I have long maintained that the real rational behind Don't Ask Don't Tell is religion and religion belief and the efforts of military leaders and Christianists to inflict their beliefs on all of society and in the military in particular. The goal has always been to punish gays for not conforming to the Christianists' sexual mores and to devise means to utilize the nations laws as a way to send a societal message that gays are inferior - dangerous even.
Incidents at the Air Force Academy and many other military bases, including local Fort Eustis here in Virginia confirm that there are far too many far right Christians in the senior ranks of the military. What better way to do so than to depict gays as unfit to serve in the military and at threat to military readiness.
God forbid gays be shown to be brave, loyal, reliable and outstanding soldiers, sailors and airmen. Were this to happen, this would totally under cut the Christianist effort to depict gays as effete, often feminine acting, unmanly, sexual perverts/predators. The goal of DADT has always been to maintain an anti-gay image that would help keep gays discriminated against in the larger society.
A Washington Post article looks at five myths surrounding DADT and the first mentioned is the above described false premise of protecting military readiness. The others are about the falsehoods that anti-gay proponents of DADT continue to disseminate as excuse to delay or kill repeal. My Senator, Jim Webb, needs to read this article and get his head out of his ass and support repeal NOW. Here are some highlights:
On the long path to regulations that treat all troops equally, a number of myths have cropped up surrounding the law.
1. DADT was created to promote unit cohesion and military readiness. DADT has never had anything to do with those goals... acknowledged to historian Nathaniel Frank that the policy was "based on nothing."
According to historian Anne Loveland, the architects of DADT knew they could not argue that the law should be based on their personal morality, so they used the unit cohesion argument instead. In her work on evangelical chaplains in the military, Loveland discovered a behind-the-scenes debate as the policy took shape in 1992-93. Though the chaplains and evangelical groups wanted to present a case that gays and lesbians are abominations, polls showed that most of the public didn't share their moral concerns; they knew would have a better chance if they talked about military necessity.
As recently as 2007, then-Joint Chiefs Chairman Peter Pace was asked why the military still had a ban on gays, and he said he believed that DADT was necessary because homosexual conduct is immoral... the problem really wasn't that Pace spoke out of turn. It was that he told the truth about a rationale that was supposed to remain unspoken.
2. Repealing DADT will be complicated. Opponents of repeal are trying to depict the transition to an inclusive policy as a fragile and complicated process... But the shift to an inclusive policy is not rocket science. Research by the Rand Corporation shows that the Pentagon needs just three things to ensure a smooth transition: The military must have a standard of nondiscrimination that mandates equal treatment for everyone. There must be a single code of conduct that applies equally to gays and straights and does not mention sexual orientation. And military leaders at all levels must show their support for the policy.
All of these steps are simple, which is why the militaries of Britain, Israel, Canada and other U.S. allies have had such an easy time getting rid of their bans.
3. The integration of women and African Americans into the military offers useful comparisons. The debates over gays, women and blacks in the military seem quite similar in many regards. Just as some people claimed that white enlisted personnel would not follow black officers, for example, others say that straight troops will not follow gay commanders.
Operationally, the end of "don't ask, don't tell" will be a cakewalk compared with racial and gender integration, which took many years and faced huge logistical obstacles. In this case, a majority of troops already say that they know or suspect that they know gay peers and are comfortable serving with them. Symbolically, the comparison is wrong as well: It conflates homophobia, racism and sexism, which are distinct phenomena.
4. The troops oppose repealing DADT. It is true that when asked their policy preferences, more troops say they favor DADT than allowing gays to serve openly. But there are several caveats: First, the margin is small, and a large number of troops say they have no opinion. Typically, polls find that about 40 percent of troops prefer DADT, 30 percent prefer open service, and 30 percent have no opinion. Second, the vast majority of troops say they are comfortable working with gays and lesbians. Third, even among those who have an opinion, very few feel strongly about it.
5. DADT is a losing issue politically. More than a dozen polls in the past five years have found that roughly two-thirds of the public supports repeal. Majorities of regular churchgoers and Republicans now support allowing gays and lesbians to serve openly. The political risk for the Obama administration and the Democrats is in not following through on their pledge to repeal the policy.
It is time that the foul policy known as DADT be thrown on the trash heap of history. It's also time for its proponents to admit that DADT is all about religious based discrimination and that it has nothing to do with military readiness. Jim Webb, stop undermining the U. S. Constitution.