Harassing General Claudia

At Least There's One Rooster In The Barnyard

Why me, oh Lord? Doesn't Job handle the really awful tribulations?

The other day I picked up a newspaper and found, page one, above the fold, that a three-star generalette in the Army, name of Claudia Kennedy, has her skivvies in a knot. It's because an unnamed he-general groped her years ago. Yep, he did. She says.

Or maybe he patted her on the fanny, or looked at her, or made her uncomfortable, like a lint-ball in a sock. The newspapers weren't real clear on this. They are, after all, newspapers.

This, I sensed, was a military story of vast importance, like Pearl Harbor.

I tried to get my mind around it: yet another installment of the Great Pentagonal Grope'n'Squeal shriek-he-touched-me sex-harassment-is-everywhere sit-com. More and sillier charges. Angry fluttering in the hencoop. Roosters running for cover.

I'm telling you, reality gets harder to grab hold of every hour.

All right, I figured. Maybe it was a slow day in the newsroom. Maybe, in fact, a day that was actually dead, and waiting to be stuffed: Nothing at all to write about. You can't put out a blank paper. Thus a harrowing tale of unsuccessful rutting on the E-Ring. Whoopee.

I forgot about it.

Next day, so help me, another page-one piece: They had discovered the identity of the groper. Yes, there he was. Guy named Larry Smith. This revelation was treated as a great astonishment, as if the press had found Clinton in bed with his wife. The obvious question--"Who cares?"--eluded capture.

Now, why do you think Kennedy (some now call her Attila the Hen) is doing this? She's likely to destroy the guy's career, heterosexuality being in disrepute in the military, and she knows it. Groped? At her age you'd think she'd be grateful. Do we have overkill here? Revenge against the patriarchy? Generalized resentment against the unsatisfactory nature of life?

Who knows?

What vile act did Smith perpetrate? Did it involve a cattle-prod? Farm animals? Dunno. The papers did report a definition of harassment once given by Claudia the Combat-Ready: "His hand lingers on your back. He touches you on your upper arm and you can't tell if he's a touchy-feely person. All you know is that he gives you the creeps."

The horror.

Me, I'm trying to figure out the whole concept of sensitivity in generals. Generals are supposed to be warriors. I read that in a book somewhere. Here we have one coming unglued, positively delaminating, over something that middle-school girls handle every day.

I'm trying to picture a generalette at war. It's not easy. Historically women have not been warriors, but booty. (Why do you think all those guys with the swords and shields wanted to break into the city? Not to steal the crockery.) But I'm trying to be modern. It's not going well.

Let us say that Pyong Yang decides to acquire Seoul. Massed artillery cuts loose in January. Wind howls along those bleak Korean valleys with paddies frozen to steel. Bullets whine, wounded scream, arms and legs fly through the air like migrating birds. Remorseless North Korean infantry run around with those pointy things on their rifles.

And here comes General Kennedy charging across the landscape, yelling, "Squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaak! Don't touch me!"

I guess that's how most armies do it. Reckon?

What's really neat, though, is the response of the military leadership to this comic opera. The sensible thing here would be to say, "Larry, dammit man, how stupid can you get? Try a singles bar. Claudia, get a life. Now go away." End of problem.

But no. Our boss warriors are, characteristically, on their knees. When they retire, maybe they can make a living doing floors. A gal general says she was fondled and the entire military leadership wriggles and squirms like apologetic puppies who have wet the rug.

Lemme tell you why it happens.

The real power in the Pentagon is not the Joint Chiefs of Staff. They are just window dressing, suitable for swelling a uniform or looking growly on occasions of state or telling some hopeless sod of a president what he wants to hear.

The real power is something called DACOWITS. This is not an upper-case Polish mathematician, but rather the Defense Advisory Commission on Women in the Services. The Dacowitches are politically appointed civilian feminists, dedicated to demilitarizing the services. They want to teach Marines to talk about their feelings. They are supported by What's-his-Porkrind in the White House and the gender-loon machinery in congress. They run the Pentagon like dominatrixes in a Victorian bordello.

Think I'm kidding? Ask someone who works in the building.

They get what they want. What they want is not readiness for combat, about which they know little and care less. When I was covering the services a few years back, the Dacos had the military grasp of little fuzzy ducks. But nobody dares tell them to buzz off. Nobody. That's the end of the career.

You might ask why. Would Churchill, you might wonder, or Ike, or JEB Stuart, or any man at all, put up with this stuff from ill-tempered powderpuffs who think push-ups are bras? Would even the doorman at a unisex barbershop be so submissive?

After careful thought, I believe that there is only one reasonable conclusion:

The Joint Chiefs of Staff are transvestites.

You read it here first. JCS stands for Jasmine, Cygne, and Sue.

Yep. In the Five-Sided Wind Box, it's Susan B. Anthony all the way. Only really it's Anthony B. Susan.

OK, OK. I don't really know that. I haven't asked them, and they haven't told. But I can't see any other explanation. They know perfectly well what the weird plague of countercultural enthusiasm is doing to the military. The public doesn't know, but the generals know.

They know that their men hold them in contempt, that guys are bailing out, pilots going to the airlines, recruiting becoming difficult. And they know it isn't the economy. It's the endless sensitivity training, and gay-appreciation, and unmarried women calving like moose in May, and Claudia, with her horror of creepy fingers on her back.

If the JCS were men, they wouldn't stand for it. So they must not be.

Which leaves crossdressers. It all fits. I figure they've got tu-tus in their closets, and the most darling feather boas.

Jasmine, Cygne, and Sue.