Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Queer Eye Joe

The reaction to President Obama’s announcement that he’ll rescind the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy regarding gays serving in the military has a lot of peoples’ panties in a bunch.

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.

G.I. Schmoes

Response to the pending repeal at the lowbrow level has been interesting. Here are some selected comments garnered from 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 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 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.

Commander Jeff Huber, U.S. Navy (Retired) writes at Pen and Sword. Jeff's novel Bathtub Admirals (Kunati Books), a lampoon on America's rise to global dominance, is on sale now.


  1. Yup. Gays always have been and always will be part of every community because they are part of humanity. As for traditional marriage, except for a tiny percentage of participants, what's so great about it? Of the 50% of marriages that don't end in divorce, you know that another huge chunk of that lot have got to be miserable, just not miserable enough to make the break.

    Here's something from a guy called Stan Goff, a former soldier who exposes JSOC for what it is now.

    The Murderous Mystique of JSOC
    How Secret Becomes Special

    He says that people perceive, mostly because of clever propaganda, that JSOC is an organiztion

    "...[w]here individuals are seven-language linguists, flawless marksmen with every firearm ever manufactured, field surgeons, helicopter pilots, chess masters, and gymnasts."

    Since the devolution from small groups of highly trained people under tight control, used rarely and in extreme cases (one military type referred to them as "psychopaths, but they're our psychopaths") to the 24/7 always-out-there group it became more recently

    "...[F]ew are multi-lingual, most are only marginally in better physical condition than the average civilian gym rat, many are stupid - moreso than you want to know - and all are committed, when under orders, to bully and kill helpless people."

    He also refers to McChrystal and his part in the cover-up of Pat Tillman's death caused by his own guys.

    "McChrystal was in charge of the operation, in the loop on the cover-up, and helped Bush dodge the PR bullet on it.

    In the military, we used to say, 'No fuck-up shall go unrewarded,' and McChrystal is living proof."

    Maybe people should look a little closer at whom they are being commanded or coerced to idolize and probably shouldn't sanctify whole groups without question.

  2. Almost forgot. The Brits refer to the condition of having one's panties in a bunch as having your shorts in a knot.

    While the first sounds uncomfortable, the second sounds downright dangerous.

  3. My understanding, Fil, is that you are absolutely correct on the underpants remarks. "In an knot" reflects a far more painful and serious condition than "in a bunch." ;-)

  4. There's always the other Brit remark, getting your knickers in a twist. Not good.

    Speaking of underthings and the injuries they may inflict, what do you think about this "Underbomber" thing and his well dressed handler?

    The Truth about Flight 253 Has Been Revealed

    It could explain why his visa wasn't revoked or he could board without a passport. Damn dangerous for everyone else though. Does anyone know what they're doing on this file?

    And why the sudden rush for body scanners?

    Maybe this could explain it. I heard that Chertoff, Bush's ex security buddy, has the scanner company as a client and was promoting the scanners as an absolute necessity for airports everywhere.

    No conflict of interest there. (Ka-ching!) Why is this guy still getting air time?

  5. If gays and lesbians are willing to die for our country.
    Then let them live the life they choose while they are living.

  6. Hilarious as usual, thanks Jeff.

    I briefly scanned the comments re: the underwear bomber and it reminded me of the ridiculous incident at the local airport yesterday:

    Filipina falsely deported by fake US marshal
    Philippine Daily Inquirer
    First Posted 06:03:00 02/04/2010

    TSA pertectin yoooo from pregnant Filipinas ---

  7. Anonymous11:39 AM

    I beg to differ; while his quote can be misunderstood, I believe Lind has history behind him, and is unfairly characterized.

    The raw hatred and mindset that blacks must systematically be kept down at all costs once prevalent in the South wasn't there until the Reconstruction, when the ignorant white trash and the blacks were set up to be blood enemies.

    The fact that these bitter hatreds only arose after the Civil War has nothing at all to do with the question whether slavery is abhorrent or not, and to say so doesn't make him a bigot.

    Lind, by the way, did not, and I very much doubt he does, argue that slavery should have been kept in the interests of maintaining racial harmony, but would almost certainly argue for a bloodless freeing of slaves with a buyout, as was done in Great Britain and many other countries, or a more enlightened occupation.

  8. Dave of Maryland8:57 PM

    Everything you say is right & correct & true & honest & the only way to go.

    But how will you reconcile gay openness with an Air Force out in Colorado Springs that's gone deeply fundamentalist?

    How will you reconcile gay openness with military sniper scopes inscribed with Bible verses?

    How can you put rural fundamentalist homophobes in the same barracks with urban, sophisticated gays? Does the military really want to be on that sort of cutting edge? (Do gays?)

    And why now? Why the volte-face? The military brass has been overrun with gays for decades, if not centuries. Are the brass afraid of an enlisted revolt by fundamentalist recruits & are fighting back by opening enlistment to the openly gay?

    Maybe the two parties will reconcile to life together, or maybe they'll fight to the death. I'm not military, I can sit back & watch & wait. But another thought comes to me. Since the end of the draft the US military has gotten increasingly out of touch with the rest of the country. A Christian fundamentalist military is an outfit that a lot of Americans will support, with greater or (in my case) lesser enthusiasm. A military that's tagged as gay, in a country where not even California will pass gay marriage, will have what sort of support in the country as a whole?

    The only real solution to sexual & religious expression in the military is to ban both. (Ban the expression. Not the private belief or orientation. What soldiers do on their own time is their business.) A professional outfit does not cater to this kind of crap. Not if they have brains.

  9. Two points:

    First, we can't not do the right thing because some people won't like it.

    Second,I reject the notion that reconstruction was more responsible for strained race relations than slavery was.

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