Male Disposability in War
The male Gender Roll of protect and provide alway has, and probably always will be dependent on men accepting men are disposable. To understand this we must first understand what we men by “male disposability”. It does not mean that the whole gender is disposable and we could continue all female species. It means that each of us is disposable, a man can be sent to do a job and if he dies during that task he is easily replaced. The ability of females to find a mate in order to reproduce is unquestioned. The ability of few males to impregnate a large number of females and therefore increase the population is unquestioned. These factors allowed men to go to war or work in dangerous occupations with there individual deaths not putting their tribe at risk of extinction.
We know war is a dangerous business. We have always understood casualties would be high. We have as a society glorified death on a battlefield. When boys are growing up the toys they play with, Action Man/Gi Joe are pre disposed to buy into that thought. The action films we enjoy often have a hero that dies completing his mission. Many way films have a part where a wounded solder says something to the effect of “leave me here with the machine gun and two belts of ammunition, i’ll hold them up” This is verified when we look at people who receive our highest awards for bravery. In order to keep this article to a readable size the examples are from Great Britain and the United States of America however that is not intended to diminish the sacrifice of any solder from any country. The Victoria Cross and the Congressional Medal of Honour. In 1902 the British Army decided to award the VC Posthumously (to people who died during their act of valor) since then 295 Posthumous medals have been awarded.
In Vietnam of the 246 recipients of the Congressional medal of honour 154 were awarded Posthumously. This gives some indication on how being disposable is a good thing is sold to a male population.
However, what if you don’t even make it to the battlefield. What if you don’t see a shot in anger. What if you are left with no heroic war stories to tell because you never made it into actual combat but are left disabled by a cocktail of drugs injected into your body in anticipation of your deployment ? This is a fact of life for thousands of veterans of the Golf War. Confused ? let me explain.
Prior to deployment troops were given NAPS (nerve agent pre treatment sets) that included among other things vaccines for Anthrax and Whooping Cough. This cocktail had been tested and prescribed fit for humans by nobody. Yes, nobody ! Nobody thought this was a good idea medically but the Governments decided it was “better than nothing” and went ahead and injected the troops. When troops began to complain of musculoskeletal, neurological and respiratory symptoms they were told it was the result of contaminants they were exposed to in the field.
The Golf War has been labeled the most toxic war in history. Troops were exposed to a range of vaccinations, pryridostigymine bromide, organophosphates (and other pesticides) nerve agents, depleted uranium, environmental hazards, stress and smoke from burning oil wells.
When it was pointed out that manny solders that had not been deployed, and thus only been exposed to the vaccines were suffering the same symptoms as those deployed the Governments attempted to claim the symptoms existed only in the mind of the victim. They discount totally the fact they gave these men a unlicensed dose of chemicals. This is eventually being properly challenged.
Former Royal Engineer Alex Izzet, 40, has secured legal aid and will now try to gain access to secret Government documents. Dad-of-two Alex, right, is unique as he was given a cocktail of vaccines but did not go the Middle East to fight. He was granted legal aid because he was never exposed to dangers such as pesticides, burning oil wells, chemical dumps and diesel fumes which the MoD thinks could be behind the condition. Campaigners claim the syndrome has affected some 9,000 British veterans, causing around 600 deaths, including 200 suicides.
These men deserve answers. These men deserve to know why the records of exactly what they were injected with is shrouded in secrecy and records have been “lost”. Yes, men do take on the disposable roll, yes men do choose to go out in a blaze of glory, but a injection the Ministry of Defense has no real knowledge of is not a blaze of glory. It is time for the truth, however unpalatable that is.