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This makes for a “glass ceiling” in women’s military careers and a clear case of discrimination. In Ground Zero, Linda Francke contends that this type of gender discrimination is nothing new; and is, in fact, “traditional” for men to demean women in this way. She continues by asserting that,

“from top to bottom a male-dominated military establishment persists in its repression and persecution of women, and it conspires to protect the few remaining male-only units in thename of a ‘conservative male culture’ that cannot come to terms with the presence of women in ranks.”Francke claims that men have been “obsessed” with the issue of women as prisoners of war (POW). Looking at the testimony of Major Rhonda Cornum, who was a POW in Desert Storm, Francke shows how Cornum’s experiences were twisted to portray her as a victim at the hands of her captors. Francke points out, however, that most people ignored Cornum’s words: “Getting raped of abused or whatever is one more bad thing that can happen to you as a POW. There’s about four hundred bad things I can think of, and it’s not the worst of them”. Cornum’s claim that being a POW is just an “occupational hazard” illustrates the hardenedmentality many claim is typical of today’s female soldier.

Former Congresswomen Schroeder cited an example of a woman communication specialist who claimed she had seven minutes to live before the first bomb would strike her antenna: “In other words, because of exclusion laws, women can be killed first, but they cannot hold a combat job”. Indeed five of the women killed during the Gulf War were in rear locations thatsaw little if any action.

An article in Stars and Stripes reported that one woman was evacuated from Bosnia for pregnancy every three days

Finally, proponents’ claims that the modern battlefield nullifies our current definition of combat are unfounded. The idea that modern technology reduces warfare to pushing buttons and targeting the enemy from miles away, thus reducing the amount of physical strength required for combat, is too simplistic. According to one Army physiologist, “Pat Schroeder can say what she wants, but a ninety pound shell casing is still a ninety pound shell”. No matter how technological war has become it still will be grueling, and remember, despite all of the smart-bombs and advanced weapons, troops on the ground were still required to forcibly remove the Iraqi army from Kuwait. History dictates that marching troops into another country’s capitol and hoisting their flag is the only way to truly win wars.

Two problems arise with women in combat that uneducated idealists try to deny. One, women as a whole, lack the physical ability to handle combat, and two, women will never escape their own sexuality. These are the facts and they are undisputed. Women offer little tothe readiness and effectiveness of ground combat units. Lowering standards and conductingsensing surveys to prove women will be successful in a combat unit will all be worthless when the bullets are flying and G.I. Jane is too afraid to lay on suppressive fires or too tired to hump a 100 pound rucksack to the objective. It is unfortunate that the military is so dominated by the politically correct mentality that it has to succumb to theinane ideologies of an ignorant minoritythat hold to promoting blind equality. War is, and, never was about equality. It has always been about survivability, and to survive on the battlefield you must have the strongest, most efficient army, not the fairest and most diverse.

The Heritage Foundation is a conservative think tank that had the following excerpts from the website:


By John Luddy

Policy Analyst John Luddy is a Legislative Assistant forSen. James M. Inhofe, R-Okla.

As the Navy, Congress, and the American people consider the now notorious "Tailhook" sexual misconduct case, perspective is required. Twenty-six women have charged that they weresexually assaulted by a number of officers at last September's annual convention of the Tailhook Association, the professional organization of naval and marine aviators. If the charges turn out to be true, then those guilty should be punished to the fullest extent of the law. Sexual misconductrepresents a grave breach of professionalism and has no place in the military. However, the uproar surrounding this incident threatens to harm the effectiveness of the Navy as a fightingforce. Promotions of fleet commanders have been held up, and some in Congress, such as Representative Patricia Schroeder, the Colorado Democrat, are saying that the only way to prevent sexual misconduct in the military is to put women in combat. The result is plummetingmorale and disarray in one of the finest fighting forces the world has ever seen.

This is going too far. Concern about eradicating sexual misconduct in the military should not be allowed to destroy the very reason for the military's existence: to protect the security of all Americans. The culprits, if they are guilty, should be punished, but the Navy as a whole should not be condemned. Nor should the Navy be forced to embark on some social experiment -- by putting women in combat positions, for example -- which not only will do nothing to stop sexual misconduct, but will also weaken the team cohesiveness and fighting ability that is the key to winning battles and wars.

Tailhook and its Aftermath. The Tailhook saga began last September in Las Vegas at the convention of the Tailhook Association, named for the device tPaula Coughlinhat stops landing aircraft on the decks of carriers. Lt. Paula Coughlin says that she was forced to run a gauntlet down a hotelhallway filled with Navy officers who grabbed her breasts and tried to remove her clothing. After the Navy investigated this incident, it was discovered that possibly seventy officers engaged in such assaults on at least 26 women (fourteen of them fellow officers) at the Las Vegas convention. The damage from this incident has been compounded by the presence andalleged complicity of senior officers, by failures throughout the chain of command to respond adequately to complaints, and by revelations that reports of misconduct from earlier conferenceswere ignored. Navy Secretary H. Lawrence Garrett III resigned on June 26, invoking the Navy's tradition of bearing full responsibility for the actions of his men. Although Garrett has not been accused of participating in or condoning the events at the Tailhook symposium, which he attended, his handling of the subsequent investigation has been widely criticized.

