As Inkwell recently noted, the Pentagon isn’t just fighting a war against insurgents in Iraq. It must also fight the battle of the sexes in Iraq, manifested by reports of sexual assaults on female American soldiers by male U.S. soldiers. Those of us who oppose putting women in combat are likely to say: Told you so.

But what is one to make of these disturbing reports?

An Inkwell correspondent, T. M., writes:

“Maybe all this angst about sexual assaults in the military is a way of expiating our collective national guilt about putting women in combat (whatever their job titles — there are no front lines anymore).

“Several women have been killed in Iraq – some in accidents, but others by enemy fire. People used to say the American public would never stand for having women come home in body bags, but I haven’t heard any public uproar.

“Instead the frenzy centers on ’these delicate hothouse flowers’ (as National Review’s Kate O’Beirne would say) who aspire to be trained killers but who seem unable to hit back, or even say a clear and audible ‘no, when a guy gets fresh? Or those who want to drink all night with the boys, but demand amnesty when they wake up with more than a hangover?

“Even those who struggle and fight and are forcibly raped … Since they are obviously outmatched physically, is it right or fair or even reasonable to send them out where they can get clobbered by the real bad guys?”