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Posted at 10:54 AM ET, 12/15/2010

Why Gen. Amos is wrong about his own Marines

By Adam Serwer

Yesterday, Marine Commandant Gen. James Amos told Stars and Stripes that he was worried repeal of don't ask don't tell could lead to casualties on the battlefield:

"Mistakes and inattention or distractions cost Marines lives," he said. "That's the currency of this fight."

"I take that very, very seriously," he added. "I don't want to lose any Marines to the distraction. I don't want to have any Marines that I'm visiting at Bethesda [National Naval Medical Center, in Maryland] with no legs be the result of any type of distraction."

Given the possibility that Senators on the fence might take Amos' remarks seriously, it's worth addressing them.

According to the Pentagon's DADT study, while more than 70 percent of servicemembers were indifferent or supportive of repealing DADT, the Marines combat arms units were among the most opposed, with 58 percent saying they thought repeal would have negative effects. However, Marines combat arms units were actually less likely to think the impact on unit effectiveness would be negative in an "intense combat situation." Under those circumstances, negative predictions from Marines combat arms units dropped from 58 percent to 48 percent -- less than half. In other words, the survey suggests a majority of the Marines combat arms units serving under Amos believe the opposite of what he said.

There are gay Marines serving under Gen. Amos as we speak -- they're simply not doing so openly. Those Marines aren't going to lose control of their libidos the moment they no longer have to serve in the closet. Among those Marines who believed they had already served in combat alongside gay and lesbian troops, 84 percent said their ability to work together as a unit was not negatively affected. These are the kinds of results that led the Pentagon to conclude that its study revealed "a misperception that a gay man does not "fit" the image of a good warfighter -- a misperception that is almost completely erased when a gay Service member is allowed to prove himself alongside fellow warfighters."

That finding mirrors what the military learned during the process of racial integration. It's worth remembering -- again -- that opposition to integrating the military was much higher in the service than repealing DADT is now, with some surveys showing between 80 to 90 percent of the service opposed. American society itself was still sharply divided along racial lines. The U.S. was at war in Korea, and the military was far larger than it is now. By 1951, more than a decade before the 1964 Civil Rights Act, military studies had shown integration to be an unqualified success. To be sure, racial tensions persisted long afterward -- but few today would cite that as a justifiable reason for forcing blacks to serve in segregated units. Major General Idwal Edwards's 1946 remarks warning of the "ineptitude and limited capacity of the Negro soldier," seem preposterous now. But even Gen. Edwards, by 1948, understood that problems with integration could be "minimized if commanders give the implementation of this policy their personal attention and exercise positive control."

Amos' comments aren't reflective of the available evidence -- they're reliant on a noxious stereotype that if a Marine happens to be gay he'll somehow end up ogling another unit member when he's supposed to be looking through his rifle sight. That would be comical if Gen. Amos weren't so deadly serious. The Pentagon study emphasizes that the potential negative impacts of repeal can be mitigated by a "clear message" and "strong leadership." Gen. Amos would be doing the Marines under his command a favor by showing some.


By Adam Serwer  | December 15, 2010; 10:54 AM ET
Categories:  Foreign policy and national security, gay rights  
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Next: Still another poll finds Dems support tax cut deal

Comments

"Amos' comments aren't reflective of the available evidence -- they're reliant on a noxious stereotype that if a Marine happens to be gay he'll somehow end up ogling another unit member when he's supposed to be looking through his rifle sight."

I'm pretty sure that's not the kind of distraction Amos means. Unless he specifically said that somewhere.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | December 15, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

General Amos is RIGHT


All the other testimony has been TAINTED.

Here are Generals, looking for promotions, and being subjected to UNDUE INFLUENCE BY THE WHITE HOUSE.


This whole process has been MANIPULATED BY SPECIAL INTEREST GROUPS.


Then - when ONE person speaks the truth - THE LIBERALS JUMP ALL OVER HIM. The liberals hate the truth.

.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 15, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

The Plum-line should be re-named to

Beat the Drum for the Gays and the Liberal Agenda.


Subtitle:

We don't care about the American People.

.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 15, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Gays are already serving. Not forcing them to lie about their sexual preference isn't gonna affect nobody.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | December 15, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Kevin- "I'm pretty sure that's not the kind of distraction Amos means. Unless he specifically said that somewhere."

So what distraction is he talking about?

Posted by: ashotinthedark | December 15, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Mike from Arlington

You do not understand military discipline - PEOPLE WILL DIE


The General says People Will Die


You don't care about human life.
.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 15, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

'Should be titled, "The Plumping Line" Why is it idiot-elites always miss the gritty truth of things- even wannabe-elites like the author.

Read carefully:

The "only" thing a combat soldier cares about is that every man in his platoon can keep a cool head, and is strong enough to pick up and run, with with a wounded buddy.

If a woman can pick up a downed soldier and a man can't, then I want the woman in my platoon - period - but she ain't gonna shower with the "guys" - in fact I've asked fellow female vets and to a woman, they would not want to barracks with the boys.

