises - it does not offer instruction to servicemembers on not committing sexual assault. Prevention is treated as the responsibility of potential victims.

"Rapists look for vulnerability and then exploit it in those who: are young (naive); are new to the base, deployment, area, etc.; are emotionally unstable," the brochure (.pdf) continues.

All this comes as the Air Force, and the U.S. military more broadly, deals with the fallout of the service's sexual-assault prevention and response chief, Lt. Col Jeffrey Krusinski, getting arrested on sexual-battery charges on Sunday. During a Senate hearing today, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), grilled Air Force officials on how Krusinski was placed in his post. "His record is very good," Gen. Mark Welsh III, the Air Force's chief of staff, said, citing a lack of warning signs in Krusinski's prior service.

Welsh said he and outgoing Air Force Secretary Michael Donley were "appalled" to hear of Krusinski's arrest. "We will not quit working this problem," Welsh continued.

Pages from the brochure were provided to Danger Room by Protect Our Defenders, an advocacy group that raises awareness of sexual assault within the military. The organization's spokesman, Brian Purchia, described it as an example of the military's myopia about a problem that top leaders like Welsh have sworn to take seriously.

The brochure is "an affront to victims", Purchia told Danger Room. "The Air Force should be passing out pamphlets to our men and women in uniform on how not to commit sexual assault. ... This brochure is just the latest in a long history of failed programs and policies. The military's sexual assault prevention campaigns are rooted in a wrong headed 1950's paradigm."

The military does some of that - not without controversy. An artistic group called "Sex Signals" has performed for airmen to teach scenarios about sexual assault in what an official Air Force release called "a ‘lively and humorous' way." (The group's founder, Gail Stern, says the effort "utilizes the strategic and intentional use of humor to reduce the emotional and cognitive resistance audiences have to the subject of rape.") The Army has a video game designed to instruct soldiers about the dangers of "alcohol-induced date rape." The military has also come under criticism for a poster advising servicemembers to "Ask When She's Sober," which the New York Times blasted as a "grotesque parody of an etiquette poster."

Rape-crisis counselors sometimes advise, like the Air Force brochure does, that there are circumstances whereby fighting back against an assailant is a bad idea. Purchia doesn't dispute that. "You can always identify some circumstances," he said, "but as a general rule research indicates and it's generally understood that fighting back often can fend off the attacker and usually does not lead to greater injury."

"To any rational person this is completely backwards and shows the scope of epidemic," Purchia continued. "Fundamental reforms are needed - the reporting, investigation and adjudication of sexual assault must be taken out of the chain of command."

That's a step that the military has been reluctant to take. At today's hearing, Welsh and Donley expressed concern that doing so might pose a risk to "good order and discipline," as Donley put it. ("This is not good order and discipline," replied Sen. Kirstin Gillibrand of New York.) Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel took a more limited step last month by proposing to prevent commanders from overturning verdicts in criminal cases, after the general in charge of the Third Air Force voided a lieutenant colonel's sexual-assault conviction.

Congress needs to approve changes to the Uniform Code of Military Justice for that to happen. Today, Sens. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) introduced a bill that would "refer cases to the general court martial level when sexual assault charges are filed or to the next superior competent authority when there is a conflict of interest in the immediate chain of command."

This afternoon, the Pentagon will release its annual report on sexual assault prevention and response. Reportedly, it will estimate that there were 26,000 instances of sexual assault - about 70 per day, as Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) previewed - up from the 19,000 reported in last year's report. As ThinkProgress' Hayes Brown noted, only 3,374 such cases were reported to authorities. The military might be the one hiding under its cars.

Update, 4:45 p.m.: According to the newly-released report (it's a huge, two-volume .PDF) the Pentagon indeed estimates there were 26,000 incidents of sexual assault over the past year, and 3,374 reported cases of such. Out of those reported cases, 1,174 servicemembers were recommended for "command action" - either judicial or administrative punishment. Of those, 594 were proffered for criminal charges; and 460 cases have been completed. Thus far, 238 people were convicted of at least one charge of sexual assault. (See page 73 in the first volume for these stats.)

Defense Secretary Hagel, in a press conference this afternoon, said that "the frequency of this crime and the perception that there is tolerance of it could very well undermine our ability to effectively carry out our mission, and to recruit and retain the good people we need." Hagel outlined a number of administrative steps to improve accountability for setting command climates intolerant of sexual assault throughout the military. But Hagel stopped short of removing responsibility for investigating and prosecuting sexual assault from the chain of command, as several members of Congress want.

