President Obama celebrates sending women into combat

Barack Obama PortraitPresident Obama:

“Every American can be proud that our military will grow even stronger with our mothers, wives, sisters and daughters playing a greater role in protecting this country we love.”


  • David Thomas

    On this, I can definitively say without risk of being ccused of partisanship or ideological slant, the president is either delusional or has an unhealthy appetite for hyperbole.

    I am not proud nor will I ever be proud. I am deeply ashamed. I will also say this man is as disingenuous as any president I have ever experienced. If he had included such a thing in his platform–including the probable eventuality of women having to register for the draft (–then the outcome of the election may very well have been different.

    But he didn’t tell us what he planned on doing two days after his inaugural, did he? Did it slip his mind, or is he hiding behind some slips?

    • David Thomas

      That is absurd and begs the question, Adam. I didn’t vote for Clinton but I applauded his actions restricting tobacco use.

      For you to keep posting this stuff shows you–not your opposition–are the partisan one. You sound like an MSNBC commentator: “Well, they wouldn’t like anything he has to say, so…” Does that comment address the matter on the merits? It’s a textbook ad hominem smoke screen.

      The president has his head in the sand if he thinks he can wave his hand and say that “every American can be proud.” I CANNOT be proud, and many others cannot be proud either, because our conscience demands something of us that his does not demand of him.

      What the president said is patently, abjectly, and demonstrably false. If he wants to say HE’S proud, fine. But now he’s telling me how I should feel?

      Talk about narcissism.

    • Lauren Law

      Adam…the sad part is that you are not on the “partisan” side that understands this does not “elevate” women at all. It diminishes the power of men and the role they play as protectors. It devalues women: the child-bearers of the world…as if that wasn’t already the highest calling. We don’t need to fight on the frontlines…there’s plenty enough to do behind the frontlines. Now mothers must fear for their daughters as much as they fear for their sons. Isn’t it interesting that none of this will go into effect until Obama’s final year in office…so he’ll never have to deal with this ungodly decision. Our government has said our babies are worth sacrificing so mom’s can have whatever life they want. Our government has said that law-abiding citizens have too many guns and bullets and are somehow to blame for the mentally-ill carnage of this country. Our country has laws to protect women from domestic violence…so let’s just go ahead and expose them to international violence. This is a sick decision. And exactly how does going to the front line give women a “greater role in protecting this country we love.” Women have been doing their part through every war this country has faced…and all of us knew their part was already important. Apparently you are just as “partisan” since you cannot see the common sense disgust of this decision. God protect my daughter, daughters-in-law, and granddaughters from this ungodly, unmanly, inhuman, ridiculous decision!

      • Natalie Trust

        Lauren, while I appreciate your convictions, I take issue with a few things you said.

        1)The Bible doesn’t say that men have the sole or elevated role of protecting others.
        2) The Bible doesn’t say that motherhood is the highest calling.
        3) Your attempt to draw a correlation bewteen domestic violence and international violence is insulting. No one enlists for abuse. Women enlist for military service.

  • James Stanton

    Denny, you’re being disingenuous, probably unintentionally, since I assume you read the newspapers and your own comments and should be informed as to the exposure women have had to combat in the last decade.

    For those who are are now conveniently outraged as to this new source of outrage, where were you?

    • David Thomas

      Denny can answer for himself, but for my part (as surely you’d count me in that number) here’s my response:

      1) This opens the door for the draft applying to women. Why? Because some 30 years ago some men sued, claiming women should be included as well, and the SCOTUS rejected their case because they responded that the military was preparing for a draft (i.e., Selective Service registration) to enlist COMBAT READY TROOPS. Since, they argued, that only applies to men, the suit had no validity. Now, by legal precedent set by the highest court in the land, since the U.S. government IS considering women as legitimate conscripts for active combat, they will have to register for the draft. This is legal gravity. See

      Short version: The official stance of the government, and not just unofficial practice, DOES matter when it comes to continued practice, because it paves the way for more. Do you have daughters, James? Are you down for them registering for the draft and being drafted if the need arises? And please spare us the “there hasn’t been a draft in 40 years” line. Registration is alive and well for a very good reason. Talk to any 18 year old guy and it is very much a matter on their minds.

      2) I was NEVER in favor of women in combat, but since the war we have been fighting is asymmetrical and non-traditional, women /ended up/ in combat. My stance is and always has been that women should not be on ships with men and should serve only non-combat roles completely separate from men.

