LGBT NEWS: The Pentagon sings a different tune

Discussion in 'Lifestyle' started by ExDelayed, Feb 19, 2007.

  1. ExDelayed

    ExDelayed New Member

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    http://www.gay.com/news/roundups/package.html?sernum=3306&navpath=/channels/news/opinion/

    The Pentagon sings a different tune
    Steve Ralls, Servicemembers Legal Defense Network

    [​IMG] A recent New York Times op-ed by Gen. John Shalikashvili, the retired chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, quickly became the shot heard 'round the world in the debate over gays in the military.

    Shalikashvili, who was a staunch supporter of the ban in 1993, wrote that he now believes "that if gay men and lesbians served openly in the United States military, they would not undermine the efficacy of the armed forces" and concludes that "we must welcome the service of any American who is willing and able to do the job."

    The general's remarks were not just a refreshing change of pace in the battle to repeal "don't ask, don't tell." They were a sure sign that attitudes inside the Pentagon are changing and that the military's exclusion of out lesbian, gay, and bisexual Americans will soon end.

    A review of the Pentagon's public statements over gays in the military underscores the fact that military commanders are tired of losing qualified, capable men and women because of the law. In the early days of "don't ask, don't tell," the Pentagon reliably pointed to support for the ban among high-level commanders, who felt the law was necessary to maintain "unit cohesion." Those commanders, the Pentagon brass said again and again, not only wanted but needed the ban on open service.

    Today, the Pentagon is singing a very different tune. During the past two years especially, the Department of Defense has launched a far less aggressive defense of the law. They now insist they are simply carrying out a law made by Congress, as they are duty-bound to do.

    "The Department of Defense policy . . . implements a federal law enacted in 1993," Lt. Col. Ellen Krenke, a Pentagon spokeswoman, continues to remind the media. "The law would need to be changed to affect the department's policy."

    In other words, Congress put the law into place, and Congress can get rid of it when it sees fit.

    Krenke and other Pentagon spokespeople have become either unwilling or unable to point to a "necessity argument" from commanders in the field. The idea that "don't ask, don't tell" is a vital element of an effective military has lost any credibility at the Pentagon. In a department where public comments are crafted with the utmost care and wordsmiths examine and reexamine every linguistic nuance, the shift is not just significant, it is seismic.

    In fact, there have been signs of a change of heart among military leaders for some time. When Democratic U.S. Rep. Susan Davis, who represents a large military district in San Diego, became a cosponsor of legislation to repeal "don't ask, don't tell," she reached out to military leaders in the community to gauge their feelings on the issue.

    "Over the course of the last year, I questioned high-ranking members of the armed forces, active-duty military personnel, veterans . . . and other interested groups," she said in announcing her support for repeal. "These exchanges helped me to understand and ultimately dismiss the argument that allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military would negatively impact military readiness, as some have stated. After consulting this diverse sounding board, it is clear to me that the 'don't ask, don't tell' policy is a political invention that does not serve the real needs of our armed forces and should be repealed."

    It was evident from Davis's statement that she found little resistance -- and likely much enthusiasm -- among her military constituents for ending the ban. Other military leaders have spoken more directly about the shift in perspective among the armed forces.

    "It is clear that national attitudes toward this issue have evolved considerably in the last decade," retired Lt. Gen. Daniel W. Christman, former superintendent at West Point and onetime assistant to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the New York Times. "This has been led by a new generation of service members who take a more relaxed and tolerant view toward homosexuality."

    The change, however, is more than just generational, as Gen. Shalikashvili's comments show. It is also based on the increased need for qualified recruits and the Pentagon's troubles meeting recruitment goals. And in large part, it is to the credit of the growing number of gay and lesbian service members who are serving openly. In fact, it was a group of veterans who served openly during their time in the forces who were instrumental in changing Shalikashvili's views. Meeting them, he said, "showed me just how much the military has changed, and that gays and lesbians can be accepted by their peers."

    Indeed, the armed forces have changed, and continue to do so. That's good news as our country again begins to debate "don't ask, don't tell." The Pentagon's new tune is bound to be much more pleasant to gay Americans' ears.

    Steve Ralls is director of communications for Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, a national nonprofit legal services, watchdog, and policy organization dedicated to ending bias and harassment against military personnel affected by "don't ask, don't tell" and related intolerance. For more information, visit www.sldn.org.
     
  2. Diesel Freak

    Diesel Freak ♂♂ Closet Crew OT Supporter

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    Woohoo :run: ... things are changing for the better.
     
  3. kitambi

    kitambi New Member

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    Damn. It appears that my "get out of the draft free" card is going to expire soon :(
     
  4. camarosrool

    camarosrool yes i am

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    :rofl: I was thinking the EXACT same thing
     
  5. the13thzen

    the13thzen New Member

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    you could go through the trouble of adopting a new religion that promotes pacifism maybe.

    i personally would just flee to canada. :hs:
     
  6. camarosrool

    camarosrool yes i am

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    yeah, the border patrol is pretty lax around port huron :big grin:
    thats only an hour or so away and then i can boat right over there :coolugh:
     
  7. Diesel Freak

    Diesel Freak ♂♂ Closet Crew OT Supporter

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    :wavey: kitambi!!
     
