"A country is not just what it does—it is also what it tolerates." Yad Vashem, Jerusalem
I wrote an Op Ed published in the Air Force Times in early 1993 reflecting on President Clinton’s decision allowing women in some combat roles. President Clinton had stated in his 1992 campaign that he would abide by the congressional committee’s recommendations. The committee ruled in a close vote, 8-7, that women should not be in combat roles. Once elected the President summarily disregarded his campaign promise and succumbed to the feminist’s desire to allow women in harm's way, although limited to certain positions. My Op Ed entitled "What Would Billy Mitchell Do?" was appropriately titled asking military leaders to stand up against the feminist agenda that desired to put women in combat positions. No one stood up in 1993.
The connection to General Billy Mitchell is important. General Mitchell was one of the last Generals unrestrained by political correctness. In 1921 Mitchell declared that "the first battles of any future war will be air battles." When the Navy and War Departments failed to develop an air service, Mitchell accused the military of being incompetent and criminally negligent. For this unforgivable sin of prophetic insight and speaking the truth General Mitchell was court martialed by the War Department. In other words, he was the one of our last Generals who spoke the truth to the bureaucrats and refused to play politics with superiors who were weak bellied and politically expedient.
My Op Ed then, and now, was and is not intended to be a sexist attack against the ability of woman to serve in the military. Women have served proudly in the US Military for most of America’s history in many roles. Rather, my Op Ed asks the bigger question of the wisdom of allowing women in certain combat roles. Twenty years later Pentagon Chief Leon Panetta is now almost completely removing the military’s ban on women serving in combat. But the question remains:
Just because we CAN put women in combat roles does it mean we SHOULD?
A little history is needed in the feminist agenda relating to our military. In the 1980s-‘90s Pat Schroeder, Democrat Congresswoman and radical feminist from Colorado was extremely vocal in attacking a "patriarchal military" and instrumental pushing woman into more combat roles. Disgusted by the male Generals and Admirals that appeared before her congressional committees during the fallout from the infamous Tail Hook scandal in 1991, Schroeder wrote that sexual harassment “is the symptom of a larger problem: institutional bias against women.” Schroeder was never a fan of the US military advocating deep reductions in overseas troop levels and sympathetic to Soviet aggression into Afghanistan in the 1980s.
Schroeder also knew that to be promoted to the rank of General or Admiral requires distinguished performance in combat conditions at the lower ranks. Ah......now you understand the radical feminist agenda: Get women in combat at the lower ranks so that they would one day become Generals in charge of the military. In Schroeder’s feminist vision, future congresswomen would only be talking eye-to-eye with female Generals. Placing women at the top ranks in the military would once and for all atone for all the sins of the past by this flawed "patriarchal institution."
My main objections then and now to women serving in direct combat:
• Physical strength requirements will be impacted which will cause people to die in combat. A 120 lb lady with full combat gear on the ground will not be able to carry a 200 lb man to safety if injured. Instead of “No man left behind” on the field of battle the new motto might become “Hope you stay alive while I go get help.”
• Women get pregnant and men don’t. Following Clinton's 1993 decision, follow-up studies showed that "on average 15 percent of female personnel became pregnant each year," said Elaine Donnelly, an original commission member who in 2005 served as chairman of the nonprofit Center for Military Readiness. If a woman has had $10 Million dollars spent on them to become a qualified war fighting asset (example: pilot) and then gets pregnant, you have just wasted $10 million and have to spend an additional training costs to train a high value replacement. That is fiscally irresponsible.
• Sexual relations will occur in close quarters. If we were in an all-out conflict how quickly could we replace massive numbers of troops who choose to get pregnant so they can be removed from the combat zone?
• Dovetailing on romantic relations in close quarters is the other problem of loyalties and jealousies that will always occur. Eros is a powerful emotion that will cause soldiers to naturally try to protect their lovers, even in a combat situation. Efforts to protect a lover may endanger everyone else in the unit. Jealousies over rival mates will diminish unit morale breakdown and cohesiveness.
• Women bring life into the world and are nurturers by nature. Does our society really want nurturers focusing on killing people in combat leaving the men at home to play mommy?
• Remember Mogadishu in 1993 where our male Army Rangers dead bodies were dragged through the streets after being slaughtered? Do we really want women raped and brutalized by Islamic militias on live TV? I don’t think the enemy will abide by political correctness. In the Vietnam conflict the North Vietnamese held our POWs for up to 8 years. What about the shock value of a rape produced child being born in a POW camp? Even worse, the Islamists might choose to slice the female open and abort the child on live TV for propaganda purposes.
• Will women be drafted? Does that mean President Obama is willing to allow his daughters to be conscripted if a draft was ordered? In 1993 I corresponded with Senator Sam Nunn and he assured me that women will never be drafted in these United States. Has the Senator’s reassurance been devoured by the feminist agenda?
But the question remains: Just because we CAN put women in combat does it mean we SHOULD?
Woman and men are fundamentally different despite what the feminists preach. If this new policy remains unchanged, then war fighting capability has now become a secondary goal of the world’s greatest military. Gender equality now becomes the primary goal of the US military regardless of operational, fiscal, or social impact. Once again and twenty years hence, do we have any Generals today that will stand up and tell President Obama and Secretary Panetta that they are dead wrong?
The Progressive Left in this country continues to assault Judeo-Christian values and are intent on taking down the institutions one-by-one that have been the bedrock to Western society and culture. The common theme never mentioned by the Left or the media is that all these attacks against Marriage, pro-gay rights, pro-abortion, and pro-woman in combat are at the root god-less attacks against the God-ordained unique differences between men and women and His creation. In the godless Left, we are all equally evolved organisms with no moral compass, no duty to God, and no difference between men and women. According to the Progressive Left, all is permissible because there is no ultimate standard of right and wrong.
Future historians may look at America’s history and weep over our demise but may not understand the moral decay that undermined our freedoms. America started out honoring God in its founding documents. Now, His name is being purged from the public square and the barbarians are tearing down all the institutions that have advanced Western society. Alexis de Tocqueville is reported to have said these prophetic words in the early 19th century: "America is great because she is good. If America ceases to be good, America will cease to be great." Those words seem more appropriate every day.
Once again, it is a matter of the heart.