DEFENDING AMERICA
David H. Hackworth
3 Feb 98

STOP THE STRIKE UNTIL THE SEXGATE IS CLOSED

Bombs are certain to fall on Iraq unless Saddam Hussein backs off and allows the UN inspectors to search for and then destroy his hidden arsenal of weapons of mass destruction -- chemical and biological for sure and perhaps even nuclear.

Military intelligence sources say Saddam, a cunning, world-class thug, might be leading America into another ambush.

Displaying his unique brand of courage, he may again stand tall at the bottom of his deep, ultradeluxe bunker and let his people get hammered.

He knows as well as any green second lieutenant that bombs and missiles alone won't win a war or blast him from power, only soldiers on the ground can do that --and our broken military machine isn't up for another Desert Storm. So when the dusts clears, Saddam will blame the pummeling on Clinton, claiming that what the fireworks were really about was to take the heat off his personal life.

Many of our warriors agree. They ask: Is the Iraqi crisis a Wag the Dog scenario of the president's own making to divert attention away from Sexgate? They also question his ability to lead American soldiers in a war and say the latest Clinton sex scandal involving Monica Lewinsky has gravely weakened the president's moral authority to be commander in chief of our armed forces.

Sexgate also brings into focus the double standards that exist between our politicians and warriors.

While our forces are preparing to attack, their leader is defending himself from allegations that would instantly end the career of any member in our armed forces, if so charged.

The irony of all this is that our warriors are frequently brought down not by a Gennifer Flowers, a Paula Jones or a Monica Lewinsky, but by an anonymous phone call or a "he gave me that kind of look" vague allegation.

An Army major says "We don't give our soldiers the due process that many are advocating for President Clinton. If they do their jobs right, providing hard training and stern discipline, they risk disgruntled brats calling 1-800-REVENGE and making baseless accusations of sexual misconduct. Then the National Organization of Women and the news networks show up to ratchet up the accusations without a trial or evidence."

A U.S. Air Force fighter pilot who distinguished himself in Iraq War 1 fought the charge that he "inappropriately touched" a female captain. He won his battle, and the accuser turned out to be a serial complainer who enjoyed making up stories about senior officers. But he'd been tarnished and it was too late in the game for him to retrieve his deserved star. To our great loss, he'll soon be flying for a commercial airline, not leading a fighter wing over Iraq.

Hundreds of naval aviators' careers were shot down over rumors and innuendoes during the fallout from the Tailhook sex scandal. "Just for being in Las Vegas at the wrong time, we were found guilty and punished by being removed from promotion lists without even a trial," says one pilot who might soon be flying missions over Iraq.

"President Clinton is our commander in chief and as such he is expected to set an example for all of us," says a Marine Sergeant. "He and his politically correct minions have torched the careers of many sergeants and officers for far less allegations than have been leveled at him. Why should he be treated any differently just because he's the president?"

An Army officer says, "Bill Clinton is not above the law of the land. If he's guilty of obtaining sexual favors from a subordinate and nothing's done about it, the Army needs to commute the sentences of all the Aberdeen drill sergeants. After all, the commander in chief did it!"

Clinton shouldn't pull a Wag the Dog and fall into Saddam's trap. There is no burning military necessity to attack Iraq within the next few months. The strike should go on hold until this latest scandal is put to rest so the president can lead his warriors without suspicion as to his real objectives.

Also, as a matter of fairness, President Clinton should insure in the future that his warriors are granted the same protocol when dealing with charges of a sexual nature that he's invoking now to protect himself.

The end