Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author.
Tucker Carlson is the target of ad hominem attacks for noting the feminization of the military, for example, maternity flight suits. For all the uproar, Carlson spoke the truth, but his observation is not new. I recall maternity “battle dress uniforms (BDUs),” which begs the question, “BDU diapers next?” Why should a pregnant woman be exposed to dangerous and deadly situations in the first place, endangering her and the baby she’s carrying? That question is never asked, nor answered.
While extolling the virtues of military women, Carlson’s critics refuse to recognize that you don’t get women in their child-bearing years killed or maimed if you want another generation. They deny the grim reality of war, a reality unchanged for a thousand years. After the Franco-Prussian War the French government forbade abortion even for prostitutes, they needed more Frenchmen for the next round with the Germans. In the First World War, as in the American Civil War, whole villages lost every young man, the societal consequences were horrendous. Enough men remained, however, to bring another generation on-line. If as many women were to be killed in future conflicts as were killed in those wars society would teeter on extinction.
In today’s Army, women fail the fitness test at a rate of 65% vs. 10% for men, prompting the brass to consider returning to different measures for the sexes. Under the previous standard, a woman in her twenties had to meet the standard of a man in his fifties. I have seen women who had difficulty carrying their gear, (one looked like a duffle bag with feet), had difficulty lifting heavy equipment, and often an aversion to guns. One female Lt. j.g. wrinkled her nose when I said battleships were beautifully designed engines of death. Those pushing women into combat, which few want, ignore that combat can come down to bashing someone’s head in with a rock. In Ken Burns’ WW II series one veteran, recounting basic training, said he learned to kill with a rifle, a bayonet, with his hands, with a shovel—and had the ferocity to do it. Killing is the business of the military, it is dirty, dangerous, and demands raw physical strength.
Physically fit soldiers are cool in action observed S.L.A. Marshall in Men Under Fire. They have confidence in themselves and their equipment, but without physical toughness would not be able to bring their battle skills into play. You can have all the judgment and intelligence in the world, but in battle, if you don’t have physical stamina, you’re dead, and so is your wounded buddy if you can’t drag him to safety. Have those berating Carlson read William Manchester’s tale of fighting on Iwo Jima where marines cut their trouser seats out so the diarrhea could run through them as they fought in blood, guts, and mud, or seen film of Hue, or Tarawa? Have they seen the all too accurate depiction of war’s butchery in Mel Gibson’s “Hacksaw Ridge” or “We Were Soldiers Once… and Young?” Have they faced the horribly wounded for whom death would have been a blessing?
The establishment attacks on Carlson comprise logical fallacies, glittering generalities, and the politically correct clichés of the “progressive” left. Yes, women can do certain jobs, one of my aunts was a marine sergeant in WWII, in administration; I had a female first sergeant who was my right arm, but they were not in combat. It is Carlson’s critics, who are divisive, they have pushed aside Gen. Sherman’s admonition – “War is hell.” When that is forgotten we are in peril.
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