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Friday, February 26, 2010

Commandant Queeg?

“My personal opinion is that unless we can strip away the emotion, agenda and politics and ask [whether] we somehow enhance the war-fighting of the United States Marine Corps by allowing homosexuals to openly serve, then we haven’t addressed it from the correct perspective,”

-Gen James T. Conway, Commandant U.S. Marine Corps, 2/25/10

He's the one who is clouded by emotion. His problem is easy to solve: As long as there is potentially one gay or lesbian solider, sailor, marine, or airman who is better than some lazy, irascible nongay one, it is a force multiplier.

Second, we've always drafted gay and lesbian citizens and could do so today. No one gay has the right to a discharge. This is part of the core bullshit at the heart of this policy (and that's why it's not a 'civil rights' issue, but a bullshit issue, for me).

“Enforced silence has led to collective amnesia about the patriotic service and courageous sacrifices of gay and lesbian troops,” said Dr. Steve Estes, guest curator of “Out Ranks.” “This exhibit tells the stories of some of our military’s most exceptional servicemembers during the most pivotal times in our country’s history.” (link)

Third, we can ask other questions, too. The purpose of the military is certainly to fight wars, but we need to 'live our values'. Integrity is key to that, clearly within the military and (hopefully) without.