Skip to comments.'Gays' in military – a troop 'surge' liberals support
Posted on 01/12/2007 5:39:25 AM PST by Woodland
Liberals in Washington are very vocal in opposition to the president's planned deployment of additional troops to the Iraqi theater, but in the culture war on the home front, those same liberals are prepared to enthusiastically push for an "escalation" in troop enlistment by repealing the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy and permitting openly homosexual men and women to sign up. (Move over National Guard and Green Berets make way for the avant-garde and Lavender Berets.)
"The Servicemembers Legal Defense Network," the "Human Rights Campaign" and a host of other powerful and extremely well-funded pro-homosexual activist groups are leading the charge. But it's the new speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., who's sounding the shrill bugle call.
According to the Washington Blade, a top "gay" publication, Pelosi has signed on to the homosexual lobby's top-10 "gay" wish list as a "co-sponsor for all 10 gay- and AIDS-related bills that are languishing in Congress." Of those 10 bills, the innocuously titled "Military Readiness Enhancement Act" which would repeal "don't ask, don't tell" is a top priority.
Other liberals are weighing in as well. On Jan. 2, the New York Times fired off a real opinion piece dud. "Second Thoughts on Gays in the Military" was penned by blast from the past John Shalikashvili, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under the Clinton administration. Needless to say, Shalikashvili's column sorely missed its target.
In the piece, Shalikashvili opines that "don't ask, don't tell" has outlived its usefulness and that it was only "a useful speed bump that allowed temperatures to cool for a period of time while the culture continued to evolve."
So, while admonishing us that "the debate must be conducted with sensitivity," Shalikashvili not so gingerly implies that those of us in the majority those of us who still believe that it's ill-advised to engage in radical social experimentation within the ranks of a military immersed in the War on Terror are a bunch of knuckle-dragging Neanderthals stuck in the primordial sludge of the "homophobic" 1990s.
Shalikashvili notes: "The concern among many in the military was that letting people who were openly gay serve would lower morale, harm recruitment and undermine unit cohesion." Well sir, that's still the concern "among many in the military" today most in fact and those concerns are just as well-founded now as they were during the military's Paleolithic Clintonian era.
It's no secret that our current military leadership, as they've done throughout this liberally manufactured debate, continues to overwhelmingly oppose allowing openly homosexual men and women to enlist. And Shalikashvili fails to provide any evidence whatsoever that would support his pro-homosexual contention to the contrary (other than perhaps his own "evolving" moral compass). He offers no evidence that would indicate anything has changed or that it ever will change.
In fact, one of the scant few pieces of anecdotal evidence Shalikashvili offers up in attempt to bolster his argument has the unintended result of causing both hemispheres of your brain to abruptly and violently swap places.
While gathering support for his assertion that it's now time, and "equality" dictates that openly "gay" sailors be permitted to serve as effective members of, say, a nuclear submarine crew, Shalikashvili cheerfully informs us that he's had his opinion seconded by "an openly gay senior sailor who was serving effectively as a member of a nuclear submarine crew." He's asking for permission to eat that omelet but already has an empty plate in front of him and egg on his face.
So, as Shalikashvili, Pelosi and other proponents of the "gays in the military" social experiment prepare to ramp up efforts to inject their San Francisco brand of moral relativism into a last sound vestige of a morally misguided and politically correct society, one can only hope that good old-fashioned common sense will prevail.
And while the 110th Congress gets revved up, and our fighting men and women face possible cutbacks in funding and other threatened roadblocks in their ability to execute the War on Terror, it would be shameful if they additionally had to brace themselves to absorb the destructive impact of leftist social experiments gone awry.
Regrettably, however, it looks like our armed services are going have to rely on their last line of defense on this one. When the "Military Readiness Enhancement Act" makes its way to the Oval Office, as it likely will in fairly short order, we can only hope that President Bush will bring us all back down to earth for a while by demonstrating once again that the veto pen is mightier than the PC sword.
Matt Barber is one of the "like-minded men" with Concerned Women for America and serves as CWA's policy director for cultural issues.
I don't understand why gays and lesbians are disallowed from serving in the military. If they are physically and mentally qualified for the job, and they can work professionally in a military environment, just like everyone else who serves, why is their sexuality an issue?