"I don't think taking it away - the ultimate responsibility away from the military, I think that would just weaken the system," Hagel said.

But the door isn't closed. An independent panel mandated in the last defense bill passed by Congress will study whether the chain of command ought to be removed in investigating and prosecuting offenses.

The Pentagon report found that of active-duty servicewomen who reported experiencing sexual assault to a military authority, only 38 percent said they experienced no form of retaliation. Of the much-larger cohort of active-duty servicewomen who did not report their sexual abuse, 50 percent did not do so because they "did not think anything would be done"; 51 percent declined to report "did not think [the] report would be kept confidential"; 47 percent "were afraid of retaliations/reprisals from the person(s) who did it or their friends"; 43 percent "heard about negative experiences other victims went through who reported their situation"; 28 percent "thought [their] performance evaluation or chance for promotion would suffer."

Fully 94 percent of mid-career to senior officers who declined to report their sexual assault - that is, majors/lieutenant commanders; lieutenant colonels/commanders; and colonels/captains - did so because they "felt uncomfortable" making such reports. your social media marketing partner


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+31 # taraskydancer 2013-05-08 12:55
Well of coarse they declined to report,. It is a criminal offence !
Most females decline to report becos they come to feel they are interegated and it is they who brought it on!
Abuse is rampant in ohr society globally,. It is scaresly even addressed and
cerainly not a police priority!
QThe problem lies in educating men to respect women,. ,
It disgusts me how women are teeated in society,.. interesting is it not,. That a maes conquests make him the "Man" and oh so macho,. Yet women,. Are sluts ,.the bitches and the ho's,. , worse still is the gansta mentallity that have been conditioned this way,. And even worse the women who not only refer to themselves in a derogitory manner but actually allow men to speak to them this way ! Women are thinking and feeling intelligent beings,. Witjout which man would mot survive,.. after all the man just plants the seed,. The wonan produces life itself,.. educating men,. To respect and honour women not only as an equalbut also a hhighly valued equal,.
Nit is way past due thatblittle boys with toys who are conditioned to grow up and use bigger toysvas wrapons realized that they are pawns to an empre that considers them expendible and does not even care or them ! Just tools ;of the empre,. Thatbonly think with their tools
-70 # 2013-05-08 18:14
Wrong the woman can take a bit of variety enjoy the fun of the orgasm, then cry for compensation later. Ha Ha. Why not, prostitution ceases to become slanderous this way?
+26 # kalpal 2013-05-09 05:09
Were you raised to be stupid or did you achieve it all on your own by dint of hard work?
+25 # bmiluski 2013-05-09 08:05
I hope that one day you will experience the orgasmic joy of a rape. With a broom up your a.....
-15 # FDRva 2013-05-08 22:20
Methinks the lady may have a point--but I am not exactly sure what it is--since she types and spells like she is on drugs.

Anyone who has ever resided in a barracks knows that the biggest 'sexual harassment' issue in the military is not of the heterosexual variety.
+102 # Barbara K 2013-05-08 14:31
That piece of trash had to be written by men. My daughter is a victim. She was in Navy Intelligence and on her way home from duty one night she was attacked, beaten nearly to death and raped. No woman should ever have to submit to that. It was done by a Marine Military Police, at that. He was just sent to another base to continue raping. My daughter spent 3 weeks in the hospital recovering from the beating and was given a medical discharge. Where is the fairness in that? The victims of rape get raped again by the system. She has never been the same. They really need to jail these rapists forever.

+65 # giraffee2012 2013-05-08 15:32
Barbara K: I am so sorry about your daughter - and hope she can some day get justice by knowing she is above the trash that raped her and those that allowed the rapist go unpunished.

She served our country and got thanked by a bunch of hoodlums that are given gold stars for being males who have no respect for their mothers (or any woman) What a tragedy.

To get into Navy Intelligence, she had to pass tests with high scores and learn many things so she is a smart lady. I hope she can find a path to peace within herself soon.
+27 # Barbara K 2013-05-08 18:57
Thanks, Giraffe2012 and X Dane: Yes, she had 4 years of college, entered at a higher rank for that. She was a Lt. That attack had damaged her so much that she has been disabled ever since. It was several years ago now, and it looks like she will not improve any more. Her rapist should be in prison for life. It was also an obvious attempted murder. She was a little person, 5'2" at 110#, but put up quite a fight, just not big or strong enough for the pissant who did this to her.

