October 1, 2009

In a violent emergency, who will step up? The men?

This was a topic of conversation here at Meadhouse last night, as we were watching "Day After Disaster" on the History Channel:
Against a morning sky, a mushroom cloud spirals heavenward. A nuclear bomb has detonated in the heart of Washington D.C., incinerating 15,000 residents in just 15 seconds. More than 50% of the population living within a 1/2 mile radius of the explosion is either dead or severely injured. The next 24 hours will determine whether the rest of the city lives or dies. To survive this horrific ordeal they will need a plan. And lucky for us--there is one. But will it work? For the first time on television, the Department of Homeland Security reveals the most detailed and comprehensive plan to save America should terrorists go nuclear. This chilling two-hour special delves into the complex and highly secretive world of disaster planning.
Okay. Cool TV show. A nice alternative to that godawful Ken Burns swill about the National Parks. (If you don't stop tinkling that piano, I'm going to advocate painting mustaches on Mount Rushmore.) We're only halfway through the nuclear aftermath, up to the part when there are suffering survivors in the radioactive wreckage and nothing like enough emergency workers. It made me flash back to 9/11, the image of so many men converging on NYC, propelled by a drive to save people. Who will step up? Men. But it's not always and only men. 

I thought of that conversation this morning, as I read this news story about a 21-year-old Pakistani woman, whose family's house was invaded by terrorists. She had been hiding under the bed, and they were beating her father (who had resisted their demands for food and lodging).
[S]he ran towards her father’s attacker and struck him with an axe. As he collapsed, she snatched his AK47 and shot him dead.

She also shot and wounded another militant as he made his escape.

Miss Kausar said she had never fired an assault rifle before but had seen it in films and could not stand by while her father was being hurt. “I couldn’t bear my father’s humiliation. If I’d failed to kill him, they would have killed us,” she said.
Rukhsana Kausar, setting a good example!


51 comments:

miller said...

Good for her. Women need to stand up against men who mistreat them, especially when they think "no" means "yes."

MadisonMan said...

If I wanted to strike at a home invader with an axe, I'd have to run to the garage first.

Good for the young lady. God protect her now. Does she get to keep the gun?

knox said...

The Ken Burns thing is definitely getting old.

Bart DePalma said...

Ms. Kausar sounds like my wife. Brenda is a former paramedic and a good shot. She would be one of the first on the scene to save a life or take one if need be.

amba said...

The expression on her face is worth a thousand words.

Hoosier Daddy said...

She also shot and wounded another militant as he made his escape.

Heh. Do that in the US and you have a good chance of being charged yourself and probably sued for good measure.

If I wanted to strike at a home invader with an axe, I'd have to run to the garage first.

So would I so that's why I have a shotgun under the bed :-)

paul a'barge said...

I don't get it ... the History Channel says that this thing airs on October 4, Sunday.

You've already watched it? How did you do that?

ironrailsironweights said...

Here's a pretty good girlfight video from Pakistan. The chick in the yellow shirt lands a terrific kick.

Peter

al said...

You can't beat a woman who shoots.

Angst said...

I believe one of the most compelling speakers from the NRA is a woman.

Ann Althouse said...

"You've already watched it? How did you do that?"

The History Channel has been known to do repeats.

garage mahal said...

Ok so what's wrong with the Ken Burns special? National Parks suck? They're not being strip mined or drilled on?

Treacle said...

the national park miniseries is very good. i had no idea that a japanese immigrant had a pivotal role in securing national park status for the smokies. and if you don't like what they're saying, ann, turn the volume off, turn on the grateful dead and drop acid.

edutcher said...

Bart DePalma said...

Ms. Kausar sounds like my wife. Brenda is a former paramedic and a good shot.

Similar to mine: nurse, undercover babe in her youth, dead shot with a .45, black belt in judo.

Any cop will tell you the last thing you want is to get a woman really mad at you.

