One of the distressing bits of news from the Iraqi front is that a female soldier has been captured and paraded before the TV cameras by the Iraqi military. She is the first woman captured in the current Iraqi war and since the Clinton administration relaxed rules, in 1994, on servicewomen going into high risk positions.

A heart-breaking photo of the female POW, captured with four male soldiers, appeared in newspapers around the country. The picture was taken from Al Jazeera TV, the Arab network that featured interrogations of the U.S. POWs.

Elaine Donnelly, president of the Center for Military Readiness, a public policy organization, said that the reason women are being moved toward front line positions is that the Pentagon has bowed to pressure from feminist groups.

“It’s bad when a man is captured,” Donnelly told the Washington Times. “But if a woman is captured, she doesn’t have the same chance [to defend herself] that a man does.”

A female soldier who was captured in the 1991 Gulf War was sexually assaulted by her Iraqi captors. She was Maj. Rhonda Cornum, a flight surgeon and a strong proponent of women in combat. Maj. Cornum did not reveal the sexual molestation until four years later.

If Cornum had spoken up earlier, Donnelly said, it might have changed the debate on women in combat.

“We clearly need to reconsider the decision made in the early 1990s for the good of the country and the good of women,” said retired Army Lt. Col. and Fox News commentator Robert Maginnis.