Feminizing the Black Beret

In 1993, a San Francisco law firm going about a normal business day suddenly found itself under fire. A maniac gunman entered the firm and starting randomly shooting people. As in the case of any sudden attack, the people at the firm reacted with confusion, and for 15 minutes the gunman wandered the hallways venting his murderous fury.

As described by USA Today, Michelle Scully, a 27-year-old lawyer, was at her husband John’s law firm doing some research when the incident began. The couple found each other and fled down the hallway. Unable to reach an exit in time, they hid from the gunman who took the lives of eight people that day. The killer found the two newlyweds crouched against a wall in one of the offices. Unarmed and helpless, John Scully was determined not to let his young wife die. He threw himself over Michelle, covering her with his body, as multiple shots rang out. John Scully died. Michelle was wounded in the arm.

Michelle Scully has since remarried and is raising a young family. Twenty-eight-year-old John Scully’s death is not just a story of an American hero, it is the story of a man who did what men are supposed to do – sacrifice themselves when they must for the sake of family. It is the traditional patriarchal relationship. Feminists who have been trying for three decades to “re-imagine” and re-engineer the relationship between men and women would object vehemently to this description of manly responsibility, and, yet, what normal woman wouldn’t pray that her husband be such a man? She knows that a man who will protect her will also protect her children. Can any of us imagine the roles reversed?

Only a few radical feminists in Washington could think it was right for Michelle to cover John. These extremists are not interested in reality, but only in their ideological fantasy. Unfortunately, that fantasy has been eating away at America for three decades, and now thanks to the Clinton ’90s, it has most poisonously worked its way into the inner sanctum of the American military, the one place where patriarchal values are essential. The battlefield is not, and never will be, egalitarian.

Black Berets and gender-equity

Speaking in 1997 at West Point, the Army’s first female three-star general, Claudia Kennedy, told the assembled cadets that “this is not your father’s Army anymore.” It clearly wasn’t. The military under Clinton had aggressively promoted the “politically correct” belief system, which says that despite the obvious physical and emotional differences, men and women are the same.

At first glance, the Ranger Black Beret issue may seem unrelated to gender issues. Army Chief of Staff General Eric Shinseki says he wants to raise the morale of army personnel – and boost recruitment – so he’s decided to take the historic Army Ranger Beret and make it general issue headgear. And there’s the rub. General issue means everyone in the Army gets one, women included, for doing the minimum necessary. This is the little secret of the whole beret issue, not only will the Rangers be disgraced, but all fighting men will be made the equal of your average Army “poster girl.” For most men this is a turn-off. They don’t want to dress – or be treated – like women. That’s the real problem facing the Army, and changing headgear won’t correct it.

Looking back at the 20th century, it is hard to believe that anyone ever thought men and women were the same. However, old guard feminist ideologues still frantically cling to this article of PC faith, despite the fact that as the century came to a close, science was continually “discovering” the obvious – that men and women are different, and radically so. One difference, announced a few months ago in the Washington Post, caught my eye because it related directly to gender problems in the military. It concerned the “fight or flight” reaction to stress.

Once thought to be a human response, we now learn “fight or flight” is a specifically male response. Women react differently. According to the Post report, researchers have discovered that women under stress seek to nurture and find support among friends. We can all agree that this “tend and befriend” reaction to danger is a wonderful quality in mothers, wives, sisters and friends, and even business associates, but it’s less than useful in warriors.

Of course, the physical capabilities of men and women are radically different, actually causing the military to neglect physical training to cover up the obvious disparity. Upper-body strength, speed, and stamina are just not there in equal portions. Many Americans rationalize that an exceptional caliber of woman could measure up, but evidence, also reported recently by the Times, shows that even top-level women athletes – the fittest of fit women – get injured more easily than their male counterparts. Studies of college athletes have now revealed that women are much more disposed to knee injuries than men – two to eight times more likely.

