Saturday, December 18, 2010

Don't Ask Don't Tell Repealed

It's a Christmas miracle! Barack Obama and Congressional Democrats actually did something!

The bill still needs to be signed by the President, after which there will be a (likely lengthy) process of the administration's military leadership "certifying" that servicepeople will not be unduly effected by it (read: if you're in the army/navy/etc you'll be taking a tedious "sensitivity training" course and checking off some paperwork sometime next year) and after THAT 60 day waiting period - but eventually it will be, for the first time in American history, possible for gay and lesbian citizens to serve openly in the armed forces...

...you know, like they do almost everywhere ELSE in the civilized world. Hey, America? Remember when we used to do this stuff early!?

Three things stick out about this to me:

1. John McCain, you're cool-points are hereby taken away. You don't get the be the one decent Republican anymore.

2. Joe Lieberman... it seriously kills me to have to say this, given how long I've had to count you as very close to a literal enemy... but you did good here. You may take a small portion of the cool-points formerly belonging to your friend Senator McCain - subject to immediate revocation the second you open your mouth about video games again, of course.

3. It looks like maybe Scott Brown isn't going to run for president in 2012, after all. Brown is the Republican senator from Massachusetts who made big news by sweeping into Ted Kennedy's former seat. He did so partly by feigning in the direction of the make-believe "libertarians" in the Tea Party, then promptly having absolutely nothing to do with them the minute he won. It's been widely assumed he's planning a presidential run in the future, and that he may opt to do it sooner than later if Victoria Kennedy (Ted's widow) challenges him for the seat next election.

What's significant about that is that any smart political operator (and Brown, an ambitious guy, has plenty of those working for him) knows that A.) any gay-rights victory is going to fuel MASSIVE outrage in the Republicans' religious-nutcase base and B.) any Republican candidate who wants to make it out of the primaries needs said religious-nutcases to like him. So either Brown (who's made no secret of his social-liberalism) is hopelessly optimistic about the likely relative-intelligence of voters two years from now OR he's gonna bide his time and let his good buddy Mitt Romney be the "RINO" that Palin and Huckabee team up to curb-stomp in the 2012 primary, thus ensuring a teabagger-approved candidate and a 2nd term for Obama.

49 comments:

Smashmatt202 said...

That truly IS a Christmas miracle! Glad to hear some good news from you (for once).

Jonathan said...

Well, I do not think there are any militaries in the civilized world (read: liberal industrialized democracies) with anywhere near as many enlisted as the US of A, so this will be the first time this is tried on a military so large and active. My father equated letting homosexuals serve openly in the military to having service women and men share the same open shower room and open bathroom stalls, ... . and barracks. I say that is not a bad analogy.

From what I heard, there will be a little more to this experiment than just sensitivity training. This is far more of a "try a little here and there before you buy" deal. Let's see how it works out.

RarestRX said...

"For liberals, gays in the military is a win-win proposition. Either gays in the military works, or it wrecks the military, both of which outcomes they enthusiastically support." - Ann Coulter

John Berry said...

About cluckin' time!

I read that as John McCain having his Cool Pants taken away. Not a lovely mental image.

Nick said...

So, when we do finally end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, who wants to bet that this will get blamed for us "losing?"

mirage said...

I have money on romney winning the nomination. the republican party will do what they have to in order to keep palin out of the election. and huckabee created a willy horton for himself so he can't run. romney is still going to lose of course, he can't out debate obama, and he can't run against healthcare. he'll run on a single issue, the economy, and he will still lose.

edward said...

This is great. Except- Military sensitivity training in the WORST. Sooo boring. But as they say: "Freedom ain't free." On the paranoid side- I think it's a set up so they can bring back the draft and you can't get out by claiming to be gay.

Just my two cents.

Benfea said...

@Johnathan:

Your father was dead wrong.

I used to buy into the arguments about the disruption of allowing gays to serve in the often intimate conditions of military service, particularly during wartime. Being a natural skeptic, I didn't accept this blindly, and sought out various vets of various ages who served in various wars with openly gay people.

I asked them all the questions you'd expect, and I was surprised to find out that not a single one of them had a problem with serving with openly gay people.

These were vets from a wide range of ages, political views, etc., and yet when it came to serving with gays in wartime, all of them didn't give a damn who anyone wanted to sleep with, they only cared whether or not the people they were serving with were correctly doing their jobs.

