Captain Nichola Goddard, a Forward Observation Officer with the 1st Canadian Royal Horse Artillery, died in combat in Afghanistan this Wednesday. Her LAV (Light Armoured Vehicle) was hit by an RPG while she was doing her job, standing up and observing. My sympathies to her family and to her comrades-in-arms. My most humble thanks to Captain Goddard. Your bravery rekindles hope for Western civilization, and your death makes me weep. Thank you Canada.
The battle in which Nichola Goddard was killed was reported by the LA Times/Associated Press as “Wave of Afghan Violence Kills More Than 100.” The fact that 80 to 90 of those killed were Taliban is only mentioned by indirection.
The twisted headline makes it sound as if many civilians died because the military could not protect them. The fact is that Nichola Goddard died protecting Afghan civilians in a battle where she helped inflict massive losses on the enemy. Feminists should be upset over this denigration of a female soldier. I certainly am, and I do not share their obsession with having women in combat. I also suspect that that is the only principle Nichola Goddard shared with Feminists.
An overwhelming victory by coalition forces is saddled with a headline intended to instill despair in the West. How about “Nearly 100 Taliban die in Attack on Coalition Forces”, instead? You still get to use a round number, and it is a more accurate reflection of what transpired. While that sort of phrasing does not fit the “America is guilty” mentality, it would least honor Captain Goddard’s skill and sacrifice.
Excerpts from an interview with Captain Goddard reported in Toronto’s Globe and Mail (requires subscription) are inspiring. Some of this can be found at Strongworld:
They [Afghan National Army] had watched in awe as Capt. Goddard completed a 10-kilometre [6 miles] march up a mountain, carrying 45 kilograms [100 pounds] of kit on her back, and she had watched as they ran past her up those same rocky inclines.
Later, at a shura, one of the meetings with village elders Canadians hold regularly, the men in the town were staring at Capt. Goddard. The interpreter approached her and said, she wrote, “Please excuse their staring. They are just very surprised that you are a woman working with all of these men. I have told them that you climbed over the mountain with us with your heavy bag and that you had no problems. They think that you must be very strong.
“I explained to them that you are just like the men, and that you can do everything that they can do the same as them.”
“It was,” Capt. Goddard wrote, “perhaps the greatest statement of equality that I have ever heard, and it was given by a Pakistani-raised, Afghan male in the middle of an Afghan village that is only accessible by a five-kilometre walk up a mountain.
Read it all. Especially if you consider yourself a Feminist.