Thu Jan 24, 2013, 01:25 PM
babylonsister (148,906 posts)
You're In The Army Now
You're In The Army Now
By Charles P. Pierce
Leon Panetta's decision to drop the ban on women in combat — which really is shorthand for what he's going to do today — is basically eliminating a redundancy which, I admit, is rare enough in the Pentagon. The "ban" on women in combat already was "dropped" de facto because "combat" has a way of finding people and does not discriminate based on gender. You don't have to believe me, because you can take it up with Congresscritter Tammy Duckworth. Basically, all Panetta's order does is eliminate a bureaucratic distinction that practical experience in places like Iraq has rendered utterly moot. If you want to tell me that you don't think women should be in combat because nobody should be in combat ever, I'll listen to you. If you think it's all right for women to be in the Army, but not to be in combat, you're being very silly because they already are.
Here is a silly person who thinks he's scored several points because he remembers the administration's old "Julia" spiel, and because he doesn't know the difference between toting an AR-15 in Afghanistan and carrying one into a grammar school, and because he worked the word "Alinskyite" — Triple Wingnut Word Score! — into a sentence. Here is another silly person who thinks he's made a point about Selective Service because, at the moment, the chicks who don't return his calls get all the breaks. Of course, if experience teaches us anything, it is that, if we actually had a military draft for which women naturally would be eligible, the epidemic of bad knees and pilonoidal cysts among young conservatives would look like the Black Death within months. Again, lads, Representative Duckworth would like to discuss your cleverness at the first opportunity.
Duckworth was on the teevee last night making the point that assigned combat duty is an essential part of rising through the ranks, and that this latest directive would drop a significant barrier to the advancement of women who make the military a career. That, I admit, had not occurred to me, and I guess it took a real soldier to explain it.
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