Because Jonah Goldberg Won’t Go

conservatism, Feminism, Iraq War

A rightie at NRO supports the troops — from a distance — but only the male ones. NRO’s Kathryn Jean Lopez clucks with disapproval at this Washington Post piece by Anne Hull, “When Mom Is Over There.”

“[Y]ou really need to get yourself Women Who Make the World Worse to see how we got to the point where we’re deploying moms to Iraq,” sniffs Lopez, referring to a new book by celebrated right-wing airhead Kate O’Beirne. Lopez links to an interview with O’Beirne, who calls women serving in war zones “a disgrace.”

The Mom at War is Master Sgt. Angela Hull, Anne Hull’s sister-in-law. Anne Hull writes,

Angela is chief controller of the air-traffic control tower at Kirkuk Regional Air Base in northern Iraq. She did not graduate from the Air Force Academy or come from a long line of military heroes. Angela was 22 and working at the Stouffer’s frozen-food factory in her home town of Gaffney, S.C., in 1987 when she rebelled against the smallness of her life and joined the Air Force. She advanced the slow, hard way, from refueling aircraft at 30,000 feet to learning air-traffic control to commanding towers. In Kirkuk, she supervises 10 controllers in the base tower while serving as first sergeant to a squadron of 48.

But “women can’t and don’t meet the male physical standards,” says Kate O’Beirne.

I’d like to see O’Beirne explain physical standards to Sgt. Leigh Ann Hester of the 617th Military Police Company, who was awarded a Silver Star last June. According to the American Forces Press Service:

Hester’s squad was shadowing a supply convoy March 20 when anti-Iraqi fighters ambushed the convoy. The squad moved to the side of the road, flanking the insurgents and cutting off their escape route. Hester led her team through the “kill zone” and into a flanking position, where she assaulted a trench line with grenades and M203 grenade-launcher rounds. She and Nein, her squad leader, then cleared two trenches, at which time she killed three insurgents with her rifle.

When the fight was over, 27 insurgents were dead, six were wounded, and one was captured.

Kate O’Beirne finds Sgt. Hester disgraceful, even though her physical standards seemed perfectly adequate.

I realize we ladies are smaller and have a reduced capacity for upper body strength compared to men, and I have no doubt there are many war situations in which women generally would be at a disadvantage. I also realize that it’s hard on a family for Mom to be away. But isn’t it hard on a family for Dad to be away? Do O’Beirne and Lopez believe that husbands and fathers play a less critical role in family life than wives and mothers? I thought conservatives were into fatherhood these days.

I believe we should leave it to the military, not Kate O’Beirne or Kathryn Jean Lopez, to decide who is qualified to be a soldier and who isn’t. I’m told that our military activities in Iraq require smarts as much as brawn, if not more so. And in the past year the military often fell short of recruitment goals, causing the Army to lower its standards on aptitude tests. Are we supposed to replace smart, well-trained women for (possibly) less smart and less-well-trained men in order to satisfy Kate O’Beirne’s sense of propriety?

And if Ms. Lopez wants women serving in Iraq to be replaced by men, she could start by kicking her colleague Jonah Goldberg in his lazy butt and telling him to enlist.

Further — if we don’t want moms and dads going to war, maybe we should be a little more circumspect about starting wars, hm?

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9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. joanr16  •  Jan 8, 2006 @10:24 am

    I want to say, “Oh god that’s appalling” or “What a bunch of hypocrites,” but anymore, if you piled up all the harsh negative adjectives and nouns in the English language, they wouldn’t be enough to describe the pure bullshit of the rightie mindset.

    “Support Our Troops (But Only The Ones With Penises)”? Wow. For a while Canada looked good, but now I’m thinking Jupiter. I couldn’t get far enough away from people who think like that.

  2. Rick  •  Jan 8, 2006 @1:23 pm

    Armchair quarterbacks become armchair warriors, hmm? Personally I thought part of the reason women did not fight was because they were the better part of the species and generally above indiscriminate killing (tell one non-combatant who was killed how careful we were if you want to eliminate the indescriminate part. Or..”I hear the cries of children and the other songs of war…”)

  3. Swami  •  Jan 8, 2006 @1:39 pm

    I have nothing but contempt of the scumbags who so eagerly who claim to support the troops without a real understanding of price those troops are paying. And for what?

