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isn't she cute?

By Diogenes (articles ) | Apr 04, 2003

When the news broke that the rape of female cadets had become nearly as commonplace at the Air Force Academy as midterms or maneuvers, it came as a shock to most Americans accustomed to thinking of the service colleges as bastions of the very best.

So writes Newsweek columnist Anna Quindlen in a burst of cheery hyperbole that even her fellow Leftists must sense is over the top. The USAFA Inquiry Board cited 56 reported instances of sexual assault (not all of which involved rape) over the past ten years. Why would Quindlen want to suggest rape is as normal as classroom exams? I can think of two explanations, neither of which does Quindlen much credit.

Perhaps the pointless alliteration ("bastions of the best," "midterms or maneuvers") reflects the forced cuteness of high school journalism which Quindlen has never quite managed to put behind her, and thus the reader is simply meant to chuckle and read further in the hope of amusement, if not instruction.

On the other hand, it may be that the gleefulness really is Quindlen's, and her unconvincing indignation a bit of perfunctory stagecraft. In one sense, after all, she has a lot to be happy about. The Navy's Tailhook scandal was a huge political windfall for those with visceral hatred of the armed services, and the present crimes provide a great opportunity for replacing military officers with ideologically-catechised governesses in key positions of leadership. As Quindlen ominously writes,"it's the broader military culture that needs to change." She's not talking about chastity.

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