Jewish World Review May 30, 2003 / 28 Iyar, 5763

Drs. Michael A. Glueck & Robert J. Cihak

The Medicine Men
JWR's Pundits
World Editorial
Cartoon Showcase

Mallard Fillmore

Michael Barone
Mona Charen
Linda Chavez
Ann Coulter
Greg Crosby
Larry Elder
Don Feder
Suzanne Fields
James Glassman
Paul Greenberg
Bob Greene
Betsy Hart
Nat Hentoff
David Horowitz
Marianne Jennings
Michael Kelly
Mort Kondracke
Ch. Krauthammer
Lawrence Kudlow
Dr. Laura
John Leo
Michelle Malkin
Jackie Mason
Chris Matthews
Michael Medved
MUGGER
Kathleen Parker
Wes Pruden
Sam Schulman
Amity Shlaes
Roger Simon
Tony Snow
Thomas Sowell
Cal Thomas
Jonathan S. Tobin
Ben Wattenberg
George Will
Bruce Williams
Walter Williams
Mort Zuckerman

Consumer Reports


A Tale of Two Admirable Women: Jessica and Annika


http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | June brings with it a not uncomfortable fatigue. So much is winding up and winding down: school years, sports playoffs, wet weather, TV series that have tarried with us far too long for any good they may have been doing.

This June, the fatigue seems especially sweet. We won a war. We got our taxes cut. We can turn off the news, forget the media and their assorted malfeasances, argue over important stuff like whether "Bruce Almighty" portrays the Creator in too favorable a light and, in general ... forget.

But before we slide into summer, it might be worth a final ponder at two events as different, and as similar, as war and sport and the strange and ugly manipulation of the women central to both.

Jessica Lynch and Annika Sorenstam.

We know their stories. We've watched their stories unravel. We've watched those who did the manipulating back off (and come forward) in shameless pursuit of their own agendas. And we know that both Jessica and Annika deserve better than they've received, from both their detractors and their self-styled champions.

Jessica Lynch - are we forgetting already? - was captured by the Iraqis after an ambush in which, ran the initial reports, she fought heroically until shot, stabbed and taken off to what was doubtless a second hell of torture and rape.

Her rescue by American commandos (with the aid of a heroic Iraqi lawyer who "could not bear to see a woman struck") marked the first time since World War II that POWs had been so liberated.

The Pentagon glowed. The feminista demanded a Medal of Honor for their finest poster girl since Kelly Flinn, or at the least repeal of what's left of the female combat exclusionary rule. A quickie TV "documentary," "Saving Private Lynch," appeared, even as the story was starting to melt down.

Then came conflicting reports from the BBC. Private Lynch may have had no combat wounds. Private Lynch had amnesia. Private Lynch remembered nothing because maybe there was nothing much to remember.

Perhaps there were no Iraqi soldiers in the hospital where Pvt. Lynch was well cared for. The shoot-'em-up rescue may have been a bit hyperbolic.

And it became the turn of the no-women-in-combat brigades to use her to reaffirm their own agenda. The fact that Private Lynch may not have suffered any sexual abuse counted less than the fact that she may not have put up that much of a fight, or even been knocked unconscious when her truck rolled over.

And now the Army has launched multiple investigations into the whole affair, and everybody involved is not talking much.

But by then, America had found another woman to talk about. At the Colonial Golf Tournament last weekend, Annika Sorenstam, arguably the best woman golfer in the world, took on the PGA guys, the first time since 1945 that a woman had competed. After lotsa hype, and after a fine Thursday first round, she faltered and failed to make the cut for weekend play.

She faltered because, simultaneously, she got too aggressive and ran out of gas (At the professional level, the differences between men's and women's golf are profound).

Once, after missing a shot, the camera caught her mouthing a brief word that - so we were told - was actually Swedish and translated, "Oh, my goodness gracious, how did that happen?"

Her detractors shrugged off the whole affair as a meaningless gimmick, at best. Her defenders credited her performance as, at the very least, better than all but a few men could manage, and at least people got their consciousness raised. Raised about what, nobody was really that clear.

So what do these two women - a fresh-faced 19-year-old whose outfit wandered into deadly disaster, and one of the world's top professional athletes who got in a little over her head - have in common?

That they were used by others? Certainly. That those others were happy to drop them when the usage no longer availed? Perhaps.

But they have something else in common. The vast majority of us can't help but like them as people. Quite so. They both seem genuine. And both have displayed a quality so rare that English hasn't even a word for it. The Greeks called it "arete," which to them meant a combination of virtue, excellence, endurance and courage.

Jessica Lynch, the teenager who joined the Army to get money for college, is by all accounts a good soldier. By all accounts, she's coping with her present condition bravely.

Annika Sorenstam, a consummate professional, will also cope with her disappointment, and go on. We don't need the feminista to tell us why we should admire them, or how. We don't need their detractors with their "Yes, but they never should have been there in the first place."

They were there. They showed, in their own ways and as chance and circumstance allowed, what Plato called "endurance of the soul."

And that may be reason enough to admire them.

Philip Gold, Seattle-based historian, contributed to this commentary

Why not sign-up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.




Michael Arnold Glueck, M.D., is a multiple award winning writer who comments on medical- legal issues. Robert J. Cihak, M.D., is past president of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons. Both JWR contributors are Harvard trained diagnostic radiologists. Comment by clicking here.