      3) THis is a bellweather. If it weren’t, why are its proponents making such hay about it? You cannot have it both ways: Quietly cheering this great “advance” for our society, while chiding those opposed that nothing has really changed, nothing is really different. On this Obama and I agree: It is a big change. We disagree on whether it is a noble thing.

    • Adam Shields

      Exactly. Right now women are on the front lines but prevented from receiving proper training because of previous rules. If you really care, either be for this, or start advocating that all women be removed from combat arenas. Being against this just continues to jeopardize women that are in the combat arena but can not get the training (or the benefits) for being in combat.

      • David Thomas

        “…or start advocating that all women be removed from combat arenas.”

        And why are you confused over where Denny or the rest of us stand on that point? James accuses Denny of duplicity, but unless he/you know for certain he is somehow changed his mind I’m not sure on what basis you do.

        Buddy in the other thread finally admitted that such women would have to measure up to “sex agnostic” physical fitness standards. That is to say, no fudging how many pull ups they are required (as opposed to men), or push ups, or laps, or marches, or anything else. I mean, if we are going to train them, no more grading them on a curve. Are you guys ready for that? Because for all the palaver about “it’s been this way” it HASN’T been this way–women are getting a pass regarding what they are required to do physically, what duty they pull, quotas for advancement, and what happens when they get pregnant (which is often)–to their own endangerment and the endangerment of those around them. Don’t bother quibbling about data–I have a navy son who has filled me in at length over several years’ time.

        Of course, I say this knowing full well that these standards, if blindly applied, will not allow for anywhere NEAR the 230,000 slots Panetta is crowing about to be filled. I’d be amazed if it were 1% of that cipher.

        • Adam Shields

          The point that I (and I think James) is saying is that the current situation is worse than either letting this go ahead or removing women completely.

          Current situation is that women are in combat situations. But they are prevented from being properly trained (and sometimes properly armed) in those situations.

          Advocating to stop this, without advocating for removal continues to be dangerous for the exact same ways that Denny is saying that this should not go ahead.

          So I think you either need to admit that women should not be in combat arenas at all, or you needs to say that women need to be fully authorized so that they can be trained and fully integrated into their units.

          That seems to be fairly clear and was James point. What is wrong about that point.

          • David Thomas

            I find myself agreeing with you–wholeheartedly. The problem is that James seems to be stating that Denny (and others like him, such as myself) have tacitly agreed to your first option all along. We haven’t.

            You offer an Option B (completely remove them), which I will take, thanks very much.

            The fact that you offer these two as viable lets me know more about where you stand–and that in spite of yourself you are not in step (apparently) with the societal forces that are pushing this. Realize: In the final analysis, this is about our society HERE–NOT about what is best for our troops one and all in the field of combat. Those societal engineers would certainly think that you have not “matured” into their position if you are even willing to grant as an intellectual possibility the idea of withdrawing women from combat.

            Their goal is the obliteration of any distinction between the sexes as a good in an of itself. You seem to be talking sense (from your point of view–we clearly disagree) about the military.

            • Adam Shields

              Here is another reason that I read about this morning that non-combat status just doesn’t make sense. Women, because they are classified as being in non-combat roles are being denied treatment for PTSD and other combat related psychological services because of their classification as being outside of combat.

              At the very least, it should be something that we could agree that women that are in the military need to be afforded appropriate medical and psychological services that regardless of their classification.

              • David Thomas

                Oh Adam I give up on you. This is akin to an employer stating, “Most people don’t use use the dismemberment benefit clause provided for in the insurance we provide them, so now we are going to install machines in the work place that have a greater chance of dismembering them.”

                Have you thought about working in military intelligence?

                Sure, making them go into combat to get that certainly /does/ solve that problem. Sheesh. Or–novel idea here–say that all service members are eligible for that regardless of the role they play. Let me think–/which/ of these two options could Panetta have announced with less direct impact, cost, logistical complication, and PR backlash?

                Of course, the deeper issue that you keep failing to understand (I will grant you the virtue of naivte here) is that this move by the military is the /means/ to a societal end–not the end itself. While you quibble about health benefits, the engineers of this just laugh. The real purpose has to do with imposing a philosophy of society on our culture /stateside/–it has little to nothing to do with what works best for combat. The goal is a genderless society in which there is NO distinction at all–in any context–between males and females. This step is a means to that end.