There are plenty of gay and lesbian firefighters, cops, and paramedics and there doesn't seem to be any sort of systemic problem with them doing those sorts of jobs, even in the company of straight people, so why the military exemption?
"why is their sexuality an issue?"
Apparently they are the ones making it an issue. Don't ask, don't tell. What's wrong with that?
It's a cause they really like to, "get behind."
We've had gays in the Israeli Defence Force for years and it has never really been an issue. I'm not sure I understand the rational for excluding them in the US -- assuming the US still lets in men who pick up women in bars, sleep with prostitutes, etc.
It isn't just on the Democratic agenda. It is on the Log Cabin republicans, coast to coast, agenda too:
Excerpt: The United States military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT) policy must be changed. This blatant discrimination damages our military readiness and weakens national defense./excerpt
So, ANY LCR endorsed republican will be supporting to change the current "Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT) policy".
Alter Kaker wrote: "Assuming the US still lets in men who pick up women in bars, sleep with prostitutes, etc."
FYI, they are no longer allowed to sleep with prostitutes. If caught, they can be disciplined. There are medical as well as public perception issues with allowing military members to openly use prostitutes.
"The United States military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell (DADT) policy must be changed. This blatant discrimination damages our military readiness and weakens national defense."
I'm sure military readiness is their #1 concern! That's laughable except for the fact it's a dishonest way to frame their argument. I could respect them more (even though I disagree) if they said they primarily wanted equality and acceptance. Unfortunately for them, many people still rightly consider homosexuality to be immoral, dysfunctional, and incompatible with military service.
At one point, during a mind numbing briefing about the EEO policy, a perky HR speaker launched into a sweeping proclamation of how the agency didn't discriminate against anyone. She then rattled off a long list of people that they embraced. It was pretty much the exact Army boilerplate that I had sat through a hundred times. Right up until she said the words, 'Gay and lesbian'.
At this point, I actually laughed. Out loud. Clearly, she must be some kind of new hire. She didn't realize that you couldn't have a security clearance if you're homosexual. I figured that she must have just autopiloted to the industry standard line, and didn't get the memo from her new employer.
I didn't have long to enjoy that joke. A soldier sitting next to me realized why I was laughing. He discreetly leaned over and whispered, "Hey, they changed that rule years ago. Civilians can hold clearances, even if they're gay."
By this point, the entire room is staring at me like I'm some kind of newly thawed Neanderthal. I raised my hand and confirmed what I had just learned. The HR girl patiently explained that while the civilians were free to do whatever they wanted, including having gay support groups and clubs, military people were warned against attending. They were welcome to do so, of course, but they risked being kicked out of the military due to "Don't ask, don't tell" policy. (Although the agency was always hiring, wink wink).
At any rate, I remain ambivalent about the idea of gays in the military, but I have to admit that our current policy doesn't really make a lot of sense, especially when lined up against other professionals that are able to get by just fine. Many of those professionals, I might add, have spent quite a bit of time downrange in the War on Terror. Something to think about, I guess.
The main problem with this policy is that it has become a big copout for some people who want the benefits of military service but who are not willing to pay the price. For example, someone can attend the service academies for free, but then weasel out of the military service required by claiming to be homosexual.
Secondly, there are already closeted gays and lesbians who serve our country honorably. These people, if they are ever found out by someone with hostile intent, would face a dishonorable discharge for no good reason. That's the same sort of fate someone who deserts would face. To me, that's disgraceful.
when can we start the gay "surge" jokes? is it too early?
I stand corrected! Nevertheless, my point remains the same -- even if IDF readiness has declined in recent years (grumble) I don't think there's much of anyone in Israel who blames gays for anything. They're as good soldiers as anyone else. One of the consequences of universal military service is that you'll always have some people in uniform who you don't necessarily like or approve of -- but as long as they serve well, who cares?
Maybe I'm not directly addressing the issue, but I just have to draw the line on the entitlement mentality when it comes to military service. We need a military to kill people and break things, not feel good about themselves. Armies need to be cohesive, not diverse. If you want to serve your country, you're not doing it by demanding they accept your service.
Alter Kaker wrote: "They're as good soldiers as anyone else."