Up

05/23/03: Latest medical innovation: Cash
05/09/03: We feel your pain; Physicians have it too no thanks to the DEA
05/02/03: Medical Quarterbacking
04/25/03: CNN the "Conscience-Not Network"
04/21/03: Medical Miranda?
04/11/03: Are childhood vaccines shots in the dark?
04/09/03: The PETA Principle -- The lambshank Redemption
03/28/03: American conscience?
03/21/03: West Wimps or Wings: Treatment for Hollywood Hypocrisy
03/13/03: Worldwide schmaltz shortage looms --- all because of a featherless chicken
03/06/03: Legal metastases are killing us
02/28/03: Outside the Jury Box: Seeking Justice rather than a Lottery in Medical Liability
02/21/03: Workforce temperature rising; employer TLC in demand
02/14/03: Malpractice Insurance: They Reap What They Sue
02/12/03: Hawk, Dove or Groundhog: Diagnosis Critical List; Prognosis Uncertain
02/07/03: How about tax cuts for the "rich" and "poor"?
01/31/03: AIDS Bug Chasers
01/24/03: Libertarian moment or movement?
01/17/03: It's not just 'sue the docs' anymore
01/03/03: A pox on the critics; diagnosis sour grapes
01/03/03: If protesting is good for your health; then at least let's root for the home team
12/20/02: Obesidemic (obesity epidemic) or not?
12/20/02: Time for voluntary informed smallpox vaccinations
12/13/02: The real reason the state opposes homeschooling?
12/06/02: Conscience of a former conservative: Portrait of a political metamorphosis
11/27/02: Thanksgiving dinner hazard?
11/22/02: Time to think outside the box and inside the nucleus
11/15/02: The military should be protected from abusive environmental laws in times of war
11/11/02: Does Kyoto Treaty pose more harm than global warming?
10/31/02: Deep thoughts on Baseball, the World Series and Life: How about them Anaheim Angels?
10/23/02: "Pediatric rule" guinea pigs
10/23/02: Once the World Series ends, we need to create a Donnie Moore Day of Remembrance: Sports and mental health
10/18/02: Congress to senior patients: Do as we say not as we do for ourselves
10/11/02: Using pollution "scare labeling" to political advantage
10/04/02: The Great Asbestos Heist: Did Litigation and Junk Medical Science Helped Bring Down the World Trade Center?
09/27/02: The imminent rise of civic feminism: A far healthier national alternative in war and peace
09/20/02: A Ray A Day" to replace the daily apple?
09/13/02: Beware of celebrities hawking drugs
09/06/02: Avoid 9/11 overdose: Give blood to begin "September of Service," SOS
08/28/02: From Doubleday to strikeday: Baseball's collective anxiety attack
08/23/02: Should she or shouldn't she?: An alternative view on treating menopause with HRT
08/16/02: Cooking up defenses against germ warfare
08/02/02: Medicine, crime and canines
07/26/02: Lies, pathologic lies and the Palestinians
07/19/02: Medicare Drug Follies as in "now you see it, now you don't"
07/12/02: Anti-Profiling: A New Medically False Belief System
07/08/02: Don't procrastinate, vaccinate!
06/28/02: The scientific advances on the safe and effective deployment of DDT are being ignored, or denied. Why?
06/21/02: Sex and the system: In seeking healthcare men are different from women
06/14/02: The FDA, drug companies and life-saving drugs: Who's the fox and who's the hen now?
06/07/02: Medical Privacy Lost: A hippo on the healthcare back!
05/24/02: To clean up America's game: A (soggy) ground rule
05/10/02: Free speech is good medicine
05/03/02: Medicine's Vietnam
04/26/02: Attack on alternative medicine could lead to alternative lawsuits
04/12/02: Insure the 'crazies'?
04/09/02: No Time for Litmus Tests: In War We Need a Surgeon General and NIH, CDC, and FDA Directors
04/02/02: The scoop on soot: A dirty rotten shame?
03/22/02: Too many beautiful minds to waste: The first annual Caduceus Movie
03/15/02: Terror and transformation: Defense essential for health & state of mind
03/08/02: Diagnosis: Delusional
03/06/02: The great matzah famine
03/01/02: Is new Hippocratic Oath hypocritical?
02/15/02: Why the recent moaning about cloning?
02/08/02: Searching for Dr. Strangelove
01/15/02: Score one for the value of human life
01/04/02: Medical-legal-financial wake-up call
12/28/01: Who's afraid of a 'dirty bomb'?
12/21/01: End of medicine?
12/14/01: More heroes: Docs deserve a little credit after 9/11
11/16/01: Do we need 'Super Smallpox Saturdays'?
11/09/01: Why the post-9-11 health care debate will never be the same
11/01/01: Common sense good for our mental health
10/26/01: Your right to medical privacy --- even in terror time
10/12/01: Failed immigration policy ultimately bad for nation's mental health: Enemy within leads to epidemic of jumpy nerves
09/28/01: Can legal leopards change their spots: A treat instead of a trick
09/21/01: Civil defense again a civic duty
08/30/01: Shut down this government CAFE
08/23/01: School Bells or Jail Cells?
08/15/01: Time to take coaches to the woodshed
08/10/01: Blood, Guts & Glory: The Stem of the Stem Cell controversy

© 2002