Because when people in the military don't do their jobs correctly, other people die. It turns out that military folk are more concerned with not dying than they are with sex, politics, or religion.

Arman said...

Strangely, I haven't talk to a single vet that thinks repealing DADT was a good idea at all. Mostly because the added controversy was just one more thing the basic infantryman could categorize under "Sh*t I really don't need right now." Do we really NEED the extra men that we need to repeal DADT? Is our military improved by this change? If not, then why bother?

Its already basically established that you don't have a RIGHT to serve in the military. The military turns down plenty of people as of now for whatever reason.

The big concern is really the question of wether or not this is going to make the military EVEN more politically correct than it already, mistakingly, has become. Remember, the Army was afraid to deal with an obvious loon because he was Muslim. Said Muslim shot 13 people at Fort Hood. Is this going to happen with homosexuals? If a Drill Sergeant rides a recruit hard (No snickering) is he going to be disciplined for discrimination because the recruit was gay? I mean seriously, the homosexual community is the protected victim class of protected victim classes.

Bob said...

I'm aware of how "cute" this sounds, but I mean it quite sincerely:

The notion that American soldiers will be so instantly paralyzed with discomfort at having to share space with a gay man (or woman) as to impede operational ability is a STUNNING insult to the caliber and ability of American soldiers.

From where I sit, the people throwing around the "this will hurt morale and unity-cohesion" line are essentially saying that they consider a working majority of U.S. military personel are the emotional and mental equivalent of immature 13 year-olds driven into fits of panic at the mere presence of homosexuality. There's only two conclusions one can draw from that: Either the U.S. Military is VASTLY less honorable than I have always thought them to be, OR the people making said claim are revealing that THEY hold - and are propigating - a contemptibly-defamatory stereotypical view of said military.

Which is it, fellas?

Arman said...

I take the words of a Marine Commandant to have more weight in this issue than most voices. When a Commandant says "this will cost lives", its best that people consider it.

I agree with you, Bob. The American military is the single most exceptional organization of fighting men and women ever to grace this planet. However, they are also human beings, and there are limitations that have to be understood. Its absurd to believe that we shouldn't worry about throwing obstacles to our military's fighting capability simply because "they can handle it".

I'm the close, personal friend of several soldiers, marines, sailors and airmen. I myself am enlisting after completing my education. One of them is an MP who put a investigated the murder of a homosexual soldier by another soldier. Not one of them have issue with homosexuals as individuals, and yet all of them have issues with repealing DADT. Why? Because its a hindrance in more than one way.

To be honest, I can't really think of one net benefit of repealing DADT apart from a smug group of folks who know nothing about warfare feeling good about themselves while they tamper with things they neither understand or care to know. (oh and maybe you can't weasel out of service by claiming you're gay anymore)

But I could think of plenty of things that could go wrong.

TheAlmightyNarf said...

Finely! I mean, even among the most hard-lined Christians I don't personally know anyone who actually supported DADT (not the supports don't exist, just that I don't personally know any).

Now maybe if they can stop fighting the Zadroga bill and get it to pass, I might hate Republicans marginally less.

ZAENGO said...

@arman
Really? you cant think of one benefit of repealing DADT? The fact that there might be alot of promising young men and women out there that want to fulfill what they believe to be their patriotic duty by serving their country doesnt come to mind? How about the fact that there might be OTHER people with military experiance who believe that DADT is stupid and unjust? How about that one?


Look, the fact of the matter is, if you are fighting overseas, and you can deal with being shot at, people dying around you, or any part of war in general, but you just fucking break down when you have to hang around a person who happens to be homosexual, then youve got problems buddy. and you might want to look into that before you enlist in the first place.

This is happening, fucking deal with it.

ZAENGO said...
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beyrob said...

thank goodness. Finally something got done that benifts the country. Woooooot!

Arman said...

@Zaengo

The homosexual population is not a big enough group to really matter as far as recruitment numbers go. DADT was not repealed because we have a shortage of soldiers.

In addition, DADT didn't bar homosexuals from service. It barred them from making homosexuality their identity while serving. If you're gay and you REALLY want to serve your country, you can. All you have to do is make the considerably tiny sacrifice of not talking about your sex life with anyone. It seems to me, that if a homosexual male or female REALLY wants to do their patriotic duty, they could have done so all along. DADT repeal isn't about that, either.

And as I said, I haven't met one military man who thought that DADT repeal was a good idea. I'm sure they don't represent everyone, but its enough to make me wonder about the so called polls that indicate that the military was just fine with DADT repeal.

