Has Gates been thinking about DADT too much?

Secretary Gates and Chairman Mullen run ragged by this survey. A couple of good career soldiers selected by Republicans for their reliability, reduced to saying bizarre things by thinking too much.

This morning, like every morning, I was having my coffee and reading the International Business Times, and I came across the article on the military’s report on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. This of course contains the results of the military’s multi-million dollar survey of the troops to determine how they would feel about ending a policy that cost the tax payers $363.8 million to enforce from 1994 to 2003 and had the result of dismissing at least 14,000 service men at a time when the military was stretched so thin that it required soldiers to be sent on numerous back-to-back deployments to hazardous and cumulatively destructive combat missions. The military wanted to find out how the troops felt about gays because although the troops are not permitted to exercise their own free will except during very limited times during the day and only within a relatively narrow set of choices, and certainly wouldn’t be allowed to quit, or object to their superiors, or question the purpose of their mission, if they objected to serving with gays, then the hands of the military would be tied. What could they do? It’s not like the military can order the troops to do something they don’t want to.

Well, I have to say that like you I was shocked at the report. I mean, how much do we pay to educate men like Robert Gates and Mike Mullen? And Mullen is a Navy man! You would think he would know better than to take part in this. Everyone knows what would happen if you let just one gay person on a boat.

Good-bye John Philip Sousa; hello, Lerner and Loewe

I suppose it was inevitable once they decided to undertake the survey. Just look at the numbers: Seventy percent of the “tens of thousands of military personnel and family members surveyed predicted there would be ‘positive, mixed or no effect’ from allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly.” I wish they wouldn’t have included the “families” in the number. It just tends to water-down the voice of those who are vitally concerned. And you know the wives voted that way just because they thought that base residences would get an interior design upgrade. True, the men in combat situations voiced their concerns. “At least 40% of combat troops raised some concerns. Among Marines, the smallest of the services and the most conservative, the figure approached 60%.” But how is that going to help? None of the brass are going to go anywhere near combat areas, so what do they care about the opinions of those guys?

2001 Best of Show. You just can't let a Bichon Frise win without expecting major societal consequences

I suppose we all knew this day was coming sooner or later. I personally trace this all back to 2001 when Special Times Just Right won the Westminster Dog Show. The next thing you know we’re going to hear the commissioner of the NFL pretend that the owners wanted to stop concussions. I just hope I don’t live long enough to see male cheerleaders at Dallas Cowboy home games.

As distressing as this all is to you, every bit as much as it is to me, I have to say that one thing made me even more concerned about our national safety. I was reading the paper and all of a sudden I come across a paragraph that almost has me doing a Danny Thomas with my coffee!

“‘An abundance of care and preparation is required if we are to avoid a disruptive — and potentially dangerous — impact on the performance of those serving at the “tip of the spear” in America’s wars,’ Gates told reporters.”

Now, has Secretary Gates been thinking way too much about this situation or is one of those rare cases where “tip of the spear” is nothing more than “tip of the spear”?

In light of this disturbing imagery of the War Secretary, I really agree that we can’t rush this change. There is going to have to be much education. Not only are the straight soldiers going to have to learn which is the salad fork and which is the relish fork, gays are going to have to learn not to say anything that can be construed as a double entendre. In fact, they shouldn’t even say anything in French. The last thing you want is to have a guy working a FGM-148 Javelin ATGM anti-tank missile launcher hear something that could be interpreted two ways, causing him to drop the thing and go running off. The next thing you know all the Taliban tanks will be surrounding your position and all you can do is wish that Congress had given you a little more time to work out the kinks.

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