Saturday, April 25, 2015
Lee Culpepper | Apr 25, 2015
When the Obama administration finally strong arms the Marine Corps in to lowering its standards so that ordinary women can pass the Infantry Officer Course (IOC), maybe America’s enemies will volunteer to fight with one hand tied behind their backs to level the battlefield, too.
Mentally stable Americans have to wonder if liberals dream up such suicidal schemes on their own. Or is this some subversive plot concocted by communist moles and Islamic terrorists merely masquerading as American politicains and military leaders? Normal Americans would think that only our enemies would seek to emasculate and demoralize our military the way this administration is. But to liberals, decimating the military seems to be their idea of patriotism.
The Washington Times reported on April 19 that the Marine Corps is facing increased pressure (i.e. coercion) from the White House to lower combat standards for women. All 29 female lieutenants who have attempted Marine IOC have washed out. Consequently, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Army General Martin Dempsey, will now demand that the Marine Corps provide a good reason for not lowering the bar.
Can you imagine being the enlisted Marines ordered to follow an officer -- who feels entitled to lower standards and special attention -- into a combat zone? Granted, Obama sets this kind of example, but the Marine Corps holds real leaders to a higher and more honorable standard.
When Second Lieutenant Sage Santangelo failed to complete IOC, she wrote an article for the Washington Post. Santangelo asserts that Marine standards should not be lowered, but then she still blames the Marine Corps for women failing IOC:
Women aren’t encouraged to establish the same mental toughness as men, rather they’re told that they can’t compete. Men, meanwhile, are encouraged to perceive women as weak. I noticed women were rarely chosen by their peers for some of the harder tasks in basic training.
Male lieutenants have been failing IOC since its inception. About 25% of male lieutenants fail to complete IOC, and half of them are eliminated during the initial Combat Endurance Test (CET). If the male officers are blaming their personal inadequacy or failure on anyone but themselves, those complaints are well guarded secrets. They certainly are not Washington Post articles.
Regular Marines who fail IOC do not assert that the Marine Corps needs to do more to prepare them for the course. Once upon a time, lieutenants took the initiative to prepare on their own to accomplish their professional goals, or they selflessly moved on to serve another role in the Marine Corps.
In fact, my wife is a former Marine officer. Not so long ago, she could max the male Marine’s physical fitness test (PFT). This means she could run three miles in less than 18 minutes, do 80 sit-ups in two minutes, and perform 20 pull-ups. Most male Marines never accomplish this. Consequently, her mental and physical toughness earned her a lot of respect as a Marine. She also qualified as an expert rifleman.
Nevertheless, she recognizes that she may not have been physically equipped to meet some of the brutal requirements of IOC. She also finds it repulsive that any Marine would suggest the government needs to design special training for women Marines to prepare them to pass IOC. Male Marines have never required special attention, and pretending to be equal but inferior is not Marine Corps leadership. It’s deadly deception.
If Marine officers cannot meet a standard, they need to possess the judgment, integrity, dependability, and selflessness to recognize their personal limitations. Leadership is not a synonym for personal ambition. Leadership means accomplishing a mission and taking care of those who are expected to trust and to follow you.
Apparently, General Dempsey may have received orders to ignore the famous words of another former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Army General John W. Vessey Jr. During America’s 1983 assault on Grenada, General Vessey exclaimed:
“We have two companies of Marines running rampant all over the northern half of this island, and three Army regiments pinned down in the southwestern corner, doing nothing. What the hell is going on?”
Forcing the Marine Corps to lower its standards so that an average woman can impersonate a Marine infantry officer will likely answer Vessey’s question.
So long as we all feel like we are equal, who cares if reality reveals that we’re not? America’s enemies certainly don’t mind. As a matter of fact, they seem to be the ones orchestrating the narcissistic and lethal ruse.
