Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Gays & the Military... Again


"Talk of the Nation, May 4, 2009 · Retired Adm. Jerome Johnson and three other retired officers, all founding members of the Flag and General Officers for the Military, recently wrote an op-ed. Their piece, about the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy, appeared in the Washington Post.

President Obama has pledged to repeal Section 654 of U.S. Code title 10. Johnson believes doing so would do "grave harm" to the U.S.'s all-volunteer force.

I've gotta tell ya, that admiral pissed me off. The host tried to offer a bit of balance by, both, treating the admiral and his point of view with respect and by attempting to tactfully call his guest on the glaring holes in his reasoning. Admiral Johnson wasn't having it, though. Like a politician, he stuck to his talking points, no matter how hollow they rang in-comparison to the callers' and the host's counterpoints.

The admiral's point was that having gays in the military compromised readiness and recruitment efforts. Ultimately though, he couldn't be bothered to substantively respond to the callers' who said that their days in the military, even in combat situations, were free of any concern about whether they or their fellow soldiers were gay.

Admiral Johnson said that the American military's traditional mindset isn't ready for gays and that forcing the issue is counterproductive. The host asked how this situation differs from a time when the American military didn't want to integrate Black soldiers. All the general could say, in-response, was that the military did a great job of integrating Blacks into the military. He never said why it would not be worthwhile, in the long-term, to do the same with gays.

C'mon, man. It's 2009. It's past time that we addressed and resolved these artificial and arbitrary social constructs.

You can listen to the segment, for yourself, on this page: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=103784642&ft=1&f=1003

1 comment:

Alan Scott said...

Geez. It isn't comforting to know that our military officers are so stuck in their ways that they can't find their asses with a ten-foot pole. (but maybe they can find each others')

Thanks for the post, West.