October 21st 2017

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY Reality of family unit must underlie tax system

EDITORIAL Christianity today: the challenges ahead

CANBERRA OBSERVED Xenophon: a Mr Fixit or a political yo-yo?

DRUGS POLICY Science elbowed aside in rush for latest silver bullet: 'medical marijuana'

TRANSGENDER MARRIAGE Decoys to revolutionary laws redefining sex and marriage

FOREIGN AFFAIRS What is the way out of the Catalan crisis?

NATIONAL AFFAIRS Our barmy Army: all politically correct

FAMILY AND SOCIETY The child as weapon in Family Court process

FAMILY AND SOCIETY Faiths and the global future

KOREA Hermit Kingdom versus the Land of Morning Calm

MUSIC Hi-tech lo-fi: Resistance is futile

CINEMA Blade Runner 2049: A cypher unlocking a mystery

BOOK REVIEW The rebels

BOOK REVIEW An attempt to break through the fog


HUMOUR More excerpts from the forthcoming revision of Forget's Dictionary of Inaccurate Facts, Furphys and Falsehoods


EUTHANASIA Victoria's death bill: questions that need answers

TRANSGENDER MARRIAGE: George Christensen calls Parliament's attention to activists' end-game

EUTHANASIA Victoria mistakes killing for compassion

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Our barmy Army: all politically correct

by Hal G.P. Colebatch

News Weekly, October 21, 2017

A prime minister who cared about this country’s security would take steps to ensure our armed forces were of the highest possible quality. In particular, he would put a stop to the politically correct madness which is seeing fit men being turned away from recruiting offices so the Army can meet a “target” of, it is said, 50 per cent women.

Fear us, world!

It is reported that the Australian Army has put a ban on male recruits in a bid to increase female ranks – and fitness tests have been slashed to four push-ups and 20 sit-ups, which even I could probably do! The reports say Australian Defence Force recruiters have been told they will be re-posted if they ignore directives exclusively to target women for most jobs.

If these reports are true – I had trouble believing them until I Googled them – this is a case of outright discrimination, and shows that the country’s political leadership is prepared recklessly to endanger Australia’s security.

This is reported to apply not merely to those jobs that women might perform well, such as air traffic control, but to infantry, artillery and engineers, where upper-body strength is essential.

Recently the Army announced it seeks recruits in 50 roles, but 35 are available to women only, including armoured cavalry (tanks and armoured vehicles and combat engineers) – the jobs for which women are least naturally suited. Evolution has given men warriors’ bodies, with greater upper-body strength, and women nurturers’ and child-bearers’ bodies with different musculature.

The push for women in the artillery and armoured cavalry is particularly strange. How can women have the upper-body strength to serve heavy guns, if necessary tossing around heavy shells and charges, or tear damaged track-links from tanks? These are jobs not just for men, but for men of greater than average strength.

According to one report: “There are currently no jobs available for men in the infantry as a rifleman or as an artilleryman – but both jobs are highlighted as ‘recruit immediately’ if a female candidate comes forward.”

Will this mean that the Army can have only light guns such as women with less strength may be expected to serve? Guess the outcome of artillery duels or counter-battery fire against enemies the weight of whose guns and shells are not limited by such considerations?

Can women be expected to lift wounded men (and, presumably, wounded women) out of burning tanks and aircraft before the flames reach them?

Combat engineers, whom the report says the Army is looking to recruit exclusively from among women, are the ones who use flamethrowers – nice work for a woman! Of course some of the more pathological of the feminist sisterhood might enjoy it.

It was fortunate that in World War II women did not have to engage in hand-to-hand combat against German Panzergrenadiers or Japanese White Tiger commandoes, though they might well have to come up against an Afghan tribesman today.

One report continues: “The Navy and Air Force have similar quotas. Of 18 jobs listed for the Navy in the next six months just one is open to male recruits. None of the seven Air Force roles is open to men. The only males that will be considered for those roles are indigenous Australians.”

Is someone deliberately trying to wreck the defence forces? To recruit soldiers for combat roles by any criterion other than combat efficiency is madness.

Decorated former Army Major Bernie Gaynor, sacked for his outspoken comments on political correctness in the Army, said former colleagues had turned to him to speak on their behalf. Gaynor claimed: “The recruitment priority plan shows that Defence’s PC policies have gone beyond bonkers. It is now openly discriminating against males for its combat roles in the Army.