Friday, April 24, 2015
By Charles Krauthammer
April 23, 2015
In December, President Obama said that he wished to see Iran ultimately become a “very successful regional power.” His wish — a nightmare for the Western-oriented Arab states — is becoming a reality. Consider:
● Gulf of Aden: Iran sends a flotilla of warships and weapons-carrying freighters to reinforce the rebels in Yemen — a noncontiguous, non-Persian, nonthreatening (to Iran) Arabian state — asserting its new status as regional bully and arbiter. The Obama administration sends an aircraft carrier group, apparently to prevent this gross breach of the U.N. weapons embargo on Yemen. Instead, the administration announces that it has no intention of doing anything. Meanwhile, it exerts pressure on Saudi Arabia to halt its air war over Yemen and agree to negotiate a political settlement involving Iran.
● Russia: After a five-year suspension, Russia announces the sale of advanced surface-to-air missiles to Iran, which will render its nuclear facilities nearly invulnerable to attack. Obama’s reaction? Criticism, threats, sanctions? No. A pat on the back for Vladimir Putin: “I’m, frankly, surprised that [the embargo] held this long.”
●Iran: Last week, Obama preemptively caved on the long-standing U.S. condition that there be no immediate sanctions relief in any Iranian nuclear deal. He casually dismissed this red line, declaring that what is really important is whether sanctions can be reimposed if Iran cheats. And it doesn’t stop there. The Wall Street Journal reports that Obama is offering Tehran a $30 billion to $50 billion signing bonus (drawn from frozen Iranian assets) — around 10 percent of Iranian GDP.
● Syria: After insisting for years that President Bashar al-Assad of Syria “step aside,” the U.S. has adopted a hands-off policy toward a regime described by our own secretary of state as an Iranian puppet.
● Iraq: Iran’s Quds Force Commander Qasem Soleimani, director of Shiite militias that killed hundreds of Americans during the Iraq War and were ultimately defeated by the 2007-2008 U.S. surge, operates freely throughout Iraq flaunting his country’s dominance. In March, he was directing the same Iraqi militias, this time against the Islamic State — with the help of U.S. air cover.
This is the new Middle East. Its strategic reality is clear to everyone: Iran rising, assisted, astonishingly, by the United States.
Obama’s initial Middle East strategy was simply withdrawal. He would enter history as the ultimate peace president, ushering in a new era in which “the tide of war is receding.” The subsequent vacuum having been filled, unfortunately and predictably, by various enemies, adversaries and irredeemables, Obama lighted upon a new idea: We don’t just withdraw, we hand the baton. To Iran.
Obama may not even be aware that he is recapitulating the Nixon doctrine, but with a fatal twist. Nixon’s main focus was to get the Vietnamese to take over that war from us. But the doctrine evolved and was generalized to deputize various smaller powers to police their regions on our behalf. In the Persian Gulf, our principal proxy was Iran.
The only problem with Obama’s version of the Nixon doctrine is that Iran today is not the Westernized, secular, pro-American regional power it was under the shah. It is radical, clerical, rabidly anti-imperialist, deeply anti-Western. The regime’s ultimate — and openly declared — strategic purpose is to drive the American infidel from the region and either subordinate or annihilate America’s Middle Eastern allies.
Which has those allies in an understandable panic. Can an American president really believe that appeasing Iran — territorially, economically, militarily and by conferring nuclear legitimacy — will moderate its behavior and ideology, adherence to which despite all odds is now yielding undreamed of success?
Iran went into the nuclear negotiations heavily sanctioned, isolated internationally, hemorrhaging financially — and this was even before the collapse of oil prices. The premise of these talks was that the mullahs would have six months to give up their nuclear program or they would be additionally squeezed with even more devastating sanctions.
After 17 months of serial American concessions, the Iranian economy is growing again, its forces and proxies are on the march through the Arab Middle East and it is on the verge of having its nuclear defiance rewarded and legitimized.
The Saudis are resisting being broken to Iranian dominance. They haveresumed their war in Yemen. They are resisting being forced into Yemen negotiations with Iran, a country that is, in the words of the Saudi ambassador to the U.S., “part of the problem, not part of the solution.”
Obama appears undeterred. He’s determined to make his Iran-first inverted Nixon doctrine a reality. Our friends in the region, who for decades have relied on us to protect them from Iran, look on astonished.
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