Wednesday, January 3, 2007
Don't EVEN Ask!
I just have to put my two cents in about the current news that the military may be about to end "Don't Ask Don't Tell".
I grew up in the Vietnam Era. I registered for the draft in 1973 but did not have to worry because the war and the draft soon ended. I do remember the high school conversations about how to avoid the draft. There was crossing the river to Canada; putting peanut butter between your toes and eating it during the induction physical; shooting off a toe or two; and the infamous "Oh, Mary!" ploy. (No one ever imagined the boil on the butt crap, Rush!) We all talked about how to get an "F" designation -- unqualified to serve.
In this era, we have an all volunteer military. I truly appreciate the young men and women that put their lives on the line in service to THEIR country. Now we have an unjust war; a war of retribution; a war to show the world how powerful we are; a war that within days of Bush's 1st Inauguration was being planned; a Fool's Folly; a bogus war to rid us of the bogus weapons of mass destruction; and an all out FIASCO.
We have a military that is stretched beyond our means; a military that is failing in their recruitment goals and that already has extended the age (and lowered the intelligence threshold) for volunteers; a military that uses U.S. Citizenship as a signing bonus; and, now, perhaps will finally get it that homosexuals have always served honorable in the military. A recent survey of military personnel revealed that gays in the military isn't an issue.
Well, is this desperation or a cynical means to obtain more cannon fodder or a true epiphany about equal rights and justice?
My Boomer friends will remember how there was an outcry for fairness about voting and drinking. It was said that if we were old enough to die in Vietnam, than we were old enough to vote. The drinking age in many states was also lowered after 1971 when 18 year olds got the right to vote by a Constitutional Amendment.
Was the vote and the temporary lowering of the drinking age an appeasement or a reward? Did the country actually believe that those acts were fair and just? Were the men being drafted given the vote to placate them?
Perhaps, this is not a good analogy. But, it seems to me that somewhere, some folks may decide that homosexuals should have the privilege to serve and die for their country. After all, it was a HUGE mistake to fire those gay Arabic interpretors and since Don't Ask Don't Tell was instituted MORE men and women have been drummed out of the military than before DADT. And, maybe, just maybe a bone tired soldier fearing a third or forth tour of combat duty may just finally say, "I'm queer!" and gets to go home to his wife and family.
As for me and how I feel -- if gay folks in Virginia can't even have the right to have Powers of Attorney for one another or hospital visitation rights; if this nation won't grant domestic partnership rights giving insurance and pension benefits for one's partner; and, if we tolerate that prejudiced nurse at my local hospital that denied my partner the right to be with me before my hernia surgery, thus causing me more distress and anxiety (She gavs some lame excuse that "because of renovations" there wasn't enough room -- it was total bullshit. A chair was beside my bed and more than enough room behind my curtain! And, everyone else had there spouse with them.) Okay, time to let that go......
I really don't give a rat's ass about gay marriage -- just give us those nifty special rights and benefits that heterosexuals enjoy.
And, as for the right to serve and die in Iraq?
Where are the equal rights? Where is the acceptance? Where is the protection of our basic human rights and human dignity?