The House Armed Services personnel subcomittee voted yesterday to bar women in the military from combat-support jobs that could place them in direct combat on the front lines, the Army Times reports today (thanks, Drudge). This is a long-overdue move, for as readers of this blog know well, The Other Charlotte and I applaud the courage and patriotism of our military women in Iraq and elsewhere, but we deplore current policies that result in their getting their limbs blown off.

Federal law already bans women from serving in direct ground-combat units, and the Army complies with that ban in the war in Iraq by barring women assigned to combat support from traveling with their units when they are deployed to front-line combat. Nonetheless, a few women assigned to support units in maintenance, supplies and food service, do find themselves in the line of fire. The subcommittee’s proposal, an amendment to the 2006 defense authorization bill, would tighten up the ban–and also head off moves, pushed by feminist ideologues, to push women into the front lines. Its sponsors say that only 31 women out of the 17,000 currently serving in Iraq would be affected by the bill, that Army policy would not be changed, and that the measure simply maintains the status quo.

Naturally the 9-7 vote on the proposed amendment (which goes to full comittee next month) broke down on partisan lines. It seems that although the radical feminists who support the Democrats are supposed to be pacifists, they?re gung-ho when it comes to women fighting and bleeding on the battlefield. Reflecting the ideological schizophrenia was this vacuous comment on the amendment (reported by the Army Times) from Rep. Loretta Sanchez, D-Calif: “It is sending a bad message to women in Iraq and to the men who serve with them.”