JWR Jeff JacobyBen WattenbergRoger Simon
Mona CharenLinda Chavez

Paul Greenberg Larry ElderJonathan S. Tobin
Thomas SowellMUGGERWalter Williams
Don FederCal Thomas
Political Cartoons
Left, Right & Center

Jewish World Review /Oct. 26, 1998 /6 Mar-Cheshvan 5759

Mona Charen

Mona Charen

The officers are
bailing out

IN A LARGE ROOM in the basement of the United States Capitol Building, a group of dissidents met last week. They do not fear for their lives, but they are anxious and frustrated nonetheless. It was a gathering sponsored by the Center for Military Readiness to discuss the utter folly of pretending that women are men.

The initial awkwardness between the commander in chief and the military he commands received some press attention a few years ago. But what this administration has done to the military in the intervening six years has gotten scant notice. And that had better change.

Bill Clinton's tenure in office has been quite damaging to the military. Readiness has suffered terribly. Morale is very low. And attrition is leaving the Air Force with a shortage of pilots and the Navy with a shortage of officers.

Because the Clinton administration has been determined to advance the cause of women in combat, the military has been plagued by sexual harassment, rape, pregnancy and low morale. Former Army Secretary Togo West hired a Duke University professor to advise him on these matters, and she returned with a recommendation that the Army tone down its "masculinist" culture.

The problem, she explained, was not that young healthy male and female recruits were being billeted together in tents in Bosnia, or that the flaccid sexual morality of the larger society was influencing the Army, or that it was unwise to give male drill sergeants total control over female recruits. No, Madeline Morris suggested that the Army had failed to encourage an "incest taboo" between male and female soldiers who should have been trained to see themselves as brothers and sisters.

And Sara Lister, the Army's former personnel chief, said the Marine Corps was an "extremist" organization that "frightened" her.

If you think this reflects a twisted worldview, you will like the Center for Military Readiness (1-734-464-9430). One hopes that the warnings of Elaine Donnelly, the indefatigable president of CMR, will prove unnecessary. But consider these facts:

1) According to The Washington Times, 16 percent of the female contingent on any warship are airlifted out during the course of a year as pregnancies become advanced.

2) In Bosnia, reports The Wall Street Journal, there was one new pregnancy every three days.

3) At basic training centers around the nation, Aberdeen, Fort Jackson, Fort Leonard Wood and the Great Lakes Training Center, extreme instances of sexual harassment have been reported. At the Great Lakes Center, five instructors were charged with gross misconduct, including throwing a mattress on the floor and ordering female recruits to undress. The only service to avoid sexual harassment problems is the Marines, which segregates the sexes.

4) Adm. Jay Johnson, chief of naval operations, told the Senate last winter that the Navy needs 65 percent of F-18 Hornet pilots to stay in the service, but only 43 percent are doing so (despite a 12 percent raise). A Navy Times survey found that 75 percent of current enlistees do not plan to continue in the service after their commitment is up. Fifty percent of officers cited "loss of confidence in leadership" as the reason for their departure.

5) The San Antonio Express-News reports that the Air Force now has 800 fewer fliers than it needs, and it may take a decade to correct the shortage. Air Force Col. Jim Green told the Express-News, "I'd say we're going into a situation that is four times worse than we've ever seen in the history of our modern Air Force."

What has sapped the spirit of the military? Could it be unfair promotion of women at men's expense? Could it be a climate of political correctness in which a male officer risks his career for even noticing that women are consistently under-performing? Could it be resentment that men pick up the slack when women cannot do the "heavy lifting" of military life and then watch in frustration as women are promoted for public relations?

When the last Democratic president left office, soldiers and sailors were on food stamps. Will the legacy of this president be a military more suited to group therapy than war?


10/20/98: Using Matthew Shepard's murder
10/19/98: The school voucher that saved a family
10/14/98: Are powerful women different?
10/09/98: Can just sex be impeachable?
10/07/98: Repeal Miranda
10/02/98: Understanding the polls
10/01/98: What school texts teach about marriage
9/28/98: Fear of choice
9/23/98: A fork in the road: Bubba's fate and ours
9/18/98: Christianity and the Holocaust
9/16/98: The national dirty joke
9/11/98: Are we in crisis?
9/09/98: Does Burton's sin let Clinton off the hook?
9/07/98: Liar's Poker
9/01/98: One, two, three
8/28/98: Fat and folly
8/25/98: When homework is a dirty word
8/21/98: The unravelling
8/18/98: The wages of dishonesty
8/17/98: Sex, honor and the presidency
8/12/98: Pro-choice extremist
8/10/98: Switch illuminates biology's role
8/05/98: The presumption of innocence and the American way
8/03/98: An American hero
7/29/98: Lock up those who need psychiatric care
7/24/98: Making the military more like us
7/22/98: The 'Net sex hoax... and us
7/20/98: Disappointed by Cosbys
7/15/98: Feelings, not morality, rule
7/10/98: Guns as the solution?
7/8/98: Teacher preacher
7/6/98: The China behind the headlines
7/1/98: What is the First Amendment for?
6/26/98: The Republican city
6/24/98: Poison pen
6/22/98: Clinton: inventing his own reality?
6/16/98: Senator mom?
6/12/98: Wisconsin: a trail blazer?
6/9/98: These girls say no to sex, yes to excellence
6/5/98: Lewinsky's ex-lawyer would feel right at home as Springer guest
6/2/98: English? Si; Republican? No!
5/29/98: The truth about women and work
5/27/98: Romance in the '90s
5/25/98:Taxing smokers for fun and profit
5/19/98: China's friend in the White House
5/15/98: Look out feminists: here comes the true backlash
5/12/98: The war process?
5/8/98: Where's daddy?
5/5/98: The joys of boys
5/1/98: Republicans move on education reform
4/28/98: Reagan was right
4/24/98: The key to Pol Pot
4/21/98: The patriot's channel
4/19/98: Child-care day can't replace mom
4/15/98: Tax time
4/10/98: Armey states obvious, gets clobbered
4/7/98: A nation complacent?
4/1/98: Bill Clinton's African adventure
3/27/98: Understanding Arkansas
3/24/98: Jerry Springer's America
3/20/98: A small step for persecuted minorities
3/17/98: Skeletons in every closet?
3/13/98: Clinton's idea of a fine judge
3/10/98: Better than nothing?
3/6/98: Of fingernails and freedom
3/3/98: Read JWR! :0)
2/27/98: Dumb and Dumber
2/24/98: Reagan reduced poverty more than Clinton
2/20/98: Rally Round the United Nations?
2/17/98: In Denial
2/13/98: Reconsidering Theism
2/10/98: Waiting for the facts?
2/8/98: Cat got the GOP's tongue?
2/2/98: Does America care about immorality?
1/30/98: How to judge Clinton's denials
1/27/98: What If It's Just the Sex?
1/23/98: Bill Clinton, Acting Guilty
1/20/98: Arafat and the Holocaust Museum
1/16/98: Child Care or Feminist Agenda?
1/13/98: What We Really Think of Abortion
1/9/98: The Dead Era of Budget Deficits Rises Again?
1/6/98: "Understandable" Murder and Child Custody
1/2/98: Majoring in Sex
12/30/97: The Spirit of Kwanzaa
12/26/97: Food fights (Games children play)
12/23/97: Does Clinton's race panel listen to facts?
12/19/97: Welcome to the Judgeocracy, where the law school elite overrules majority rule
12/16/97: Do America's Jews support Netanyahu?

©1998, Creators Syndicate, Inc.