Monday, June 11, 2007

Better Dead than working-with-gays?

There were so many things wrong with the thinking behind this story of the dismissed gay Arabic-speaking linguists (May 23) that it is hard to even count them. First of all, the people doing the judging are the failed military administrators who are responsible for all of the smart planning (and mega-deaths) for post-war Iraq, while our best guess as to the culpability of the ones who are being judged is that they experienced some kind of prenatal hormonal imbalance that predisposed them toward homosexuality. Secondly, although they were discharged under the Clintonesque "Don't Ask! Don't Tell!" policy, they did not disclose their preference, nor were they asked, but their communications were intercepted and read. Technically it may not be unreasonable search and seizure since it was a government computer, but it is a little like collecting DNA samples and fingerprints from employees by CSI analysis of their work stations. Third, the information gathered in this way was used prejudicially to dismiss only those who sent gay-sounding e-mails. Heteros were let off with a warning. Fourth, it is unlikely that the soldiers in the field would prefer to have their limbs all blown off or die
rather than face having a gay person working in the organization somewhere. These linguists aren't necessarily trained field soldiers but may just be translators working in offices. Overall, the very idea that a branch of the government would have as its official policy this refusal to even allow someone to work and serve on the basis of something like sexual preference is really a shockingly regressive policy. It seems that ethnicity, gender, sexual preference, and other factors beyond the control of the person should not be grounds for dismissal.

How would a nut-winger defend such a ludicrous position? I got to see one in action. Former NYC mayor Julie Rudiani Judy Ruliani Rudolph Giuliani defended the policy of discriminate-and-dismiss by saying that allowing gays in the military is a social experiment that should not be performed in the middle of a war. Think about that for a second. We can't have experiments in a time of war. That would be like… The Manhattan Project, the U2 rocket, or the development of the jet engine. We wouldn't want to have anything like that. Why of course not. In World War Two they didn't try anything different from World War One. There were no social experiments at all at that time. No women in the workplace or social change of any sort. Certainly no Blacks or Asians were allowed into the military in a time of war! Baka yaro!

That statement alone should disqualify Adolf Rudolph for further consideration as a pre-mental candy-date.

Update: I see from the actual transcript that Julie-Annie never said the word "experiment" in his response, but just said that nothing "disruptive" should be tried. My comments still stand. Wolf Blitzer, an actor who plays a newsman on TV, embedded misinformation in his question when he said that these people had "announced" that they were gay. In at least some cases, according to the reports, they did not announce it, but they were spied on as they used military computers and were found out that way.

BLITZER: Mayor Giuliani, recently we've learned that several talented trained linguists -- Arabic speakers, Farsi speakers, Urdu speakers -- trained by the U.S. government to learn those languages to help us in the war on terrorism, were dismissed from the military because they announced they were gays or lesbians.

Is that, in your mind, appropriate?

GIULIANI: This is not the time to deal with disruptive issues like this.

Back in 1994 we went through this. And it created a tremendous amount of disruption. Colin Powell, I think, was still the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff before he left at the beginning of the Clinton administration.

He came to the view that this was a good policy.

And I think in time of war, in a time where we're trying to deal with this transition to a new kind of warfare that we have to be fighting -- and we haven't gotten all the way there yet. We need a hybrid army, we need to look at nation-building as part of what we have to teach our military. I don't think this would be the right time to raise these issues.

BLITZER: Thank you.

GIULIANI: And I think we should rely on the judgment of our commanders in a situation like this. They know what's disruptive and what's not. And at a time of war, you don't make fundamental changes like this.

BLITZER: Thank you, Mayor.
Message received: We will happily torture the hell out of your grandmother if we think it could save New York City from a "dirty bomb" but God forbid we should ever allow a gay person to be allowed to work for the military. We would rather die. That makes about as much sense as George Bush's cruel prank of creating a new federal Homeland Security agency to confiscate your nail clippers before you fly while allowing an estimated two million people to slosh back and forth across the border and one-half of one percent of containers coming into the US to be inspected.

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