+2 # dovelane1 2013-05-12 05:54
Barbara - I was truly saddened to hear about your daughter.

As most of the people who have to deal with rape will tell you, rape is not about sex, it is about control. It is about having power over someone, rather than power with.

One thing I've thought might start to change society and male attitudes is to tell all men that a rape of this or any nature, is a crime committed by a coward. Those people who are doing this need to be told, and need to understand, that there is nothing brave or courageous about this kind of act.

Scratch the surface of a bully, and you will find a coward. To me, rape appears to be bullying carried to an extreme. (I was bullied from 5th grade until I graduated from high school.)

Perhaps if the social stigma of cowardice is attached to bullying and rape, it might make some men look at their behavior more closely, and not allow them to rationalize what they might think about doing.

Or maybe not. When a person gets to the point of needing to control others, the denial may be so strong, it wouldn't matter what stigma was attached to the acts of bullying or rape. Those are the dangerous ones.

In many ways, we live in a culture of violence, (rape being one of its forms,) in which people are violated and used by those in power in all kinds of subtle and impersonal ways. The rape of your daughter seems to me to be the most personal kind of violation.
+37 # X Dane 2013-05-08 17:15
I am so sorry for your daughter, d you, for when something awful happens to our children it affects us too.

So THIS is the finest military the world has ever seen. There are WAY too many hoodlums in it.

It needs a thorough scrubbing and cleaning. And the perpetrators MUST have jail time, and then they should be thrown out of the service, no matter what their rank is.

The victimized women should NOT have their careers damaged.

If it were not so hard to find work I would say to women stay out of the military. You are i more danger from your fellow servicemen than from the enemy.

Unfortunately the women need to make money, so they are in danger. That is sickening.
+18 # bmiluski 2013-05-09 08:07
It needs to start at the top and investigations need to be taken out of the hands of the military.
+21 # L H 2013-05-08 19:52
"They really need to jail these rapists forever."

...And castrate them. Men need to learn respect and humility. If they cannot use their body parts responsibly, it can be taken away - just like misusing a gun! Every woman is a mother, potentially. Would they do this to their own mother?

This has got to stop! If the consequences included castration, I wonder if that would slow down the rapes?
+14 # T4D 2013-05-08 21:10
Long ago there were states who sentenced sex offenders to castration. I think this ended because these "castratos" continued to offend, beating women horribly. Chemical castration might work.
+12 # kalpal 2013-05-09 05:11
Look to the Roman Catholic Church for the guidance the military employs in enbaling and protecting sexual assault.

The military will always blame the victim for having been present when an attacker could no longer resist abusing power and inflicting harm on others.
+11 # bmiluski 2013-05-09 08:08
Isn't that the same attitude (excuse) the Taliban uses when they abuse women?
+7 # Anarchist 23 2013-05-09 14:26
Dear Barbara K, I am so sorry to hear that about your lovely beautiful smart daughter. 'Man's justice' that is the laws that man has made is in absence in her case. One hopes that the surer Karmic justice will have its way. I hope your daughter can find some peace and new strength. Every woman somewhere knows a part of what she feels for all of us have felt it in part or unfortunately in whole. Perhaps she can find some healing in a shamanic journey such as a woman's circle, a drum circle, something of that nature. Because her inner core is strength. She fought valiantly. She may have been overcome, but she is not necessarily defeated. I hope she can find a path back again to her brave, true self. Best wishes,
+5 # Barbara K 2013-05-09 15:52
Anarchist 23: Thank you for your kind words and encouragement. She was engaged to a marine stationed in California at the time. They got married about a year later and she had a little boy, and adorable boy. She is teaching him how to treat women. Meantime, her husband was having an affair when the son was 3 and got his girlfriend pregnant and wanted a divorce to marry her. How is that for adding insult to injury? She now no longer trusts men. Her son, my grandson, is a wonderful, gentle, softspoken, caring young man. Too bad some mothers don't teach their sons as she has taught him. He is a straight A student in all subjects and looking forward to engineering college when he graduates. He is so softspoken that sometimes it is hard to hear him speak. Now he would be a catch for any woman when he grows up. Even likes to help clean the house. lol. Like the song goes: "Teach Your Children Well".
0 # giraffee2012 2013-05-13 17:11
Barbara - Even if she does not trust men (in the romantic way) there are men (friends) who support her position and if she finds friends like these - I hope she lets them into her and her son's lives.