There's a passage in "Roughing It" where Mark Twain recounts a fellow traveler on a stagecoach wishing for more men on the stage as they traveled through a bandit-infested part of the Comstock Lode. Twain replies that, if the recent past was any indication, one or two high-spirited women would be much better.

traditionalguy said...

Military arms are exactly what the Second Amendment was talking about never being outlawed by the USA. Weapons are the great equalizers and peacemakers. That said, the women can be as valuable as the men in a fight, even if it injures their emotional side more than it hurts a man's. But in the willingness of men to JUMP IN and fight to save their family and friends at great risk to their own lives men are legendary. In a crisis give me a committed man who is willing to die for me everyday. Is it genetic? Who can say, but a coolness under fire is an inborn male trait that men have to be trained to control so that they will not fight for the wrong causes. And then there is Sarah Palin who goes for the smartest victory and still shows that she values the men who do the hard fighting for her.

Freder Frederson said...

What on earth does killing terrorists have to do with providing emergency response after a terrorist attack? Especially a mass casualty incident that would require highly specialized medical skills (skill in treating burns and radiation).

Wasn't Ann making fun of Richard Cohen just the other day for being ridiculously macho for wanting to punch Roman Polanski in the face? Yet here she is making a comparison between a woman, however brave, who killed a terrorist, with the completely different skill sets it would take to handle the aftermath of a nuclear explosion. (Or maybe Ann thinks that by watching reruns of ER she can learn how to perform skin grafts on burn victims and differentiate radiation sickness from a simple case of the flu).

Freder Frederson said...

Weapons are the great equalizers and peacemakers.

Yes, arms races always leads to international stability and peace.

Freder Frederson said...

Weapons are the great equalizers and peacemakers.

Yes, arms races always leads to international stability and peace.

John Burgess said...

Since the District of Columbia, even post Heller makes it difficult for one to bear arms, it would not be a pretty picture on the day after.

Untrained medical personnel aren't going to be of much use in radioactive rubble. Few homes have radiation suits in the front hall closet, after all.

Likely the best response for those still living is to get out of Dodge and find a quieter place.

As that's the obvious option, there's going to be competition for getting out of town, for cars, fuel, cash, food. While of course it's not nice to acquire these at gunpoint, I see nothing wrong in protecting what you have at gunpoint.

But, since this is DC, that's hard to do legally.

Ann Althouse said...

"and if you don't like what they're saying, ann, turn the volume off, turn on the grateful dead and drop acid."

We are considering watching it with the sound off.

I do like learning the history, but I cannot stand the slowness of the speaking and all the endless idealistic sounding mush.

"America's best idea"? Come on! That's an outrageous assertion! How about equality or democracy or even federalism? Hmm... yeah... why national parks? Why not state parks? Why is that such a great idea?

ricpic said...

What Miss Kauser did was the equivalent of the mother who lifts a car off her pinned child. Courageous and dependent on a huge shot of adrenalin. Very praiseworthy but not involving the kind of sustained upper body strength required of responders to the devastation wrought by a nuclear blast. Which is why the overwhelming majority of responders will continue to be men.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Yes, arms races always leads to international stability and peace.


Freder, during the 1920s and 1930s there was quite the disarmanent rage going through Europe. Well except for one country anyway and well, we know how that turned out.

I know you think flowers and daffodils are the road to peace but the problem is the world of full of bad people.

Hoosier Daddy said...

What on earth does killing terrorists have to do with providing emergency response after a terrorist attack?

Don't worry Freder, I speak Althouse and can translate for you.

In the last sentence of the first paragraph she remarks about the image of men converging on the WTC trying to help and that we think its always men who will step up to save the day.

Althouse then subtly but clearly segeways into a newspiece about a woman who steps up to save the day, specifically her father who was getting his ass kicked by some freedom figh...oops...I mean terrorists because he refused to provide them food and lodging.

