Sunday, December 19, 2010

Carl Levin's Opinion Matters Most

The Senate Arms Services Committee, chaired by Michigan's own Carl Levin, has determined that it is just as important that the military attain an enlightened social construct as it is for it to kill America's enemies. (Word has it that next month the committee will consider making it mandatory for forces to stay under fire until all spent shell casings can be collected for a new battlefield recycling initiative.)

We're making a point people!

Passage of this bill is a victory for our military, which can now implement this change in a deliberate, responsible way. It’s a victory for our country, which has taken another step toward living up to our highest ideals. And it is a victory for thousands of brave men and women who now can serve the nation they love without having to conceal part of their identity.
I can agree that this is a victory for our gay service people. On the first two points however, I have a hard time buying in.

How exactly is this a victory for the military? It must now implement policies that embrace and protect the gay lifestyle when clearly a significant portion of combat troops are resistant to the change and while many military leaders themselves fear a loss of unit cohesion because of it. Shouldn't our military leaders have more important things to worry about?

When a victory for the military is measured by its social impact I think someone has lost track of what the purpose of a military is.

How can this be a victory for our country? By taking a step toward attainment of its highest ideals?

Our country has already taken unprecedented steps toward fighting wars in as moral a manner as possible. We use smart weaponry. We use explosives designed to destroy only the immediate target. We have enacted rules of engagement that place our own fighting forces at heightened risk in order to safeguard the lives of civilians. We bombard the airwaves and use large leaflet drops that inform both innocents and the enemy when we are planning to attack so that they are not caught in the maelstrom.

Now we must send a less effective fighting force into battle against a morally vacant enemy in order to achieve our country's highest social ideals.

All of this is done despite the fact that our enemies intentionally operate in the opposite manner. They target civilians, intentionally destroy public infrastructure, and they hide among civilian populations in direct contradiction of the Geneva Conventions. Oh, and on Wednesdays they kill gays for the evil of being gay. Why do they deserve the benefits of our social ideals?

True, when pressed into answering the questions of social engineers, many among the military brass have said that they believe that Don't Ask Don't Tell (DADT) is an albatross--that it is ineffective, and that it is unnecessary. However, many among them do not. At best the overall attitude is agnostic.

And yet, Carl Levin makes it sound as if the military has been chomping at the bit to initiate these new changes. If the military had truly been doing so it would have aggressively lobbied for a change in the rules themselves, and not relied on people like Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow to do the sales work for them.

For the record, my personal opinion is that any person with the proper training, straight or gay, should be able to aim and shoot and effectively kill our enemies. Any person with the proper training, straight or gay, should be able to drive a transport. And any person with the proper training, straight or gay, should be able to serve this country well and with honor.

But, what I think about the situation should be irrelevant. What you think about the situation should be irrelevant. And, honestly, what Carl Levin thinks about the situation should also be irrelevant. What should not be irrelevant is how the fighting men and women feel about the policy change. It is they, after all, who must face the enemy's fire, not me, you, Carl, or the gay activist lobby living in Washington. But, apparently, what Carl thinks is most important.

Clearly this should have been the military's decision to make. It should not be made by people like Carl Levin too willing to send an incohesive fighting force into oncoming enemy fire so that Jeffrey and Bruce can announce their plans to hook up after mess.

Doug Giles has more.

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