Helping others (in organized and unorganized groups) has introduced me to such friends.

Your grandson is like the men I grew up with (but that was a LONG time ago) - and there were hoodlums then too.
0 # Cassandra2012 2013-05-12 15:24
So sorry about your daughter... everyone here needs to make it a point to rent (e.g. from Netflix which has it) the excellent award-winning film, *The Invisible War* which makes it totally clear how the system rapes and abuses the victims (both male and female) and why. Apparently, the chain of command is only interested in not jeopardizing their possible promotions, not in justice or in truth.
+78 # Working Class 2013-05-08 14:43
The General who overturned the conviction should be asked by President Obama to resign his commission. That would send a message throughout the military that this is a serious issue that will not be tolerated
+16 # pushingforpeace 2013-05-08 19:34
I wonder how lenient he would be if it was HIS daughter!
-6 # FDRva 2013-05-08 22:34
Actually, unreported homosexual sorts of sexual assault is a much larger problem in the US military.

And I expect that the White House will ignore that--for reasons--very Bush-like--havi ng to do with the, ahem, preference, of big dollar Wall Street donors.
+6 # Anarchist 23 2013-05-09 14:28
All rape against anyone by anyone is bad. this should indeed be an issue but one need not reduce the problem of the one to get attention to the other. All rape of anyone of any sex is bad and should not be permitted, subtly encouraged, and then swept under the carpet.
0 # Cassandra2012 2013-05-12 15:29
FACTS would be more useful than your ingrained prejudices.
Do have the courage and integrity to see the film given awards by Sundance among others, *The Invisible War*, which interviews males as well as females abused by the system before blowing hot air out of your empty hat.
-20 # patmonk 2013-05-08 14:45
"Just lay back and think of England"
+11 # bmiluski 2013-05-09 08:09
I hope that some day you will lay back and remember England while a broom is up your a....
+7 # MidwestTom 2013-05-08 15:07
Maybe the fundamental Sunni's from Saudi Arabia have far more influence here than most of us realized.
+12 # kalpal 2013-05-09 05:13
Patriarchies are all the same. Woman is essentially evil and men just can't resist being MF's.
+15 # bmiluski 2013-05-09 08:12
No, this is typical male behavior that we women have endured for millenia in most cultures. It's time we stopped calling ourselves girls and accept the fact that we are WOMEN with equal rights. And we need to start demanding those rights with our votes and with our wallets.
0 # barbaratodish 2013-05-08 15:08
Men who take their dicks too seriously have their dicks TAKE them!
+61 # PABLO DIABLO 2013-05-08 15:16
Not "asked to resign". Fired. NOW.
+11 # kalpal 2013-05-09 05:17
Officers are never punished for raping anyone. Enlisted men might be on occasion. Look at Abu Ghraib. The only officer punished was a female general who was forced out even though she had nothing to do with the part operated by the CIA. After that only NCO's and enlisted personnel led by officers and CIA operatives were punished but none of teh officers were indicted even. (BTW Does anyone know of any CIA successes? I know of many failures but not of any successes.)
+31 # tedrey 2013-05-08 15:17
Suggested brochure to be given to male members of the military:
"You have to make this decision [to rape] based on circumstances. Be especially careful if the [victim] has a weapon. According to new regulations, if she kills you, it will go on her record, but if she merely aims at your genitals, you're on your own."
+6 # T4D 2013-05-08 21:12
Sure wish this weren't at all funny.
+38 # giraffee2012 2013-05-08 15:25
Out of the military, if a person is raped, they can go to the police: which is independent of the rapist and the raped.

In the military the only place a victim can go is to her (his) commander (a non independent source) and THAT IS TOTALLY inverted and horrific. Thus, the victim is judged by her superior (and likely the attacker is also known to the commander) - and most likely that commander is MALE - so how can this system ever ever work?

Since the raped victim cannot get justice from an outside independent source - rape will continue and the rapists will never be punished.

This is horrendous injustice to an alleged Democratic society which preaches "and justice for all" ... what part of "all" does the military honor? ZERO

Write/call your congress people and tell them to change the law in military for independent law enforcement (or you'll vote them out) -- the military laws (as in this case CAN BE CHANGED BY CONGRESS)

If you're in a bagger/Gop state, you can bet your Congress person does not want women (most likely to be raped) to have any (much less equal) rights.

