- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 3, 2008


The last of two installments.

Democratic presidential candidates want to impose the full weight of San Francisco-style liberal ideology upon the armed forces. You would never know it, however, given the silence or equivocation of Republicans on military social issues.

As noted in this space yesterday, the Center for Military Readiness has been conducting a non-partisan survey to determine where the presidential candidates stand on military issues affecting discipline and morale. Candidates who did not respond to survey questions, including all the Democrats, missed an opportunity to proclaim sound, responsible priorities for the military. Previous statements, however, indicate that any Democrat winning the White House would turn the Pentagon into a laboratory for social experimentation by civilian ideologues. These include feminists and homosexualists — determined activists who demand government power to impose the homosexual agenda on all institutions of American life.

Democrats condone the pure feminism of New York Sen. Hillary Clinton, defined by the issue of women in land combat. In 2005, then-House Armed Services Committee Chairman Duncan Hunter, California Republican, spearheaded legislation to restore Army compliance with Defense Department regulations exempting female soldiers from placement in or near direct ground combat (infantry) battalions. Mrs. Clinton and feminist colleagues countered with a resolution framing this as a feminist issue, which encouraged the Pentagon to continue violating regulations and laws requiring congressional notice and oversight.

Unauthorized, incremental repeal of women’s exemptions from land combat will eventually affect the Marine Corps and Special Operations Forces, forcing them to cope with predictable consequences: gender-normed training standards to create the illusion of equality, higher injury rates, pregnancies, and disciplinary issues that hurt readiness and morale. Eventually, ACLU lawyers will file another lawsuit challenging young women’s exemption from Selective Service registration.

With women in land combat, the ACLU will win.

Parents whose daughters are denied college loans for failure to register will wonder why these issues were not debated in 2008. They should know that Mrs. Clinton, Sens. Barack Obama of Illinois and Christopher Dodd of Connecticut, and former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina favor Selective Service registration for young women, or participation in mandatory national service.

Mr. Obama is being advised by former Navy Secretary Richard Danzig, an outspoken advocate of women serving on submarines. If an Obama administration mandates “career opportunities” for female sailors on cramped submarines, which operate with constantly recycled air that elevates risks of birth defects, submarine commanders may have to disrupt undersea missions by conducting hazardous mid-ocean evacuations of pregnant sailors.

Sen. Joseph Biden of Delaware strongly supports the Convention to Eliminate Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), an international treaty that would surrender sovereignty to international bureaucrats on all issues involving women — meaning, just about everything. Mr. Biden and other senators have demanded hearings on military sexual misconduct and “violence against women,” as defined by anti-male feminists.

None has recognized an underlying problem: policies pretending that servicemen and women are interchangeable, “ungendered” beings actually encourage scandals and violence against women, provided that the enemy inflicts the violence in close combat.

All of the Democratic candidates want to repeal the 1993 law stating that homosexuals are not eligible to serve in the military, which is frequently mislabeled “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Congress rejected “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” then-President Clinton’s proposal to accommodate discreet homosexuals, as unworkable. Mr. Clinton imposed it on the military anyway with administrative regulations inconsistent with the law.

In a June 2007 debate, Mrs. Clinton admitted that “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was supposed to be a “transitional policy” toward full acceptance of professed homosexuals in uniform. To avoid political consequences for colleagues in Congress, any Democratic president would likely push for quick repeal of the 1993 law, without public hearings or debate.

That would force the military to follow the “civil rights” model, mandating equal housing and social status for homosexual military couples. “Sensitivity training” programs would enforce acceptance of known homosexuals in the ranks. There will be no “national security” benefits, since numbers of homosexual discharges have been small in comparison with separations for other reasons, such as pregnancy, weight standard violations, or drug offenses.

Add to this scenario public resistance that would hurt recruiting, potential abuse of subordinates living in close quarters, plus higher risks of HIV infection, which increase the numbers of non-deployable personnel. The result will be unprecedented disciplinary problems that detract from morale and readiness.

We cannot afford a San Francisco military.

In 1992, Republicans helped Mr. Clinton to win by not debating this issue — in the same way that some Republicans are avoiding the issue today. Will a presidential leader emerge who is prepared to defend the culture of the only military we have? The one who does so first could become president of the United States.

Elaine Donnelly is president of the Center for Military Readiness. The CMR 2008 Presidential Candidate Survey is posted at www.cmrlink.org.

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