While the Religious Right reacted with apoplectic rage following the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, the lifting of the ban on women in combat has brought dejected but relatively subdued responses from conservatives.
American Family Association spokesman Bryan Fischer, who in December spoke out in favor of the ban by lying about the Israeli military’s policy on women in combat, tweeted that the decision was part of Obama’s plan to “feminize and weaken the U.S. military.”
Elaine Donnelly of the Center for Military Readiness said that “lives could be lost unnecessarily” by the new policy, which “will harm men and the mission of the infantry as a whole.” “The administration has a pattern of irresponsible actions like this using the military to advance a social agenda,” she said, “This kind of a social experiment is a dangerous one.”
Faith and Freedom Coalition head Ralph Reed maintained that the Obama administration is “putting women in combat situations is the latest in a series of moves where political correctness and liberal social policy have trumped sound military practice.”
Richard Viguerie’s group claimed that “Obama’s plan to introduce women into frontline combat roles in the U.S. military is a dangerous and irresponsible social experiment, not an opportunity for women to serve their country and advance in their chosen profession.”
Radio talk show host Janet Mefferd on her Facebook page wrote that the move is further proof that the Obama administration is “intent upon undoing this great country” and will “stop at nothing to achieve it.”
Family Research Council vice president Jerry Boykin, who was reprimanded by President Bush after he made anti-Muslim and political speeches while in uniform, called the decision “another social experiment”:
The people making this decision are doing so as part of another social experiment, and they have never lived nor fought with an infantry or Special Forces unit. These units have the mission of closing with and destroying the enemy, sometimes in close hand-to-hand combat. They are often in sustained operations for extended periods, during which they have no base of operations nor facilities. Their living conditions are primal in many situations with no privacy for personal hygiene or normal functions. Commanders are burdened with a very heavy responsibility for succeeding in their mission and for protecting their troops.
This decision to integrate the genders in these units places additional and unnecessary burdens on leaders at all levels. While their focus must remain on winning the battles and protecting their troops, they will now have the distraction of having to provide some separation of the genders during fast moving and deadly situations. Is the social experiment worth placing this burden on small unit leaders? I think not.
Penny Nance of Concerned Women for America said that the “majority of women” don’t care about the ban or want its elimination:
News of Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s intent to lift the long-standing ban on women serving in direct combat is further proof that this administration simply does not care about the issues about which the majority of women care. Once again, their interest on women issues is driven by special interest groups. The point of the military is to protect our country. Anything that distracts from that is detrimental. Our military cannot continue to choose social experimentation and political correctness over combat readiness. While this decision is not unexpected from this administration, it is still disappointing. Concerned Women for America (CWA) and its more than half-a-million members around the country will continue to do all we can to see that our men and women in uniform are governed with the respect and resources needed to do the hard task of fighting for and protecting our freedoms.
“God help us,” lamented Denny Burk of the Southern Baptist Convention, who seemed to suggest that women shouldn’t be in the armed forces at all:
Are the fortunes of women in our country really enhanced by sending them to be ground up in the discipline of a combat unit and possibly to be killed or maimed in war? Is there a father in America who would under any circumstance risk having his daughter shot or killed in battle? Is there a single husband in this country who thinks it okay for his wife to risk being captured by our enemies? To risk becoming a prisoner of war? Is this the kind of people we want to be? Perhaps this is the kind of people we already are. I would sooner cut off my arm than allow such a thing with my own wife and daughters. Why would I ever support allowing someone else’s to do the same? Why would anyone?
What kind of a society puts its women on the front lines to risk what only men should be called on to risk? In countries ravaged by war, we consider it a tragedy when the battle comes to the backyards of women and children. Why would we thrust our own wives and daughters into that horror? My own instinct is to keep them as far from it as possible. Perhaps this move makes sense with an all volunteer force, but what if the draft is ever reinstituted? Are we really going to be the kind of people who press our wives and daughters to fight in combat?
Everyone in America ought to be scandalized by this news, but I’m wondering if it will even register on the radar of anyone’s conscience. To the extent that it doesn’t, we reveal just how far gone we are as a people. God help us.
Aaron Ahlert of FrontPageMag said the move is “sure to have deadly consequences” and represents the Obama administration “forcing gender radicalism down America’s throat.”
It didn’t take long for the Obama administration to advance a pernicious piece of its promised radical agenda. Two days after the president laid out his far-left vision during the inauguration, senior defense officials announced that Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta will lift the military’s ban on women serving in combat. The move overturns a 1994 provision that prohibited them from being assigned to ground combat units. Panetta has given the various service branches until 2016 to come up with exemptions, and/or make any arguments about what roles should still reman closed to women. Thus, another bit of gender radicalism has been shoved down the nation’s throat through executive fiat — and this one is sure to have deadly consequences.
It stretches the bounds of credulity to believe that sexual tension, regardless of the legitimate or illegitimate motivation behind it, would be lessened under front line, life-threatening combat conditions. Nor is it inconceivable to think that close personal relationships of a sexual nature would make some soldiers take the kind of unnecessary risks to save a lover that might not only endanger themselves, but their entire unit.
Once again, elections have consequences. Barack Obama has made it clear that part of his progressive agenda includes forcing gender radicalism down America’s throat, absent any input from Congress. Once, the United States military was all about projecting lethal power around the globe to protect America’s interests. Now, it is all about promoting diversity, inclusion and equality of outcome, irrespective of military readiness and cohesion. For progressives, who have elevated political correctness above all else–national security included–such radical egalitarianism is cause for celebration. For Donnelly and countless other Americans, it is anything but. “No one’s injured son should have to die on the streets of a future Fallujah because the only soldier near enough to carry him to safety was a five-foot-two 110-pound woman,” she contends.