“Defence Force members cannot speak up or they will lose their jobs.”

Senator Cory Bernardi has also warned that PC and gender ideologies are likely to “compromise the effectiveness of our frontline combat capability”.

Since World War I, women have played important roles in the armed forces, but, except in Stalin’s Russia during the so-called Great Patriotic War, those roles have not included front-line combat.

The greater role of remote, electronic warfare, including increasing use of drones, may increase roles for women in that area, but this is apparently not what the ADF wants. Anyway, a soldier or sailor must be acceptable as a replacement under fire. In the grim and gruesome business of taking and holding territory, it still comes back to the infantry, as the current wars in Afghanistan and elsewhere have proven. Women can, and should, be kept in non-combatant roles except in dire emergencies.

The instinctive feeling against women in front-line combat is not the decision of a few chauvinistic blimps, hankering after Ypres and the Somme. It is the result of the accumulated experience of warfare since ancient days.

Israel, which lacked the manpower of its likely enemies, experimented with women in front-line combat but the experiment was a complete failure.

Male soldiers, even in the ultra-efficient Israeli Defence Force, were found to look after women at the expense of combat efficiency, especially if the women were wounded or captured.

Kipling’s stoic injunction to new soldiers went:

When you’re first under fire and mindful to duck,
Don’t look nor take heed of the man    who is struck.
Be thankful you’re living and trust to your luck
And march to your front like a soldier.

This has often proved impossible to obey when, in advance or retreat, “the man who was struck” and lay screaming and bleeding on the ground was in fact a woman.

The push for women in front-line combat involves false conceptions of human nature, and an expectation that human beings can be moulded into behaving in unnatural ways. A few women may make combat soldiers but they are the exception.

The report, along with other recent stories, suggests some very strange things are going on in the ADF. Could our Parliament tear itself away from the topic of homosexual marriage long enough to examine this? The matter could be raised either by individuals in the House or by the Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee, which is tasked with examining Defence issues.

There is probably little that independent members, even if so-minded, can do apart from publicising what is going on, but it is to be hoped that some of the more conservative MPs in the major parties might have the initiative and gumption to tackle this.

If Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull or Minister of Defence Marise Payne cared about the defence forces’ effectiveness, they would not have let things reach such a point; though for the Prime Minister intervention would not only be easy, but arguably a positive duty. Even some conservative state MPs might raise the issue through articles or speeches.

At an International Women’s Day speech in Canberra this year, the Chief of the Army, Lieutenant General Angus Campbell, said: “We aspire to have 25 per cent representation of women in the Army by 2025.” That is double the current 12.7 per cent.

Note that achieving this 25 per cent goal trumps quality and effectiveness – and in combat situations the lives of individual soldiers, their whole units and even national security may depend on that quality and effectiveness. This is inexcusable. The Government and the ADF have no moral, and arguably no legal, right to compromise national security for the sake of a political ideology. More care would be taken to ensure quality when selecting a sports team.

It is to be expected that there will be quite a high number of pregnancies, and unless pregnant women are going to be sent into battle (to return in body bags?) the money spent on their training will have been thrown away.

Turning to navies, where considerations are rather different and in some ways more advantageous to women, when the Royal Navy experimented with having women serve in ships at sea, there was a very high pregnancy rate.

Further, the need to provide separate bathrooms, bunks, washing, changing and lavatory facilities all impact adversely on a ship’s combat efficiency. A warship is a “bundle” of abilities – guns, protection, electronics, range (fuel and stores), sea keeping – and everything in it, including any facilities for women, and everything it can do is at the expense of something else. Naval architects can only hope they have achieved a better balance of these competing assets than have the enemy’s naval architects.

Certainly some women have served at sea successfully (I have even published a novel, Counterstrike, in which a major female character is a successful frigate captain). Commanding officers have reported that having women in warships has led to better behaviour among male crewmembers. But this seems a dearly bought gain when one remembers that the purpose of a warship is not to encourage better manners but to outfight the enemy. I sincerely hope that women in warships work, but it has not yet been tested on any scale in battle.

Hal G.P. Colebatch shared the Prime Minister’s Prize for History in 2014 for his book, Australia’s Secret War.

All you need to know about
the wider impact of transgenderism on society.
TRANSGENDER: one shade of grey, 353pp, $39.99

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