These kinds of “revelations” are nothing new. They go on and on, and through all this re-evaluation of PC gender myths, traditional Americans just laugh. That men and women are “different” isn’t news to them. Women are obviously and gloriously different. They don’t act like men. They don’t think like men. They don’t march like men. They don’t fight like men. And they definitely don’t look like men. No matter what the gender-equity zealots do, the Black Beret won’t make women look like warriors. As mentioned, this will create a serious “poster girl” image problem for the army. After the public sees photo after photo of good-looking 19-year-old women in berets, the image of the Black Beret – and possibly any military beret by association – will be severely damaged if not completely destroyed.

Remember, the uniform beret (of whatever color) symbolizes combat responsibility of the highest order. We know that men who wear them are warriors. That’s the reason the beret is so honored. Sadly, this will not last, now that Gen. Shinseki is forcing his politically correct vision on the U.S. Army. Go to the Army website right now. Look on the homepage for “Cool Stuff.” You’ll see a predictably pretty Army woman. Now, instead of the army cap she’s wearing, imagine her in a black beret. Sorry to say, this will remind the public more of Monica Lewinsky than it will communicate an image of a “tough as nails” fighting force. Already, I’m told the Black Beret for women is being called “the Monica” by American troops – who, unlike their leaders, never seem to miss the obvious.

Over huge protest, Gen. Shinseki’s effort to force the beret issue before he retires is indicative of what’s happened to our military. The truth is being swept under the rug. It is time for Americans to take a good look at the gender assumptions made by military leadership based on fashionable thinking that may have nothing to do with reality. This is not the time to rush headlong into a decision based on the PC assumptions of the Clinton era. This is the time to re-evaluate not only the Black Beret issue, but the entire military culture as it has been constructed by women who have no respect for their “father’s army,” those very fathers and forefathers who died to guarantee our freedom.

The resistance

Not surprisingly, veteran Rangers balked at losing the emblem of their training, sacrifice and tradition. Last winter, they marched on Washington, ending a 750-mile trek at the White House. The pressure on the bureaucrats and politicians mounted. CNN reported that 90 percent of the American people did not like the idea of communizing the Black Beret. Fox News covered the subject aggressively, and talk show hosts across the country were pounding their microphones. Not only was the public against a regular army black beret, even rank and file Army personnel were against it. In an Army Times survey, almost 80 percent of respondents were against Shinseki’s scheme. All this happened without any discussion of the third rail of military politics, the gender issue, which most Americans don’t fully understand, and which most active duty personnel are afraid to discuss for fear of McCarthyite persecution.

When the new Bush administration ordered a re-evaluation of Shinseki’s plan, the general suddenly announced a proposed compromise – in fact this compromise was reported as a Ranger victory. Rangers were said to have “requested” a new tan beret in order to keep their separate identity. This obvious Pentagon spin misses the point because “separate identity” from regular Army personnel was only a part of the issue. The Rangers don’t want to be separated from their Ranger history and tradition. More to the point, they don’t want to be separated from the men who died under the Black Beret, or separated from those dead men’s families who proudly keep their son’s Black Beret in a place of honor.

There’s a story barely told concerning the march on Washington that helps to explain how veterans feel, and not just Ranger veterans. Little known was the fact that Ranger David Neilsen, who made the march in impressive time, carried with him a Black Beret belonging to Ranger PFC James Markwell, a young medic who was killed in action rendering aid to another Ranger. At the ceremony in front of the Lincoln Memorial, Ranger Neilsen returned the beret, a symbol of Ranger sacrifice, to PFC Markwell’s mother. Sadly, due to limited reporting, few civilians understood the significance of that moment, but it was not lost on military personnel.

In the crowd that day was an Army Airborne member named John Hammack who later wrote a letter to President Bush about the event, urging him to protect the beret for the men who earned it. Wanting to teach his young son about honor and sacrifice, he took him over to meet Markwell’s mother. But Hammack was surprised at his own reaction to the moment. He told the president that when he reached the Ranger’s mother and touched her son’s beret, words wouldn’t come. “I broke down in tears,” Hammack wrote. “That’s right, a forty-year-old former paratrooper was crying at the feet of Abraham Lincoln last week in front of my son and the whole world. I touched the beret, and it touched me.”

