Naturally, US admirals are only presented to the Belgian population if they announce either surrender or something related to our whorenalists' eternal dada, gay issues. In this case, it's the latter. We are, of course, talking about Joint Chief Chairman Admiral Michael Mullen, and his plea before a Senate panel last Tuesday, presented as a personal POV, to repeal the Don't Ask, Don't Tell Policy (DADT) introduced by President Clinton in 1993. Mullen expressed his view as "a matter of integrity" and said that it is wrong to force people to "lie about who they are in order to defend their fellow citizens."
First off, I think "wrong" is a bit too stark an expression. I might agree with his using the word "fair" however. To which I would reply immediately: whoever said that life is always fair? And whoever claimed that life in the military is always fair?
I am but a simple citizen and I never even served, but to me the prime issue for an Army, like it is to so many other things - my company e.g. - is first and foremost about efficiency. Opening up a debate that
a.) will in itself consume precious resources,
b.) will invariably create divisiveness within the military, and
c.) of which an outcome repealing DADT will undermine combat effectiveness...
... is, in my opinion, a very stupid thing to do when you are at war with a mortal foe. To top it all off, can you imagine the rolling laughter among a group of taleban in some dank cave in Waziristan when they hear on the shortwave that, while their archenemies have not yet managed to get the AF surge underway, they have at least made progress on the gay front?
Over at our friend CDR Salamander's site, there've been some good posts on the issue, and I'd wager his comments section continues at least as much, if not more, good reading material as the posts themselves. A couple of the comments in his February 3 post stood out, in my opinion, and with or without kind permission of the authors, I will repeat them here.
First, here's a comment by Mr. X. He's in favor of repealing DADT:
"There's a popular misconception that the "don't ask" part of DADT means we are forbidden from asking, but that's not true. Shipmates casually ask one another all the time. "Hey, what did you do this weekend?" "Who was that I saw you having dinner with?" "So, are you seeing anyone?" An honest answer to those questions from a homosexual is grounds for discharge, regardless of the fact that they were "asked" by someone within DoD. There is also no penalty in the law for those who ask, and nothing that prevents the information from being used if someone does ask. Because the law is written this way, homosexuals frequently find themselves in situations where they are asked questions they may not answer truthfully. I think that's was Admiral Mullen was talking about when he raised the issue of integrity."
Fair enough, but like I said, life's not enough fair. I realize there's probably a great deal of injustice and suffering involved for gay people serving under DADT. But the question you have to ask yourself is, what are the pros and cons of scrapping a policy that, despite its flaws, was better than nothing? If the cons outweigh the pros, just stop whining and leave the policy in place. And I would wager the cons FAR outweigh the pros. We'll come immediately to that, but before we do, here's a column by a certain Claude Berube, a fequent contributor to Proceedings and Naval History on the USNI website. Some exerpts:
"Second, Didn’t Know Don’t Care would be based on individual competency. It would not be about special privileges for any one group. Rather, it is about the freedom of individuals to serve. There are standards in the Navy as reflected by fitness reports or other assessments. The one question we should ask is: Can this individual do the job? After the assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan’s life, he was wheeled into the emergency room and jokingly said “I hope you’re all Republicans!” If a qualified health care professional said they were a Democrat, he wouldn’t have waited until a Republican showed up. The same philosophy of competence should apply in the Navy.
Third, character counts. Character is not an exclusive trait of any race, gender, or sexual preference; character is demonstrated by individuals. Once a person is deemed qualified to serve, then openly serving homosexuals must be held to the same standards and adhere to regulations as heterosexuals. If they cannot follow regulations, then they must be as accountable as anyone else regardless of race, gender or sexual preference."
The column goes on like that, and it seems Mr. Berube is proposing a policy he labels "DKDC", for Didn't Know, Don' Care. Now, is it just me or am I the only one who fails to see substance in this proposal? Because Mr. Berube never seems to explain how such a policy, letting gay people out themselves and simply judging them by their competencies, should be implemented in practice.
No, I suppose I sound hopelessly archaic, but in the end I'll just stick with the opinions of two commenters on the CDR's thread, "Old NFO" (a male) and "DeltaBravo" (a female). Both served, I assume, with the US Navy. I... told you I was archaic, that's why I'll let the Lady speak first. DeltaBravo:
"You know, since most of the posters here are men I've seen an aspect of this debate that has fallen by the wayside. I don't want to bring an avalanche of accusations and anger and... well, who cares. I'll wade in anyways....
