Today marked the end of the military policy known as ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’ There are a lot of news stories today that are using words like fairness and equal rights. In recognition of the end of this policy, I am re-posting something I wrote almost a year ago.
Recently a push has been established to do away with the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy of not allowing openly homosexual people in the military. The courts are involved, we’re in election season, and the powerful gay rights lobby is pressuring lawmakers to ensure the change.
It doesn’t take a very bright social scientist to read which way the wind is blowing, and it looks as if the policy will change. It was established by the liberal president Bill Clinton as a first step toward allowing openly gay people in the military. Before Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, all homosexuality was disallowed, whether or not one was to tell.
This follows on the heels of allowing women in combat. Official policy is still to not allow women in combat, but the policy is an empty shell, for women are now in all aspects of military life, including fighter pilots, on war ships, in front-line supply trains, and almost all military positions. Women, like gays, were allowed on the basis of equal rights. The concept of equal rights sells well, since we’re told America stands for freedom and fairness and the rights of the individual. Who could be against fairness?
Placing all these social rules on the military ignores their primary purpose. Our military has one main goal: to kill the enemy. The point is to cause the enemy to die for their country before they cause us to die for ours. Somehow we’ve lost this concept, and we view the military as a place to ensure fairness and protect rights. Nothing is fair in war, nor does death respect human rights, even if that were possible. To talk of fairness in the military is rather absurd, but we live in absurd times.
Make no mistake: in war, the enemy will slaughter all of us, therefore the point is to slaughter all the enemy first, and do it as quickly and efficiently as possible. Other than that goal, there is little point in having a military. But we’ve changed our war forces into the security police, even to the point that the current administration is talking of moving enemy combatants into civil courtrooms, where insanity prevails.
I wonder what would have happened if we’d asked General Sherman whether he was treating all the people in Georgia fairly? Should we have expected equal time for transgendered soldiers on the Bataan death march? What would General Patton have said if PETA showed up to discuss the ethics of shooting mules? We can safely conclude there would have been more than mules thrown off the bridge that day.
That we are discussing whether Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell should be allowed in the military demonstrates that we’ve lost our way. Again, the primary goal of the military is to slaughter the enemy quickly. If our best military minds tell us that this is best done by discriminating against anyone, even left-handed people, so be it. The military is no place for social studies experiments trying to ensure equal rights for members of society. War is not fair, and never will be.