This is the time of the year when we observe Armed Services Day, Memorial Day, the anniversary of D-Day, all leading up to our celebration of Independence Day. It is a time when we remember the sacrifices made for us, whether it’s PFC Markwell’s sacrifice in Panama or our memories of “the boys at Point du Hoc” in Normandy. These are our men. These are our heroes. Their youth (with all its expectations) was given up in just the way John Scully gave his life for Michelle. Their sacrifice, though on foreign soil and longer ago, was just as real. We live because they were willing to die. It’s that simple.

The moment described by Hammack and the richness of its meaning are not exceptional in genuine military life. Honor is the key to everything. John Hammack never knew James Markwell, nor is Hammack even a Ranger. Nevertheless, the young Ranger medic’s sacrifice was real to him and the beret was real to him.

Our civilian culture claims to understand blood sacrifice and the love that motivates it. And yet, do we understand? Do our college professors really honor the men – and it was men – who died for America’s academic freedom? Ironically, the answer is no. Most would probably object to my saying that men did the dying, although that’s statistically undeniable. Scratch the surface of the average campus, college or high school, and you’ll find a great deal of hostility toward the military among both teachers and students. These days, many schools don’t even allow recruiting on their campuses. Most don’t even teach their students about America’s duty-honor-country code – the subject of General MacArthur’s famous farewell speech at West Point. How is this possible when in fact, we completely depend on this code to guarantee our freedom?

Odd as this may seem, there is an answer to the question. It lies in understanding first, the American warrior culture MacArthur eulogized so long ago – and second, understanding the left’s fear and hatred for that culture. Certainly, the radical left hates the American military simply because it represents American power, but it’s even more basic than that – more visceral. The left hates the military because the left hates men; more specifically, the left hates the patriarchy, the relationship between men and women who love and respect each other (think of the Scullys). The left’s success in undermining this relationship will have devastating results, for a country that holds its own men in contempt is a country with no future on the battlefield – and consequently, no future at all.

The current “compromise” on the beret just continues the U.S. Army’s march down this perilous anti-male (anti-warrior) path. We must change our course before it is too late. We need a new generation of leaders, officers who don’t want tender drill instructors, co-ed barracks, pink slip stress cards, and a sexual summer camp atmosphere at basic training. (How can we allow our young men to be so dishonored?) We need steely-eyed leaders who remember the meaning of American dignity, exemplified by great names like Washington, Lee, Marshall, and MacArthur. We need officers and NCOs who have not forgotten who American men are as fighters.

Listen to what MacArthur told the young cadets in 1962 about the American warrior:

My estimate of him was formed on the battlefields many, many years ago, and has never changed. I regarded him then, as I regard him now, as one of the world’s noblest figures; not only as one of the finest military characters, but also as one of the most stainless. His name and fame are the birthright of every American citizen. In his youth and strength, his love and loyalty, he gave all that mortality can give. He needs no eulogy from me, or from any other man. He has written his own history and written it in red on his enemy’s breast. In 20 campaigns, on a hundred battlefields, around a thousand campfires, I have witnessed that enduring fortitude, that patriotic self-abnegation, and that invincible determination which have carved his statue in the hearts of his people.
If you give such men false respect and coddle them like a spoiling parent, or if you downsize them to make them a woman’s “equal,” you will insult them and undermine their dignity. The best men will not endure this insult for long. They will leave the military, or never enter.