"This is happening, fucking deal with it."

You know what? The truth is that as we speak thousands of soldiers have decided they won't be "fucking dealing with it" and will not be reenlisting. Do you have a plan to deal with the 20% to 40% loss of personal in a few years?

Nick said...

ADT didn't bar homosexuals from service. It barred them from making homosexuality their identity while serving.

One of the many problems with that: Gay soldiers WERE following the "Don't Tell" part, but the other soldiers were not following the "Don't Ask" part. They did ask. And then they asked harder.

thousands of soldiers have decided they won't be "fucking dealing with it" and will not be reenlisting. Do you have a plan to deal with the 20% to 40% loss of personal

"20% to 40%?" I wasn't aware that you had polled over 100,000 soldiers, but no matter; if our armed forces are going to be crippled by allowing gay people to serve their country without fear of getting railroaded out, then maybe that's the way things SHOULD be.

Arman said...

You wont get thrown out of the military for being accused of homosexuality by a peer. If it does happen, its rare. You would have to implicate yourself in order to be thrown out.

2/3rds of Marine Combat Arms have issue with DADT repeal. Lets say that only one third feels strongly enough about it to leave the military over it, that's still an unacceptable loss of priceless combat experience. And while YOU may have no issue with hampering our armed forces I, and most thinking Americans, do.

Bob said...

Arman,

So... asking that the men and women we ALREADY trust with life-or-death combat situations and lethal, complex weapons systems behave like grownups about being aware that some other guy in the unit is gay will be a HUGE hindrance to unit cohesion and morale... but having active-duty men and women in the field potentially distracted by having to watch their every move and word so as not to raise suspicion of their sexuality ISN'T?

Arman said...

Unfortunately, its not as simple as you make it out to be. The military is not a typical workplace. Its not like you're asking someone to get along and work with a gay man for eight hours and come home. You live with your comrades, often in close proximity, you shower with them, sleep with them, etc...Now I'm not of the opinion that homosexuals are the satyriasis people they are often depicted as. However, I'll be honest and admit that being forced to shower, in the nude, a foot or so away from another person who is sexually attracted to my gender would bother me. Its the reason why there are male and female showers. It wouldn't be considered appropriate for women to be forced to shower nude in the presence of men, right?

And then there are the other concerns I've listed. The loss of invaluable combat experience, lower recruitment numbers, increased political correctness where it isn't needed, increased cost for accommodations, increased legal cost from lawsuits.

The only two ways you can be nailed by DADT is if you A. Admit that you are a homosexual. B. Are caught in an act of homosexuality. Since fraternization is already not allowed in the military, I really don't see how simply keeping your mouth shut on the issue becomes a huge issue.

dkh said...

Arman makes a decent point, in that this is a complex issue in many regards and that adding increased stresses onto men and women serving can be problematic.

However, I'd like to say two things. First, Arman, you need to take your own advice. Recognize this isn't a simple issue as you yourself make it out to be. Service men and women can't just "not talk" about it, they can't say who they live with if they live with a partner, they can't say the cathartic "Tell so and so I love them." They can't just not say these things, they suddenly have to lie to avoid suspicion, otherwise they're "telling" based on some pretty stretched interpretations of the law.

It twists back on itself, that if a straight person living with these soldiers should have a problem with sleeping a bunk away from somebody who's gay is having a problem, how can you say that never being able to say the most simple of hopes, to give voice to the most simple of desires, isn't difficult?

Arman, you're acting like this is easy for gays and difficult for straights, when you're not acknowledging that hiding who you are is generally much more difficult than simply working with somebody who wouldn't mind having sex with you.

*snrk* Just imagine how moderately-or-above attractive women must feel.

Also, a story. My Dad, who was in the military, said that he was against the repeal of DADT because he didn't want to work in close proximity to somebody who sexually desired him.

My Mom's response? "Don't flatter yourself."

Also, Bob, you'll get a kick out of this. http://www.slashfilm.com/thor-boycot-council-conservative-citizens/

TheAlmightyNarf said...

@dkh

I'd be lying if I said that I wasn't annoyed whenever studios play racial shuffle just to make the cast more "p.c.". I mean, let's be frank... prehistoric Scandinavia just wasn't all that racial diverse, and I don't think throwing a token-black-guy into the mix improves the material at all.