So there you go. If you have any other questions or concerns over the content of this post I will cheerfully provide you with the translation and analysis.

ironrailsironweights said...

the kind of sustained upper body strength required of responders to the devastation wrought by a nuclear blast. Which is why the overwhelming majority of responders will continue to be men.

I actually don't see that the responders to an nuclear blast would particularly need upper body strength. As a prior comment notes, specialized medical training would be in great demand, and probably other skills relating to radiation safety and cleanup. In the longer term there'd be a need for construction and infrastructure-restoration skills, and harder to define skills relating to civil order and administration.

As for brute strength, I suppose that would come in handy for pulling people out of collapsed buildings,* but wouldn't building close enough to the blast to have collapsed also be too radioactive to enter?

* = untrained people who try to rescue victims from building collapses often end up as victims themselves

Peter

Hoosier Daddy said...

You know the whole issue of a terrorist nuke attack is academic in any event. That was just the kind of irresponsible nonsense talk that Bush used to justify invading Iraq to steal their oil and feed our secret vampire army with the blood of innocent Iraqi childrens.

rhhardin said...

There's Rush's PMS Amazon batallions real audio.

Desifinance said...

Correction please:

The incident happened not in Pakistan but the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir and by an Indian farmers daughter.
(The first line in the linked news item says so)
BTW its the india side of Jammu and Kashmir....
Thanks
Shailaja

knox said...

Ok so what's wrong with the Ken Burns special? National Parks suck? They're not being strip mined or drilled on?

Ha ha, very funny. You think you're hot snot but you're really cold boogers.


Althouse nailed it. There is a certain feel and sound and, well ... plodding quality to his docs. Time to mix it up a little. Hugs, Ken!

Lance said...

I wonder how the young men in Miss Kausar's village have reacted to her heroism. Are they lining up, or backing away?

Bissage said...

Seeing that photo of Miss Kausar awkwardly clutching that assault weapon, posing for the camera, brings to mind “O Lucky Man!”, yet again, only this time the ending where someone shoves a machine gun into Malcolm McDowell’s hands and he’s told to strike a pose as flashbulbs pop away -- an unmistakable allusion to the earlier movie “if….”

This said, Miss Kauser can hide under my bed anytime she wants.

J said...

"Yes, arms races always leads to international stability and peace"

Well, peace anyway. Not necessarily stability, though stability isn't always a good thing. Disarming while your enemies continue to arm themselves seems, on the other hand, to cause a lot of problems.

"Do that in the US and you have a good chance of being charged yourself and probably sued for good measure"

I understand that to be the case in certain coastal urban areas, but is it the norm? Most of the places I've lived as an adult (in flyover country), you could not be prosecuted or sued for killing a home invader.

Robohobo said...

"Freder Frederson said...

Weapons are the great equalizers and peacemakers.

Yes, arms races always leads to international stability and peace."

Freder, actually they do. But since you do sound like a Librul I do not expect that to make sense to you.

Synova said...

I think that the question of who steps up is answered with "everyone." It's just that the reality of things means that the women stepping up are usually not as mobile or visible as the men. Consider those in the age demographic most likely to have the strength and mobility to be effective... they are also most likely to have families with children. Particularly in crisis one parent is going to be "stepping up" to take responsibility for security and management of the immediate crisis at the home or evacuation level, freeing the other to pitch in to deal with the larger problem.

Having evacuated from a natural disaster with an infant I speak from experience on this part. Dealing with that immediate crisis and necessity is pretty much all a human being is capable of, and then only because there is no choice. And usually the person doing so is female. I'm not complaining, just explaining why the majority of the people moving about and *doing* things seemed to be men.

It wouldn't have to be, but that's the way it is.

Freeman Hunt said...

She rules. Hero.

Freeman Hunt said...

There should be a hero tag.

Lem said...

Okay. Cool TV show. A nice alternative to that godawful Ken Burns swill about the National Parks.

Thats sacri-ledge Althouse.

you are a blast-fever.

Michele said...

