A U.S. Army general in northern Iraq has issued a new directive to his troops: Don’t get pregnant – or don’t get someone else pregnant – or you could face a court-martial. This new policy from Maj. Gen. Anthony Cucolo was announced to the troops in early November, and publicly revealed last week.
Intimate fraternization has been a problem within the armed forces for years, of course, and it’s particularly problematic in a war zone. A pregnant woman, after all, is unfit for such demanding duty. She becomes unable to do her job well, and the stress is harmful to her health and that of her unborn child. Thus, she gets a free plane ride home. The only new wrinkle here is the prospect of criminal prosecution.
The public reaction to this development has been swift and fierce. Bloggers around the world have weighed in, both pro and con. Terry O’Neill, president of the National Organization for Women, complained to ABC News, “How dare any government say we’re going to impose any kind of punishment on women for getting pregnant! This is not the 1800s.”
Are we now so concerned with personal “rights” that nothing else matters, mission be damned? Is fornication now a virtue, that it should be rewarded? These soldiers agreed to a code of moral conduct when they signed on for this deployment; should they be allowed to abrogate it at will? And Ms. O’Neill seems willfully blind to another provision in the directive: Their male partners would be prosecuted just the same.
I’ve never served in the armed forces, but I hold a great deal of respect for those who do. In a dangerous forward area, everyone’s contribution is important. Which means that the loss of any member – whether by injury or death or their own misconduct – is a blow to both the unit and the mission. Some of these warriors possess special knowledge or abilities, such as local languages or computer skills, that are not easily replaced. Just imagine the logistical nightmare if a bomb-sweeping expert needs to be deployed on short notice from Camp Lejeune to a remote village outside of Kirkuk; precious days, and many lives, could be needlessly lost in the meantime.
According to Gen. Cucolo, in an interview with Fox News: “I’ve got a 22,000-man task force and I need every soldier I’ve got. We are facing a drawdown and anyone that leaves earlier than the expected 12 months creates a burden on their teammates. My female soldiers are invaluable — many of them hold high impact jobs…my troops are few in number and I need them all.” Funny, it sounds to me as if the general actually values the skills and contributions of G.I. Jane. Go figure.
This controversy sounds familiar. Remember the murder of a very pregnant Laci Peterson, a few years back? Her husband Scott quickly became the prime suspect, and he was charged with the double murder of Laci and their unborn child. For this, I fully expected the feminists of the world to dance in the streets. A woman was brutally slain, and the (male!) local prosecutor wanted to punish her killer as severely as possible.
Not so fast.
Instead, NOW complained that the D.A. had a more nefarious motive. That is, if the killing of the unborn can be prosecuted as a murder, then said unborn is a person with rights. Hence, a slippery slope to the outlawing of abortion.
Huh? The feminist defense of abortion rights has always been about “choice.” Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t see where Laci made a “choice” here. Instead she was written off by the very people who should have been her defenders, discarded as collateral damage in a war that was not her own.
Sadly, the general has caved in to political correctness. To date no one has been prosecuted under this new directive, in spite of many new violations. Instead future offenders may face an Article 15 hearing where non-judicial punishments are imposed, such as demotion, a letter of reprimand, or forfeiture of pay.
So you want to empower these lady warriors, Ms. O’Neill? Try this: tell them to keep the commitments they make. And to keep their clothes on, when men are around. Or absent that, tell them they should accept the consequences of their free-will choices (oh, the irony) when they fail.
Far too often, liberation movements (such as feminism) fall for a narrowly-focused ideology that blinds them to the merits and details of each individual case. By their knee-jerk reactions, they enslave the very people they sought to liberate. Which is an affront to all of us.
They should be ashamed.