I think of MacArthur himself as a young brigadier general in World War I who amassed several Silver Stars and was famous for being as good a fighter “as any Doughboy,” a man who always led from the front and never let his men down. His own commander called him “the bloodiest fighting man in this army” and even the great Gen. Pershing called him “the greatest leader of troops we have.” Yes, he was a true legend even before he became the great World War II commander, but let’s compare his magnificent cool under fire to Bill Ott. Who was Bill Ott? Just one of thousands of “unknown” fliers during World War II who died for their country. He kept his “heart” right to the end. Listen to the U.S. Navy’s description of Ott’s final moments:

On his way back, Ott was attacked by Japs and shot up. Running out of gas, he called the Yorktown, said he could fly only fifteen minutes more. His radioman was dead, and he himself had only one good arm and one good leg. Finally, his last report came, “I am out of gas. That is all. Good luck and God be with you.”
Where do we find such men? Almost 50 percent of posthumous medal-of-honor winners were men who threw their bodies on grenades to protect their buddies. Wherever we find such men, we need leaders who understand them – better yet we need leaders who share their hearts. These leaders, men who will not dishonor men, are still plentiful in our society, but they are increasingly distrusted and ostracized by the anti-male military culture. We are at a crucial fork in the road. In order to go in the right direction we need to understand this “new culture” and see just how destructive it really is to the heart of the military – the warrior spirit.

Hating ‘white boys’ and their warrior spirit

Why any American would hate the warrior spirit and the men who are the very guarantors of our freedom is the deeper question, but that this hatred exists cannot be questioned. It is everywhere to be seen in the culture. Time magazine wrote about male-hating in its famous 1994 issue with a pig dressed in a man’s suit on the cover. Headline: “Are men really that bad?” Although often written tongue-in-cheek, the reporter makes it clear that the hatred is no joke:

Masculinity is in disrepute. Men have become the Germans of gender … in a sidelong and subliminal way, men have become the Evil Empire … the overt man bashing of recent years has now refined itself into a certain atmospheric snideness – has settled down to a vague male aversion, as if masculinity were a bad smell in the room (Time, Feb. 14, 1994).
This hostility is expressed not only by feminist women, but also by feminist men, both groups being uncomfortable with their gender roles. Women are not the only ones who can have abusive, distant or absent fathers – men can have them too. Bill Clinton, who had a famously difficult childhood, is a perfect example of the feminist man, one who is uncomfortable with his real masculinity due to serious father problems. Pundits who wonder why feminists stood with Clinton during the sex scandals need look no further than their shared contempt for traditional men – and women for that matter. Understand this and you understand one of the driving motivations of the hard cultural/political left: Pure hatred of the patriarchy.

When Al Gore’s black campaign manager Donna Brazile made her infamous and outrageous statement during the campaign about not letting “the white boys win” she was properly accused of being racist. However, that was only a small part of what was going on. Brazile tried to clarify her statement and only revealed a deeper problem. She said “white boys” was not a description of “gender or race, it’s an attitude, a ‘white boy’ attitude … ‘I must exclude, denigrate, and leave behind.’” That phrase is very telling. Any feminist Army recruit could have said that same thing about her “old guard” drill instructor, “He’s excluding me, denigrating me and leaving me behind.” Her problem is not with white men; her problem is with men.

The resentment of patriarchal authority has long been recognized by Western culture as self-destructive and ultimately destructive to community. One of the most interesting writers on the nature of this anti-patriarchy “attitude” is Francis Frangipane who has written on social meaning of the biblical character Jezebel as understood in Judeo-Christian tradition. He points out that the very word “Jezebel,” which in modern vernacular means “shameless women,” has a truer meaning. Its literal translation is “without cohabitation.” When someone has the Jezebel attitude, Frangipane says, that person will live with someone only when he or she can be in total control – otherwise alone is preferable. But the more obvious attitude of this gender-hostile archetype is contempt for decent authority, an attitude that encourages rebellion from patriarchal responsibility at every opportunity (think Madonna, Marilyn Manson or Gangsta Rap).

Ironically, there isn’t even serious discussion on this issue so intimidated are we by this “hate-the-patriarchy” attitude in America, which unites many political forces. We ignore thousands of years of ancient wisdom at our peril. Be sure when there are no more patriarchal men and women in America, there will be no America. That kind of person, represented by “the greatest generation,” must not fade away.