Call anyway and make your case.
+46 # Vermont Grandma 2013-05-08 15:27
There is a bigger issue we are failing to discuss: the acceptance as routine of sexual assault by members of the US military affects women and girls wherever our military are deployed. Today (5/8/13) on Democracy Now, Anuradah Bhagwati, former captain and company commander who served as a Marine officer from 1999 to 2004 when she resigned, said, "I was exposed to a culture rife with sexism, rape jokes, pornography and widespread commercial sexual exploitation of women and girls, both in the United States and overseas." She also said, "Military sexual violence is a very personal issue for me. During my five years as a Marine officer, I experienced daily discrimination and sexual harassment."

Until it comes from the top down that sexual assault, sexual harassment, and sexual discrimination against any woman, whether or in the US military is unequivocally unacceptable, and is a violation of a servicemember's oath, and will be prosecuted and punished vigorously, the US is all too often sending predators to the countries we claim to be helping.

President Obama needs to remember his own daughters and daughters everywhere who are become the victims of the US' tolerance of and failure to discipline members of the military who commit sexual assault and sexual harassment.

It is NOT good for this to be the fact or our country abroad. And it is horrible for those who become victims, wherever they are.
+30 # BlueReview 2013-05-08 16:14
"Submit." Isn't that what the police were telling women back in the '60s?

As Zerlina Maxwell has said, how about teaching men not to rape?

Thumbs up to you, Vermont Grandma.
+15 # X Dane 2013-05-08 17:29
Vermont Grandma

It is a VAST understatement, "That it is not good for our country abroad." We are considered BULLIES in many parts of the world. This proves it. That is horrible indeed.
+11 # Walter J Smith 2013-05-08 22:46
You are absolutely correct.

Obama has a golden opportunity to demonstrate his concern both for the nation and for his daughters and his wife.

After all, if we are going to get the reform we need in the military, it will obviously have to come from the top down.

Now it is up to Obama to demonstrate he is indeed the Commander in Chief, and take command of this grotesque US military culture & tradition.
-18 # barbaratodish 2013-05-08 16:20
We all need to allow ourselves to play limitlessly, as we are 'HARDWIRED' to do, i.e.,the omnipotence "effect" of every healthy infant. Otherwise we all will have to settle for working at "living" limited with violence, such as rape, war, etc. Perhaps we all need to attend a kind of KFAA(Kindergart en For Adolescents And Adults) where we can play limitlessly and "rebith" ourselves to limitlessness instead of being limited by identity.
+5 # Walter J Smith 2013-05-08 22:43
What is rape if it is not 'limitless play'?

You may want to learn to articulate your thoughts a little better.

Rape, like any other form of violence, is characterized by limitlessness.

If you don't think so, does that prevent others from thinking so?
+6 # kalpal 2013-05-09 05:19
Psychobabble of the garbage variety.
+26 # Moefwn 2013-05-08 18:01
In the 1950's we were taught that we must never resist a rapist because we would only make him angry and he would then most likely kill us. The Air Force's current brochure is straight out of that era - they have progressed not at all in the past 60 years. The answer is not to teach women how to survive rape, but to TEACH MEN NOT TO RAPE. It is perfectly possible to be strong, manly, a warrior, and a hero without ever once sexually assaulting a woman. When will we finally begin teaching THAT?
0 # Cassandra2012 2013-05-12 15:34
And the 'we' MUST include FATHERS because at 18 or so, boys start to want to 'separate' from their mothers and be 'men', so they listen less to their mothers.

REAL MEN don't rape.
+23 # Majikman 2013-05-08 18:01
Ugly, sadistic and brutal...and it's what our military is whether it's raping an Iraqi child while forcing the parents to watch before killing them, or preying on their own. Not so, you say, just a few bad apples? Then why the intense denial and coverups? If indeed it were just a few bad apples, a just and fair system would root them out and prosecute them as a warning. I seem to recall another institution intent on protecting predators. Even now the military is fighting to protect the predators by keeping it "in the family" promising to "do better"...where have we heard that before?
+5 # dick 2013-05-08 18:01
Where in the HELL has the Commander-in-Ch ief been?
0 # Cassandra2012 2013-05-12 15:36
This started long before your inordinate knee-jerk responses to Obama... see the film, and think... Remember My-Lai, anyone? Or Rumsfeld's moronic comments?
+18 # dick 2013-05-08 18:02
Servicewomen should be trained to shoot to kill attackers.
+8 # tedrey 2013-05-08 19:44
Army regulations should permit the attacked to use their weapons to protect themselves; they do not. What about "Stand Your Ground"?
+12 # fredboy 2013-05-08 21:02
We need to gut the Air Farce from the top down. It is beyond perverse at this point. As a critical component to our national security, we cannot allow such disgraceful and dangerous practices to continue. Where is the president on this? For Christ sake, lead.
-7 # FDRva 2013-05-08 22:05
No scandal here.

