Friday, April 08, 2005


Friday Blog Blogging: Fighting to Lose

Ezra Klein says it brilliantly.
The Gay Front

Pam and Shakespeare's Sister are right. Nothing shows how completely unprepared America is to fight a war better than our willingness to kick heroic homosexuals out of the service. Doesn't matter if they know Arabic, doesn't matter if they're the real-life manifestation of Rambo, doesn't matter if they shoot lasers from their eyes and make things explode through mental effort, if they prefer dudes to chicks the Army doesn't want them. And it doesn't need them at the exact same moment that it desperately needs more troops.

During Vietnam, the thirst for bodies superseded the country's casual bigotry and dudes in dresses were sent as surely as the conscripts who showed up in fatigues. We were fighting a war. Presently, we're forcing perfectly good, able, and willing fighters from advancing the national interest because they pursue a lifestyle that is in no way illegal. That point can't be overstated. Being gay is no less legal than being brown-eyed, or long-limbed. The Supreme Court, in fact, not only ratified the constitutionality of being gay, but of doing gay things. So neither homosexuality nor the sodomy that often comes with it is in any way contrary to the law. And yet, somehow, this wholly legal lifestyle is reason enough to be ejected from the Armed Forces.

Imagine that. The defenders of liberty, the toughest, strongest, most deadly-dangerous aspect of the world's superpower gets the vapors when gays ask to join. All these macho men, all these Navy SEALS, all these front-line defenders of freedom are, we're supposed to believe, rendered so queasy by the thought of dudes kissing that they could no longer protect the country. And the right accuses us of being unserious?

Actually, it goes far beyond seriousness. It hits straight at the heart of efficiency:
A recent congressional study on the impact of "don't ask, don't tell" said that hundreds of highly skilled troops, including many translators, have left the armed forces because of the rule, at a cost of nearly $200 million, mostly for recruiting and training replacements for 9,500 troops discharged between 1994 and 2003.
$200 million. So the soldiers tasked with defending our country will never be exposed to the danger of guy-on-guy action. You have got to be fucking kidding me.
Um..."fucking kidding me"? Considering who they wingnuts want to exclude, and why, that strikes me as perhaps the wrong modifier.

But still - I suppose some of the wingnuts think if they are "moral" enough, God will bless them and their endeavors will prosper. Whereas I think God helps those who help themselves - if you want to win, really want to win, do what it takes. But then, I guess it really matters which fight you want to win. Win the war on terra, or win the war to turn America into a medieval theocracy? I guess we now know which fight the wingnuts really want to win. And that's fine - they're entitled to make their choice, even if it isn't my choice and I think their choice is evil (as they no doubt think mine is). The problem is, outside the leftwing blogosphere, no one has the guts or honesty to admit that the right wing has made this choice. Or perhaps the MSM is simply too stupid to realize this. I would not find that any bit surprising.
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