Saturday, March 17, 2007


Wow, will this never go away. I don't think so. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs recently got himself in trouble by talking about the immorality of gays. In some ways, not to put words in his mouth, but he might have been OK, at least in terms of his comments, had he had kept away from the morality comment. Had he said being gay is not compatible with some aspects of military life, he might have escaped, at least sounded better. For this reason: Marines, hardcore infantry, macho type soldiers are homophobic, let's face it. The idea that at least philosophically they are not male chauvinists, beer swilling, gung ho, kill, kill, kill is an anathema to them. And being "gay" with all the stereotypical views of who a gay is will not hack it. Regardless of one's view, it is simply the way it is. And, who are these soldiers with all these homophobic views. They are the guys who are out there dying in Iraq. They are the "front line" troops. They are macho to the max. These are the ones probably that the good General Pace, Marine extraordinaire, is talking about.

Is this right, good, etc. Not the most appropriate question to ask? The better question, "is being gay in the military compatible with military life?" Yes, in many instances it is. The idea that in this day and time, we are discharging scores of qualified soldiers even though we have the "don't ask, don't tell" policy--from what I read, the equivalent of at least half a division (division is usually with support troops, twenty thousand men and women. This is ridiculous. Many are skilled technicians, many we've spent a great deal of money training them, i. e., language school. Statistics reveal that many are medical types, to include some doctors. This is an issue that is not going away and cannot be solved.

General Pace is right and wrong. "Outed" gay Marines are not going to fare well. It is reality. What I equate it to in some degree is women in the military. Introducing one woman into a classroom of Marines studying and the dynamics are changed. It is not the woman's fault. It is nobody's fault, simply the human element of men and women. Is this going to change? No. And, the reason we can't force it or push it is that the homophobic Marines are at war and they're dying. Kind of puts social issues on the back burner. In a perfect world, not a problem but guess what!

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