March 13, 2002
The media are having a field day criticizing the lobbyists for
Enron, but they are overlooking the most effective special-interest
lobbyists ever to function in Washington. They have met with high-
ranking administration officials, they directly influenced (some would
say dictated) important national security policies, and they swaggered
with the protocol rank of three-star generals.
They have been impudent to their critics, secretive with the
media, high-handed in their demands, and dishonest in maintaining their
power. Who else would have the chutzpa to surreptitiously use Defense
Secretary Donald Rumsfeld's automatic signature pen to sign the
confirmation papers of their pals selected by former Secretary Bill
Cohen before Bill Clinton left office?
If you figured out that these special-interest lobbyists are the
radical feminists manning (excuse the expression) the ramparts of
political correctness, you would be correct. We are talking about the
members of the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services
(DACOWITS), a tax-funded lobby that has provided the radical feminists
a platform to lobby to make the U.S. Armed Services gender-neutral.
DACOWITS has demanded that women be assigned to submarines, to the
crews of Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (the vehicles that launch
rockets during land-combat operations), to the helicopter crews of
Special Operations units such as the Army Rangers, and even to land
combat units that directly engage the enemy.
Such policies, if ever adopted, would compromise training
standards, weaken morale, worsen deployment problems, hurt recruiting
and retention, and endanger the lives of the men who would have to
depend on female soldiers to carry their share of the load. Such
policies ignore the fact that only about three percent of women score
as well as the average man on the Physical Fitness Test, and most women
can't throw a hand grenade far enough away to keep from killing
The golden era of DACOWITS's 50 years of promoting social
experimentation in the U.S. military was, of course, the pro-feminist
Clinton Administration. No DACOWITS recommendation was too extreme for
the Bill and Hillary White House, whose Pentagon appointee, Assistant
Secretary of the Army Sara Lister, attacked the Marines as "extremist."
The question now is, will the Bush Administration, which has
demonstrated the courage and vision to take on the Taliban, be man
enough (there I go again) to tell the Clintonista feminists that their
days of unchallenged influence ended on January 20, 2001?
Members of DACOWITS now serving were appointed by Bill Clinton,
and they voted in lockstep last year, 33 to 0, to demand feminist
policies in the military that are opposed by combat experts. Even if
President Bush and Secretary Rumsfeld had appointed replacements for
the one-third of members whose terms expired last year, they would
still have been outvoted 2 to 1.
It is encouraging that the Bush Administration allowed DACOWITS's
charter to expire on February 28, but the feminists' lobbying campaign
continues in high gear. Five past chairs of the committee (all women,
of course) signed a joint letter to Rumsfeld demanding its continuance,
and they have run to the media to orchestrate favorable articles.
They coopted U.S. Rep. Heather Wilson (R-NM) to plead their case
to Pentagon officials. In a meeting with Paul Wolfowitz, she claimed
that women in the service "need to have a voice that is outside the
chain of command."
That argument is a fraud. DACOWITS is not a voice for "women" in
the service; it's a voice only for women officers who ride roughshod
over the concerns of enlisted women, the overwhelming majority of whom
do not want to be assigned to military combat.
Get your hanky out to cry for the two examples Rep. Wilson gave
Wolfowitz of how DACOWITS is needed to help servicewomen. DACOWITS
made sure that women's hygiene products are available at base stores,
and DACOWITS corrected the "problem" that female pilots who gave birth
to new babies were not allowed back into the cockpit as fast as women
who took other types of medical leave.
DACOWITS also recommended that the Army stop reprimanding soldiers
who exceed the limits established by the Army's Weight Control Program.
And DACOWITS is solicitous that the Army have an adequate supply of
DACOWITS's goal has always been careerism for female officers at
the expense of combat readiness. Now that a real war is going on, this
is no time to try to appease the unappeasable Clinton feminists in
their perennial pursuit of an androgynous military.
The Bush administration is to be commended for allowing the old DACOWITS charter to expire, firing 22 Clinton administration holdovers and an even larger number of staff members, and reconstituting DACOWITS' duties under a new charter.