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Michael Coren: "Caring for Karine"

mariomike

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http://www.torontosun.com/comment/columnists/michael_coren/2009/04/18/9153761-sun.html
Caring for Karine
Sending our daughters to war in Afghanistan is just wrong

By MICHAEL COREN

Last Updated: 18th April 2009, 3:22am
So Canada sacrifices another victim on the altar of equality.

Last week a young girl dressed up as a soldier died in the increasingly futile and pointless war in Afghanistan. She was 21 years old, had been in the country for two weeks on her first tour of duty and probably weighed a little over 100 pounds.

Please know that I mean no disrespect to Karine Blais or to her family and I grieve for her and them. But what on earth was she doing in such a place and in such a job?

Look at the photograph of this beautiful girl. Look at the innocence, the gentleness, the grace. All of them precious aspects to the human character. So when I say that she was "dressed up as a soldier" I mean it as a compliment. I've known soldiers all of my life and I have an invincible respect for them. I've seen their courage, integrity and sheer decency.

I've also seen their capacity for controlled and righteous violence, which is absolutely essential for any fighting man. Yes, man. Because there are few if any women who have the skills required to serve as a front-line combat trooper.

Yes, yes, yes, I know it's fundamentally anti-Canadian to say this but I'd prefer to articulate the views of the silent majority than hide behind some modernist fetish that places more importance on the myth of absolute equality than the safety of a girl who should be laughing with college friends rather than fighting theocratic madmen.

Can we really imagine for a moment that if a group of Taliban tribesmen rushed a trench or an encampment this poor young woman could fight them off, could deal with the thrusts of their long knives and heavy clubs? Do we seriously think that the men in the unit would not risk their own lives to protect a pretty young girl who was inevitably being beaten to the ground by salivating killers?

The very reason we have various weight categories for all forms of organized fighting is that whatever the training, a pugilist's weight and muscle bulk give an advantage to the heavier combatant.

More than this, even contrived cultural denial should not prevent us from admitting that the death of a daughter or a wife is different from that of a son or a husband. Women nurture, give birth, care in a way that is unique. Quite simply, they are different from men.

If captured, of course, such a woman would be repeatedly raped. And tortured. Again, I'm not meant to say this. Not Canadian, not CBC, not Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Not the sort of thing we're supposed to feel, so we pretend that men and women in the army, police and fire service are given the same tests and have to fulfil the same requirements. Yet truth still breaks through.

We rightly condemn Islamic extremists in Afghanistan because they treat women so badly. Then we allow one of our own to give her life so that we can congratulate ourselves on how liberal and egalitarian we are, lie about how gender difference don't matter and then encourage our generals and politicians to obscure the truth on television about soldiers and causes.

What hypocrites we have become. Poor, poor Karine -- this is not the way it should have been.

You and your country deserved better.

MICHAEL.COREN@SUNMEDIA.CA

 

PMedMoe

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Well, at least it's only a commentary and not "news".  What tripe!  ::)
 

stevea32

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What a crock of shit, screw you Mike..if a woman can pass all the physical demands of training why shouldn't she be deployed, Mike Crens kind of thinking is similar to the Taliban women should be hidden away because the aren't strong enough or must be protected from the world..go to hell Mike you disrespect all women in the CF when you say "dressed up like a soldier"
 

karl28

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    The person who wrote this article really needs to give their head a shake .  First of all she is a women not a little girl  repeat after me a women . Secondly she is soldier in the Canadian Army cause it was her choice as an adult to join . 
        Man these fools that write these articles are just stupid.
 

ARMY_101

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What?!  I've read Coren's articles before and he's usually had some great commentary and opinions which I side with.  This is just totally out to lunch and away from reality.

Why should women be prevented from going to war?  The basis behind which Coren is arguing seems to be that her (or any woman's looks) is the determining factor in whether or not they go to war.  That's sexist and takes us back 50 years.  Fighting a war is not a man's-only game, just as we can't say Quebec gets out of sending soldiers because the Anglo-Canadians started the war.  Canada is in this together, and that includes men and women together who choose to fight for their country.

And now that I continue to look over his piece, I see that he's going back to the "women are weaker than men" discussion.  Fair enough - some women are weaker than some men.  But some men are weaker than some women.  Should we stop them from joining the army because they can't fight off the "stronger" Taliban?
 

the 48th regulator

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Okay folks, before we get into 20 pages of potshots at Michael Coren, why don't we get some good posts dissecting his commentary.

