Do ya wanna be in my gang, my gang, my gang,Do ya wanna be in my gang? Oh yeah. It seems that Mitt Romney is currently the leader of the pack as far as the GOP race goes and many now want to be in his "gang". Tomorrow, Super Tuesday, March 6, 2012, ten US states, with 437 delegates, are up for grabs. Today Mitt Romney seems to be gaining ground.
This morning various important players in the Super Tuesday elections have thrown their weight behind Mitt Romney. With endorsements pouring in he must be hopeful of victory on Tuesday. It seems that for many Republican followers in the US he offers the best option to win the 2012 US election.
Rick Santorum may be the darling of the US bible belt but his often extreme sentiments alienate more voters than they attract. Newt Gingrich had a brief surge in popularity but now seems to have blown himself out of the race. Too many impossible promises have left Newt looking foolish at times. Ron Paul may be a sensible option but his campaign has failed to fire up any enthusiasm.
Whilst some may claim that Romney's wealth is the big divider between he and the other three, it could be because only he looks able to become the US President. All of the four GOP candidates still have to formulate a credible policy for government. In the UK political parties have clear readable manifesto's pre-election time. In reality some never put into practice what they promised but it does give serious voters something to work on.
Whilst some pundits have called Romney "the most boring candidate of the four" this has worked to his advantage. Better to be boring and predictable than off the wall and antagonistic. In the end Mitt Romney could succeed because he is boring rather than in spite of it.
A few days ago, during a televised interview, GOP hopeful Rick Santorum attempted to explain his hard stance on rape. It did seem at odds with many peoples views and it is hard to believe that a woman would have expressed a similar view. That said many men were quick to condemn his view that even a foetus which is the result of rape should be treasured and seen as a gift from god.
You have to wonder what planet such a man is living on.
Rape is seldom as clean cut and civilised as it is portrayed in the movies. It can be very brutal and so much more. It can negatively change the victims way of life forever. His view in so many ways belittle the true trauma that rape can be.
The pro-life brigade in the US may tend to agree with Santorum but what about the act of rape. All of this led this blogger to consider rape as it is so often used, as a weapon. A weapon of war. Some would say it is always a weapon as it is less about sex and more about exerting power over a person. Rape during times of conflict and war has been used by the armed forces of many countries. Whilst we were rightly shocked and horrified at the tales of rape during the Libyan civil war it is not a new concept.
War criminals are more often that not selected from the losing side. At times it does seem as if the winning war criminals are trying the losing war criminals. Let's face it in truth all war is a crime. A loss of life, values, money and more. Perhaps rape has been used so much in the past as the majority of soldiers in the past have been men.
It has been widely recorded that German soldiers abused and raped women. Russian soldiers were no better. They raped German women and children when they were caught, often before killing them. But surely not our soldiers, I hear you say. Sadly yes.
Allied troops occupied Japan from 1945 until 1952. US troops stand accused of isolated incidents of rape, not the mass rape so often meted out by the Germans and the Russians. Many incidences of rape were not reported but 76 were over a five year period were. Wikipedia carries a US Japan testimony that, "Marching south, men of the 4th Marines passed a group of some 10 American soldiers bunched together in a tight circle next to the road. They were 'quite animated,' noted a corporal who assumed they were playing a game of craps. 'Then as we passed them I could see they were taking turns raping an oriental woman. I was furious, but our outfit kept marching by as though nothing unusual was going on.'
War rape goes against the Geneva convention but it continues. At times it is gang rape or rape with an instrument such as a gun barrel. It leaves women in a bad physical condition. Is it partly done as a form of attacking their men? Is it used to belittle a community and perhaps herald surrender? It is well reported that in the past it has been advocated or at times actively encouraged by leaders as part of the means of war. Women as a weapon or a target.
In 2011 when claims that Gaddafi loyalists were abusing women, raping and more, we, the West, were up in arms. Yet it still goes on across the world. Rape has been used by our forces and could be again. Whether it would be isolated incidents of "bad apples" abusing their power or organised gang rape who knows. The fact that in the 21st Century rape is still used in war shows that we have not come as far as we think. In many ways women are still treat as an underclass, a sex object, a possession and a way to hit a community hard. When the going gets tough it appears we no longer remain civilised in the least. Civilisation I guess is just a sham.