But, ya, they are taking it a bit far. It's much less racism than it is marketing. Perhaps shallow diversity-washing at worst.

dkh said...

I get what you're saying, Narf, but it's hard to buy. Marvel changed a lot, a LOT, from the original myths to the comics, and people aren't complaining about that. People aren't complaining about the lack of Scandinavian accents or numerous other changes. It's just when we can suddenly /see/ the difference... hey, it becomes a big deal. I've been guilty of this myself, but still.

RarestRX said...

Gays in the US Military is working out great, just look at Pfc. Bradley Manning and Wikileaks.

MajorRed53 said...

I really don't think this needs to be a big deal. If the actor was white, no one would be going, "Oh come on. His hair color is inconsistent with Nordic mythology." or "That's not the typical eye color/height/weight/ etc." Once you start treating skin color as another insignificant aspect of phenotype and nothing else, the casting choice seems much more trivial. The guy probably plays the part better than anybody else that auditioned or wanted the role.

TheAlmightyNarf said...

@dkh

Wouldn't it be awesome if they were all Scandinavian actors talking in ancient Norwegian, though?

Still, though, it really isn't a big deal, and I honestly hadn't even noticed until they brought it up. Just a little pet peeve of mine.

dkh said...

I want to see Muppet Thor, with the titular hero played by the Swedish Chef.

Joe said...

If the US military was so desperate for recruits in recent years they needed to enlist gang-bangers and illegal immigrants, turning away skilled, native-born, enthusiastic volunteers was the very definition of stupidity. RIP, DADT.

James said...

Finally, one less thing for people in D.C. to argue about while ignoring other issues. Remember that whole immigration thing? Debt with China? These things need to be resolved too...

Arman said...

@dkh

I'm not saying the system was perfect, but it was the best solution. Emotional distractions can mean the difference between life and death. DADT, and the lack of women in combat arms, helps mitigate this problem. Is it easy for gays? Probably not. But hey, the military isn't easy for people who are overweight either. The simply fact is that not every type of human being is cut out to be a warrior, and it takes more than marksmanship skills to be a good asset to a unit.

As my friend in the Marines put it, "Any baggage you have, especially romantic baggage, needs to be left behind when you go on a mission. Forget homosexuals for a moment. You put a man and a woman together in a foxhole for a few months, and something is gonna happen. I don't care how professional they are. That emotional distraction can cost the lives of everyone in the unit."

Pretty much, take stupid high school drama and throw it in a battlefield with lives in the balance.

@ Joe

Well, since 2/3rds of Marine Combat arms are ticked off about the repeal, and a good number of them won't be reenlisting come the time to renew their contract...it looks like this has succeeded in putting an even WORSE dent in recruitment and retention numbers.

Well,

Nick said...
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Nick said...

So, you not only claim to speak for 2/3 of Marine Combat personnel and claim that we should shred our civil rights in order to accommodate the lack of emotional maturity you attribute to them, you now seem unaware of the fact that 14% of our armed forces are female...

Ivan said...

And here's the thing Arman, any soldier who states that they have a problem with a repeal and they have a problem working with gays is undeserving of being a soldier. If the repeal bothers the Marines so much that they won't return then so be it. I don't want men with the maturity of 13 year olds fighting for this country. If someones sexuality bothers you then you are one of those human beings that is not cut out to be a warrior. If I meet a Marine that has left because of this then I will tell them to their face, even with me being a civvie (for now at least), that they are undeserving of being called a Marine.

Arman said...

Nick,

You do NOT have a right to join the military. And I'm not claiming to speak for 2/3rds of Marines. 60% of the Marine Corps has a problem with DADT repeal. That's not me talking. That's the Marines talking. And you know what, they're right. If Jack falls in love with Steve while you're out in the middle of nowhere getting shot at, that's a tactical problem. Do I have to explain to you why, or can you comprehend the obvious?

I'm not really sure what you're getting at with women being 14% of the Military. I knew that. So what? They're not forced to bunk with male soldiers, and they are not allowed to be combat arms. What I described is precisely the reason that's the case.

Ivan, I hope you like soup. I really do. Because if you go up to a Marine who's risked his life for his country faithfully for several years and tell him to his face that he isn't worthy of the Globe and Anchor he gave his blood, sweat, and tears to earn...its going to be the only thing you can eat for a while.

I'm surprised, honestly, at how callous the response is to the prospect of all that combat experience walking away. Do you WANT to collapse the all volunteer military?

Keith said...

