During World War II it was Iwo Jima, Guadalcanal, El Alamein and Okinawa. Then came Korea’s Pusan, Inchon and Chosin. In Vietnam it was the Tet Offensive and Battle of Saigon. Thousands of battles followed in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Now members of Congress have the choice of following the expert military advice offered by the U.S. veterans who gave their life’s blood, sweat and tears on those far-flung battlefields – or Lady Gaga.
The issue is attempts to repeal the “don’t ask, don’t tell” operating policy for the U.S. military that allows homosexuals to serve if they do not choose to make their sexual lifestyle choices a public issue. Activists want the military to allow members to serve while openly living homosexual lifestyles.
The change proposal, defeated in Congress just last week, is being revived by diehards who want to push the social experiment into the U.S. military before Republicans move into the majority in the U.S. House in January, a power shift that likely will make such proposals dead on arrival for awhile.
Sens. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, confirmed before last week’s rejection stopped echoing through the U.S. Capitol they would return immediately with legislation specifically to authorize open homosexuality in the military, and they did. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer is working with lame-duck Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Pa., on the same plan.
In fact, the House, with stunning speed, voted to approve Murphy’s plan today.
Elaine Donnelly of the Center for Military Readiness said the effort is “in blatant disregard of the message that voters sent in November” and “congressional chaos has become the new normal.”
“If the Senate finishes action on the Bush tax cut extension and the House continuing resolution (CR) or Senate omnibus spending bills, and then moves without constraint for swift action on the Collins/Lieberman free-standing repeal bill, the 1993 law could be repealed before most members of Congress have sufficient time to consider the consequences of that reckless action,” her organization reported.
Coming out with a warning that such actions would be foolhardy was the American Legion, which represents some 2.5 million American veterans.
“The American Legion remains strongly opposed to a renewed and intensified congressional effort to hastily repeal the Pentagon’s ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ law during Congress’s rapidly expiring lame duck session,” the organization announced today.
“One must ask, what’s the rush?” said Jimmie L. Foster, national commander of the Legion, “and why should this matter of social policy take precedence over the far more critical matter of national security?”
He was referring to the failure by Congress to resolve the National Defense Authorization Act, which is to pay for the Department of Defense and other military efforts.
“While our combat troops continue to focus on their mission on the war-front throughout the world, Congress can’t focus on funding those very service members,” said Tim Tetz, director of the Legion’s legislative division. “Congress should rush to pass the Defense Authorization Act and take whatever time is necessary to understand the nuances a repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ would have on our nation’s fighting forces.”
The Marine commandant, Gen. James Amos, and other leaders have agreed that a change to promote open homosexuality in the military would be a distraction for soldiers.
“Count me in with the commandant and those soldiers and Marines in the mud on the front lines in Afghanistan and Iraq, the tip of the spear,” said Robert W. Spanogle, past national commander of the Legion. “Nearly 60 percent of those surveyed said they believe there would be a negative impact on their unit’s effective (with a repeal of the policy.)”
The policy was imposed years ago after more than a dozen hearings.
“The American Legion remains convinced a repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ cannot be easily implemented and could compromise the effectiveness of crucially needed fighting forces. Political expediency should not take precedence over providing adequate time for debate. There is no reason this must be decided in the next two weeks when it has been in place for 17 years,” said Foster.
On the other side comes the expert advice of Lady Gaga, a pop star, who said the one who should be ejected from the military is “the straight soldier who has prejudice in his heart. Where the military asks him to hold core American values, he instead harbors hate and he gets to stay and fight for our country.”
Her comments have been part of her campaign in support of open homosexuality in the military:
Joining her were members of Sevricemembers United, an organization dedicated to creating mandates that will promote homosexuality in the military.
Officials there promised to be “fanning out across Capitol Hill” to suggest members of Congress support their plans.
Spokesman Alexander Nicholson said, “We need all the help we can get to ensure final victory.”
Donnelly, however, said the facts simply don’t support the campaign to make dramatic – and perhaps calamitous – changes suddenly.
Amos’ warnings that such changes would destabilize the U.S. military drew the criticism of homosexual advocates, even drawing a demand from Aubrey Sarvis of Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, which lobbies in support of homosexuality, that Amos leave the military.
“Sarvis’ attitude demonstrates ‘zero tolerance’ of dissent – a strategy of intolerance recommended to make the new LGBT law or policy ‘work,’” said Donnelly. “Marines who have a problem with the ‘New Gender Order’ will have no recourse but to leave the Corps.”
“Republicans should not allow this 11th-hour, end-run process, reminiscent of the ram-through of health care last year, to pay off the Democrats’ gay constituency at the expense of our military,” Donnelly said.
She noted even the military’s own survey of its members indicate “62 percent of respondents … believed that repeal would have at least some negative effects.”
And the military’s assessment revealed that 12.6 percent of the personnel – or some 264,600 soldiers – would leave sooner than they planned because of the change.
Another quarter million said that would be among their options when considering their careers.
According to the survey, nearly one-third of Marines would leave sooner than planned, and another 16.2 percent would consider that – hitting possibly half of the members of the Corps.
Officials with Liberty Counsel also reported that another 94 organizations have signed a letter warning Congress of their opposition to the change. Those groups represent another 40 million constituents across the nation.
The letter is being delivered to each member of Congress and states, “We are engaged in a war on many fronts. Our troops are in harm’s way in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere. This is no time to experiment with social engineering of the military.”
The letter goes on to state that “the consequences of repealing DADT will no doubt result in service members leaving the military or refusing to join. We cannot afford attrition or demoralization of our military in light of the wars we are facing in the Middle East, not to mention the looming threat of North Korea.”
And at the organization Save California, officials put the proposed changes in soldier-to-soldier terms.
“Ask yourself, would you want to be a U.S. soldier subjected to blatant sexual leering while you were taking a shower? Would you want to be forced to endure seeing and hearing homosexual ‘activities’ in the barracks at night? Would you want to work intimately with these self-centered jerks on the battlefield, or even trust them to stay focused on the mission at hand?”
The alert encouraged constituents to contact Congress to express opposition to the plan.