Archive for the ‘Women in War’ Category

This is a “must read.”  Tina Brown has penned a masterpiece here. From Hillary Clinton, to Aung San Suu Kyi, to Marie Colvin, these are the women of history as we witness it being made today, they, and those more obscure to us upon whom Tina shines a spotlight in her annual Women in the World event.  Thank you, Tina, for this great post and for bringing our sisters in the battles to our attention every year!

In Newsweek Magazine

Symbols and Strength: Women in the World


Tina Brown

When Hillary Clinton travels around the world as secretary of state, she is a global celebrity of the first rank. But that’s not how she felt when she went to Burma for the first time in 2011 to meet with the heroic Aung San Suu Kyi. One of the greatest living human-rights campaigners, Suu Kyi had chosen to endure—for the sake of the Burmese people—the daily threat of death and 15 years of house arrest, cut off from her husband and children. “It was, ‘Oh, my God, I cannot believe I am with Aung San Suu Kyi,” Ambassador Melanne Verveer told me of Clinton’s emotion on her two-hour talk with Suu Kyi in the house of her long captivity.


Saul Loeb / AFP-Getty Images

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Discourseincsharpminor  mentioned that she was working on a post about Marie Colvin.  I asked her to share it with us when it was completed because,  from what she said,  it seemed that her tribute would share a perspective readers here would appreciate.  I remember this series that Discourse put up last March for Women’s History Month.  Her testimonial to Marie Colvin refers to one of those entries.

The Death of Marie Colvin

23 02 2012

A little less than a year ago I wrote about a number of women whom I admired over the course of March (Women’s History Month). Two days ago, one of them, Marie Colvin was killed in Syria where she was covering the government-mandated slaughter currently taking place there. This is what I wrote about her in 2011. The whole post is here, if you’re interested.

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Thank you so much, Discourse, for sharing your thoughts with us.

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I have no words.  Yesterday I was on Twitter and retweeted  what she had tweeted.

BBC News (World) @BBCWorld

“I saw a baby die today” – British journalist Marie Colvin on life in #Homs, #Syria bbc.in/AdUvry

Retweeted by Still4Hill

I felt so awful for that baby and for her.  When I woke up this morning, the first thing I heard (before looking) from the TV was that Marie herself  had died – had been killed.  That had been her final tweet.   You know how, when you lose someone, your arms, your whole body,   just go limp?  That happened to me about her.

My God!  She was simply fearless!  The courage!  She wanted to bring these stories home to us, and she did so risking everything.  The risk caught up with her this morning.

We will never forget your hunger to report, Marie.  We will always appreciate the way you put the story of the people before your own safety.  You are a hero.  We will always remember you, your mission, and your sacrifice.

Thank you for your dedication and service.  You have left us much too soon,  but you gave.   You gave so much!

Sunday Times
journalist Marie
Colvin killed in Syria

Reporter & French photographer

Last Updated: 23rd February 2012

AWARD-winning Sunday Times reporter Marie Colvin has been killed in Syria’s besieged rebel city of Homs.

Ms Colvin was one of two Western journalists who died after shells hit the house where they were sheltering.

The world-renowned foreign correspondent and French photographer Remi Ochlik, 28, were reportedly hit as they tried to flee.

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Here is her Wikipedia entry.

As we enter Womens’ s History Month shortly, I would remind young students in Women’s Studies Classes that history is what happened yesterday.  I know how many of you revisit the outstanding Mirabal sisters about whom I posted years ago.  Every year, at this time, so many of you go to that page.  But Marie Colvin is also a part of our history,  and what happened yesterday will live in my memory until I die.  She was yet another s/hero, as some like to put it.  Me?  I just call her a hero.  Intractable!   She stayed, having been called home, for that last story.  As it turned out, it was, truly,  her last,  but she gave her best.  Love you, Marie!  Rest in Peace.  You were always an angel for the people.

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Yes we have heard this song before, and it is no sweeter referring to women in battle than it was referring to gays in combat or to a woman in the Oval Office.   As Jon Soltz recounts it at HuffPo   (and the video is embedded, so please do hear it from the horse’s mouth),  this is Santorum’s take on female troops in combat roles.

Jon Soltz

Co-Founder of VoteVets.org, Iraq War Veteran

Santorum Insults Women Who Served in Combat

Rick Santorum has no idea what’s happening in our military.On CNN, asked by John King if he agreed with a recent Pentagon decision that would formally open up front-line roles for women in combat, Santorum said, ” I think that could be a very compromising situation, where people naturally may do things that may not be in the interest of the mission, because of other types of emotions that are involved.”

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*SIGH*  Where to begin?  New Hampshire, 2008, Hillary Clinton mists over for a moment talking about why she has taken on the punishing task of running for president, and we hear charges that a woman is too emotionally unstable to lead the country.  Iowa, 2012, Newt Gingrich chokes up á la John Boehner (pick a day and issue), and it is fine.

We heard plenty of “what ifs” in the run-up to the repeal of DADT.  OMG!  You cannot put gay troops in the trenches much less the barracks and the (Heaven forefend) showers with straight troops!  Chaos will surely ensue!

So now we have a prospective Commander-in-Chief suggesting that trained female combatants might act differently from the way their male counterparts do based on … um?  Emotions?

I do not hold the honor of having served in the military, but I know this.  Troops act upon orders – not upon head or heart – upon orders, and those orders in turn are given by those with the rank and training to make battlefield decisions.  Troops act in tandem as teams.  It does not matter if your teammate is male,  female.  straight, or gay.  There is a job, and your team is under orders to do it.

What Rick Santorum is thinking is way beyond my ability to imagine, but Soltz brilliantly explains exactly how and why female troops are especially valuable in the field given the cultural medium within which our military is currently operating.

We have a volunteer military.  It is the best in the world.  We all should be proud of every single one of those who choose to serve.  I have never had a moment of trepidation that sexual issues would interfere with action in combat.  Santorum should be ashamed.

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