Sunday, March 21, 2010

Don’t ask, don’t tell, why bother?

  In a shocking bit political uncorrectness, retired US General John Sheehan blamed the failings of a Dutch military mission in a 1995 massacre of Bosnians on the Dutch policy of allowing openly gay soldiers to serve in the military during recent Senate hearings on ending the US military’s ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy (Read the article here). I think the failings of the Dutch Army has more to do with the fact that no one joins the Dutch Army expecting to see any military action than some lack of disicipline due to the orientation of the service members.

  According to
the definition on Wikipedia, the don’t ask, don’t tell policy prevents the military from initiating any investigation into a member’s sexual orientation, but prohibits anyone who "demonstrate(s) a propensity or intent to engage in homosexual acts" from serving in the armed forces of the United States because "it would create an unacceptable risk to the high standards of morale, good order and discipline, and unit cohesion that are the essence of military capability." Clearly, current US military policy is hypocritical. It regards homosexuality as a threat to their way of life, but will turn a blind eye to the sexual orientation of the service members.
I find the policy very confusing. If we can have teachers, clergyman, mayors, talk show hosts, etc. who are homosexual, why not the military? If they are a threat to the military way of life, what about the rest of America’s way of life? I think there is a misconception on the part of heterosexual people. One is that all homosexual people are constantly looking to ‘hook-up’ and the other is that they are looking to indoctrinate young people into their ‘deviant lifestyle’. I’ve known a few gay people and haven’t found that to be the case at all. They are like most people that want to get through the day and get on with life. Yes, I’ve met a few activists and I avoid them, but I tend to avoid most activists anyway. I must be equal opportunity since I’m equally uninterested as to the sexual preferences of anyone. Most people I know can tell if someone is gay or straight just by some observation. If you can’t tell, why ask? And if you can tell, you don’t need to ask.

  Maybe the military can successfully deal with their problems by enforcing a stricter code of conduct, perhaps by incorporating more activities from one of the last bastions of heterosexuality, the Boy Scouts.

  Speaking of the Boy Scouts, A lawsuit against the organization has recently revealed that they keep ‘perversion files’ on people unfit for scout leadership
(Article here). It appears that when scout leaders molest young boys, they are barred from further service, get a file, but no criminal charges are filed and the matter is not made public. When this lawsuit goes through, I predict a flood of repressed memories and more and more lawsuits. Now I wish I had been a scout. I feel a repressed memory coming on.......maybe I was in the scouts after all...

  The major problem I see is a lack of openness. At least General Sheehan is saying what he thinks. The military wastes time, money, and resources trying to pretend there aren’t any homosexuals serving and the Boy Scouts allows children to be molested while they are more concerned about their recordkeeping and not getting sued. If these organizations would deal with their problems instead of trying to maintain their illusions of self-image, a lot of people would be better off.

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