Arman,

You are forgetting a couple things.

One, gays are already in the military. The only difference now will be that they can tell their friends without fear of losing their jobs. If Jack loved Steve, DADT didn’t prevent that. Also, you are completely disregarding friendship, and by all accounts friendship can be even stronger than a physical attraction. What’s your solution to a friendship on the battlefield?

Two, gay men are not attracted to ALL men. You seem to presuppose that as soon as they come out of the closet they will be falling in love left and right with whoever they lay their eyes on.

There is a good deal of assumption within your statements and there is a simple solution for that. Serve or become friends with a gay man (I exclude gay women because your main contention seems to be with men). According to surveys, 91% of people who have served with someone who is homosexual do not believe that it will hurt the unit to end DADT (also, 84% of combat troops who have served with a homosexual). Unfounded assumption is what drives someone to be afraid of the unknown and alternate sexuality is about as unknown as you get sometimes.

dkh said...

Arman, the thing is, and I honestly don't mean this to be an insult, is that you really are playing both sides of this. I understand what you're saying and why, and I shared many of those opinions for a long time. But the numbers, on both the civilian side and the military side, are swinging further and further towards repeal.

It's hard to come to any ground where I can understand you when you talk about the bravery, the strength, and the nobility of the military, and then seem to point out that they're, quite frankly, cowards who can't deal with /knowing/ that there's somebody in the same room who's gay.

Also, your numbers for how many might leave is silly and I believe you know this. Would some leave? Certainly. But how many people said they'd leave the country if Bush won the second election? And how many of them actually left? With any great social upheaval there's bound to be some scarring. It is wrong, and indeed criminal, to put that onus on combat troops.

However.

It is also criminal that these same combat troops have been in an unnecessary war for the better part of a decade and have been fighting another botched war for even longer. Having trouble with gay squadmates is less dangerous than being in a combat zone where we shouldn't be in the first place. I was glad CNN posted a link to this, as I remembered reading it months ago. This articulates the problems of being a gay soldier better than I, a straight civilian, can. http://www.cnn.com/2010/OPINION/02/03/darrah.personal.history.gay.military.experience/index.html

And on top of that, it's criminal to continue an unjust law like this. I would support waiting until "the war" is over, but we haven't BEEN in a Goddamn war since the Korean War.

You know that banner that said "MISSION ACCOMPLISHED" that Bush gave a speech under? The one that flew on May 1, 2003? In 2008, Dana Perino said "President Bush is well aware that the banner should have been much more specific, and said, Mission Accomplished For These Sailors Who Are On This Ship On Their Mission. And we have certainly paid a price for not being more specific on that banner. And I recognize that the media is going to play this up again tomorrow, as they do every single year." This is a lie. You can go to the pentagon.gov website and look for Operation Iraqi Freedom military casualties and they are divided into groups "Military Deaths Through April 30, 2003" and "Military Deaths Since May 1, 2003." These latter deaths are looked at as post-combat operation deaths. The idea that Bush understood the war wasn't /really/ over is bullshit.

So when will the "wars" end? When will be the ideal time to repeal this? When can we admit that idle threats by some soldiers who'd just rather not deal with this are by and large just idle threats? We've got ten thousand threats that can destroy our country in moments if we don't deal with them NOW. Labor unions will destroy businesses. The Communist Hollywood will corrupt our youth. Comic books will turn us into murderers. Can't forget the "Negro Problem." And what about that old chestnut of Ronald Reagan's? You know, the one where 49 years ago he said that if we didn't stop Medicare we'd be telling our grandchildren of the days when men were free? Have fun finding Tea Partiers over 65 who want to get rid of Medicare - they just want to get rid of Socialized Medicine is all.

I recognize that I am going on a bit of a tirade, and for that I apologize. It's just that there's very little rational reason to believe that our numbers will drop by such an incredible magnitude, it's impossible to see a "good time" to repeal this law (kind of like how politicians always say "not in an election year"), and I don't know how to respond to your talking about the strength of the military and the weakness of the military at the same time.

Arman said...

I'll respond a little out of order.

Can I begin by saying that homosexual men see other men the same way straight men see women. Is that a fair statement? Have I said something untrue?

If that's the case, any sexual tension can become a potential distraction. Hence, you don't see women in combat units. DADT repeal is not something that affects non combat arms. The Admin corps isn't going to be effected by that sort of thing. The officers who sit behind a desk most of their time are not going to be effected by this sort of thing. Its the infantryman that's going to have to get around a potential tactical hurdle because of this repeal.

