金子吉晴(日本の自存自衛を取り戻す会)    行動保守運動の一員として真に戦後レジームからの脱却を追求しています。


「Against Our Will: Men, Women, and Rape」 ベトナム戦争時における米軍の売春宿の実態


And so we come to the Americans - where first we must look at institutionalized prostitution,for as the American presence in Vietnam multiplied,the unspoken military theory of women's bodies as not only a reward of war but as a necessary provision like soda pop and ice cream,to keep our boys healthy and happy, turned into routine practice.

And if monetary access to women's bodies did not promote an ideology of rape in Vietnam, neither did it thwart it.

General George S.Patton,who had been so pragmatic about expectations of rape,is credited with the desire to experiment with military brothels during his World War II command,an idea he abandoned when he became convinced that the uproar they would create among wives and mothers back in the States might hurt the war effort.

Patton did not have his way in World War II but his ghost must have approved of Vietnam.
The tradition of military brothels had been established in Vietnam long before the American presence.

The late Bernard Fall,who wrote so vividly of the war in its early years,detailed with enthusiasm the French Army's particular contribution to the use of women in war - the mobile field brothel,or Bordel Mobile de Campagne, stocked with girls imported from Algeria.

"The B.M.C.'s would travel with units in the combat zones," Fall wrote,"and in general, the French Army in Indochina kept them pretty much out of sight of American newsmen and officials. 'You can just imagine the howl if some blabbermouth comes out with a statement to the effect that American funds are used to maintain bordellos for the French Army,' said one colonel."

A mobile field brothel, Fall reported, was inside the famous fortress of Dienbienphu when the French surrendered.

By the time the Americans had fully replaced the French in Indochina the war had sufficiently disrupted South Vietnamese society to a point where it was no longer necessary to import foreign women for the purpose of military prostitution.

I do not mean to imply that prostitution was unknown in Vietnam before the long war.

As Peter Arnett told me, "Prostitution was a time-honored tradition.Certain heads of families would not think twice before routinely selling their daughters if they needed the money."

But as the long war progressed, prostitution increasingly became the only viable economic solution for thousands of South Vietnamese women.

By 1966 the problem had reached such proportions that a Committee for the Defense of the Vietnamese Woman's Human Dignity and Rights was organized in Saigon by several hundred women educators,writers and social workers, according to an AP dispatch.

The wire service reported that bitter words" were expressed at the first meeting.

"The miserable conditions of war have forced our people to sell everything - their wives, children, relatives and friends - for the American dollar," a woman educator was quoted.

The Committee for the Defense of the Vietnamese Woman,overwhelmed by the reality of the Vietnam war, was never heard from again.

The American military got into the prostitution business by degrees,an escalation process linked to the escalation of the war.Underlying the escalation was the assumption that men at war required the sexual use of women's bodies.

Reporter Arnett saw the gradual acceptance of U.S. military-controlled and -regulated brothels as a natural outgrowth of what he called "the McNamara theory": "In 1965 the main idea was to keep the troops contented and satisfied.Ice cream, movies, swimming pools, pizza, hot dogs, laundry service and hootch maids.The hootch maid were brought in as maids, not as prostitutes. Sex with a hootch maid was a private arrangement, a relationship of convenience. A lot of hootch maids did become prostitutes, however, but in the early days if they were discovered at it, they were fired."

The hootch maids were the first step toward accommodation; bar girls and massage parlors soon followed.

According to Arnett, the rear-area troops caused the most "problems": "There was a lot of discontent and boredom. The men were aware that they were soldiers who weren't fighting, who weren't getting any medals. They might drive into town to the illegal brothels, but for reasons of VD and security the brothels were off limits." (Massage parlors, that vague gray area of sexual action from Saigon to New York City,were always considered legal.)

In 1965 the Marine Corps base at Danang began experimenting with organized battalion trips to town on a once-a-month basis, but according to Arnett it was a disaster: "The men would hit town like animals, they couldn't cope, it was pure chaos."

After this early experience the Marine command decided to confine their men to the base camp, but the inviolate law of supply and demand went into operation.A shantytown of brothels, massage parlors and dope dealers, known as Dogpatch, soon ringed the base.

"The marines would bust through the wire at night - the Marine command could live with that," the reporter told me.

It was Arnett's opinion (not shared by me) that the U.S. Army was "more enlightened" than the Marine Corps when it came to sexual accommodation.

By 1966 the 1st Cavalry Division at An Khe, in the Central Highlands, the 1st Infantry Division at Lai Khe, twenty-five miles north of Saigon, and the 4th Infantry Division at Pleiku had established official military brothels within the perimeter of their base camps.

The Lai Khe "recreation area" belonging to the base camp of the 3rd Brigade, 1st Infantry Division was a one-acre compound surrounded by barbed wire with American MP's standing guard at the gate.

