Jane Chastain is a Southern California-based broadcaster, author and political commentator. Despite her present emphasis on politics, Jane always will be remembered as the nation's first female TV sportscaster, spending 17 years on the sports beat. Jane blogs at JaneChastain.com. She is a pilot who lives on a private runway.More ↓Less ↑
Thank God Army Pfc. Jessica Lynch has been rescued from an Iraqi hospital where she was being held as a prisoner of war!
Jessica was part of the 507th Ordnance Maintenance Co. that fell into an Iraqi ambush, which led to the deaths of some of her fellow soldiers and the capture of a least five others, including Spc. Shoshana Johnson. The fate of Pfc. Lori Piestewa and several others still is unknown.
If your heart wasn’t in your throat when you saw the pictures of Jessica on a stretcher, or a wounded Shoshana being interviewed by her captors, then it’s time for a reality check.
Something is terribly wrong when the most powerful country on earth is assigning women service members to units where they are subject to capture, rape, torture and death, while able-bodied men are stationed out of harm’s way or, worse still, at home in the comfort of their living rooms.
Guys, do you hide under the covers and send you wives downstairs if you suspect a burglar is in your home?
We look down our noses in disgust at Saddam Hussein’s disregard for human life – and his brutal treatment of women – but we are deliberately sending our young women into combat zones so that they can be sacrificed on the altar of political correctness. Time for a reality check!
The feminists celebrated the news that Johnson had been taken prisoner and put on public display. Alas, another trophy on their road to prove that men and women are interchangeable fungibles!
“The capture of this woman,” they croon, “proves women are just as brave, capable and well-trained as men and have just as much chance to survive.”
That, of course, is rubbish!
It may not be fair that a man is, on average, six inches taller, 30 pounds heavier and – more importantly – has 42 percent more upper body strength, but it is reality. The dirty little secret in the service academies and our boot camps is that women are passed right along with the men because of “gender norming” – where the emphasis is on “equal effort,” not equal results.
While the numbers are fudged to make everything come out equal in these controlled environments, these same women will not have an equal chance to survive on the battlefield. That is why women are not supposed to be assigned to ground combat units.
So, how is it that Lynch and Johnson – who were trained as a file clerk and cook, respectively – were assigned to a unit that was ordered into the heart of Iraq?
A lot of the blame can be laid at the feet of our serial philandering former president, Bill Clinton, and his secretary of defense, Les Aspin. In 1994, Aspin redefined direct ground combat by eliminating “inherent risk of capture” as a factor in deciding whether a unit was judged to be “close combat” or merely “combat support” in order to open up more “career opportunities” for women.
This was a cold, calculated political decision. Enlisted women like Lynch, Johnson and Piestewa were considered expendable in order to serve the needs of women officers, who would use their deaths and capture as stepping stones on their way to the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
The important thing to remember is this: There was no shortage of opportunities for women to serve in the military then – and there is no shortage of men who can serve in battle zones today. This is not about giving Army women the choice of whether they want to be assigned to units in battle zones. Soldiers cannot pick and choose their assignments. If women can be assigned to these units, they must be assigned to these units.
However, it is Congress that makes the laws governing our military. Therefore, the blame must be laid squarely at the feet of these lawmakers, both Democrat and Republican, who find it a lot easier to sacrifice enlisted women than undo the damage and have to face the ire of a handful of radical feminist lawmakers they see every day on Capitol Hill.
It is time our lawmakers forget about political correctness and face the realities of keeping the men – who must do the heavy lifting in these units – alive, and keep the women, who are providing invaluable support services, out of harm’s way to the greatest degree possible. To do anything less is mere cowardice.