1st, I am friends with a gay man. Second, I am enlisting in a few years. The reason I am not mentioning women is because they are not in combat roles to begin with.

Also I'm curious about your numbers. The Pentagon survey indicated that, yes, 2/3rds of the Armed forces had no issue with repeal. The problem is that the 1/3rd that did...were mostly combat arms, and that 40% percent on the low end, 60% on the high end, of Marines were opposed to repeal. Hence what I've been saying.

dkh said...
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Arman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Arman said...

I got some more exact numbers.

-66.5% of U.S Marine combat forces said that putting homosexuals in their units would hurt their effectiveness in the field

-47.8% said that putting homosexuals in their units would hurt effectiveness in an intense combat situation.

You gonna tell the guys who do war on a day to day basis that they don't know what the hell they're talking about?

MajorRed53 said...

Don't they already do that? Marines already serve side by side in combat with homosexuals. They already shower together. The only difference now appears to be the knowledge of everyone's sexuality. That 66.5% and 47.8% have probably already served with a homosexual. They just didn't know it. Would just knowing really cause that much of a problem?

Nick said...

You do NOT have a right to join the military.

First off, what does that even mean, and secondly, what does that have to do with what we're talking about?


I'm not really sure what you're getting at with women being 14% of the Military. I knew that. So what? They're not forced to bunk with male soldiers, and they are not allowed to be combat arms. What I described is precisely the reason that's the case.

You don't say.


I'm surprised, honestly, at how callous the response is to the prospect of all that combat experience walking away. Do you WANT to collapse the all volunteer military?

If the military truly is a bunch of hormonal teenage fratboys who think that being gay is contagious, then I can definitely think of worse ways to pressure the government to end the two illegal, pointless, unwinnable wars we are mired in.



You gonna tell the guys who do war on a day to day basis that they don't know what the hell they're talking about?

Of course not, they're infallible authorities on how sexuality affects performance in the field! Oh wait...

Arman said...

@MajorRed53

True, but because DADT made it clear that homosexual behavior was not allowed, it wasn't an issue. As of now, there is no restriction on that.

@ Nick

1st: Exactly what I said. You, as an individual, do not have a right to be accepted into the military. Thus, barring a civilian from service is not a violation of civil rights. In addition, a soldier has very few rights to begin with. It is illegal not to follow an order, for instance.

2nd. Your words:

"...we should shred our civil rights in order to accommodate..."

----

An administrator may be sitting where a mortar happens to land. It didn't make him combat arms. So just because a woman ends up being in the wrong place at the wrong time, didn't mean she was infantry. Your article is irrelevant to the point being made.

---

Not only do your words betray an obvious disdain for our men in uniform and a lack of understanding what makes a war illegal or unwinnable (Iraq was a victory), but they exemplify incredible short sitedness on your behalf. Enjoy signing up for the draft.

-----

I think I'll take the opinions of combat hardened Marines on the front lines over the foolish prattling of internet comment posters who have neither the knowledge of, nor the desire to learn, what it takes to create an effective combat unit.

Every opinion I've expressed thus far has been the result of asking men and women in the armed forces (you know, the people actually effected by this repeal. God knows YOU won't have to live, or rather die, with the consequences) what they feel about the repeal. These conversations are what have led me to believe that repeal is not simply a bad idea, its a catastrophically bad idea.

I sympathize with the gays and lesbians that are unable to serve because of DADT, I really do. But this is not about how people feel. This is about life and death, and while I can't prove it, I KNOW that the people who put forward this repeal did not do it because they thought it would strengthen our armed forces.

Nick said...

An administrator may be sitting where a mortar happens to land. It didn't make him combat arms. So just because a woman ends up being in the wrong place at the wrong time, didn't mean she was infantry. Your article is irrelevant to the point being made.

Um, the point of the article is that there's a pretty good case to be made for women being in combat, and a sizable number of soldiers agree with that.


Not only do your words betray an obvious disdain for our men in uniform

Yeah, I do have a disdain for people who are incapable of putting aside their infantile prejudices and yet claim that only this one particular prejudice could possibly be affecting their performance. How about that?


and a lack of understanding what makes a war illegal or unwinnable (Iraq was a victory)

By all means enlighten me, by what standard was Iraq a victory, why were we holding the war to those standards, why are we still there half a decade later, and under what conditions would you grant the US government your permission to stop pouring our tax dollars (and, oh yeah, HUMAN LIVES) into it?