It was opened only during daylight hours for security reasons.Inside the compound there were shops that sold hot dogs, hamburgers and souvenirs, but the main attraction was two concrete barracks, each about one hundred feet long - the military whorehouses that serviced the four-thousand-man brigade. Each building was outfitted with two bars, a bandstand, and sixty curtained cubicles in which the Vietnamese women lived and worked.

An individual cubicle contained little more than a table with a thin mattress on it and a peg on one wall for the girl's change of clothing.On the opposite wall a Playboy nude centerfold provided decoration and stimulation for the visiting soldier.

The women who lived in the Lai Khe recreation-center cubicles were garishly made up with elaborate, sprayed bouffant hairdos and many had enlarged their breasts with silicone injections as a concession to Western fetish.

The sexual service, as Arnett described it, was "quick,straight and routine," and the women were paid five hundred piasters (the equivalent of two dollars in American money) for each turn by their GI clients.

Americans always paid in piasters. For each trick she turned, a girl would get to keep two hundred piasters (seventy-five cents), the rest going to various levels of payoffs. By turning eight to ten tricks a day a typical prostitute in the Lai Khe compound earned more per month than her GI clients, Arnett advised me - a curious sidelight to a not-so-free enterprise system.

Refugees who had lost their homes and families during the war and veterans of the earlier Saigon bar trade formed the stock of the brothel.

They were recruited by the province chief, who took his payoff, and were channeled into town by the mayor of Lai Khe, who also got his cut.

The American military,which kept its hands partially clean by leaving the procurement and price arrangement to Vietnamese civilians, controlled and regulated the health and security features of the trade. "The girls were checked and swabbed every week for VD by Army medics," my informed source told me approvingly.

Military brothels on Army base camps ("Sin Cities", "Disney-lands" or "boom-boom parlors") were built by decision of a division commander, a two-star general, and were under the direct operational control of a brigade commander with the rank of colonel.

Clearly, Army brothels in Vietnam existed by the grace of Army Chief of Staff William C. Westmoreland, the United States Embassy in Saigon, and the Pentagon.

Venereal disease, mostly gonorrhea, was a major preoccupation of the military in Vietnam.

One official brothel outside Saigon had a sign on the wall of the bar that read "GIRLS WITH TAGS ARE CLEAN."

Lest the declaration failed to make its points, a sign on the opposite wall spelled out "GIRLS WITHOUT TAGS ARE DISEASED."

It was mandatory for all units to report their incidence of VD to the higher-ups, since it reflected on military discipline as well as on the health of the soldiery, and a high VD count was charged against the merit rating of a battalion."Most units lied about their VD count," Arnett believed.

It was also his understanding that the reported VD rate "was high from the beginning" in relation to other wars and to a normal civilian population.(in 1969 GI's contracted venereal disease in Vietnam at a reported rate of 200 cases per 1,000 persons; the United States rate at the time was 32 per 1,000.)

Company commanders often went to ingenious lengths to lower their counts.One commander, Arnett told me, boasted that there was no VD at all in his company.His method of protecting his men was highly enterprising: "He didn't allow them to use the official brothel, he didn't trust it.It turned out he kept six girls sequestered on his part of the base and had them shot full of penicillin every day."

I am sorry that it is not within the scope of this book to explore the lives of Vietnamese women who became "Occupation: prostitute" as a direct result of the foreign military presence in their country.

It is a story that should be told in detail, from the tremendous source of revenue that prostitution provided their beleaguered country, to account of Saigon brothels filled with ten-year-old girls,to the incidence of work-related deaths from tuberculosis and venereal disease, and with a special nod of recognition to those who survived.

I have dwelt on official U.S. military prostitution, and the concomitant concern for control of venereal disease, because it is necessary to understand the military mind before proceeding to an examination of GI rape.

Except for the Marine Corps, which attempted to enforce a relatively strict moral code, the use of women's bodies on the base camps was seen as a way to "keep the boys happy."

Officers were not expected to engage in whoring;the institution was made available for the foot soldier, or "grunt," the fellow with the least to gain from being in Vietnam, the one who needed to be mollified and pacified - perhaps because he was fighting a war he did not understand and because he daily faced the possibility that he might be killed.

As Arnett cautioned me to remember, "These guys were always thinking,'I'm gonna get screwed tonight - this may be my last.'"

It was this mollification aspect, and not a belief that soldiers required the use of a woman's body out of some intrinsic male urge,that motivated the U.S. Army to get into the prostitution business.

A regular tour of duty in Vietnam consisted of a one-year stretch, not an unconscionably long period of time to be without a woman, and relief from sexual tension could be,and I presume routinely was, accomplished by masturbation.

As one GI prisoner of war remarked upon his repatriation in February, 1973, "This stuff about not being able to live without sex is nonsense. What I dreamed about was food and medicine."

And while the military's emphasis on avoidance of venereal disease is certainly commendable, for all the anti-VD training films and for all the concern about merit ratings, there was no comparable cautionary training against committing rape.

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