Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Why Ask, and Go Ahead and Tell: Swell!

Do you suppose this will be bad for Unit Cohesion?
The Pentagon said on Tuesday it had told U.S. military recruiters to allow gays and lesbians to apply for service, as gay veterans tested a court order striking down the military's ban on openly serving homosexuals.

California-based U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips ordered the military a week ago to stop enforcing the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy and on Monday tentatively refused a Pentagon request to re-instate the 17-year-old ban.

Phillips issued a final decision late on Tuesday affirming her order.

Although government concerns about military readiness and cohesion are important, "these interests are outweighed by the compelling public interest of safeguarding fundamental constitutional rights," she wrote in a six-page opinion.

A former Iraq war veteran who was discharged for revealing his sexual identity appeared on Tuesday at a recruiting station at New York's Times Square to re-enlist, and obtained an Army application.

"In the recruiting station," Daniel Choi wrote on his Twitter feed. "Apparently I'm too old for the Marines! Just filled out the Army application."
So ... will this "break" the US military? Or will it just make life even more, ah, interesting for swarthy detainees in places like Bagram, and Guantanamo Bay, and Abu Ghraib? Maybe it just means that the interrogator who threatens them with homosexual rape will be all done up in his studded leather off-duty kit. Anybody want a few months at Camp Bondsteel?

Any way the American military can be "broken" is a good thing, net. Between this and the general mega-bankruptcy of our glorious world-straddling former republic (sort of), the Empire just has to start rolling up like a defective window blind. Doesn't it?


Tim Zank said...

So am I to assume you want no U.S. Military at all? You think that may be a tad risky?

Mimi said...

No U.S. military is the best idea I've heard all week.

Jim Wetzel said...

Mr. Zank: absolutely, I want no US military at all. Oh, possibly a small permanent officer corps could be maintained, to speed the process of raising an army in case actual US territory might come under actual attack. But nothing even faintly like what we're saddled with today.

"Risky?" For whom? Obviously, having great standing armies is incredibly risky to both ourselves and our liberties, and to the very lives of the many foreigners against whom we periodically send them forth. See the history of the past century.

It may sound like a radical idea to de-militarize. But that's just because what sounds "radical" has changed so much since the founding of this former republic. Anyway, I'm in good company. You've already heard from Mimi. Add to her James Madison:

"A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defence against foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home. Among the Romans it was a standing maxim to excite a war, whenever a revolt was apprehended. Throughout all Europe, the armies kept up under the pretext of defending, have enslaved the people.

Of all the enemies to public liberty, war is perhaps the most to be dreaded because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few."

Or Thomas Jefferson:

"There are instruments so dangerous to the rights of the nation and which place them so totally at the mercy of their governors that those governors, whether legislative or executive, should be restrained from keeping such instruments on foot but in well-defined cases. Such an instrument is a standing army.

Were armies to be raised whenever a speck of war is visible in our horizon, we never should have been without them. Our resources would have been exhausted on dangers which have never happened, instead of being reserved for what is really to take place.

Nor is it conceived needful or safe that a standing army should be kept up in time of peace."

No need to cite the Anti-Federalists from the birth-period of the Constitution, who were all, as far as I can tell, leery of standing armies. And don't even get me started on the police ...