POLITICAL CORRECTNESS IS ERUPTING - AT 7:05 P.M. ET: There is much fuss this evening over a statement by Maj. Gen. Anthony Cucolo, who commands U.S. forces in northern Iraq, that female soldiers under his command who become pregnant, and those males who get them so, will be punished. At first he said court-martialed, but he's pulled back on that.
The general's statement was actually contained in a general memo in which he listed causes for punishment. CNN reports:
The commander who instituted a policy cracking down on pregnancy among soldiers defended it Tuesday as necessary to maintain troop strength, but said no soldier would ever be court-martialed for violating the directive.
The policy -- which would punish soldiers who get pregnant or impregnate another soldier -- was included in Maj. Gen. Anthony Cucolo's orders to troops regarding conduct while deployed under his command in northern Iraq.
Cucolo, who has 22,000 people under his command, including 1,682 women, said the policy is meant to make his soldiers "think before they act."
"The main reason why I did this was my intense desire to maintain my fighting strength any way possible in a very tough and complex mission that includes a drawdown," he told reporters in a conference call Tuesday. "The consequence of them departing early is they're leaving their team, their unit, shorthanded with their special skills."
Well, I tell you...the mascara hit the fan. The National Organization for Women, which doesn't lift a finger at the oppression of Muslim women, issued a blistering statement:
"How dare any government say we're going to impose any kind of punishment on women for getting pregnant," NOW President Terry O'Neill said. "This is not the 1800s."
Of course, in the 1800s we didn't have women deployed in a combat zone. As if O'Neill or NOW care about combat zones, or women therein.
And four senators all but declared war against the monster militarist Cucolo:
"We can think of no greater deterrent to women contemplating a military career than the image of a pregnant woman being severely punished simply for conceiving a child," the senators wrote to Cucolo today. "This defies comprehension. As such, we urge you to immediately rescind this policy."
The letter was signed by Sens. Barbara Boxer of California, Barbara Mikulski of Maryland, Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York.
This is over-the-top stuff. And it is very insulting to women, who are portrayed by NOW and these four senators as too immature to be trusted to control themselves. As the father of two daughters, I'm outraged.
The general is correct. Both men and women, especially in combat deployments, have responsibilities as soldiers. And the first responsibility is to maintain their ability to be soldiers and remain deployed.
I suspect most women in the military will back the general.
December 22, 2009