The following is very non-PC. Read at your own risk. I'm just making comments from the point of view of a woman who has watched things for years, has female relatives and friends who serve and have served, and who knows the female mind.
Forget the jokes about DADT and hot lesbians.
There are lots of women in the military. DADT isn't just about the Navy and a few women on ships. It's about other branches that have higher percentages of women clustered in some specialties. How to say this nicely... not a few lesbians among them. Right now they have to keep a lid on things.
Women deal with each other differently than they deal with men. In the grand scheme of things I'd rather have 10 male bosses than one average female one. Women are not nice to each other. I have watched people who were suspected of being lesbians target women in the workplace who did not accept their vague advances. It's not pretty. Women can be brutal with each other and very spiteful. Career-killing spiteful. Now put a bunch of them in a command and have love affairs going on semi-openly with people now allowed to publicly proclaim their love that can now speak its name. Girlfriends pairing up, new young recruits coming in and all the drama. Oh, the drama! (Picture what you know of male/female triangles and fraternization. Rejections. Accusations. Now double the estrogen involved.) You do not want to be the COs who have to wade into that minefield. Ever watch a show on women's prisons? Try that in a military division. It will destroy all semblance of unit cohesion.
This isn't just about guys in showers feeling gazed upon. This is about the emotionality and attachments that women can foist on each other that will give many DIVOs excedrin headaches.
At least before, there was doubt maybe whether someone was lesbian and their advances were misread. But bring that whole woman scorned thing out into the open.... it makes what you men navigate look like a cakewalk.
I've seen it in action. NOT FUN. "
Then Old NFO:
"I'm looking forward to the excuses when this blows up. Eighteen year old kids in boot camp with proselytizing gay activists as drill instructors. 56 man berthing compartments and open showers all shared with a few open homosexuals. Shop supervisors and division chiefs being threatened with harassment charges if they try to get any work out of a self described gay. Take all the problems of putting women on ships and multiply them several fold.
As for Admiral Mullen and his ilk. I wonder if there is a point where political correctness would become too much even for them. They still can't admit the Fort Hood massacre was done by an Islamic Terrorist. And now they think allowing open homosexuals into the high pressure close quarters of shipboard life is a great idea.
Earth to Admiral Mullen and Obama. The military is not an office. You don't go home at the end of the day. You live in close contact with your shipmates 24 hours a day for months on end. Every little personal habit is inflicted on everyone else, especially in the lower enlisted ranks . I expect homosexuals will become the new protected class in the military. Good luck meeting your enlistment goals."
I suppose it will sound terribly unintellectual when I say I far prefer the points of view expressed by Old NFO and DeltaBravo over anything else. Repealing DADT will result in lower combat effectiveness. Lower combat effectiveness means, a.o., higher casualties. WE CANNOT HAVE THAT. There's a war going on...
... and it has to be won. I am sympathetic to the plight of gay members of our western armed forces, but I suspect the decent individuals among them - quite a few, I would wager - will understand that while DADT may not be perfect, it is the best system so far.
One last thing.
Since Europeans are so much more sophisticated than crude Americans, it should come as no surprise that in our enlightened continent we not only do not have such a retarded policy like DADT... but our homosexual and lesbian service members even participate in Gay Parades! Don't believe me, check out these photos and you will see a few jolly good fellows proudly serving in the Royal Navy.
Now, I am not only archaic... But I am also mean-spirited. Why else would I suspect a correlation between an RN Gay Parade... and a RN Parade on Iranian TV? Look for yourself! First, the former.
Then, the latter:
In March 2006, Second Sea Lord Vice Admiral Adrian Johns revealed that he planned to set up therapy lessons to learn hetero RN members to change their old-fashioned perceptions of gay people. Vice Admiral Johns said "his staff were investigating drama-based training resources" as a means to achieve that lofty goal.
I'm sure those drama-based training resources were of great help when a smelly brown liquid flowed down Lt. Felix Carman's pants. Not. Bloody fooking idiots. Oh yeah, did I mention DADT should not be repealed? Good night.