Donna Brazile’s problem is not with “white men.” Her problem is with patriarchal men, men of proper authority whether white, black, Hispanic, Asian, American Indian, or whatever. They are all “white boys” to her. To radical feminists, men who act like men are the problem. It is the natural authority of these men, their strength, confidence, and their aggressiveness, that is so annoying to feminists. It threatens their gender-free, egalitarian fantasy. However, the rest of us are inspired by such men, from Churchill to Roosevelt to Reagan.

In the end, it is a man’s desire to take responsibility that defines him as a man and earns him the admiration of women. Good mothers love to see that sense of leadership in their young sons. Bad mothers are threatened by it. Just read Christine Hoff Sommers’ book, “The War Against Boys.” The elite culture is full of women who think masculinity is a problem. In fact, famed feminist Gloria Steinem is quoted in Sommers’ book as saying boys should be raised “like we raise girls.”

Thank God, most American women still love men’s instinct for leadership, and for good reason. It is the heart of society’s ability to survive. In Africa, Masai warriors have a greeting, “Eserian nakera,” which means, “And how are the children?” The traditional response is “All the children are well.” They understand that family is the center of everything – and they understand their responsibility. Like John Scully, they are ready to die for it. Now listen to Gloria Steinem as she discusses men and family values:

When the right wing and our current and past presidents talk about family values, what they mean are male-headed, patriarchal household kinds of family values. … That is indeed what the National Socialists (or Nazis) meant when they talked about children, hearth, and church. We need to remember that fascist movements start out with the family.
In the minds of feminists like Steinem, once men start taking responsibility for their families, the next step is fascism. That’s why the anti-patriarchal leftists – rebels from a tradition they don’t understand – use the word fascist so often. To them, patriarchal relationships are fascist. Like Bill Clinton and so many other feminists, Gloria Steinem had a very difficult childhood. The ranks of the anti-male movement in America are full of men and women who feel unloved (excluded, denigrated and left behind). To these people, the patriarchy is cold, elitist and downright tyrannical. How can we blame them for that’s what men were in their childhood? We are told that about one of four women will be sexually abused by the age of 18. No wonder they think men are not noble but brutal and that being married is being “dominated”; men are all rapists who haven’t yet committed the act. America makes a terrible mistake treating this kind of thinking as if it’s something rational that’s rooted in a genuine desire for social justice. Social justice can only come when men and women love each other. The radical feminist movement has nothing to do with love.

Increasingly, as the family structure breaks down, young Americans hate anything that even resembles the patriarchal order of traditional families where husbands and wives have different but compatible responsibilities. This rejection of the traditional relationship can manifest as a mild discomfort with male leadership, or it can be aggressively antagonistic to any form of manly or womanly responsibility. You can see the rebellion from normalcy everywhere. It can show itself in minor rebellious behavior such as boys wearing earrings to signal their rejection of masculinity, or it can show itself in the raw sex-rebellion of a Marilyn Manson or Madonna. There are too many varieties and gradations to describe here but the key indicator is rebellion from any kind of traditional responsibility. Talk to an extreme, gender-rebel male about his responsibility to protect his country and his eyes will roll. Talk to his female counterpart about getting married and having children and she will practically spit. Now ask yourself what future do we have if young Americans adopt this anti-patriarchal attitude, leaving the burdens and responsibilities of society to others? What future can there be for them personally if they fear life too much to live it?

Anti-patriarchal hostility exists everywhere in the popular culture, and it’s causing horrendous problems. However, its presence in the military – which necessarily depends on men accepting their responsibility – is totally devastating to morale. Gen. Shinseki’s gender-free dream to “create” an all-Black-Beret Army in order to raise morale and self-respect will have the exact opposite effect. You cannot give self-respect to anyone (as our public school system has learned). People earn self-respect and our military leaders, above all other leaders in America, should know this.