Not resisting is standard advice in rape situations--fro m every police department in the USA-- and the USAF--the better to reduce deaths.

Reporting the assault is a different matter.

There is a problem in 'military culture.'

Most rapes in the military are unreported--bec ause they are homosexual, in nature.

But it is not politically correct to examine that subject matter.

Good Luck, Secretary Hagel.
+2 # David Starr 2013-05-09 12:29
@FDRva: Prevention is the prioritization, not compliance. A woman/man does have a right to defend themselves, regardless.
0 # Cassandra2012 2013-05-12 15:37
blh,blah,blah, blah
+6 # Walter J Smith 2013-05-08 22:38
Here is the 'car' the military is hiding under, and the specific reasons why they are hiding under it:

"Fully 94 percent of mid-career to senior officers who declined to report their sexual assault - that is, majors/lieutena nt commanders; lieutenant colonels/comman ders; and colonels/captai ns - did so because they "felt uncomfortable" making such reports."

These "mid-career to senior officers" are 94% cheap cowards. They are "uncomfortable" doing their duty. What?! Yes.

The real question here is who zoomin' who?

We are zooming ourselves if we think we are safe with that kind of cowardice rising into the military leadership. In fact, it is the only kind of military leadership we have.

In my life experience I have never anywhere found more cowards per capita than during my nine years in the US Air Force. With far too few exceptions, I came to believe the radical disrespect that junior officers and enlisted men held for senior officers was insufficient; we still respected them too much. We gave them far too much benefit of the doubt.

And the military's track record in all the undeclared wars since WWII proves that in great detail.

General Smedley Butler wrote that "War is a Racket." That title to his brilliant experience-rich essay was a significant understatement.

Cowards do not good soldiers/sailor s/marines/airme n make.
+1 # David Starr 2013-05-09 12:35
@Walter J Smith: I wonder how many, or little, cowards have been in the U.S. military throughout history? Meaning, we've unfortunately have a repeated pattern here. (If I'm wrong, please correct me.)

Great you mentioned Gen. Smedley Butler's essay. I have read it. Too bad he came out after the fact.
+4 # Kathymoi 2013-05-09 00:04
Am I the only one feeling that there are so many serious problems in so many areas of government that dealing with each one, piece by piece, case by case, is not only not possible, but not the responsible and appropriate response to the situation of our country. Our country has a fundamental problem. We need to address that fundamental problem and get it out of the government of our country. We need to cure the cause, the disease, and the billions of symptons will diminish as a result. As long as we address each one of the billions of symptons separately and individually, leaving the root cause of all of the billions of symptons untreated, we will not be able to make significant progress in improving the miserable condition of our country.
+5 # bmiluski 2013-05-09 08:19
As long as the boys are allowed to continue to play "king of the hill" we will continue to wallow in this condition. Ladies, stop enabling your boys.
+11 # bmiluski 2013-05-09 08:20
Let's not forget that 93% of all violent crimes are committed by men. Of the 7% committed by women 85% are in self-defense.
+1 # dovelane1 2013-05-12 06:19
Kathy - I think you are close to making a good point.

Such things as rape, bullying, and all forms of addictive behaviors cause problems, and are problems. They are also, from a more inclusive point of view, symptoms of a problem.

We can spend a lot of time and energy dealing with all the problems, and avoid looking at the real problem, which underlies all the symptoms.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, and as a few other people have also mentioned, the need to control others is an indication of someone who is afraid, and then acts in cowardly ways. To me, any act of violence (not based on self-defense) is an act based on fear.

It is not simply a matter of "Ladies, stop enabling your boys." It is more a matter of changing a culture that is based on fear. It is a matter of changing a culture based on obsessive competition rather than cooperation. It is a culture based on defining "winners and losers" strictly in patriarchal terms.