    I hate to invoke the old, “you don’t know until you’ve been there” adage, but I will because I’ve been there.. I’ve seen war upclose and in person by of Vietnam. My experiences have shown me a reality that says, the only support you can give our troops is to get them out of Bush’s sick fucking adventure. It’s so easy to be a keyboard commando when you don’t have to look suffering in the eyes, but if you find the courage to look, you’ll also find your humanity and reason

    Yesterday I stood in protest of Bush’s lies and deciets in Iraq while being assaulted verbally and by hand signals by “real” Americans who probably have never experienced carrying a soldier to their grave or laid in a hospital ward with fellow soldiers, some of whose lives been reduced to dependence of charity. Screw all of those jerks who try to use supporting the troops as a pretext to defend Bush’s collosal mistakes.

  4. Swami  •  Jan 8, 2006 @2:06 pm

    Oh, There’s been about 28 American servicemen killed in Iraq in the last 2 weeks. I’m so glad they are dying to keep me free and to keep democracy on the march. God Bless America! And most of all..God Bless George Bush for keeping America safe.

  5. joanr16  •  Jan 8, 2006 @2:14 pm

    Swami, where did you protest that you received so much abuse from passersby? The local news here in Lincoln, Nebraska, reported that our protest yesterday received mostly honks, cheers, and thumbs up from passing traffic. The main point of the news reports was that the tide has turned, even here. In any case, I appreciate your courage in the face of such ugliness.

    Women are usually the first to protest war and confront the ugliness of our warmongering society. That may not take a lot of upper body strength, but it requires endless amounts of guts and stamina. Writing a whiny anti-feminist book or blog involves neither brains nor courage. I would remind Mss. O’Beirne and Lopez that ignorance and prejudice are still not virtues, despite their ongoing examples.

  6. erinyes  •  Jan 8, 2006 @2:35 pm

    Central Fl. is still full of Bush supporters. The Sothern Baptists love Falwell and he loves Bush. Falwell was on the tube last night telling his brain dead followers that “we” need to kill the Iraqis because of Sept 11. He said he’d like to get his own milita to go to Iraq and get into the battle.The “troops” can’t come home until every terrorist is dead, praise the Lord!
    I’d like to know what’s stopping him, the creep has the money and the manpower. He’s another fat-ass gasbag. Swami is right, unless you’ve seen the carnage, you can’t understand, that’s why the press NEVER shows what’s going on in Iraq.We are no longer free.The press has hobbled reality.

  7. Steve Nichols  •  Jan 8, 2006 @3:39 pm

    I just read the Hester blurb to one of my younger brothers. He was 82nd Airborne and I did my tour as an MP, part of it in a strategic forces battalion. Very impressive stuff.

    I think that modern weaponry has diminished the combat disadvantage women suffered because they are smaller and carry more body fat (on average). Sgt. Hester obviously had enough courage and presence of mind to engage in what had to be a nasty firefight.

    The ability to make good tactical decisions varies from person to person, and certainly women can make them as well as men, as is being made more obvious all the time.

  8. Steve Nichols  •  Jan 8, 2006 @3:45 pm

    A further thought on body strength and eligibility for combat–when I went through Army basic training, there were guys of all sizes and strengths. In hand to hand combat some guys could easily overcome other guys, based on athleticism and size. I don’t see that upper body strength, particularly in the modern era, reduces the eligibility of women for combat–not many bayonet charges these days with every soldier carrying an automatic rife.

    As an aside, I shared an office for a couple years with a friend who was an inch taller and 20 pounds lighter, who was significantly stronger than I am (I’m 5’9″ 180 and a good all around athlete). She was also a kickboxer, which meant that she was not only stronger than me, but she had the training to kick my otherwise athletic ass.

  9. Bonnie  •  Jan 8, 2006 @5:47 pm

    Off topic: Howard Dean left Wolf Blitzer speechless and sputtering on the Abramoff scandal. It’s at Buzzflash; but will probably be at Crooks and Liars soon.