"There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest." — Elie Wiesel

Friday, October 30, 2009

It Takes a Village to Run a Trident Submarine.


I hope you will excuse my butchering of the old adage, "It takes a village to raise a child." It also takes a village to run the ever so complex, and deadly, Trident submarines that patrol the seven seas, deterring other nations' desire to let loose their nuclear weapons on our peaceful shores. The U.S. has, over the years, integrated women into the armed forces in ever increasing roles, and one of the last bastions of strictly manly, seagoing military careers, the submarine service, may end up opening its hatches to women.

Feminists Need Not Apply. A posting on the Halibut Hangar spoke of the Navy's top brass stating their public support for integrating women into the submarine service, and the article made the point that you don't "have to be a feminist to" live the underwater life. No mam! You can, however, be lots of other things; just read below:

"...a woman does not have to be a feminist to be a great submariner or enjoy submarines, as Donnelly [Vice Admiral, Commander, Submarine Force] implies. You can just be a brilliant female engineer; weapons officer; navigator; sonar operator; linguist; intelligence officer; radioman; computer or network specialist; electronics technician; communications technician; doctor or medical practitioner; reactor operator; electrician; machinist; missile technician; torpedoman; diver; etc."

Yes Virginia, it takes a veritable village to prepare for the unspeakable, to work aboard a silent, stealthy, machine of mass destruction, prepared to unleash the most terrible destructive force the world will hopefully never experience. And you too, Virginia, will one day be able to be part of this village of mass destruction. Perhaps you will be a weapons officer. Just think; you receive and authenticate the order to launch. Just then, the feminine imperative kicks in - you are a giver of life, not a taker. How can you insert that key, turn it, and push the launch button(s). Hmmmmm... Perhaps it's time for a philosophical conversation with the commander. "Do we really want to do this???"

Of course, that's just my dream - that women will fill all the positions relating to launching nuclear weapons around the world. And when the orders to launch come down the chain-of-command, they will all swallow their launch keys and say, "Ooops; I just don't know what got into me." It will be the women who understand that we are all part of one vast global village, and that nuclear weapons threaten the entire village, even in a limited nuclear war.

Call me naive, but wouldn't it be better if the village residents got jobs that did something constructive for the village, rather than preparing for its demise?



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