British female bomb disposal expert killed in Afghanistan
Here is another one for either the “Why women in combat won’t work” file or the “What became of Britain” file.
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It’s is the sad story of a 29 year old British woman who became an Army officer, and a bomb disposal expert at that. Says the Telegraph, Captain Lisa Jade Head was hit and fatally wounded while defusing the second of a series of IEDs in an Afghan alleyway, after successfully clearing the first. She was doing this to clear the way for a patrol of paratroops. The story does not say whether she was hit, so to speak, by the IED she was attempting to defuse, or hit by something else, such as sniper fire. As is typical, anything factual in the story is presented in the most foggy way, passive voice, and no identified agent of the action. To my reactionary mind, several questions arise from this story.
Unless things have changed in recent years (and quite possibly they have), British paratroops are men. What sort of society allows a situation to arise where a woman must at great personal hazard clear the way for a group of heavily armed and fit men? Liberal society, of course! Where there can be no distinctions among people that actually matter. I’m sure David Cameron, Gordon Brown, and Tony Blair would all be quick to find nothing whatever wrong with Capt. Head’s presence in that situation, or with the fact that this young woman was a bomb disposal officer in the first place. I find her death quite depressing, and her being where she was depressing.
When a junior officer, as a captain is, is killed in action, that sad fact by itself is not usually front-page news. In Capt. Head’s case we have a major news story, complete with quotes from more senior officers in her chain of command and even a tribute from the Minister of Defence himself—whom I actually met while he was in opposition; nice enough fellow, but a very wet Tory. There is, of course, only one reason why Capt. Head’s sad and unnecessary (in the sense that there is no good reason for any Western soldier to die in Afghanistan) death has drawn such coverage. But perhaps we traditionalists may take heart from this. If the death of female soldiers is so noteworthy—and I believe it should be, because the situation is so unnatural—perhaps the employment of women in combat will become untenable as a public relations disaster.
Finally, and I hope not unkindly, who are the British these days? Lisa Jade Head does not sound like a very English name to me, and the young woman in the Telegraph’s photo looks pleasant and attractive, but not particularly English, Welsh, Scottish or Irish. To me she looks more Asian.
May Lisa Jade Head rest in peace, and may Western governments end this barbaric practice of putting women in harm’s way as sacrifices to an insane ideology.
Kilroy M. writes:
Mr. Sutherland wrote: “because the situation is so unnatural—perhaps the employment of women in combat will become untenable as a public relations disaster.”
On the contrary. Liberalism needs its martyrs. Deaths such as these are used to illustrate how “courageous” and “brave” women can be on the front line, and how they “can do anything men can do.” Why do you think these stories are written and receive wide publicity? It’s because they are used to celebrate “girl power” and egalitarianism, while at the same time portraying criticism of females in combat as mean spirited.
I’m not saying such criticism is mean spirited, or that it is rational to use the death of a female in uniform as evidence of feminist egalitarianism, but it is largely spun that way.
As a further observation, I noticed on The Telegraph’s website a column on the right titled “Inside Afghanistan Video.” Out of the four videos listed, the first three are titled “Women in Afghanistan” and pertain to individual females in uniform serving there (I have accessed the site on 22 April, Sydney time). The last one is titled “Marines View from the Frontline.” I presume that female troops constitute a very small minority of active personnel in the UK forces. Why then the obsessive fixation on them? It’s an implicit admission that it is indeed extraordinary for women to be placed in such a position, individual choice or not. In a world subsumed in liberalism, where women can be and do whatever they damn well please, their “achievements” in places like the armed forces are still considered a novelty. In all, liberalism-in-action often illustrates its own antithesis this way.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at April 21, 2011 09:25 AM | Send