Don't tell us what to do.
That's what U.S. military leadership is telling the U.S. House of Representatives in light of the House's recent vote to end the discriminatory policy of "don't ask, don't tell."
Generally, I have high regard for the U.S. military. But not in this case.
The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (Admiral Mike Mullen) said Sunday he would have preferred that Congress had waited before voting to repeal the ''don't ask, don't tell'' law that bans gays from serving openly in the military.
''Ideally, I would certainly have preferred that legislation not be brought forward in terms of the change until we are completed with that review,'' Mullen said.
There is worry among some in the military and in Congress that the House vote short-circuited the process of consulting with troops and their families.
''It is really critical to understand the points of view of those it will affect the most as we look at the implementation challenges, should the law change,'' said Mullen, who favors lifting the ban.
Some troops feel double-crossed, the official said, because they had been told that nothing would happen quickly and were assured that the Pentagon would take their individual concerns into account.
The reason we still have "don't ask, don't tell" is because many non-gay soldiers believe that they have had the perfect right to openly discriminate against other soldiers if those soldiers are gay. The problem with gays in the military, in other words, is not the gay soldiers.....it's the non-gay soldiers.
I've blogged about this dynamic before. One of my nephews (two tours in Iraq) explained to me in a 'no bullsh*t' manner that some heterosexual soldiers are so homophobic that they will refuse to consider gay soldiers as part of the team, squad, or platoon.
Whatever morale problems are associated with ending DADT will come from heterosexual soldiers who maintain that they should have the right to continue the practice of discrimination based on sexual orientation.
If I'm not mistaken, the "some troops" Mike Mullen suggests feel double crossed by the House vote to end DADT.....are heterosexual. The beef seems to be that these heterosexual soldiers have not had time to voice their "individual concerns" about ending DADT before the House audaciously voted on new legislation ending the discriminatory policy.
If those "individual concerns" are that these heterosexual soldiers simply don't want to serve side by side with gay soldiers......then "assuring" these soldiers that nothing would be done "quickly" to end DADT......I'm sorry.....is nothing other than a reinforcing of heterosexual soldiers' rights to openly discriminate.
Civil Rights legislation wasn't delayed from passing to give racist whites time to have their "individual concerns" taken into consideration.
Can you imagine white supremacy-types saying that they felt "double-crossed" by Congress because, after 100 years of Jim Crow laws treating black Americans as less than human, Congress finally banned discrimination based on race......without giving the racist whites enough time to study the "implementation strategies?"
The victims of DADT are gay soldiers......not straight soldiers. Gay soldiers are the ones who have been instructed to "don't tell" by their government.
Yes, the House Democrats voted now to end DADT because of the uncertainty of their majority after 2010. Yet, the Unhinged Right is already spinning out of control with references to "tainted blood"....
"A vote to repeal the homosexual exclusion policy would inevitably mean more disease and death for members of our Armed Forces," stated Cliff Kincaid, the veteran journalist who runs ASI. "It is unconscionable to add this danger to the risks they already face in fighting for our freedom around the world."
Finally, and perhaps most importantly......when did the U.S. military become an equal branch of our federal government.....equal with the Presidency, the Congress and the Supreme Court? When was the military awarded the power to tell the Congress to stand down?
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