There are at least two 'end of the world as we know it' movies coming out this fall (The Road and some special effects $200 million flick). So Hollywood wants you to consider the possibility of this happening.

But James Rawles' survival book is #4 on Amazon's bestseller list (despite no media coverage) and if you read some of the reviews, only teh crazies would ever read that book. So watch the movies, but do not actually consider preparing for disaster.

WV: fleat - when fleas retreat.

Lem said...

I do like learning the history, but I cannot stand the slowness of the speaking and all the endless idealistic sounding mush.

You think that was long?

Try the Baseball series - nine days representing nine innings with only a couple of tunes .. by the six day 'take me out to the ballgame' had become take me out of my misery.

pm317 said...

Ann, she is not a Pakistani woman. She is Indian living near the Line of Control on the Indian side. The militants were from the terrorist group Lashkar e-Taiba (LeT), the same group that terrorized Mumbai, India in November last year. The guy she killed is confirmed to be the LeT commander who was active in that area for a bunch of years. What she did is way beyond significant.

AJ Lynch said...

Laura Croft watch out- the Third World has your replacement!

I guess that could be said about all of us.

wv= zoode

AJ Lynch said...

MM:

You keep your axe in the garage?

Best thing to do is take some duct tape and tape a nice weapon {knife, gun, bayonet) behind the big furniture pieces in every room....like your piano, bedroom bureau, fridge. That way, you can always get to one when you need it.

Or better yet- cleave your axe in Garage [mahal]. Heh.

wv = congs

AJ Lynch said...

I just ordered the book on National Parks [Time Life I believe] cause I would like to visit many of them soon.

As to Burns, he got old like Bob Costas has when he does the Olympics or baseball. Enough already with the romanticism of sports and Americana.

wv = dends

Hoosier Daddy said...

"Do that in the US and you have a good chance of being charged yourself and probably sued for good measure"

I understand that to be the case in certain coastal urban areas, but is it the norm? Most of the places I've lived as an adult (in flyover country), you could not be prosecuted or sued for killing a home invader.


My comment was in regard to the terrorist she shot who was trying to escape. You shoot your home invader in the back and depending on how much of a liberal the prosecuter is, may conclude you shot him while he was "excusing himself from accidently entering the wrong home."

I've read in some jurisdictions, killing an unarmed home intruder could land you in the pokey.

Cedarford said...

Freder Frederson said...
What on earth does killing terrorists have to do with providing emergency response after a terrorist attack? Especially a mass casualty incident that would require highly specialized medical skills (skill in treating burns and radiation).

Wasn't Ann making fun of Richard Cohen just the other day for being ridiculously macho for wanting to punch Roman Polanski in the face? Yet here she is making a comparison between a woman, however brave, who killed a terrorist, with the completely different skill sets it would take to handle the aftermath of a nuclear explosion.


Freder confuses the need for nurturing caregivers as the sole need after an act of war, with what are many parallel needs - ability to restore order, wipe out the enemy ASAP, and maintain security. Security both from desperate refugees doing lawless things and the typical black thugs that pour out trying to take advantage of any disaster as an opportunity for them once law&order breaks down.

Security will be from National Guard and likely supplemented by Federal military and emergency Draftees out of the Vet ranks who get the "call" simply because they are already military-trained. Martial Law with shoot to kill orders is very likely. (That is what Civil Defense plans call for).

The NRA fantasy of the "hero gunowner" making society safe after such an attack as an Individual Freedom Lover restoring Order..banding together with other gun-fondling "rugged individualists" to save America - is just a fantasy.
But guns will be important for self defense of family and property until the troops show up.

Also, sad to say, triage will be brutal following a nuke. People badly burned or hit with a lethal dose of radiation unless they get massive intense care may just be given a heavy morphine shot, with luck, to help them die easier..Or a friendly bullet. Because it will take days to gear up to treat masses of people or transfer them to "specialized burn care units elsewhere in the country".