No doubt! But that's not the point. The ban isn't about individual soldiers and whether they can serve honorably or not. It's about military cohesion, discipline, battlefield effectiveness, and fitness.
The truth is, many gays serve honorably even now, and "Don't ask, don't tell" allows them to serve as long as they are discreet.
Military standards concerning sexual behavior apply to heterosexuals, too. For example, if you sleep with your fellow soldier's wife, you can be disciplined and/or separated. Anything, even acts not specifically defined in military law, can be punished if they impact military readiness. Isn't that, after all, what the military is about--not social justice?
Yes, but if a private were to approach his sergeant and say "I'm a heterosexual," nothing would happen (although that might be a strange conversation). Clearly there is a double standard there. I'm not sure if the situation is different in the States, but I don't believe we've ever had a problem in Israel with discipline or unit cohesion just because we don't force gays to keep their gayness a secret. Clearly if a soldier is sexually harassing another soldier, that would be a problem possibly deserving a court martial, but I've heard of a lot more problems involving female soldiers than I've heard involving gays.
True, but, as Alter Kaker pointed out, the IDF does fine. Cops and firefighters do fine. Intelligence agencies do fine. The U.S. military is a unique organization, but is it so unique that no comparisons can be drawn from other similar groups?
Military standards concerning sexual behavior apply to heterosexuals, too. For example, if you sleep with your fellow soldier's wife, you can be disciplined and/or separated.
Most military rules regarding sex have been relaxed or eliminted in the last few years. Certainly, no one has been kicked out for sleeping with a fellow soldier's wife in recent memory. Even overt acts within the chain of command, like a commander sleeping with the troops, don't result in separation, just disciplinary action.
Anything, even acts not specifically defined in military law, can be punished if they impact military readiness.
Sure, but we do lots of things that impact military readiness for social reasons. Anything less than a Spartan army of single males impaces military readiness. We make a number of reasonable concessions from there, based on what our society wants. I understand your sentiment, but to say that we do everything from a standpoint of what makes our military more effective simply isn't the case.
Alter Kaker wrote: "I'm not sure if the situation is different in the States, but I don't believe we've ever had a problem in Israel with discipline or unit cohesion just because we don't force gays to keep their gayness a secret."
Like all soldiers, yours probably follow military orders. Are those soldiers who are opposed to homosexuality allowed to speak out against it, or would that be considered discrimination? For example, what if a Jew in the IDF says the Torah condemns homosexuality? Is that allowed? I'm curious.
I bet our own soldiers would obey if they were told to serve with homosexuals. No doubt regulations would prevent them from creating a hostile or intimidating environment for the new enlistees. However, that doesn't mean gays would be accepted, trusted or wanted. Maybe I'm a Neanderthal, but I wouldn't want to be sleeping in a tent or showering with a guy who might be sexually attracted to me (not that I'm anything special). I mean, I understand it's possible to control urges, but we don't let male and female soldiers shower together for similar reasons.
Again, there are closeted gay and lesbian service members who do their jobs just as well as any straight service member. These gays and lesbians clearly love our country as much as anyone else and they are not trying to impose their lifestyle upon the rest of us. Why should they run the risk of being railroaded out of a job they can on account of what they do outside of the service?
Or better yet, why should we as Americans be deprived of the protection these people want to offer us on account of their personal lives?
I personally wouldn't care about someone's sexual orientation, it's their business. I also doubt there's high-ranking officers going around doing witch hunts. But if so, anyone is entitled to keep their private habbits to themselves. How can anyone prove someone is gay unless the person in question makes a point of proving they aren't? Maybe I just don't understand.
Steel Wolf wrote: "to say that we do everything from a standpoint of what makes our military more effective simply isn't the case."
That a straw man argument. I never said we do everything to make the military more effective, but it SHOULD be a primary concern. As you mention, we are already compromising military effectiveness in some cases by allowing women to serve. For example, many military jobs require a lot of physical strength. Women can do them, but they might need special equipment to compensate for their lower strength (I'm speaking generally here, because some women are just as strong as the typical male). If you delay getting the job done or have to ship, store, or carry more equipment to do the same job, or you have to send more soldiers to do the same job, you are indeed impacting effectiveness. That's the reality of the situation despite the so-called "equality of the sexes."
