Article Overview:   Who are the Women Warriors of Iraq?   Why do American Mothers suit up in uniform and fight for the freedom of Iraqi women and children?   Why would a woman die for her country and for the children of another country?"


Thursday--April 3, 2003—Ground Zero Plus 568
Why American Warrior Women Are Willing To Die For Freedom

Cliff McKenzie
   Editor, New York City Combat Correspondent News

GROUND ZERO, New York City, Apr. 3--Why would an American mother travel thousands of miles to a foreign land and be willing to fight to the death to protect an Iraqi mother from Saddam Hussein's Beast of Terror?

Iraqi mother and child in need

      That's a big question most American war protestors won't go near with a ten-foot pole.   They don't want to hear the answer.   They don't want to know that America's Warrior Women are Mothers of Vigilance--that they are willing to risk their lives to offer the women and children of Iraq the same freedoms their own children enjoy. 
       American war protestors make a grand attempt to demoralize their audiences by promoting that war is not only bad, evil, corrupt, vile and illegal, but it is ruled by "evil men of power."  They paint a picture of American male leaders as Hitlers, who direct a military of puppets blindly following orders because they are uneducated dolts, victims of society who find harbor in the military.
       What the protestors don't tell the public is that America's military is composed of 15 percent women, and that a large number of them are mothers.   They don't promote that since 1980 the number of women in the military has doubled, and that women are increasingly seeking and serving in key combat roles.
        They don't tell you that women boast about giving their lives for freedom, and are willing to die for people in far off lands to help insure that Terrorism doesn't spread, and that freedom has a chance of growing in lands where Terrorism once ruled. 

Spc. Shoshana Johnson after capture - she  has a two year old daughter

Pfc. Jessica Lynch newly sworn in

        The recent attack and abduction of Pfc. Jessica Lynch and Spc. Shoshana Johnson, plus six  men in the women's tank maintenance unit, illustrates the vulnerability of support troops to combat.   All, men and women, support and front-line troops, become targets in a guerrilla, Terrorism War.
       There are no battle lines.   A vanful of women and children recently tried to run a checkpoint, forcing the Marines to fire warning and then fatal shots to stop it.   At another base, a civilian truck driver rammed his vehicle into a line of soldiers waiting to purchase items at a camp store.
        War's deadly scythe cuts a swath through all, regardless of sex.

Terrorism turn every square inch into the front line

       This lack of front-line definition  makes every woman a combat soldier by default.    Currently,  women are restricted from about 30 percent of active duty positions, including Special Operations and ground-combat roles.   But the reality of "front lines" is evaporating.  
        Terrorism turns every square inch into the front line.

Rescue of Pfc. Jessica Lynch by special ops force after 10 days as a POW

        Ask  Pfc. Jessica Lynch.   The 19-year-old was wounded and captured.  She was freed by a special ops force after 10 days as a POW. 
        Jessica Lynch is only one of many women fighting the war in Iraq.   Ann Scott Tyson, a staff writer for the Christian Science Monitor, published an article today called "The Expanding Role Of GI Jane."
        In the article, Tyson interviews a number of women fighting the war, including Lt. Sarah Fritts, one of two female combat pilots flying Kiowa choppers for the 3rd Infantry Division's 7th Calvary.  In response to the question about limiting women's combat roles, Lt. Fritts said: 
"I don't see why a woman's life is so much more important than a man's life.  For a woman to gain full citizenship, she should be able to die for her country."

Lt. Sarah Fritts, Kiowa chopper pilot

        I found it interesting and illuminating that Lt. Fritts chose the words "should be able to die for her country..."    Her view of citizenship, full citizenship, is the right to give one's life for freedom.  To her, the great sacrifice is life.  And she is willing to give it."

Sgt. Raja Valenzuela Arab linguist for the army

        Other women Ms. Tyson interviews include, a nurse and an interpreter.  One is the mother of a 2-year-old.   In each case, there is a strong emphasis on the willingness of the person to fight and die for the liberty and freedom of the Iraqis.

       Spc. Stephanie Keenan, a medic, has been under fire a number of times.   She sums up her presence in Iraq in deference to the protestors. Her words:  "I know there are still a lot of people who believe people shouldn't be here. But we're here, and we're doing a great job."


Spc. Stephanie Keenan, Medic

       I have a special interest in women willing to give their lives in combat.
         Both my daughters have offered their lives.
         One of my daughters is a peace activist.  A decade ago she went to then war-torn El Salvador to help protect villagers being threatened by the military.   Along with other members of humanitarian team, she lived with the villagers and staved off military retaliation against them.   Ultimately, the military deported the observers, but others followed, and the villagers survived.
          My other daughter is a federal special agent.   Each day and night, she goes into the Crime Terrorism world, on the front lines with those who would cut her throat in a New York minute, or shoot her without the twitch of an eye.
          She carries weapons with her every day, and understands the criminals she faces have a history of killing without compunction or concern.    Most of her work is undercover.  She infiltrates the "enemy lines" and is most at risk in this environment.
           She is one of the few women in her field.   Like the women in the military, she is a combat pioneer.   She sees no difference between a man's right to die and her right to die.    When you question her about why she should be treated differently than a man in a combat situation, she gets angry.  
           "That suggests I'm not as capable, not as smart, not as effective as a man when it comes to survival.  I assure you, I am as capable or more."
            If a war protestor were to shove an anti-American poster in the face of a woman soldier, or in my crime-fighting daughter's face, I'm sure the protestor would be met with something more than silence.  
           I'm also sure that protestors shy from attacking the Women Warriors of Vigilance.   Especially, the ones who are Mothers of Vigilance.

Woman Warriors of Vigilance

         Today, a critical issue on the table is the "moral nature of the Iraqi war."
           There is a cloud hanging over this war, questioning its authenticity, it legality, its moral right.
           I believe the cloud can lifted by talking to the Women Warriors of Vigilance who are fighting in Iraq.
          The women, the mothers, are offering their lives just as any other soldier.
           Why would an American mother offer her life for Iraqis?
           Perhaps the answer lies in what Lt. Fritts said:  "For a woman to gain full citizenship, she should be able to die for her country."

          I wonder if Lt. Fritts really meant to say, "For a woman to gain full citizenship, she should be able not only to die for her own country, but to die for the people of any country who seek the same freedom and liberty that we in America have."
            The highest level of motherhood, I believe, is when a mother dies for the children of another land, as well as for her own.
            This, however, is information the protestors will never really promote.  



 April 2--Embedded Vigilance vs Embedded Terror

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