                And by the way, you have yet to respond to the assertion, made in the link I provided to James, above, that this move essentially assures that women will have to register for the draft (and hence respond to it if/when called up) when they turn 18 years old. In other words, ALL young women in combat as conscripts–not volunteers. The article is quite clear as to why, but the proponents of Panetta’s Absurdity are conveniently using slight of hand to talk about minor issues instead of facing the music there. If you can provide a coherent, plausible argument as to why Professor Anne Coughlin of UVA–who has argued before the SCOUTS–is flat wrong on the issue, then let’s hear it. Or you can make the statement that all 18 year old girls /belong/ in combat. But say /something/ that addresses the real issue and stop making ridiculous statements about “benefits.”

                • Adam Shields

                  I really don’t understand your point. There is no one making people sign up for the military. The draft does not exist.

                  My point is that current women are serving in combat roles but not recognized, trained, compensated or in cases where there is psychological harm they are being prevented from accessing the psychological help that they deserve. When I said benefits, I mean medical benefits. You agreed with me earlier that the problem with the current situation is that women are in harms way inappropriately.

                  So I just don’t understand why it would be inappropriate that women that are in combat get the psychological services that they need.

                  As to your issue about the selective service. I am all for abolishing the selective service. There is no reason for it. We did not institute a draft while fighting two different wars simultaneously. The likelihood that we will ever have a draft again is very small. So I see the selective service argument as a red herring because it just is not going to happen.

                  • David Thomas

                    “So I just don’t understand why it would be inappropriate that women that are in combat get the psychological services that they need.”

                    Did you REALLY just post that in response to what I wrote?

                    Panetta in the think tank…

                    “Hhmm… women in the military need psych services. They aren’t eleigible because we haven’t officially classified them as combat personnel. What to do, what to do…I could A) Pull them from combat, or B) Say they are eligible even though they aren’t so classified, or C) Change the precedent of our nation’s history and two millenia of Western Civilization, and make them go into combat so I can give them psych services (which I could have given them anyway without such a decree). What to do, what to do. I’m going with C…”

                    Think a bit, Adam.

                    As for the draft, you are flat out, dead wrong. If the draft didn’t exist, an 18 year old male wouldn’t be in violation of the law not to register for it. The draft is very much alive–it is merely sleeping. The president could enact it with a flick of his pen. You saying, “I’d like there not to be a draft” is a meaningless statement. There is one…and now thousnads of young women are facing registration for it. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but it will happen. Public policy changes one step at a time, and the time to address it is not when it is upon you–it is when you see the dominoes being lined up.

                    Read this article…then get back with me. Until you read what this legal expert has to say, you will not understand me and responding to me is a waste of both of our time.

  • Akash Charles

    this is not too significant actually as women are only 14% of the armed forces- I wonder how many men who wanted to join the forces were turned down in spite of superior physical performance etc compared to their female counterparts

  • Nick

    ugh! I don’t think I truly grasped how perverse this new policy was until I read that quote. Something just seems so wrong with my mother, wife, sister and daughter protecting ME. I wonder if President Obama didn’t also have that feeling, at least deep down, when he said that.

    • James Stanton

      All other points aside, don’t you think the women who serve and have served in the military, the CIA, and local law enforcement play a role in protecting and defending you and the broader community?

      The next time you see you a patrolwoman or female beat cop will you realize that she’s helping protect you and yours from harm?

      • Akash Charles

        sure -everyone protects everyone in some way or form as for a female police cop- due to the high amount of Gender quotas for them-I really do not see them as people who care for protection but more about recognition and career advancement(also in the form of quotas)-I find it hard to believe America does not have enough men to fill its armed forces and needs women-look at how many unemployed uneducated men we have-its time the country started doing something to enable them to rise up and get out of their mess-training them to enter protective forces will be a good start.

        But of course no one will see that the problem is uneducated men cause educating and creating successful men is now deemed as sexist!

  • James Harold Thomas

    Re:the draft, we may need to start setting a precedent for evangelical girls to claim conscientious objector status.

  • Nell Parker

    James Thomas

    I am against drafting women. However, I do want to challenge your statement on evangelical “girls.” Those of the female gender who enter the military are women have achieved their legally recognized status as adults.

    Whether or not we agree with their decision, we should recognize that they are adults who have chosen to serve and protect this country and for that they deserve both our thanks and respect.

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