Andy Martin explains why the so-called “gays in the military” legislation is one of the great fiascoes in American politics. Martin uses his combat experience to explore just what it means to be “openly” gay in the military. Martin predicts that the “gays in the military” battle is going to backfire on President Barry Obama (D-Kenya) in 2012.
Internet Powerhouse Andy Martin says President Barry Obama’s “gays in the military” policy will boomerang politically in 2012
Martin compares homosexual “rights” in the military to Birther “rights” in the military
“The Internet Powerhouse”
“Factually Correct, Not Politically Correct”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Andy Martin explains why President Barack Obama’s “gays in the military” legislation could boomerang on Obama in 2012
Martin says the military is not a democracy and homosexuals have no “right to serve”
(NEW YORK)(December 19, 2010) Well, the Congress has voted to allow “gays” to serve “openly” in the military. It is time for ContrarianCommentary to prick President Barry Obama’s balloon on this non-issue.
The nation is bankrupt, the housing market is moribund, the war in Afghanistan is going poorly and the national government is focused on and fixated on whether homosexuals can serve “openly” in the military? Is it any wonder we can’t find Osama Bin Laden or that the Taliban is winning while losing? Where is Julian Assange when we really need him?
After you read this column you will never look at the “gays in the military” circus quite the same way.
It is a myth that the “American public” and military brass and personnel support gays in the military. This is complete nonsense.
Few Americans know anything about military service because fewer and fewer have actually served. Out of over 300 million Americans, how many veterans are there under forty? Several million, perhaps, but a relative handful. So most Americans are expressing an opinion on a topic, homosexuals serving in the military, that they know nothing about.
One of the joys of our modern society is that pollsters constantly ask people what they think about issues where the polled have no idea what they are talking about. In politics, it is Ok to have an opinion without being knowledgeable about the topic. We all get to vote. But in corporate activity, medicine or the military, few people can express an informed opinion.
The fallacy in polling Americans about “gays in the military” is that people being polled tend to equate “gays in the military” with “gays next door” or gays in the workplace. But the military and the demands of military service bear no connection to civilian life.
Most of us agree that that there should not be discrimination against homosexuals in ordinary daily life. (Additionally, I support civil unions because they have been applied to gays and non-gays alike.) Persecuting people in public for what they do in private is wrong. Perhaps we as a nation were not always this enlightened. OK, so our views have changed. I have no problem with that. But I do have a problem when people unconsciously conflate their views on civilian homosexuality with military homosexuality. The two environments are totally different.
The military is not a democracy. We do not get to express our “constitutional rights” in the military the same way we do in civilian life. Let me provide an obvious example. Civilians have a virtually unrestricted “right” to believe and act on their belief that Barack Obama is a usurper president. One hundred million Americans have doubts about Obama's origins—rightly or wrongly—and tens of millions of those people whom the liberal media consider misguided souls got to vote in November. They voted against Obama and his policies because of their doubts about his "birth." They had a “right” to do so, and they did.
But Lt. Col. Terry Lakin had no “right” in the military to act on his Birther beliefs. He is being locked up and thrown out of the military for expressing the same sentiments as civilians. No, the military is not a democracy and military men and women do not get to express their opinions on civilian “rights” or to act on their beliefs concerning civilian matters.
In the Gospel According to Obama, it is now all right to practice homosexuality in the military but a criminal act to believe Obama is an illegitimate president. This is “elitism" and "discrimination" in its most embarrassing juxtaposition.
The Pentagon conducted corrupted “polling” by requiring most troops to state their views in open meetings. There was apparently little, if any, anonymous polling.
I have never served on active duty in the military, but I did enlist in the reserves, received an honorable discharge and have worked alongside military officers and enlisted men in battle zones from Viet-Nam to Iraq and elsewhere. So I have some experience with military operations.
The “military” is not a monolithic operation. Military service differs widely. When I was in Dong Ha during the Viet-Nam era, the Air Force had had an air conditioned bar, with a selection of beverages, on a military installation. Airmen lived comfortably. Literally across the street a Marine company lived in tin-roofed “hooches” with no plumbing and no walls. And, no air conditioning. The services are not the same. What works in one service may not work in another.
In the Air Force, recruits probably have private rooms in basic training. I don’t know that for a fact but I suspect airmen and women have rooms with a lock.
Conditions in the Air Force, however, bear no relationship to warrior training in the Marine Corps where men are packed in tightly, purposefully, to create unit cohesion and to break down a recruit’s individuality.
The first time I saw a Navy sleeping room I was stunned by the folding bunks stacked five or six from top to bottom with minimal space between the bunks. Men at sea are packed in tightly. That was on an aircraft carrier. Submarines anyone?
In combat, the situations even more extreme. If you saw the recent movie “Restrepo” you got a good glimpse of conditions in the field in Afghanistan. In Viet-Nam we used to make fun of “Saigon commandoes” who had rooms and maid service, while soldiers and Marines in the field lived in tents, or worse.
I vividly remember one special forces operation with Team A-109 at Thuong Duc where there were only two of us, the Captain and myself, out in the boonies in an area surrounded and crawling with North Vietnamese troops. We were looking for them! Out in the field the Captain and I at Thuong Duc were living next to each other. There were no twin beds in the middle of a combat patrol. Back at the camp, the team was packed into a tiny bunker.
So military life varies greatly between the services, and within the services. Life on the front lines, moreover, bears no relationship to civilian life. Using civilian life and its panoply of “rights” as a template to analyze homosexuality in the military is totally misinformed.