The fact that you don't see open hostility to women in the service or widespread disorganization doesn't mean a loss of effectiveness isn't taking place, at least in some jobs. It's not like you'd see an organization collapse--the impact might be subtle.
I don't oppose women in the service, btw. Rather, I would like to see honest job requirements and let the chips fall where they may. If you could replace every single male in a certain job with a woman and have absolutely no effect (timeliness of the work accomplished, logistics, etc), then you've probably properly defined the job requirements. And, there are many jobs where women can indeed serve as well as a man.
pnh102 wrote: "Why should they run the risk of being railroaded out of a job they can on account of what they do outside of the service?"
Because the military is a 24/7 job--there's no such thing as "outside of military service" because private behaviors can have an impact on job performance and the public's perception of the military. That's why a DUI can cost you a stripe on the job as well as a fine in court--arguments that no one was harmed notwithstanding.
It's certainly allowed with the obvious caveat that we can't have harassment affect overall readiness. The IDF is concerned with military readiness, not with soldiers' off-base sexual practices. If soldiers' want to express their own opinions and beliefs, that's welcome, again to the extent of affecting the integrity of the unit. When I served, I knew a lot of people I disliked -- and in some cases despised -- and I always found it easy to find a happy medium that allowed me to work alongside them while making my opinions of them clear.
Maybe I'm a Neanderthal, but I wouldn't want to be sleeping in a tent or showering with a guy who might be sexually attracted to me (not that I'm anything special).
I don't know what to say, other than that's not been an issue for us in Israel. Units work fine, and if a gay soldier has ever raped a straight soldier, I haven't heard about it.
you don't know anything about the military it is far more than just pointing a gun.
It is about integrity of command and the ability of the forces to be disciplined in the mind.
Homosexuality is only about sex. Homosxuals have no place in any military.
Soldiers and Sailors often have less space between each other than a coffin. Submariners have too little space for privacy and the last thing needed is a sexual fetishist.
Prohibity homosexuals is no different than prohibiting pedophiles or those who have sex with animals.
all those who are homosexuals who are serving are NOT serving honorably. They are lying intentionally and posing a secrity risk based on their sexual fetish.
Mark Forley is a perfect example of a homosexual who was a demonostrable liability.
Homosexuals have selected to focus their lives on how they pop their orgasms. That has no place in military service.
We don't allow other sexual fetishes to serve in the military. Homosexuals are the same as pedophiles or animal sex fetishists. The second they are discovered they must be removed.
The fact you think it is only exposure to someone with hostile intent that makes them removable only proves how big a security risk homosexuals pose. There was a reason in 1992 there were a number of sailors who were accidentally falling overboard.
So by your assertion, everyone in the military would have a problem with this? If this is the case, why would people like Barry Goldwater or John Shalikashvili, who did serve in the military, not have a problem with it?
Pretty soon, if the liberals get their way, this is what our military will look like
pnh102 wrote: "Why would people like Barry Goldwater or John Shalikashvili, who did serve in the military, not have a problem with it?"
You're kidding, right? Barry Goldwater's military experience is a bit outdated, and Shalikashvili is a retired general, hardly one to understand life in the proverbial trenches. Being rather generous, let's say they are both credible experts. Even so, I could list other generals and politicians who DO have a problem with gays openly serving. It proves nothing.
I find it interesting that if one liberal is offended or upset by a policy, that is enough for the ACLU and their "progressive" allies in the press to come screaming in to change the policy. But conservatives are just supposed to suck it up if we're offended, no matter how many we may be.
...why would people like Barry Goldwater or John Shalikashvili, who did serve in the military, not have a problem with it?
I served 24 years in the Navy. Is my opinion any less valid than theirs? I propose to you that as a former enlisted man who lived in cramped shipboard berthing areas and in shoreside barracks my opinion is more valid than any officer's.
I'll respect that. Under the current policy though, there probably are closeted gays and lesbians serving in such conditions and they do not engage in provocative behavior. Surely if gays and lesbians were allowed to serve openly, such behavior in that kind of environment would continue to be unacceptable because of other factors, right?