Lyndon Johnson warned that “without superior air power, America is a bound and throttled giant, impotent and easy prey to any yellow dwarf with a pocket knife.” After Johnson got all the Kennedy advisors, he was afraid that they might think him less of a man if he didn't carry through on the Vietnam War. When he was weighing advice on the Vietnam War, he decided it was the "boys" who were most dovish and skeptical and the "men" who were sure and confident and hawkish. When he heard that one member of his administration was becoming a dove, Johnson said, "hell, he has to squat to piss." Doubt itself, Johnson thought, was a feminine quality, and when Lady Byrd expressed her doubts on some other issue, he said of course you're doubtful; that's like a woman. Women are always uncertain; men are certain. When Johnson ordered the bombing of North Vietnam, he told a reporter, "I didn't just screw Ho Chi Minh, I cut off his pecker."

   In the Nixon/Kissinger administration, you had the same kind of dynamics. As Kissinger said, no one could prosper around Nixon without affecting an air of toughness. Nixon hated most to be shown up in a group as being less tough than his advisors. Nixon was quoted as saying that he chose Spiro Agnew as his Vice President because he was a tough guy who had a strong looking chin, and when Charles Goodell, a senator, switched from being a hawk to being a dove on the Vietnam War, Agnew likened him to transsexual Christine Jorgensen. The U.S. objective, said Kissinger, was to purge our foreign policy of all sentimentality. For Kissinger, power is the ultimate aphrodisiac, and in his words, women are no more than a pass-time, a hobby. In crisis, boldness is the safest course, said Kissinger. During the first Nixon administration, when Kissinger was National Security Advisor he didn't get along with the Secretary of State. So what he did - because he thought this Secretary of State wasn't bold enough - was to spread stories that the Secretary of State was gay and had made it with Nixon.

   Now this kind of attitude is not just at the top. It also pervades American society, and it pervades especially the military. Tailhook and other sexual harassment scandals in the military are just the tip of the iceberg, just as My Lai and those kinds of atrocities were the tip of the iceberg in Vietnam. U.S. soldiers are nourished on machismo. The 77th tactical fighter squadron had a song book including lyrics like "I Fucked a Dead Whore By the Side of the Road." In the movie Top Gun, one pilot speaks of the enemy to another and says, "They must be near; I've got a hard-on."

   If you look at anthropological data, you'll find that one predictor of whether a society is warlike or not is whether the males have a tendency towards being ambitious and competitive. In psychology, a recent experiment using male college students found that subjects who endorse the use of nuclear weapons were significantly more likely to report being sexually aroused by forcing a female to do something she didn't want to do.