Entry from May 17, 2013

President Obama, in the midst of scandal to the right of him (the IRS) and scandal to the left of him (the AP wiretaps), scandal behind him (Benghazi) and scandal ahead of him (Obamacare implementation) is outraged about — sexual assaults in the military, which has apparently reached “crisis” proportions. And who can doubt it when Sally Quinn is, in her own words, “sputtering with outrage” about it — always an infallible indication of crisis. Yet she also professes to think that “sexual assault is part of the military culture.” Well which is it? If it’s a crisis, it can hardly be part of the military culture, which has been around for a very long time, and if it’s part of the military culture, it can hardly be a crisis.

Perhaps the problem lies with Ms Quinn’s very odd idea of what constitutes the “sexual violence” she, along with her heroine, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), believes can and should be utterly eradicated from the military culture. However, she writes,

that is not going to be a cakewalk. Take the Cadets for Christ, a religious group at the Air Force Academy. According to Mikey Weinstein, head of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, they espouse the idea of “the shepherding movement for female cadets. [The women] must be shepherded by males, even lower-ranking males. They are told that their value is that they have eggs. They are asked, ‘What are you doing here? This is not want Jesus wants.’” . . . If this is a tolerated group at the Air Force Academy (and the other military academies are not much better), how on earth can anybody, even the president, demand zero tolerance overnight? The fact is he can try. But nobody is going to pay attention. Not until people actually start going to jail.

So apparently Sally sees no difference between those who commit “sexual violence” against women and those who attempt to persuade women that God or nature has not intended them for a violent profession. Perpetrators of both sorts ought to be in jail. With such wildly disparate ideas of what sexual assault consists of, it’s no wonder our armed forces are having so much trouble with it. Perhaps it is a crisis after all.

On the assumption that it is, at any rate, the President summoned military leaders to the White House yesterday, even as he acknowledged that there was “no silver bullet to solving this problem.” Of course, this is just another example of his usual technique of rhetorical argument: setting up a straw man which he then proceeds to knock down, except that I think he means a magic bullet, like the ones in Der Freischütz, rather than a silver one, which is the Lone Ranger’s gimmick, supposedly because it is less likely to kill than a regular bullet. At least that’s how I remember the Lone Ranger story, soon once again to grace the (ironically) silver screen with Johnny Depp as a painted Tonto reprising Captain Jack Sparrow on dry land. We also must understand, I guess, an implied personification (or monsterfication) of the problem of sexual harassment or bullets of any kind wouldn’t be much use against it.

The President didn’t bother putting in the part about how “there are those who say” (in effect) that there is a silver (or a magic) bullet, relying on his compliant listeners to stipulate such people’s existence, even though there is no evidence of it. But, as it happens, in this case there actually is a magic bullet. Simply follow the lead of the Cadets for Christ and return the armed forces to what they were before the feminist invasion and occupation of the 1970s. Surely, if ever an experiment in social engineering to a progressive blueprint can ever be said to have failed, the integration of women into the military on equal terms with men is it — and this latest “crisis” is the evidence. Get those chicks out of uniform or segregate them in strictly rear-echelon, bureaucratic roles, and watch that magic bullet do its stuff. But then you will understand that I jest. No progressive social engineering project can ever be said to have failed. For that to happen, it really would take a magic bullet.

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