Gays in civilian life are used to an environment where lawsuits and threats of litigation are a part of expanding “gay rights.” There are no "rights" in the military. When you take the oath as an officer or enlisted person you voluntarily surrender your personal rights to the group. You are not allowed to question orders or authority. What happens when the sergeant picks out a gay solider and says “You walk point?” Is the gay troop going to protest and say he is being discriminated against?
Gays are welcome to serve in the military, today, right now, this instant. But they are expected to subordinate their individuality to the overwhelming mission of the military. By trying to create a protected class of “open” gays Obama is trying to shred the fabric of military obedience and submission to command authority.
Finally, Congress itself appears to have purchased a pig in a poke. The new law requires the Pentagon to plan and make preparations for homosexuals to serve “openly” in the military before the new law is actually implemented.
Can anyone who supports homosexuals-in-the military please tell me what “openly” means? Do you, dear reader, if you are a supporter of “gays in the military,” know what “openly” means? What are the limits of “openly?”
Some aspects of “openly” serve as a homosexual are obvious. A person should be able to walk into a gay bar off base without being thrown out of the service (yes, there are gay bars near military installations). Whether you go to a “straight” bar or “gay” bar makes no difference.
But the “gay rights” movement is a lot broader than just homosexuals and lesbians. The acronym usually used is “GLBT” to compress “Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender.” Will the military also have to accommodate Bisexual and Transgender personnel? And who decides what is what or which is which? It is not surprising that the Marines, our preeminent fighting force, said they had more important things to do right now than decide how to implement gay rights.
And back to “openly.” Just what does “openly” mean? Will you register as a “gay” (or GLBT) when you enlist? Will two men or two women be allowed to occupy married housing? Will the “wives” of officers be entitled to membership in the officer’s clubs? Will a Marine now be allowed appear, in full uniform, made up to resemble Adam Lambert? Lipstick for gays—is that part of “openly?” Will gays be entitled to special facilities on military posts or bases? Where does “openly” begin and where does “openly” end? Or does it end?
Does “openly” mean you can merely claim to be “openly gay,” or does it mean you have a right to practice homosexuality or engage in homosexual acts on military reservations or while in combat? Congress is creating a monster with “gays in the military” legislation. The blowback will not be pretty.
In civilian life, if you disagree with a government ruling you can appeal administratively or file a lawsuit. Are gays going to have gay rights tribunals to review implementation of gay rights in the military? No one knows where we are headed.
There is no “right” to serve in the military. The military services get to pretty much choose who they want as personnel. Do we allow excluded gays to sue? To file claims that the term “openly” is not being employed “openly” enough?
If the U. S. were prospering right now, and if Congress had nothing better to do with its time, examining the issue of “gays in the military” might be a harmless activity. But the obsession today with creating homosexual “rights” to “serve” is going to prove hugely disruptive and highly embarrassing to President Obama. By 2012 the issue may be politically toxic.
Now you get some idea of why the “gays openly in the military” crusade could be just a political maneuver to confuse and disrupt military operations in the middle of a war. (Attention conspiracy theorists: Perhaps even an Al Qaeda plot?)
We know that gays have served honorably in our military services, and they should be encouraged and welcome to do so. Perhaps “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” could be tweaked to remove potential abuses. But gays should be welcome to serve on the same terms as anyone else, by subordinating their “rights” to military order and discipline.
I respect and honor and salute any American, gay, straight or whatever, that takes on the responsibility and risk of wearing a uniform. Especially in wartime. But if Col. Terry Lakin has to surrender his political views at the entrance to the Army post, shouldn’t gays be required to surrender their personal beliefs as well? Or is it a “crime” to believe Obama is an imposter and a “right” to actually practice homosexual acts while on military duty in a combat zone?
Take another look at the movie “Restrepo” and tell me (send me a letter) telling me what “gays serving openly in the military” would mean in the Korengal Valley. In other words, what are the limits of gay rights on active duty? Because the real world and the end of the line in the military is the battle front. Tell me what “openly” means in battle. I have no idea. And I’ve been there, done that.
P.S. I have nothing against gays or gay rights in principle. I belong to a church whose leadership supports expansive gay rights although I do not. I have gay friends and gay neighbors and the whole shebang. I bear no human being any hostility or hatred. I believe gays are created by God, not men or women, and I believe that tolerance is one of the great virtues of any civilization. But I still don’t know what serving “openly” in the military as a homosexual means. And, dear reader, neither do you. Is this any way to legislate in the middle of a war? No.
LINKS TO THIS COLUMN:
ABOUT ANDY: Chicago Public Radio calls Andy Martin a “boisterous Internet activist.” Andy is the legendary New York and Chicago-based muckraker, author, Internet columnist, radio talk show host, broadcaster and media critic. He has over forty years of background in radio and television and is the dean of Illinois media and communications. He promotes his best-selling book, “Obama: The Man Behind The Mask” and his Internet movie "Obama: The Hawai'i years." Martin has been a leading corruption fighter in Illinois for over forty years. He is currently sponsoring www.AmericaisReadyforReform.com
Andy is the Executive Editor and publisher of the “Internet Powerhouse,” www.ContrarianCommentary.com. He comments on regional, national and world events with more than four decades of investigative and analytical experience. He holds a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Illinois College of Law and is a former adjunct professor of law at the City University of New York (LaGuardia CC, Bronx CC).
Andy's columns are also posted at ContrarianCommentary.blogspot.com; ContrarianCommentary.wordpress.com.
[NOTE: We try to correct any typographical errors in this story on our blogs; find our latest edition there.]
MEDIA CONTACT: (866) 706-2639 or CELL (917) 664-9329
© Copyright by Andy Martin 2010