So Gen Pace does not tolerate sexual immorality?
General Peter Pace, Have You Ever Been To a Prostitute?
by Rosa María Pegueros
Article Source Common Dreams
General Peter Pace, have you ever been to a prostitute?
When the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff makes a pronouncement on what he considers to be a moral question, it naturally brings to mind all of the matters on which the Reverend General could rule. Most people believe that prostitution is immoral, either because it exploits women or because it violates sexual mores, so I was just wondering, have you ever gone to a prostitute?
And while we’re at it, have you ever issued a directive that any soldier who patronizes prostitutes will be summarily dismissed from the armed services? Will he get a dishonorable discharge? Lose his pension?
Were you to issue such an order, would your fellow generals laugh at you as you stride around the Pentagon? Or would it be ‘wink, wink, nudge, nudge,’ public morality, private perversion?
If there is one tell-tale sign of the presence of American soldiers in a war or occupation it is the trail they leave behind of babies with American fathers. In the past, marrying the mothers of those children was discouraged by the armed services; special permission to marry was required. Most soldiers’ relationships were purely proprietary; money on the table, with no thought for the woman or the illegitimate children that might result.
Why should Americans care that Koreans, for example, shun mixed-race? What about the thousands of American-Vietnamese children?
Of course, the “fighting men” could not be expected to remain celibate during their tours of duty. In the past, it has even been the policy of the army to issue condoms and treat sexually-transmitted diseases with no questions asked, the assumption being that boys will be boys. Besides, it helps the local economy so everybody’s happy. The girls need the money, right?
So I was wondering, have you ever been to a prostitute? Have you turned a blind eye to your troops’ dalliances in town while on leave?
You may be a straight-arrow kind of guy who has never and would never visit a whorehouse but if we are talking morality, do you condemn the “johns” in your command with the same animosity that you direct towards gay soldiers? If not, why not? Or is “don’t ask, don’t tell,” your policy in this case? Do you believe that it is moral for soldiers to spend their leaves in brothels but not to seek the love of another man? Or are you a homophobe, plain and simple?
Remember operation Tailhook?
The issue of sex and the troops is taboo. Despite its artistic representations from the 19th-century Puccini opera, Madame Butterfly, to the Vietnam War version in Miss Saigon, male sexual behavior in war zones is so taken for granted that nobody talks about it. Consider some other aspects of the problem. The recent rape and murder by an American soldier of a young Iraqi girl and her family may deviate from the usual behavior of American soldiers; it is certainly against the stated ideals of the armed services but it is not as rare as we would hope.
What about Tailhook in 1991, where dozens of female members of the Navy were assaulted and sexually molested; where the participation of senior officers in the incident was concealed and the whole thing was covered up to avoid publicity? Finally, two years after the incident, 140 officers—officers!—were being considered for prosecution for public exposure, assault, conduct unbecoming an officer, and lying under oath to the Pentagon investigators. Then the top brass granted immunity to a number of them undermining the prosecution. The only reason that any disciplinary action was taken against the male officers in the Tailhook incident was because of outside pressure. Boys will be boys, eh?
Tailhook may seem like ancient history but the mistreatment of women in the military has con