In case you have been under a rock this week, Peter waxed poetic about his personal feelings regarding gays in the military. He called them immoral. He basically gave a free pass to every homophobe that is a member of the military, to react negatively if they suddenly come across the fact that a fellow member of the military is...gasp...gay.
He refused to apologize for his comment. He backpedaled by saying he should of concentrated his comments on his support for the DADT (Don’t ask, don’t tell) law. It’s fairly pathetic that the U.S. is the only country, besides Turkey to have laws banning gays from military service. I would hazard a guess that our ‘allies’ serving in Iraq have service personnel that are gay..and do not hide it. Have our soldiers had problems with ‘those’ gay men and/or women? Has morale hinged on the fact that an American soldier might actually have to fight next to a known gay soldier from ….say...Hungary, England or Australia?
The other issue with DADT is that America’s military has lost roughly 10,000 valuable service personnel. The really disgusting numbers are as follows:
Research demonstrates that Don't Ask, Don't Tell is harming military readiness. DADT is costing the military valuable, mission critical personnel. This policy has lead to the discharge of over 10,000 service members in the last ten years with 653 in 2004 alone. The GAO reports 757 of individuals discharged from 1994-2003 were in "critical operations." 730 discharged service individuals had intelligence-related occupations. Another 322 people were translators fluent in foreign languages critical to the War on Terrorism, such as Arabic, Farsi, and Korean. 41% of those discharged from "critical operations" positions had 30 or more months of service. 38% of those with intelligence-related occupations had over 30 months of service. Moreover, the number of service members lost due to this policy is much greater because many qualified and experienced gay service members choose not to re-enlist rather than serving with the DADT policy.
The phrase “cutting off our nose to spite our face” comes to mind. Our government is so desperate for individuals to serve in the military that we are allowing 42-year old men to enlist and...this is really rich…we are sending injured soldiers back into Iraq. We take people that can not pass a test with a score above 33% and have criminal backgrounds even...for the love of god...we let ANYONE join the military right now.
Yet we can not allow gay individuals, who are qualified to perform important jobs stay in the military...wtf is wrong with this picture?
Barry Goldwater addressed the issue of gays in the military...way back when it was brought up during the Clinton administration. Yes, he was retired...but he was a respected member of the good ol’ boys club. Here are some of the old man’s words on the subject:
After more than 50 years in the military and politics, I am still amazed to see how upset people can get over nothing. Lifting the ban on gays in the military isn't exactly nothing, but it's pretty damned close.
Everyone knows that gays have served honorably in the military since at least the time of Julius Caesar. They'll still be serving long after we're all dead and buried. That should not surprise anyone.
But most Americans should be shocked to know that while the country's economy is going down the tubes, the military has wasted half a billion dollars over the past decade chasing down gays and running them out of the armed services.
It's no great secret that military studies have proved again and again that there's no valid reason for keeping the ban on gays. Some thought gays were crazy, but then found that wasn't true. Then they decided that gays were a security risk, but again the Department of Defense decided that wasn't so-in fact, one study by the Navy in 1956 that was never made public found gays to be good security risks. Even Larry Korb, President Reagan's man in charge of implementing the Pentagon ban on gays, now admits that it was a dumb idea. No wonder my friend Dick Cheney, secretary of defense under President Bush, called it "a bit of an old chestnut"
We are perpetuating the whole fucking discrimination thing by making an issue of someone’s sexuality. It has nothing to do with doing their job, no matter what that damn job is. To have General Peter Pace announce to the world that he is homophobic and damn proud of it...well...its downright embarrassing. America has enough image problems in the world...and now...to make it abundantly clear our military doesn’t allow gay individuals to serve? I mean really…
WTF? Does anyone have a friggin' brain in the Bush administration? You want to be a homophobe in private...go for it Petey.
But do not allow your personal shortcomings to be fodder for people like me. That’s felony dumb ya dipshit. I will finish up with more Barry, and then I will take my leave:
“What should undermine our readiness would be a compromise policy like "Don't ask, don't tell." That compromise doesn't deal with the issue - it tries to hide it. The conservative movement, to which I subscribe, has as one of its basic tenets the belief that government should stay out of people's private lives. Government governs best when it governs least - and stays out of the impossible task of legislating morality. But legislating someone's version of morality is exactly what we do by perpetuating discrimination against gays.
Someone’s sexual preference has no bearing on their job performance...even an old white-haired Republican knew that.
Crossposted at The Blue Republic