The Spectacle Blog

Women and War

By on 3.23.11 | 10:09AM

Liberals continue to be fascinated by the gender of implications of women inside the Obama administration wanting war with Libya and men opposing it. Maureen Dowd devotes her entire column to the subject today.

It is not yet clear if the Valkyries will get the credit or the blame on Libya. But everyone is fascinated with the gender flip: the reluctant men - the generals, the secretary of defense, top male White House national security advisers - outmuscled by the fierce women around President Obama urging him to man up against the crazy Qaddafi.

How odd to see the diplomats as hawks and the military as doves.

First of all, this really isn't anything new. Dowd herself recounts Madeline Albright arguing with Colin Powell over humanitarian interventions in the Balkans. What's the point of having this superb military if we can't use it? To me, the more interesting angle in this case is the reluctance to go to war on the part of those with some familiarity with the military, and the enthusiasm for it on the part of those who have never faced war's consequences.

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