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Letters: Women deserve a fighting chance

February 02, 2013

Re "Soldier girl blues," Opinion, Jan. 29

Jonah Goldberg questions whether permitting qualified women to serve in combat might make the military "better at fighting." While no one seemed to ask that question about allowing blacks to serve with previously all-white units more than 60 years ago, or about allowing gays to serve openly this year, President Obama probably has the answer:

Yes, our military's fighting ability will improve by allowing in combat those women whose qualifications such as mental acuity, physical conditioning and marksmanship exceed those of the average male soldier. Though the percentage of such women may be low, that's no reason to categorically deny them the opportunities for combat service and advancement to the highest military ranks.

Sandra Perez

Santa Maria

Count on Goldberg to oppose any change that bears Obama's stamp. How unseemly that Obama feels our military's courageous women — with many of their nominally noncombat sister soldiers dying on the battlefield — deserve to have the combat exclusion lifted.

Small wonder that our armed forces' women were greatly relieved when Obama won reelection. His opponent embraced political and religious doctrines antagonistic to notions of gender equality.

The prospect of Romney as commander in chief didn't appeal to women who resented being treated as second-class citizens in our armed forces.

Gloria Martel

Los Angeles

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