Guest Commentary 7

'Gays’ In The Military: A Troop ‘Surge’ Liberals Support




© 2007  J. Matt Barber




Liberals in Washington are very vocal in opposition to the president’s planned deployment of additional troops to the Iraqi theatre, but in the culture war on the home front, those same liberals are prepared to enthusiastically push for an “escalation” in troop enlistment by repealing the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy and permitting openly homosexual men and women to sign up.  (Move over National Guard and Green Berets – make way for the avant-garde and Lavender Berets.)  


“The Servicemembers Legal Defense Network,” the “Human Rights Campaign,” and a host of other powerful and extremely well-funded pro-homosexual activist groups are leading the charge.  But it’s the new Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi (D-California.), who’s sounding the shrill bugle call.   


According to the Washington Blade, a top ‘gay’ publication, Pelosi has signed on to the homosexual lobby’s top-ten ‘gay’ wish-list as a “co-sponsor for all 10 gay- and AIDS-related bills that are languishing in Congress.”  Of those ten bills, the innocuously titled “Military Readiness Enhancement Act” – which would repeal “don’t ask, don’t tell” – is a top priority. 


Other liberals are weighing in as well.  On January 2nd, The New York Times fired off a real opinion piece dud.  Second Thoughts on Gays in the Military” was penned by blast from the past, John Shalikashvili, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under the Clinton administration.  Needless to say, Shalikashvili’s column sorely missed its target.   


In the piece, Shalikashvili opines that “don’t ask, don’t tell” has outlived its usefulness and that it was only “a useful speed bump that allowed temperatures to cool for a period of time while the culture continued to evolve.”   


So, while admonishing us that “the debate must be conducted with sensitivity,” Shalikashvili not so gingerly implies that those of us in the majority – those of us who still believe that it’s ill-advised to engage in radical social experimentation within the ranks of a military immersed in the War on Terror – are a bunch of knuckle-dragging Neanderthals stuck in the primordial sludge of the “homophobic” 1990s.     


Shalikashvili notes that: “The concern among many in the military was that … letting people who were openly gay serve would lower morale, harm recruitment and undermine unit cohesion.”  Well sir, that’s still the concern “among many in the military” today – most in fact – and those concerns are just as well founded now, as they were during the military’s Paleolithic Clintonian era. 


It’s no secret that our current military leadership, as they’ve done throughout this liberally manufactured debate, continues to overwhelmingly oppose allowing openly   homosexual men and women to enlist.  And Shalikashvili fails to provide any evidence whatsoever which would support his pro-homosexual contention to the contrary (other than perhaps his own “evolving” moral compass).  He offers no evidence which would indicate that anything has changed or that it ever will change.


In fact, one of the scant few pieces of anecdotal evidence Shalikashvili offers up in attempts to bolster his argument, has the unintended result of causing both hemispheres of your brain to abruptly and violently swap places. 


While gathering support for his assertion that it’s now time, and “equality” dictates that openly ‘gay’ sailors be permitted to serve as effective members of, say, a nuclear submarine crew,  Shalikashvili cheerfully informs us that he’s had his opinion seconded by “an openly gay senior sailor who was serving effectively as a member of a nuclear submarine crew.”  He’s asking for permission to eat that omelet – but already has an empty plate in front of him and egg on his face.     


So, as Shalikashvili, Pelosi and other proponents of the “gays in the military” social experiment prepare to ramp up efforts to inject their San Francisco brand of moral relativism into a last sound vestige of a morally misguided and politically correct society, one can only hope that good old fashioned common sense will prevail.  


And while the 110th Congress gets revved up, and our fighting men and women face possible cutbacks in funding and other threatened roadblocks in their ability to execute the War on Terror, it would be shameful if they additionally had to brace themselves to absorb the destructive impact of leftist social experiments gone awry.   


Regrettably, however, it looks like our armed services are going have to rely on their last line of defense on this one.  When the Military Readiness Enhancement Act” makes its way to the Oval Office, as it likely will in fairly short order, we can only hope that President Bush will bring us all back down to earth for a while by demonstrating once again that the veto pen is mightier than the PC sword. 



Matt Barber is one of the “like-minded men” with Concerned Women for America and serves as CWA’s Policy Director for Cultural Issues.