Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, … Don’t Buy It?

Richard Says…
When over 70% of soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan say that they wouldn’t care if the person serving beside them on the frontlines was gay or lesbian, and when former Joint Chief of Staff John M Shalikashvili says that the policy is outdated and is no longer applicable, and finally, when tours of duty continue to be extended and our armed forces continue to be stretched beyond acceptable levels, is it not time for this hideous policy to be destroyed?
The only thread still holding it in place is one of self-righteous bigotry, empty rhetoric and outdated perceptions. The recent comments by current Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Peter Pace are typical of the weak foundation that gave birth to and sustains this policy.
Any willing and able person who has the desire to serve their country in the armed services should have the freedom to do so without secrecy or fear of retribution.

Archie Says…
I question the accuracy of the poll taken. MOST of the straight men that I know, and more importantly ALL of the straight military personnel I know, believe that having openly gay men serve will lower troop cohesion. Simply put; the soldiers do not trust a gay man. For the greater good of the (what I believe to be) vast majority, the ban on openly gay men should continue. This is not a debate of who is right or who is wrong. This debate is about whether or not we should place our brave MEN in danger by allowing an open display of something so contrary to most of the male psyche.

Let’s hear what you have to say…

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5 responses to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, … Don’t Buy It?

  1. I agree that anyone willing to put their life on the line for our security should be willing to serve, no matter what sexual orientation. I’ve had brothers that served their country and the last thing on their minds, I’m sure, was whether their friends fighting alongside them had the “right” sexual orientation.

  2. Richard clearly understands the nuances of this argument. Sorry, Archie, but no contest here.

    Nice blog, guys. It looks fabulous!

  3. General Pace’s comments are not entirely surprising. The military is, at its heart, an institution steeped in tradition and with a single mission — the defense of the United States, its allies and interests. It should not be looked to as a force for social change.

    What is surprising was his expressing personal objections to gays serving in the military on moral grounds — not the more traditional rationale of trying to ensure “unit cohesiveness” in a combat environment. Though even this would have been the same rationale that kept the services segregated up through the second world war. On a day when the Tuskagee Airman are finally being honored here in Washington, even THIS rationale is suspect.

    One wonders why straight service members would not find it unfair. Unfair that someone of their same age, gender, physical capabilities and capacity to serve in the defense of this country gets a pass. Would this be a legitimate exclusion for a fit young male if the military draft were reinstated?

    It also raises questions as to individual roles in the services. Even if their was a demonstrated problem with gay men serving in combat units, not everyone who wears a uniform serves in ground combat. For example, just what purpose was served by the military’s witchhunt for linguists who, despite their years of training, exemplary service and willingness to do their jobs ably, were drummed out of the military for being gay. Should a capable pilot, after millions were spent on their training, be dismissed? A file clerk at the Pentagon? A nurse or a physician at Walter Reed?

    In short, we did not “ask” General Pace for his personal moral views… so why did he “tell”?

    (When John is not selling books in Washington, DC he is protecting the world from domination by people like Richard and Archie)

  4. Great to see your Blog and look forward to the discussion.

  5. being an ex soldier myself, and having fought in Iraq, I can honestly say this policy doesn’t make a difference. If someone in your unit is gay you know about it. Also, no one cares. We had a few flamboiantly gay soldiers in my old unit and no one cared. What matters is ‘can you get your job done?’ not ‘eeewww, you’re gayyyy!’

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