I think I'll take the opinions of combat hardened Marines on the front lines

So tell me, where does this "66.5%" number come from, exactly? Please cite your sources. Or perhaps you mean you'll take the opinions of Marines who already agree with your preconceived opinions?


Every opinion I've expressed thus far has been the result of asking men and women in the armed forces (you know, the people actually effected by this repeal. God knows YOU won't have to live, or rather die, with the consequences) what they feel about the repeal.

What was your sample size, what data gives you your confidence that the portion you talked to was reliably indicative of the armed forces as a whole, and when did "Marines" and "armed forces" become interchangeable?

dkh said...

Arman, you're dodging issues and it's kind a pain. These same two thirds of combat troops... Of those troops, how many imagine gays as people who wait until your back is turned and then BAM they homo up on you?

You say that before homosexual activity was banned but now there's nothing preventing it. Wait, you're saying that there's nothing preventing a soldier from, say, walking up to another with an erection and propositioning? Don't we already have sexual harassment laws for that?

Again, you're playing both sides. You say gays can serve, they just can't talk about it, but when they /can/ talk about it then somehow there's no rule stopping "homosexual behavior." What the Hell is "homosexual behavior?" If it's walking with a bent arm and speaking with a lisp then the military is just casual discrimination. If it's sexual activity then there ARE laws stopping it.

I get the point you're trying to make, but you're ignoring the fact that you know bloody well many of those people who say they'd have a problem are imagining gay boogeymen and you yourself are turning the issue into a nebulous, frightening thingy that will somehow totally undermine our fighting force.

Also, north of 85% of our troops lost in Iraq have been since we "won" the war. Just an FYI.

Arman said...

@ Nick

"Um, the point of the article is that there's a pretty good case to be made for women being in combat, and a sizable number of soldiers agree with that."

I can think of a glaring reason why women should not be in combat units. It has to do with certain instinctual and psychological patterns observed in males. The IDF discovered that when females were shot , the rest of the squad became uncontrollable berserkers that compromised missions. Apparently its very hard to train that out of recruits.

And still, your article has no relevance.

---

"Yeah, I do have a disdain for people who are incapable of putting aside their infantile prejudices and yet claim that only this one particular prejudice could possibly be affecting their performance. How about that?"

I don't grasp how a commander's concern for his units tactical effectiveness somehow translates into "infantile prejudice". We're not talking about race or creed here. We're talking about a set of behaviors.

---

"By all means enlighten me, by what standard was Iraq a victory, why were we holding the war to those standards, why are we still there half a decade later, and under what conditions would you grant the US government your permission to stop pouring our tax dollars (and, oh yeah, HUMAN LIVES) into it?"

Deposed a maniacal, genocidal dictator, liberated 56 million people, constructed an organized democratic government, stopped a civil war, reduced sectarian violence, weakened Al Queda, and of course elections.

Total defeat, right?

Its silly to assume that guerilla wars can be won quickly. If you want to defeat this type of enemy, you have to be in the fight for the long haul.

---

"So tell me, where does this "66.5%" number come from, exactly?"

The Department of Defense

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"What was your sample size, what data gives you your confidence that the portion you talked to was reliably indicative of the armed forces as a whole"

I'm not a pollster. I didn't take a survey, nor did I claim to. I talked to twenty or so people. Most said the same exact thing. None of them had reason to mislead me. None of them had every said or demonstrated any kind of bigotry.

"and when did "Marines" and "armed forces" become interchangeable?"

What do you mean?

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@dkh

To be absolutely frank: Yes, fraternization laws exist. No, they're not easy to enforce. The sex drive is a powerful drive, and when you're discussing about a group made up mostly of teenagers... (Average age of a soldier is 19)...well.

Like I said. This is a much more complex issue than people are willing to understand. My wish is that the leadership decided to figure out a way to make repeal work, and then went for it IF it was possible without weakening our forces, rather than to demand a repeal, and then sort out the details later. I also question the wisdom of distracting our military with this in the middle of a war.

---

On a positive note, I can think of one huge positive from all of this:

Our enemy is gonna be FREAKING OUT :D. There's such a sweet poetic justice to the idea that the Taliban will meet its demise partially at the hands of gay soldiers. It puts a grin on my face just thinking about it.

Arman said...
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Arman said...
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Nick said...
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