I get the feeling I’ll be repeating this fact a lot over the next few years, but the Defense Department should have three distinct objectives.
First, it should wage war. Second, it should plan on how to wage war. Third, it should be good enough at waging war and planning to wage war that our country doesn’t have to go to war.
These don’t seem like regressive or controversial goals, but that’s not an opinion shared by the Biden administration’s Pentagon, where maternity flight suits for the Air Force are one of the priorities. But if you criticize that, as Fox News’ Tucker Carlson did last week, the DOD will call you out.
And not just in a vague way, either. This was the title of a news release from President Joe Biden’s Pentagon after Carlson questioned the focus on putting more women in combat roles: “Press Secretary Smites Fox Host That Dissed Diversity in U.S. Military.”
“The United States military is the greatest the world has ever seen because of its diversity, Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby said during a news briefing this morning,” the release read. “Kirby addressed this because a Fox cable show host used his show to denigrate the contributions of women in the military and to say the Chinese military is catching up to the U.S. military because it does not allow women to serve in the percentage the United States does.”
Substitute CNN for Fox in that headline, set it a year ago during the Trump administration and watch the fury fly. But never mind that, since this all has to do with wokeness now.
As Carlson pointed out in a Thursday commentary, the spat began March 8 when Biden told America he planned to bring an “intensity of purpose and mission to really change the culture and habits” of the U.S. military — “the last functional institution of any size in this country,” Carlson called it.
And yet, this “intensity of purpose” didn’t have much to do with operational readiness.
“Some of it’s relatively straightforward work where we’re making good progress,” Biden said. “Designing body armor that fits women properly, tailoring combat uniforms for women, creating maternity flight suits, updating, updating requirements for their hairstyles.”
Carlson said, “‘Creating maternity flight suits.’ Maybe those suits have been around for a while. We’ve never heard of them. But here was the president of the United States promoting them at a press conference.”
“And that phrase stuck out not because we have some hateful bias against pregnant women flying military jets,” the Fox News host said. “We’re pro-pregnancy, as we often say. We’re also open-minded. Maybe pregnant women make the best pilots.
“The Department of Defense measures everything, so there’s got to be extensive research on this question. If the Pentagon can show that pregnant pilots are the best, we will be the first to demand an entire Air Force of pregnant pilots.
“The problem is, we’re pretty confident that Joe Biden hasn’t asked to see those numbers. We’d bet money that Joe Biden never even thought to ask.”
Biden’s priority, Carlson said, is “identity politics.” And while that passes muster in the corporate world, Carlson pointed out, “it is not fine if your only job is to protect the United States from people who want to kill the rest of us. That is the worst kind of dereliction of duty.”
“Yet it’s happening right now on an enormous scale,” he said. “Just this week, the Biden administration announced that the Pentagon will pay for gender reassignment surgery for active-duty personnel. How do sex changes in the military make this country safer? That’s not a trick question. It’s not another volley in the culture war. It’s the only question that matters — literally the only question that matters. But no one bothered to ask it, probably because no one can remember why the U.S. military exists.”
That’s something that’s become a problem now that Lloyd Austin is secretary of defense and purging people who disagree with this aspect of the Biden administration’s mission.
“Lloyd Austin is openly political. In his first days on the job, Austin made the entire armed services submit to a kind of political purity test. Anyone who had views that Lloyd Austin found ‘extreme’ had to leave,” Carlson said.
“The rest of us watched as this happened — we saw it. Once again, no one said anything. The left approved, the right felt hamstrung because they support the troops. Of course, if you support the troops, you probably should speak up when they’re being abused, as they were.
“Then Austin set about accelerating poisonous trends already in progress at the Pentagon. Worst of these is the use of irrelevant criteria in hiring and promotion,” Carlson continued.
“In order to meet the demands of various Democratic interest groups, the Pentagon has dramatically lowered standards in the services.” The Pentagon has gone on record as denying this, but Carlson said that’s a lie.
“Ask anyone who works there. If you press the spokesmen, they’ll tell you that it’s not a big deal because traditional standards don’t really measure anything. Well, then, why have them in the first place? Why have standards at all? It doesn’t make sense. They’re lying. And they’re lying because they have to lie. Politicians have demanded it.”
But because Carlson pointed this out, he said, he’s been targeted by Biden’s team, who (according to the DOD news release, anyway) smote him.
“Today, the Department of Defense launched a large and coordinated public relations offensive against this show. Pentagon brass issued hostile statements. People in uniform sent out videos on social media,” he noted.
— U.S. Space Command, Command Senior Enlisted Leader (@US_SpaceComCSEL) March 11, 2021
“The DOD even issued a news release attacking us: ‘Press Secretary Smites Fox Host.’ Smites! Like we’re a hostile foreign power,” Carlson continued. “We suspect this is one war they might actually win. They’ve got a manpower advantage. …
“Since when does the Pentagon declare war on a domestic news operation? We can’t remember that ever happening. But we’re not going to do that. We’re going to pass. Because this is bigger than a feud with some flack at the Pentagon. This is genuinely worrisome.”
That’s because, as Carlson pointed out, the DOD is looking to fight Fox News, the war on identity politics and supposed threats in Washington, D.C., as evinced by the National Guard deployment there. But what about the real threat?
“The main threat that we face, and everyone who is honest knows this, is the government of China. China is ascendant,” Carlson said. “Their economy will soon outpace ours. China now has the largest navy on the planet. Why do they have that? Why did they feel the need to build it? Does that have potential consequences for us? Yes.”
This is why, as Carlson pointed out, “Joe Biden wants to talk about maternity flight suits.”
It may be an easier topic to discuss, particularly for the base. The liberal media certainly won’t harass him about it. In fact, they’ll be more than happy to stand by and watch as the Pentagon harasses conservative media.
But none of this will make us more secure — and China, rest assured, isn’t spending its time, resources or energy on maternity flight suits.
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