Show us what he said is wrong, or offensive, and back it up with reason.

Otherwise, we are constantly breathing life into this thread with utter tripe posts, yelling at him.

Looks like the scene from Life of Brian where the people want to stone the woman....

dileas

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PuckChaser

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Coren is partly right. Yes, I'd risk my life to save hers, but I'd risk my life to save the guy in my trench, or in the trench beside me just the same. Gender has nothing to do with it.
 

GAP

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Coren is right in one thing....we are not so removed from our past that this beautiful young woman can only be viewed by today's standards....I'm sad, but intensely proud that young men and women of this calibre serve.....
 

kilekaldar

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Sent this to him


Sir,

I have just finished a 7 month tour with an Infantry Coy in Zhari, where I patrolled on foot on a regular basis alongside female medics and on a few occasion a female MP. They did the same job, carried the same kit and weapons, marched the same distances, took the same enemy fire and in all ran the same risks as the men. I never saw them flinch, display fear or weakness, and did their work with the same dedication and level of competence as the men present.
I witnessed, on the occasion of a recent deadly IED blast that took the lives of two Canadians, a female medic who was also caught in the explosion be the first to jump up from the ground and administer aid, organise triage and performe her duties in a superb manner despite her injuries from her close proximity to the blast, and knowing well the two deceased soldiers.
After having been in combat alongside Canadian female soldiers, I have determined for direct experience that the women of today make as good soldiers as men.
You, sir, obviously have no direct combat experience with women, and should keep your condescending, ignorant, archaic opinions that have no basis on facts or reality to yourself and resist the temptation to insult the efforts of Canadian women in uniform.
 

Armymedic

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H is absolutely right about this:
mariomike said:
If captured, of course, such a woman would be repeatedly raped. And tortured. Again, I'm not meant to say this. Not Canadian, not CBC, not Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Not the sort of thing we're supposed to feel, so we pretend that men and women in the army, police and fire service are given the same tests and have to fulfil the same requirements. Yet truth still breaks through.

A Cdn female soldier, if captured in Afghanistan (or any other 3rd world country for that matter) would be subjected to abuses that are unspeakable, and most certianly worse than death itself.

Anyone who thinks otherwise is a fool.
 

Fusaki

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A Cdn female soldier, if captured in Afghanistan (or any other 3rd world country for that matter) would be subjected to abuses that are unspeakable, and most certianly worse than death itself.

Anyone who thinks otherwise is a fool.

So? 

Who's to say that those risks are worse then the risks anyone takes to life, limb, and mental health?  It's an insult to our women in uniform to imply that they should be thought of any different then a male counterpart. We're a volunteer army and we all know what risks come with the territory.
 

ENGINEERS WIFE

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Unspeakable things can be done to either male or female if captured, bad guys are bad guys are bad guys.

I am willing to bet if something happens, most female soldiers don't want the fact that they are female made to be the issue, they are members of the Canadian Forces. Period.

But, I do think the average Canadian is not ready for women to come home in a flag draped casket.
 

PMedMoe

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Not the sort of thing we're supposed to feel, so we pretend that men and women in the army, police and fire service are given the same tests and have to fulfil the same requirements. Yet truth still breaks through.

I'm at a loss as to what he is implying with these lines.  Do we test males and females differently in the CF?  Yes, the ExPres test, perhaps, but last time I checked, the BFT is the same for both genders and that is the fitness requirement for a tour.  "Yet truth still breaks through."  Huh?  Yes, a female soldier died.  Many male soldiers have too.  What "truth" is "breaking through" here?

I also find offensive:

Last week a young girl dressed up as a soldier died in the increasingly futile and pointless war in Afghanistan. She was 21 years old
a girl who should be laughing with college friends

A 21-year-old is not old enough to join the CF?  Not old enough to decide to work instead of going to college?

More than this, even contrived cultural denial should not prevent us from admitting that the death of a daughter or a wife is different from that of a son or a husband.
 
To imply that anyone's death is different based on gender is preposterous and insulting to the relatives and friends of all the fallen.

Look at the photograph of this beautiful girl.