The solution: duty, honor, country

First, we need men with a fighting spirit, and second, an Army culture full of officers who honor and respect their own warriors – for example, as Gen. George Marshall did, a man who had to work with legendary warriors like MacArthur and Patton. You must have both the men and the culture. You cannot have one without the other. While it is almost impossible to imagine a military that doesn’t respect warriors, that’s what has happened over the last several years. Our fighting men are increasingly surrounded by a bureaucratic, feminized military culture that at the end of the day will choke them out of existence – if we allow it.

During the Clinton era, the rush to create a military that “looks like America” became an overwhelming pressure to recruit women, no matter what. If the warrior culture frightened women off then the warrior culture had to go. According to Stephanie Gutmann, author of “Kinder, Gentler, Military,” “The nineties were a decade in which the brass handed over their soldiers to social planners in love with an unworkable (and in many senses undesirable) vision of a politically correct utopia, one in which men and women toil side by side, equally good at the same tasks, interchangeable, and, of course, utterly undistracted by sexual interest.”

This military culture, now firmly entrenched, is increasingly hostile to real men. In fact, the very expression “real men” would no doubt prompt an angry response at the Pentagon these days. Despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary, we still accept the foolish ’70s notion that men are no different than women, and therefore there is no such thing as “real men” or “real women” for that matter – just a massive, spiritless, gender-neutral “gray zone” of amorphous, sexless, characterless people with different body parts. What an insult to the strong men and women who made this country!

That we continue to stumble forward in this intellectual stupor testifies to the power of the angry feminist crowd (male and female) and their determination to destroy anyone who stands in their way – down to the last real man. How ironic that in the guise of helping women, our military has become overtly hostile to the very existence of manhood.

Whether Gen. Shinseki is conscious of it or not, he is carrying out the will of the anti-warrior culture disguised as the “new military.” The slow disintegration of the patriarchal army due to PC gender bending is eating the men up inside, and many of our mid-level officers left in disgust during the Clinton years. An ex-Army officer named John Hillen, quoted in Gutmann’s book, hit the nail on the head:

It’s becoming like Mao’s cultural revolution. Everybody knows it’s a system built on a thousand little lies, but everybody’s waiting for someone that’s high ranking who’s not a complete moral coward to come out and say so.
Now is the time for us all to speak up – especially real women. What’s going on in our armed forces is madness, but it’s not just because women provide unique problems in a man’s world. It is because we have forgotten what that man’s world is – the masculine spirit is quickly becoming a mystery. Our culture naturally knows what makes a woman special. First and foremost, she can have children. Any 13-year-old girl knows that childbirth sets her apart from boys. But what makes men special? What do we teach our teen-age boys about that? Modern culture has no real answer and this is a tragedy for the military – and ultimately, a tragedy for the nation.

Men are very different than women. Socially, we all know it. Even our movies show it. And yet, politically, we can’t seem to face it. In the early 1980s, when many Americans like me were waking up to the lies of feminism, my wife and I had some married friends who were avowed feminists. Over dinner one night, they talked at length about their egalitarian views. Curious to know more, I asked them a simple question. If they were awake in bed at 3:00 a.m. and heard noises of broken window glass in the living room, which of them would go to find out what was happening?

The husband, sticking to his feminist logic answered that the person closer to the bedroom door should go. The wife just stared at him in disbelief. She knew where the line was drawn. That’s how American women will react if enemies threaten us, and men look to women for a response. They will just stare at us in disbelief. That’s how American parents will react when the draft board comes for their daughters.

At its core, the relationship between men and women is about responsibility. Men are responsible to protect the family, their own and the larger family: “Women and children first” – that’s all there is to it. Who of us in our right minds – man or woman – would say that it would have been right for Michelle Scully to throw her body over her husband, John, all things being equal? The whole of Judeo-Christian Western culture is based on this essential, traditional relationship. Men and women know and understand this relationship – our children see it and respect it. Take that role away from men and you leave men dishonored, and women defenseless. That’s where we are headed.

