January 3rd, 2011
ASK, TELL, AND GET OVER IT
In the world of wars and warriors there is an understanding; once the threshold into battle has been crossed and a clash is being waged, there is no going back. When the dye has been cast the future is written with the ending unknown yet still inevitable; there will be no peace until great victory.
In all great confrontations throughout history, peace has never come without first overwhelming and crushing victory. This is not to say that negotiations and compromise don’t work or don’t have their place, rather it is to understand that such methods are a means to avoiding the end that comes at such a high cost. Talks and deals are meant to avoid warfare. Once the battle begins, the talking serves no purpose until it is used after victory.
Those of us frustrated with the current war in Afghanistan and the never ending peace talks in the Middle East point to such historical truths as fact that we are, as a collective world, spinning our wheels in these and other places where we hold back fighting forces from doing what must be done in a misguided attempt to avoid strife and violence at all cost. Sometimes schoolyard justice demands that the bullies simply duke it out. Were we to allow everyone the opportunity to remove the restraints and wage whatever warfare is necessary, the inevitable and seemingly unattainable peace would come much quicker. These are the truths that all great warriors from Sun Tzu to Patton to Petraeus know. Allow one side to emerge victorious in an overwhelming manner, using an assault on body mind and soul and then step aside as that winning side dictates the policy of the new day. Japan and Germany are better for it, as is the world.
And so too shall be our military with gays serving openly.
The battle is over, the winning side has been named and it is now an afterthought and a theoretical engagement in nonsense to continue arguing over the effects of gays serving in the United States Military. It is law that the former policy of Don’t ask, Don’t tell (DADT) is to be repealed and be done so swiftly. While the official guidelines are being written as we speak, it is a foregone conclusion that next year at this time, DADT will have assumed its rightful place on the ash heap of history.
With that, we can now stop insulting our military in a veiled attempt at protecting it.
The most ludicrous aspect of the DADT argument has been the one that demands that our men and women, the greatest fighting force ever assembled, will be somehow incapable of rising to the challenge of assimilating gays openly into their ranks.
The same force that surged into Iraq in 2007, a war that had been deemed “lost” by the Senate Majority Leader and a majority of this nation’s populace, and cleaned up the nation in stunning fashion in less than 18 months, is now being told it hasn’t a chance at figuring out how to let homosexuals serve openly. The same force that marched into Baghdad and fell the regime of Saddam Hussein in less than 3 weeks now can’t for the life of them determine how to take soldiers who have already been fighting with them and let them express their sexuality. The United States Military, which has accomplished more in Afghanistan with 10% of the troop strength than the Soviets had committed to the same wasteland and ultimately were driven out of, now is stumped by the daunting challenge of changing absolutely nothing about anything within their ranks other than what people are allowed to say about who they love. Such post-war arguments are beyond insulting, they’re reprehensible.
Prior to the repeal of Don’t ask, Don’t tell, it was perfectly reasonable to make hypothetical arguments about “friendly fire deaths,” and who the military would trust in a foxhole next to them, and how the showers will work and on and on and on. Theoretical and hypothetical arguments are exactly what make America so unique, so great, and so different. We have not only the ability but the right to say the most extraordinarily un-provable things in the process of making our arguments. It’s called rhetoric, and it’s one of our greatest weapons. We literally ended the Soviet Union with it, for God’s sake!
But now the war of words is over. Don’t ask, Don’t Tell is history and the military will now assimilate gays openly. And everything will be just fine, because to think otherwise is to demean our fighting force in such a way that is beyond comprehension.
The U.S. military is a victim of its own success. Throughout history, there has never once been a time when our military was simultaneously given a mission and the tools and support it needed which ended in failure. It is only when our leaders and our nation turn our backs to our men and women that they then stumble. Black Hawk Down never would have been a movie, nor a story, had we just sent in a few more choppers. Vietnam and Korea would be unified nations had we sent the tools, hardware and men needed at the time. Does anyone honestly believe that if we eschewed political correctness and world opinion and unleashed the full might of the United States Military that the war on terror wouldn’t be over in 30 days? Please, get a grip.
Yet we are to believe that in the face of all of these facts that we have taken the first step towards the end of our military empire by allowing homosexuals to openly enlist and serve. This doesn’t even pass the laugh test. No honest, intelligent American can even utter the first sentence of this paragraph without chuckling before the end of it.
We’re supposed to be concerned that tens of thousands of soldiers, many of them senior officers, will be so horrified at the thought of a gay man seeing his wiener in the shower that they will resign and there will be a gaping hole in the size and force of our might. These are the same people who have sacrificed everything that the rest of our country takes for granted so that they could travel to the worst places on earth and defend an idea that these people believe is greater than any one person; the idea of America. These people have decided that they will die for a flag, but we are supposed to believe that they will now run screaming in the opposite direction from a fag. Grow up.
We’re told that gays will be hazed and singled out and hate crimes will bog down the system; this in a fighting force that is defined by its hazing system which has remained fully intact despite this nation’s dopey march towards political correctness. We’re supposed to believe that the men and women trained to show restraint that the rest of the world refuses to acknowledge and praise despite our rules of engagement being the most esteem-able on earth are somehow suddenly going to be incapable of stopping themselves from turning their rifle towards their bunkmate and blowing his head off because he likes to kiss other men. We’re supposed to believe a force capable of bringing down entire nations, which stopped everything in the wake of the horrendous acts of a few rogue soldiers at Abu-Ghraib and disciplined themselves at the highest levels, will not be able to show the same discipline when a few rogue soldiers single out fellow servicemen who happen to be gay.
Enough. The war is over and the victor has been declared and now sets the rules. And they are such; no longer will a man or woman willing to die for this nation be simultaneously forced to be embarrassed by who they love. That was the reason for the DADT policy in the first place, but no one had the courage to say it aloud. Fifteen years ago, America still, as a whole, felt you should be ashamed to be gay. Today, half the nation feels you should be allowed to be married. This is what we call a sea-change; a generational shift of monumental proportions. The world is not ending, the fairies are not taking over, and locusts are not upon us. We are simply acknowledging what has existed for centuries, and we, the leaders of the free world, are one of the last nations on earth to do so. Not our most shining moment, by the way.
The losers must now do what we demand that they do in this nation. Fall in line. There will be no court challenges, no protests and no more outlandish arguments which insult our military. There will be only what we have always had within our forces; unmitigated success. We will not only integrate homosexuals openly into our military, we will do it in a way that is better than anyone has done it before and in a fashion that makes us stronger than we ever were before because that’s what we do and that’s why we’re the envy of the world. It doesn’t matter that the loudest voices screaming for the repeal of DADT are the same voices who also detest our military’s very existence and ignore the fact that its presence is the most singular reason for our nation’s strength and prosperity. What matters is what has always mattered most; the United States Military will follow the Marine Corps mantra and improvise, adapt and overcome this allegedly burdensome policy that we have placed upon it. They have overcome far greater obstacles and faced far tougher odds. They are the force that provides the blanket of freedom under which we all sleep peacefully each night, and to believe that they will not rise to this challenge, is to stop believing in the idea that is America.