So, if she wasn't lucky enough to have good genes, her death would mean less?

a young girl dressed up as a soldier

She wasn't "dressed up".  She was a soldier.  Implying that she wasn't is an insult, not only to her but to all serving women.
 

brihard

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A woman I did PLQ with has just finished up a tour as a MCpl (RegF) crew commanding a LAV with Mike coy in Panjwayi. Hardly a job that would be given to someone who couldn't hack it. And of course the medics, MPs etc have already been mentioned.

It's unfortunate that this Michael Coren twit feels the needs to stray outside his arcs and spout off, but such is the nature of the media I suppose. I'm comforted by the fact that he really has no idea what he's talking about.
 

Tulach Ard

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SFB said:
H is absolutely right about this:
A Cdn female soldier, if captured in Afghanistan (or any other 3rd world country for that matter) would be subjected to abuses that are unspeakable, and most certianly worse than death itself.

Anyone who thinks otherwise is a fool.

Yeah, so? What, in this FREE country we are not allowed to make tht choice for ourselves? To say that "no, women cannot fight in combat because they are not fit to," makes us just as bad as Afghanistan putting such stupid restrictions on their women! Being a woman, awaiting my call for ARMOURED, a combat arm....this entire piece of hogwash absolutely infuriates me. I am just as much a Canadian as every man and if I want to die for my country I believe I have the right to decide MY OWN death.

Yes we know the possible tortures that await us if we are captured, it obviously hasn't stopped us yet.

Now I cannot deny the fact that yes, my comrades would probably jump in to try and save my life....and I wouldn't if it was him on the ground? Sex does not matter a wink. If its my life for my unit-mate, there is no question, I would gladly take that chance. You know, since its MY life I think I can well decide what I want to do with it.
 
A

aesop081

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You all missed SFB's point in your rush to be indignate. Congratulations.
 

Fishbone Jones

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His partial criteria is that she shouldn't be there because she'll be gang raped, if caught.

Guess what sunshine. If a guy gets caught he'll likely suffer the same violation. There's no better way to humiliate, degrade and demoralise a guy.

These terrorists also have no shortage of volunteers to perform the task. Research man love thurday.

Michael Coren is a discredit to his profession. He bellittles her sacrifice by letting personal bias cloud a sombre moment.

Blood sells. Fucking journalists.
 

Armymedic

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Indeed, and most of you are missing the point of the whole editorial as well.

When Canadians, most who are much more ignorant, and much less liberal than they themselves can admit, see the picture of a young male soldier killed they say, "He is so young, so brave, parents must be proud of him and his service." But when they see equally young female soldier, they say, "she is so young, she is so pretty, why did she join the military, why did she want to go fight, why was she not at home making babies?"

Equality, Idealism and liberalism sound good when it is words and ideas, but realism tends to hit those concepts in a face with a shovel, when metal meets flesh in the real world.

Yes, women deserve every right to do as men do. Unfortunately, instilled values and morals (protect the women and children) of our society and evolutionary ingrained instictive reactions and emotion will override intellect for a long long time.
 

Fishbone Jones

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SFB said:
Indeed, and most of you are missing the point of the whole editorial as well.

When Canadians, most who are much more ignorant, and much less liberal than they themselves can admit, see the picture of a young male soldier killed they say, "He is so young, so brave, parents must be proud of him and his service." But when they see equally young female soldier, they say, "she is so young, she is so pretty, why did she join the military, why did she want to go fight, why was she not at home making babies?"

Equality, Idealism and liberalism sound good when it is words and ideas, but realism tends to hit those concepts in a face with a shovel, when metal meets flesh in the real world.

Yes, women deserve every right to do as men do. Unfortunately, instilled values and morals (protect the women and children) of our society and evolutionary ingrained instictive reactions and emotion will override intellect for a long long time.

You'd have to be 'hit in the face with a shovel' to miss the utterly neanderthal, male chauvinist point of view espoused by our so called 'liberal' media.

Please don't talk down to us. We're not the morons in this discussion.
 

Armymedic

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Nor do you have to be hit with a shovel to know the majority of Canadians are conservative in their views, who think a 21 yo pretty girl should be either a) at college presuing a career in education, nursing or child care, or b) at home getting married and making babies.

Canadians do not want to see thier young and pretty daughters killed in war.

 
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