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Women killing on the field of battle no cause for rejoicing


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OPINION

Love and pain compels this letter.
   
Several weeks ago women [were fully cleared] for frontline combat. As a former Marine taught how to kill, there is little doubt in my mind that women will be highly effective in combat. I am sure they will participate with the same esprit de corps as men. The psychological techniques of conditioning now thoroughly developed and highly refined turn all but the best of us into programmed killers.
   
And, yes, feminism works for gender equality, and a new gender equality has been achieved. “You’ve come a long way, baby,” as the expression goes. Yet author and poet Sharon Doubiago expresses a jaw-dropping and pivotal insight: “Men create war to compete with women who create life.” As a man, I doubt I can completely understand the depth of this statement. If you are a woman, I am praying that you can.
   
This is breaking my heart. Please forgive me, but I don’t want you to have the same opportunity to participate fully in the murderous conduct of our species. I don’t want you to kill women, children, and men who are noncombatants and return home only to wake up to a new nightmare far worse than the nightmare of combat. I don’t want you to be part of the suicide epidemic and receive the same neglect and mistreatment as your male counterparts. And most emphatically, I don’t want you to believe you have to kill to be equal.
  
 JOHN AMIDON
Albany The writer is a member of Veterans For Peace.

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