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January 10, 2009

Obama Aide Promises End to Don't Ask, Don't Tell; Survey Shows That 10% of the Force Won't Reenlist If He Does

Yes, indeed, let us lose 10% of our forces during a long war in order to make life marginally easier for the 1% of our forces who are gay, and really want to tell the world about it.

I don't lack sympathy for gays in the military -- yes, the military is telling them to hide a fundamental part of themselves, or at least not go announcing it freely.

But here is the fact: Homosexuality is considered sinful by many religious people, and religious men make up a great percentage of the services. Furthermore, the military promises, among other things, to make real men out of its recruits, and for most people -- not just the religious -- male homosexuality is considered effeminate.

People can argue (as they frequently do) as to whether those beliefs should be. But while we argue about what should be, we can't lose site of what actually is.

A great many progressive liberals find fault with this policy and they desire a military that embraces people's various sexual lifestyles in an open, respectful way. Unfortunately, a great many progressive liberals have absolutely no desire to serve in the military -- whether don't ask, don't tell is the law or not -- which means that the military will continue recruiting from a population which does not share the enlightened, humane, pro-homosexuality goo-goo of the progressive liberals.

Don't ask, don't tell makes military service less attractive to gays and progressive liberals. But they, largely, are not inclined to serve in any event. Repealing the code makes service less attractive to traditionalists and, yes, conservatives (as well as blacks and Hispanics) who tend to be liberal on many issues but not particularly progressive about homosexuality) who actually are inclined to serve.

One can argue about the fairness but those actually willing to join the club ought to have some say in its rules. Those unwilling to join should have far less a say.

If Gleen Grenwald and other humane, compassionate, forward-thinking liberals announce their intention to sign up in great enough numbers to offset the losses among the current cohort of recruits, fine, we can dispense with the issue of how this policy affects the military's actual purpose -- to fight and win wars. And then we can have the debate solely on the grounds the liberals wish to have it on, on the questions of fairness and dignity and openness to diverse sexual orientations. And other gay shit of this nature.

But somehow I doubt that any such large-scale pledge to serve will be forthcoming.

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posted by Ace at 04:34 PM

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