Saturday, June 25, 2005

Bring It On...

I'm going to start by saying that it really doesn't matter whether the US soldiers dying in Iraq are men or women. Every loss is a tragedy. Women who've joined the military want to do their jobs, and they earn the right to do so. The whole notion that women in uniform are a threat to "unit cohesion" is being disproved every day in Iraq, where there are no front lines, where female medics are called "Doc" just like the guys (the WaPo article I'd like to link to is no longer available, email me if you'd like text).

Nonetheless, a bitter milestone was passed today when four female soldiers, including three Marines, were killed in a suicide bomb attack in Falluja. Eleven other female Marines were wounded. The attack seems to have deliberately targeted the women soldiers, who were assigned to search Iraqi women passing through military checkpoints.

For the record, here's the paragraph that got to me, the last lines in the article:
The women had an important role in Falluja, because in Iraq the American practice has been to assign only women to pat down women and girls passing in and out of the city. The girls going through the checkpoints often appear afraid, so the American women requested donations of teddy bears to give them. They recently arrived from the United States.

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