It is all of the above, and it is all inter-connected . You cannot shake one strand of this web without shaking the whole web. The question has become, how many people have the courage to shake the whole web?

The answer is that, eventually, everyone must be involved and willing to do so. Everyone must understand that we are all on this web, and we are all connected. Those who are awake, must do their best to wake the others still sleeping.
0 # Cassandra2012 2013-05-12 15:40
Maybe part of the problem is that males need to think of women as 'ladies' and need to learn to control their own violent behavior first!
The whole culture of violence and rape is seen everywhere --in the military, in Steubenville, in Cleveland etc. !
Time for boys to stop being boys, and thinking with their penis brains!
0 # dovelane1 2013-05-12 06:26
cont'd - Of course that is hard to do with those who are sleeping, and afraid to be awake.

As anyone who has worked with addictive behaviors in people will tell you, the tow main symptoms are denial and blame. We either deny there is a problem, or, if we admit to a problem, it's always someone else's fault.

Those two symptoms keep people stuck where they happen to be, and usually it is stuck in fear of one kind or another.

The antithesis to fear is awareness. If qwe can support people being curious, they will change their own feaqr, as curiosity, when aroused, is a greater motivator than fear.

To me, the best teachers support kids in being curious. Curiosity should be a life-long habit. Why is that not true for so many people? What have we done to support or inhibit curiosity?

See what I mean? My cat wants some attention, so I think this is all for now.
-4 # JohnBoanerges 2013-05-09 10:06
Every person that pays taxes/votes/sel f identifys as a "citizen" is a coward. Supporting government is perpetuating ongoing crime of every category. Going along to get along is cowardice. Remaining silent (when one should speak/act) is cowardice. Every one of these is mortal sin and constitutes a bar to Heaven (whether you believe or not). Line from an old spiritual - "Everyone talking about Heaven ain't going there" is Gospel Truth. If you are looking for a "cure" for this, Saint Murphy (in MY book) taught us that whatever CAN go wrong, WILL go wrong. That is every form of letting bullies/thugs/c ontrol freaks (government) make ones decisions for them. Do YOUR part and STOP PAYING TAXES.
-2 # barbaratodish 2013-05-10 00:23
Quoting Walter J Smith:
What is rape if it is not 'limitless play'?

You may want to learn to articulate your thoughts a little better.

Rape, like any other form of violence, is characterized by limitlessness.

If you don't think so, does that prevent others from thinking so?

Excuse me but if rape is characterized by limitlessness at all it is certainly a NEGATIVE "limitlessness- more like a kind of Black hole of negative sexuality that sucks all of one's positive potential limitlessness away. The rapist has a NEGATIVE ILLUSION that he is exercising POWER over someone when his negativee, i.e., violent sexuality is what has POWER over him. In other words, if the rapist has any limitlessness at all, it is only negative limitlessness, so that any rapist becomes, an exponentially negative non being.
+1 # Texan 4 Peace 2013-05-12 15:30
The Oscar-nominated documentary "The Invisible War" (which EVERYONE should see, and certainly anyone contemplating joining the military) states in a postscript that after seeing it, then-Sec. of Defense Leon Panetta DID remove investigative power from the chain of command -- precisely because the c.o. is so often the perpetrator. Why is that not even mentioned in this article? Did Hagel reverse that policy?
+1 # Global Canadian 2013-05-19 03:55
Castration will not stop rape. As others have said, rape is about control, not sex or desire. Other tools can be used for rape even if the sex organs are weakened. A man with the twisted need for creating fear and causing pain will do this even without testosterone... it is a mental illness (or possibly, a defect) with a physical manifestation. Anyway, the prostate is not removed in a castration, and so just removing their testicles does not stop the testosterone factory. Chemicals would, but I stand by my position that testosterone is just a tool for the rapists bigger problem. Perhaps a frontal lobotomy would be a more appropriate punishment? The jerk who made the cruel and anarchic comment that rape is limitless playing is either pulling our chains or is a sicko himself. Clearly, PLAY - in a healthy persons' definition - means mutual permission to play is given by all players with the end result being fun. Clearly, he has never been raped. Rape is limitless evil, limitless "individual freedom" without regard to its effects on others; it is not play, not ever. (Hmmm. Sounds a bit like gun ownership in the USA.) Rape is entitlement and violence gone mad in a world that honours greed and disparity. Big surprise that it has not yet gone away.

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