Friday, September 23, 2011

Don't Ask but Tell all You Like

“The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other guy die for his.”― George S. Patton Jr.

The recent repeal of the 1993 military personnel eligibility act went live a few days ago. It went live in spite of the fact that it was unconstitutional for the judicial or the executive branch to address a matter that is quite clearly delineated to the Congress and no one else. (US Constitution, Article 1, section 8)

The quote at the beginning of this post is pertinent and timely. Everyone does not have a right to serve in the military. There are and always have been strict entrance requirements. There is a reason for those requirements and that quote says it as eloquently as can be managed. But for those who don't understand the reasoning, who would label me homophobic or other less prettified names, the point of those entrance requirements is to limit the number of casualties incurred by our military.

I know a fine young man who planned to make the military his career after high school. he was denied admission due to a hearing defect. Surely those with hearing defects should be able to serve if they have that desire. Yet there is no outcry about the hearing impaired not being allowed to serve.

I know others who didn't meet the height/weight/intelligence criteria required to enlist. Where are the political movements for them? There are none. Why not? Because we recognize the value of being able to hear orders clearly in relation to a unit's ability to survive in combat. Because we recognize the ways in which these other things can cost our military lives.

The problem here is that unit cohesion is not seen as being just as vital to that struggle to "make the other guy die for his" as are the physical/mental requirements I mentioned above. This action on the part of the executive and judiciary branches, along with the badly skewed survey on how this change will affect our military will cost lives. Some of the highlights of the flaws that Congress ignored are :

"The Pentagon report admits “the majority of views expressed in [140 focus group sessions] were against repeal of the current policy.”

It based its “no-risk” assessment of open homosexuality for military effectiveness on a panel of 11 unidentified, nonscientific personnel.(emphasis mine)

It dismissed 67% negative views expressed by combatants by suggesting their lack of service with homosexuals feeds the negativity."

Shame on us for not speaking out more, but more shame on Congress for allowing their Constitutional powers and authorities to be so usurped. We have failed our military. I can only pray that the cost is not more than we can pay.

"Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch." ~ Matt 15:14


Dr.D said...

This decision was reached just like every other government decision is reached. Somebody made the decision, then settled upon a form of study, investigation, etc. to justify it and report that back as their recommendation.

I saw this happen over and over when I was a government employee. It was not appreciated one little bit if you recommended something other than the pre-approved recommendation. That just meant that you did not understand the assignment, and the report would have to be done again (and again, and again, ...) until you got the "right answer."

This is how government "science" works.

Soapbox Jill said...

If gays will serve openly in the military, then men and women should no longer be housed apart either. We are talking about living with potential sexual partners here, with no attempt to temper or mute that potential.

Logic would seem to say that living with potential sexual partners could be distracting. But fair is fair, and I see no reason to segregate men and women in housing or restrooms anymore either. At least, that's where my logic takes this move.

Call Me Mom said...

Dr.D., I too have seen my share of blank looks when I point out that something is unethical or wrong, if it goes against the status quo.

Jill, your logic is quite correct. However it leaves out the ethical conundrum of the stresses that inevitably accompany combat. To add the idea that there are those whom you could consider or be considered by as sexual partners to those stresses is putting our military in an untenable and an unacceptable situation. We have failed them.