If the Beltway right has any confidence it can win the culture war, the latest news from River City should shatter that illusion.  Departing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has declared war on nature.  Military women will now serve in combat.  “Valor knows no gender,” President Obama said, as if whether a woman can be physically courageous was ever the question.

The crazy decision came in late January with the support of the Pentagon’s military elite.  Know this: If your 190-pound athlete son enlists in the Marine Corps, he may find himself in a foxhole in the Hindu Kush with two pig-tailed girls who weigh 110 pounds apiece.  If he gets shot, you had better pray for deliverance from Heaven, because the girls won’t be strong enough to carry him out.

This is what the first Presidential Commission on the Assignment of Women in the Armed Forces, for which I served as a media liaison, learned 20 years ago.  Hard as it is to believe, a panel of intelligent citizens had to study what common sense and human history make obvious—that women shouldn’t serve in combat for the very practical reason that 99.99 percent of them are not equipped for it physically.

Perhaps the most persuasive piece was a physiological graph that showed something that is, again, obvious to anyone but a Ph.D. or an aging feminist who fantasizes about Xena: Warrior Princess.  Generally speaking, the strongest woman is only as strong as the weakest man.  Thus, if the military is to recruit the most physically fit and imposing women for combat, it will recruit the equivalent of weak men.  And the average woman has the lung capacity of the average 50-year-old man.  So again, if the military recruits women for combat, it will be recruiting the equivalent of 50-year-old men.  Of course, the military does not send old and weak men into combat.

Data from the Marine Corps presented to the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services in 2011 bear this out: Studies show that women are endowed with 20-percent lower aerobic power than men, 40-percent lower muscle strength, 47-percent lower lifting strength, and 26-percent slower road-march speed.  In addition, their attrition rate from injuries is twice that of men; their nondeployable rate is three times higher.

Why don’t women play professional football, or any other professional sport, with men, including even golf, where they would face the least physical danger?  Common sense tells us why.  After a lengthy deployment in Iraq, an outstanding physical specimen of a lady Marine explained it after listing the many physical ailments she suffered:

I can say with 100 percent assurance that despite my accomplishments, there is no way I could endure the physical demands of the infantrymen whom I worked beside as their combat load and constant deployment cycle would leave me facing medical separation long before the option of retirement.  I understand that everyone is affected differently; however, I am confident that should the Marine Corps attempt to fully [sic] integrate women into the infantry, we as an institution are going to experience a colossal increase in crippling and career-ending medical conditions for females.

The case against women in combat is not merely a matter of practicality  The question, said Col. Ron Ray, a combat hero in Vietnam and commissioner in 1992, is not whether women can serve in combat, but whether they should serve in combat.

The sexual contretemps, from adultery to competition for the few women who survive combat training, will cripple the cohesion and esprit de corps in a combat unit in no time flat.  Beyond that, there is simple decency and modesty.  Whatever Panetta and his coven of broom-straddling supporters may believe from watching G.I. Jane and Starship Troopers, most men and women won’t want to live in close quarters.  Certainly the women won’t, unless something is wrong with them.

Another issue is the moral question of how to train men to accept women warriors.  We are told the women will undergo the same training as men.  If that’s really true, then men will train with women, for instance, in pugil-stick fights.  No real man will participate in such an outrage, particularly if his mother taught him what mothers have taught sons since the beginning of time: Women are to be protected, not brutalized.

Yet even with these matters, the practical meets the moral.  As a strictly moral concern, women should not serve in combat because such an endeavor offends nature and the complementarity of the sexes.  God did not make women to be combat soldiers.  He made them be wives and mothers.  He made them to give life, not to take it.  Permitting women to fight is an affront to feminine dignity and simple decency.

Stating the case against women in combat undoubtedly relegates women to “second-class citizenship,” a falsehood that sounds true in this egalitarian epoch.  Even “conservatives” now support this craziness.  They share the left’s concern with “equality” for women.  They would never dare suggest that lady cops, firefighters, and infantrymen are a cultural bridge too far.

Sociologist Charles Moskos, who served on the commission in 1992, explained the unspoken assumption behind assigning women to combat: that men are big women, and women are little men.

Again, only an egghead or a feminist believes that.  No matter.  The left has prevailed in the culture war, as this final battle over the last bastion of naturally conservative masculinity attests.  The feminists have scaled their cultural Suribachi.

As for Obama’s “gender”-free valor, may God have mercy on the cowards—the spineless men—who abandoned their post.