Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs Chairman Mike Mullen have, for once in their tenures, done the right thing by endorsing the repeal of Don’t Ask, and they did so right in front of Congress and television cameras and everybody, and our nation’s capital wasn’t flooded or earthquaked or famined or anything. Was God taking a nap, do you think?
Not everybody is in favor of repealing Don’t Ask, though. Just ask them.
Response to the pending repeal at the lowbrow level has been interesting. Here are some selected comments garnered from Military.com readers:
I have no idea but I would bet you have taken showers with Gays before or then maybe you never took a shower....
We’ve all been taking showers with homosexual people since junior high school gym class.
the military, acknowledges G&L's AND their right to have families and dependent rights, the progressives bludgeon the remainder of the country into allowing this legally ... and traditional marriage goes down the toilet.
Traditional marriage has bludgeoned itself down the toilet all by its lonesome; gays and progressives had nothing to do with it.
it is not going to change the fact that homosexuality is abnormal. Natural maybe ... but not normal.
Hmm. Then can something be normal if it’s not natural? Is remote-control bombing of Muslim weddings normal and/or natural if the people doing it are straight but not if they’re gay?
Just kick out muslims instead of Gays. I'll rather sleep with one close to me than with a muslim at my side.
Proof that xenophobia makes stranger bedfellows than homophobia.
Maybe if Obama was a Gay I might feel secure. But a President of The United States with Hussein as a last name I just feel really insecure and confused.
This guy’s confused, all right. If he thinks “Hussein” is the president’s last name, what does he reckon “Obama” is?
At the opposite end of the intellectual spectrum we have William Lind, a military “expert” who never served in the military and an out-of the-closet cultural conservative. Shortly after Obama’s victory in the 2008 election, Lind, outraged that the new commander in chief had promised to end Don’t Ask, said that such a move would “strike directly at why men fight.”
And why do men fight? “To prove they are real men,” Lind insisted. Men join the armed services “because those organizations are made up of fighting men. Their membership is a badge of honor that says, ‘We're not sissies or pansies. We are men who fight, serving alongside other men who fight.’ That tells others and themselves they are real men” (italics mine).
Man, Lind has seen too many gladiator movies, huh? I’d guess he’s played with a lot of G.I. Joe dolls too.
Interestingly, Lind is also the author of an analysis that says, “If we don't let the people of Iraq run their own country…we'll end up giving ourselves the whole enchilada right up the poop chute.” In my honest opinion, those are fascinating words coming from the mouth of a homophobe.
Like his less cognitive Military.com counterparts, Lind is a racial bigot as well. In 1999, Lind wrote, "The real damage to race relations in the South came not from slavery, but from Reconstruction, which would not have occurred if the South had won." Hence, Lind insists, we wouldn’t have problems with race relations if we still had slavery.
He’s not exactly a son of the great Enlightenment, that Lind character. Some men are created equal, that’s his motto. But don’t think he’s just afraid of homosexuals and black people. He’s afraid of women too.
John McCain, perhaps the most notable Cro-Magnon in congress sided with Lind and his booger-eating buddies at Military.com. Three years ago, interestingly enough, McCain told a group of students at Iowa State University that, "The day that the leadership of the military comes to me and says, ‘Senator, we ought to change the [Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell] policy,’ then I think we ought to consider seriously changing it." Now that the leadership has told him it’s time to change the policy, McCain is digging his heels in.
Fighting Pansies from Head to Toe
For a guy whose pet Fourth Generation Warfare theory is based on the history of warfare, Lind seems to know damn little about the history of warfare. Homosexual love among ancient Greek soldiers was not only tolerated, it was encouraged, and practiced at the highest levels of the chain of command.
As the warrior king of Macedon Phillip II (382 – 336 BCE) told Plutarch, “It is not only the most warlike peoples, the Boeotians, Spartans, and Cretans, who are the most susceptible to this kind of love but also the greatest heroes of old: Meleager, Achilles, Aristomenes, Cimon, and Epaminondas.” Those pansy soldiers of yore fought hand to hand with broadswords and other nasty weapons, just like real men. Repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell will in fact be consistent with the oldest traditions of military service.
Congress doesn’t need to hold hearings to figure out how to repeal the law; it only has to strike down Article 125 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice—“Sodomy”—the part of the code that bans “unnatural carnal copulation with another person of the same or opposite sex” (italics mine) for members of the military. With Article 125 gone the way of Jim Crow, gay and straight service members alike will be able to stop worrying about their sexual behavior being revealed, which will help them concentrate on defending their country. Won’t that be nice for all of us?
Gates and Mullen plan to take a year to implement the transition to letting gay people in the services be gay people in the services. They don’t need a year. They don’t even need a week. Regulations that dictate fraternization, on and off duty behavior, dress codes and so forth will apply just as they do now.
As for any impact the repeal of Don’t Ask might have on national security, it’s worth noting that neoconservatives who oppose the repeal, not homosexuals, are the ones who got us stuck two unwinnable wars.
Get used it, military community. Homosexuals are already among you. They have been for millennia.