Two days after syndicated columnists Ann Coulter and Linda Chavez blamed U.S. servicewomen in Iraq for the abuse of prisoners, two Washington Times columnists, Deborah Simmons and Diana West, jumped on the bandwagon:
In a May 7 op-ed, Deborah Simmons blamed the "feminization of America's armed forces":
What were Congress and the Clinton White House thinking when they began, in earnest, legislative moves that essentially led to the feminization of America's armed forces? Did they think that there would be no cultural implications (pregnancies, rape and sexual assault, etc.?) Did they think there would be no effect on America's military readiness?
Indeed, the queen of women in combat, then-Sen. Pat Schroeder, led the phalanx on Capitol Hill, arguing that girls should be treated just like boys.
Look what we have wrought: a woman, with no experience running a penal institution, in charge of all penal institutions in Iraq; scores of reports about women soldiers participating in the mistreatment of male prisoners (including sexual degradation); photographic evidence that the "girls" were equal partners with the "boys" in these criminal acts - during a war, no less; the possibility that one of those "girls," a suspect in these wholly un-American abuses and shameful acts - was impregnated while fighting in a war.
In another May 7 op-ed, Diana West asked that there be "no more women in combat theaters":
But isn't Abu Ghraib just such an urgent question? No. The humiliations and assaults perpetrated by a "handful" -- and how the media hate that non-collective word -- of American servicemen and women are already against both our laws and our sense of decency. There is nothing here to settle (but please -- no more women in combat theaters). Criminals will be punished. That is why this is not a Big Story, the top of the president's list, the focal point of the world.