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PostWatch: An irregular correction to the Washington Post

Brought to you by Christopher Rake


Wednesday, January 15, 2003
1:07 PM

That's funny, his signature doesn't say "retired"... A letter to the editor of the Washington Times from Capt. Roger Ivey, U.S. Army:

I was surprised and dismayed by the editorial's assertion that a draft necessarily must include young women.

The basic premise underlying this notion is a flawed and most dangerous remnant of feminist politics. I can tell you that there is little to no "equality" between the sexes when it comes to accomplishing the Army's primary mission. Warfare is, and always has been, the province and responsibility of men. This is not because of any traditional cultural pressures, but because of the obvious physical and psychological differences between men and women that many people pretend do not exist....

As most men who have served in the Army since the end of the Vietnam War will verify, the winds of political sensitivity combined with the moral cowardice of elected leaders and the top careerist military officials have created a "kinder and gentler" military structure that in many ways is a ghost of its earlier self. This new military suffers from chronic weaknesses resulting from the elevation of the "equality" of women over combat readiness, a fact that few have the courage to admit and of which the public is ill-informed. For example, women serve in most of the same roles as men, but are never required to meet all of the same standards of physical performance, standards that always have been regarded as essential to military readiness....

That's true as far as it goes, though an active officer talking publicly about the "moral cowardice" of politicians and military careerists may not be the best idea in the world. And he doesn't stop there:

The editorial correctly noted that drafting women would bring up "large and contentious cultural issues." It would be dangerous to underestimate the cost of the reaction if the government comes knocking on the door to force America's wives, mothers, sisters and daughters into military service and harm's way. I submit that many of those who answer this knock will be warriors, old and young, who will be compelled to take up arms against their own country before allowing this great harm to their families and to the nation.

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