Tailhook and Congress. The initial congressional response to the Tailhook affair is damaging the morale and combat effectiveness of the Navy. From June 4 to July 2, Congress delayed the promotions of roughly 4,500 Navy and Marine officers above the rank of Navy Lt. Commanderand Marine Corps Major in order to determine whether any of them was involved in the Tailhook incident. Many changes of command were postponed, including those for the forces responsible for the waters off Yugoslavia, and the naval base at Guantanamo Bay, where thousands of Haitian refugees are currently being housed and processed. The HouseAppropriations Committee, chaired by Pennsylvania Democrat John P. Murtha, on June 29 voted to Paula Coughlindouble its original cut of 5,000 positions from Navy headquarters. Murtha said that this actionwas "directly connected to the obstruction and arrogance of the Navy."

Representative Schroeder meanwhile has tried to use the outcry over Tailhook to bolster her case for placing women in combat positions. For example, in a June 28 interview on Cable News Network concerning the Tailhook incident, Schroeder criticized the Navy's handling of theissue, implying that the real problem was the unequal treatment of women. She said: "If you're the best for the job and you want the job, you get it... ," meaning, of course, a combat job.

The idea of Schroeder and other liberal lawmakers seems to be that the military is the proper place for social engineering, no different from any other workplace, and perfectly suitable toapplying the feminist principles of absolute equality between the sexes. Represenative BarbaraBoxer, the California Democrat, said in a June 28 television interview concerning the Tailhookcontroversy: "The thing about the military is, it has always been a place for opportunity, first for people of color -- they broke the color barrier -- and then for women. We have more work to dohere and in other areas, but we've got to make sure we move forward." Moving forward for Boxer, of course, is putting women into combat. In her view, the military is more important as a vehicle for curing social ills than as a fighting machine.

Unfortunately, military leaders are showing signs of caving into the kind of pressure generated by Schroeder and Boxer.

Example: When asked whether the problem of misconduct would be solved by placing more women on ships, the Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Frank Kelso, replied on June 28 that hewas waiting for the report of the Presidential Commission on the Assignment of Women in the Armed Forces, which is due in November. He failed to speak out against placing women incombat. In fact, in several appearances before this Commission, not a single senior Navy officer has argued strongly against allowing women into combat.

Example: Rear Admiral Leonard N. Oden, the commander of the Naval Training Center in Orlando, Florida, describes an experimental co-educational "boot camp" for recruits as incredibly successful. Mixed gender recruit platoons are outperforming their all-male counterparts in training. But peacetime training is far removed from combat. The fact that the sexes have separate sanitary and housing facilities, totally impossible to accomplish in combat units or aboard combat ships in war, is not made clear.

Military Leaders Must Hold the Line. In this emotionally charged atmosphere, the Navy's leaders must follow three courses of action. They must: 1) expeditiously but fairly investigate and punish those who are found guilty in the Tailhook case; 2) continue vigorously their support for the "zero tolerance" policy toward sexual misconduct that was developed in 1989; and 3) forcefully explain to Congress and the American public why women should not be allowed in combat.

Women do not belong in combat for several reasons. There is a risk that physical standards for combat training will be compromised if women are allowed into combat positions where those standards are critically important, such as in the infantry and in special operations units. There is also the disruption of the military's mission that will result from the pregnancy of female troops in combat positions.

But most damaging would be the devastating impact on the morale, team cohesion, and fighting spirit of the armed forces. Combat is a team activity which brings infantrymen and sailors moreclosely together than any other form of work. Some women may indeed be as physically andmentally capable as men to perform some combat duties, but what matters more in combat is notindividual ability, but teamwork. The presence of women in combat units, especially those in the infantry, would disrupt the teamwork that makes a difference between victory and defeat on thebattlefield. Special relationships inevitably would develop, introducing new risks as men acted differently in combat toward females than they do toward males.

If Schroeder and other feminists want to solve the sexual misconduct problem in the military, the last thing they should do is advocate putting women into combat. Female soldiers will be taken prisoner and sexually abused by enemy forces. This is precisely what happened to Maj. Rhonda Cornum when she was taken captive by the Iraqis during the Persian Gulf War. She was, she later acknowledged, "violated manually -- vaginally and rectally." It makes little sense to exposewomen to new and even more horrific threats in the name of protecting them from their own American colleagues.