War really sucks. If you go to Hiroshima, you see that those who could get out on their own did that, and those that couldn't were left to die in the firestorm. No rescue. And Japanese soldiers and firefighters realized trying to do rescue or fight any fire 3000 meters from the blast was a waste of time..and then worked the periphery..where they could do some positive good actions...

======================

John Burgess said...
Since the District of Columbia, even post Heller makes it difficult for one to bear arms, it would not be a pretty picture on the day after.

Untrained medical personnel aren't going to be of much use in radioactive rubble. Few homes have radiation suits in the front hall closet, after all.


It is unlikely that much will be done in any blast area that is intensely radioactive for a few weeks following the blast. You have to let the short-lived radionuclides that make up 98% of the rad dose decay off. You would at best have firefighters and firefighter volunteers limiting spread of thermal pulse and falling flamining debris induced fires on the periphery of the nuke detonation(s).
With people deconning any survivors who make it out on their own.
Unlikely that you would have any serious "rescue ops" in any lethal rad areas. Radiation is pretty impartial. It doesn't "care" that people are "trained" in what it does...and there is no real thing as a "anti-radiation suit" practical for rescue. You have anti-C suits that are about as effective as firefighter turnout suits and Scott Airpacks is stopping internal contamination..but if you go into a 450 REM/hr field with one for an hour, you might get 430 REM net exposure while a civilian with no protective gear gets 450 REM hour actute dose. Plus 1200 REM to the thyroid and maybe 200 REM general body dose "extra" after that in the next 2-3 years.(chronic dose).

And current emergency standards are limiting emergency people to
25 REM to save property, 100 REM to save lives...

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I've read in some jurisdictions, killing an unarmed home intruder could land you in the pokey.


If he's dead it should be fairly easy to 'arm' him then.

Cedarford said...

Of course, after such a blast, the only ones worse off would be the enemy.
A nuke blast nullifies the Geneva Convention. And any real concern about "precious enemy due process rights" and "the goal of saving enemy civilian lives at all costs".
Which is one reason why so many people see a nuke attack by Islamoids on the US Homeland is still highly unlikely. Deterrence. We have 8,000 nukes. The ACLU Jews, San Fran Democrats, and others would have no Courts to sue in to stop a massive retaliation. SCOTUS would be so much radioactive smoke disappating over the Atlantic.

MadisonMan said...

I find it very telling that two people whom I've not seen comment before have popped in to say that the woman in question is not Pakistani, but is in reality Indian and that this occurred in India.

In the context of the question posed by althouse, why does that matter?

pm317 said...

MadisonMan, it is important to get the geography of the story right because much more is encapsulated in this story than just a girl coming to the rescue. If that is all Ann wants to do then get rid of the incorrect info that she is Pakistani.

Cedarford said...

MadisonMan said...
I find it very telling that two people whom I've not seen comment before have popped in to say that the woman in question is not Pakistani, but is in reality Indian and that this occurred in India.

In the context of the question posed by althouse, why does that matter?
================
Probably to point out that this was not an "empowered Muslim woman" fighting back against Muslim oppression in her home village - but a Hindi woman helping kill the invading Islamoids.

And to note that she happened to "take the head" of an Islamoid biggie...so she did her nation of India, not just herself, a big favor.

pm317 said...

Hey cedarford, this Muslim woman will be hailed as a hero and given awards and money but a Pakistani woman in her place on the other side of the border will be shot or beheaded in public. That is the difference. I guess in your own limited way, you get it.

Bruce Hayden said...

As Synova pointed out, statistically, probably by a decent percentage, it will be the men who step up first. Why the sexism? Two reasons. First, men are considered more expendable. Secondly, given the choice of division of labor, the women are more likely to be left to care for the rest of the family.

This does not mean that the women who stay at home cannot and would not defend themselves and their families. Because, to the extent possible, they will (and that is where a gun comes in handy). And note that this Indian woman was in her house when this went down.