The anti-male spirit in this country will mock men for this “protective” attitude calling it “macho ego.” But it is not about pride. It is about submission to proper responsibility. It is doing one’s duty. Radical feminists abhor submission to anything; they hate the very idea of womanly duty. But men – even feminist men – don’t have that luxury when it comes to manly duty. When it comes to protecting this country, there is no “Plan B.”

The Judeo-Christian principle, that there is no greater love than to give your life for another, provides the key to patriarchy in all its forms. What we are willing to give up for our loved ones defines our love, from parents and their sacrifices to soldiers and their sacrifices. As Martin Luther King Jr. said, “A man who has nothing he is willing to die for is not fit to live.” Of course, this principle applies most powerfully to the brotherhood of the battlefield where men are determined not to let their brothers down – to give their lives if necessary. This mutual trust is based on mutual spirit and ability as warriors, and women can’t enter that realm – not because they’re not worthy as people; it’s just not the point since the fight is about protecting women and children, and the freedom in which families thrive.

If it can be said that anything makes sense in the fog of war and the bloody horror of the battlefield, it is the patriarchal order of duty, honor, country … of love. Only that makes sense of war. The family, centered around women, is the heart of it all. Instead of being jealous of men, women should celebrate men’s warrior spirit – the masculine spirit – and our military should place it at the center of its traditions and teachings. Sadly, this is not the case and we are in serious peril as a result. Button-pushing, weapons technology has its limits, and in all-out war an enemy can calculate the cost in blood of reaching past those limits in order to gut the soft underbelly of a feminized Army.

The insane desire to feminize America in the name of justice is doing the opposite, creating disorder and injustice. The American people need the full truth on this issue but it won’t come from the political class. Fear of losing the women’s vote undermines the political will to resist. Call it career cowardice, or whatever. Politicians who ask our young men to sacrifice life and limb for America are unwilling to sacrifice their glamorous jobs in the same cause. This includes many “politicians” in the Pentagon.

The end of war?

Despite the “world-will-be-as-one” hopes of the PC ideologues, once our armies have feminized, enemies will come upon us like thieves in the night. As Plato said, “Only the dead have seen the end of war,” and we are not dead yet. The only question remaining is, when war comes will America have the knowledge, the will, the material and the men to fight it?

It is time for our leaders to stop playing this fantasy game of dice that will only bring wreck and ruin down on our heads. It’s time to recognize that the social experiments of the 1970s have only brought disaster upon our culture and upon our military. It is time, and well past time, to return to respecting men as leaders. In the end, we will anyway – for men are the ones who will lead when we are in peril. They are the ones who will protect us. Remember, there is no “Plan B.”

Sadly, in order to accommodate women in our society – and now in our military – men are asked to be less than men. This is the PC way to achieve justice and peace. They think that if women cannot keep up with men, all you have to do is slow men down – which is fine with the anti-male feminists who think the “masculinist culture” is the problem anyway. I fear that once our military becomes entirely “gender-free,” healthy men and women (who still want to be men and women) will shun it, and the culture of the armed services will degrade into a spin from which it can’t recover.

Who, then, will fight our wars once events escalate past Cruise missiles and other “smart” technology? Who will stand up to a ferocious enemy when all seems lost? Who will throw himself on a grenade to save his buddies? Or answer the call of “medic” under heavy fire? Who will stay behind with the wounded to die in Mogadishu because it is better to die honorably than live in dishonor? Who will do that? Who will even understand that code?

There must be determined resistance against current efforts to extinguish the warrior culture. The communizing and feminizing of the Black Beret is just one more step in an all-too-familiar direction. I hope and pray that President Bush and his cabinet understand the importance of this issue. Men and women are unique beings – we are not “gender-free.”

After the election, I was glad to hear Vice President Cheney tell the military that “help is on the way” but that must mean more than money. It must mean that men are on the way, along with women who respect them. Only then, on the next American battlefield, will our young men be able to say, all the children are well … and all the women too.