  8. spiffy_badrock

    spiffy_badrock I'm sorry, if you were right, I'd agree with you.

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    +1
     
  9. UpPy

    UpPy Guest

    Having a hard time getting suckers to"Be the Best That They Can Be'...the military has dropped the High school diploma requirement & are now allowing Convicted Felons to join the "Army of One".
    I guess 2ND Class Gays was a natural step for these wackjobs.

    [​IMG]


    :wavey:
     
  10. Priest Tango

    Priest Tango Custom User Tits

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    as per replies, im gonna stay out of this thread, as my opinion will be highly ooposed. but good luck running from your freedom :wavey: you could be living in german during hitlers rule, and youd be super fucked.
     
  11. RedGoober4Life

    RedGoober4Life New Member

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    Why? Gay people need to notice that not every other gay person agrees with them.

    Being drafted wouldn't be the greatest thing, but I'm sure it would be full of opportunities to learn about...stuff. Maybe I can have China build me a tank...
     
  12. sholnay

    sholnay New Member

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    id really like to hear your opinion. im pretty open on this subject.

    Im actually very torn and I dont have enough knowledge of it to be able to figure it out in my own head :hs:
     
  13. camarosrool

    camarosrool yes i am

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    i would have no problem fighting for my country when i agree with the reason why we are fighting
    i didnt vote for bush and i certainly dont support his agenda/war
     
  14. Diesel Freak

    Diesel Freak ♂♂ Closet Crew OT Supporter

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    :werd:
     
  15. RyRy

    RyRy Active Member

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    :werd:
     
  16. ExDelayed

    ExDelayed New Member

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    Intresting replies so far. I would like to know what PT is really thinking too.

    As for joining the military, I have seriously considered the Air Force. Id do it mainly for the schooling, but if war came around, so be it. The bad thing, I will *not* join while we have this sorry excuse for a President piloting the war machine on a crash course to Hell.
     
  17. camarosrool

    camarosrool yes i am

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    whats PT
    and while were at it whats OP when they arent referring to original poster
    i assume OT is offtopic
     
  18. Priest Tango

    Priest Tango Custom User Tits

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    excuses excuses there shouldnt be conditions to whether you fight or not, a moron of a president shouldnt reflect on your decision. and the military doing away with the whole dont ask dont tell thing would solve one problem: actually being discharged for your sexuality. you still have to deal with your comrades and chain of command and what not. i could see a guy like bryanboy trying to get into the marines, and i also see it going over as a HUGE success
     
  19. spiffy_badrock

    spiffy_badrock I'm sorry, if you were right, I'd agree with you.

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    I guess I just get a sick feeling somehow thinking that this measure is not a result of honest to goodness concern and willingness to accept LGBT recruits, its simply a way to say, "we need more troops for the war, lets accept what we previously didnt want!". I realize in all branches of the military (just like in real life) there will always be some grumbling and discrimination within the ranks (against gays), I just dont think this turnaround in policy is for LGBT equality, its just there to help meet quotas. While this would be a step forward for LGBT equality, would it be greeted with optimisim "Yes maybe the LGBT folks can fight like us, lets give them a chance" or pessimism and resent "We have to take in the Gays, this sucks." Yes, PT I will agree that if you agree to be in the service of your country, you are going to do as you're told, regardless of your opnion of the leadership and the moral/ideological/political foundations of the war/conflict. But here is one of the foundations of an all volunteer force, if you dont agree, dont join. I apologize for this being a bit disjointed....
     
  20. TheMustafa

    TheMustafa hook 'em

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    there are no excuses... i'll fight for freedom, but thats not what we're fighting for in Iraq, in case you havent been watching.
     
  21. camarosrool

    camarosrool yes i am

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    the war that we are in is total BS and there is no reason for us to be over there
    they dont want us to be there
    and most of us dont want us to be there
    so therefore I dont want to be forced into a war like that
    I dont want to fight with you like they do out in the OT thingy tho
     
  22. sholnay

    sholnay New Member

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    does it say somewhere that we only fight for freedom?
     
  23. Priest Tango

    Priest Tango Custom User Tits

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    it will be ALOT more than just grumbling and discrimination. i predict alot of violence about the whole deal
     
  24. Priest Tango

    Priest Tango Custom User Tits

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    i dont quite think youre understanding the whole fight for your country/freedom thing. if youre really willing to fight for your country/freedom, you wont ask or question the reason for why youre there, youll just do it....
     
  25. XPX

    XPX New Member

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    I'd join the US military if I were given the chance, I'd do it 10 times intead of doing it here.
     

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