If you understand why the women generally don't want to barracks with the men, then you might want to apply that rational to "men" who don't wish to barracks with "homosexuals" - this doesn't demean or otherwise persecute the homosexual men any more than the straight guys are for not being able to barracks and shower, etc.. with the women.

Don't ask, don't tell covers a lot of things in the military.All soldiers and Marines are trained to keep their "personal issues" personal, or go see the Chaplan.


The gay activists are creating more problems for gays in the military than anything else.

We don't need insipid activists screwing with combat moral - regardless of what their activating for!!!

Posted by: ruralamericans | December 15, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Bit of insider *cough* information here .. there are loads and loads of gay Marines. And contrary to what one might think, most of them are bottoms. And everyone knows who's gay, this was true even back in the 70s when I came out.

Go to any gay club in Norfolk and there were a lot of regulation haircuts. So all this is really a tempest in a teapot and has nothing to do with readiness and cohesion, and everything to do with bigotry and squeamishness.

Conservatives know that gays aren't going away but they don't want to let go of the connection between homosexuality and shame. We're supposed to feel dirty and sick, and that won't be maintainable when the pride of the uniform is stirred into the mix.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 15, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

"...insipid activists screwing with combat moral..."

...then all at once a little wooden bird came out through an open door in this guy's forehead and announced the hour.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 15, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Troops aren't 'distracted' by someone in the squad who is different? : race, ethnicity, religion, marital status, age, length of service, rank, place of birth, education, height, weight, right or left handedness...

The General hasn't talked to Allied Commanders about their experience of having open service gays?

Can Catholics always be relied on in battle to kill?

Amos needs professional help - psychiatric, professional help.

Posted by: ldfrmc | December 15, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

The liberal agenda is DEAD


It is that simple. The liberals are ignoring the results of the national election held last month.

It is a joke, It is disgraceful. It is shameful behavior.


The American People know what is going on.


READ THE SPENDING BILL - every bill is now going to have to be READ on the floor of the Senate until January 4 or whenever the liberals finally have to leave.


It is so disrespectful.


The American People spoke loudly to Congress last spring - the liberals IGNORED THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.


And now the liberals are doing the same thing again.

Posted by: RainForestRising | December 15, 2010 11:42 AM | Report abuse

hey, ruralamericans, you left out a few steps there.

Where does the problem come in?

Why is being able to serve without concealing homosxuaity the same as broadcasting TMI?

Why is being "openly" gay any more "personal" than having a picture of one's girlfriend or family?

I call bigotry. I bet you see equality as "special rights," et etera and et bloody boring cetera.

Posted by: caothien9 | December 15, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Today's dosage of the liberal agenda as described by Mr Serwer asks a simple question: Who are you going to believe, a back bench liberal hack writer with a "survey" or a Marine General with years of experience in the Corps?

The answer depends on where one stands. Those that want to advance the LGBT agenda at all cost will believe Mr Serwer. Epistomological Closure is a beautiful thing for them.

Those that want to do everything possible to insure that our military members have every opportunity to survive in combat will believe the General.

It really is that simple.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | December 15, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Homosexuals do not belong in the military. Their behavior is SELF DESTRUCTIVE. The Homosexual Male HIV rate is almost 1 in 4. I have posted several long DETAILED CDC and Census data posts that details the 1 in 4. Homosexuals need help not acceptance of their behavior.

Posted by: tedy2 | December 15, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

"The "only" thing a combat soldier cares about is that every man in his platoon can keep a cool head, and is strong enough to pick up and run, with with a wounded buddy."

So what does your ridiculous shower discussion have to do with a soldier's ability to pick up and run with a wounded buddy?

"All soldiers and Marines are trained to keep their "personal issues" personal, or go see the Chaplan."

Yet the only time you'll get kicked out of the Marines is if your "personal issue" happens to involve a homosexual relationship. The argument that DADT is about troops keeping personal issues to themselves is laughable. Unless soldiers are somehow different from every other person I know, I'm guessing heterosexual soldiers spend plenty of time discussing their wives, girlfriends etc.

It's really difficult to keep up with the ever changing arguments in favor of DADT.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | December 15, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

"Amos needs professional help"...no actually, he likes being the distraction, that is what this is about.

He'll end up like the strength and conditioning coach for The Jets, humiliated if not fired. No one should know what the Marine Commandant thinks about a bill before the Congress (unless he is called to testify), just as no one should know anything about the Jets' assistant coaching staff.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 15, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

Famous Amos needs to shut his pie hole and start figuring out how to implement a policy that is going to change, either through the Congress or the courts.

Posted by: blpeyton | December 15, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

@ashot: "So what distraction is he talking about?"

That would be a question for Gen. Amos. But the one imagined--that he's worried about gay marines looking at other marine's butts during battle because, you know, they're gay--is just stupid. It's an assumption as foolish as the idea being attributed to the General.

I expect the distraction he is talking about is some kind of amorphous distraction caused by some mix of romantic relationships within a unit and homophobia among other soldiers, and the general uncertainty of change and "What will this mean?" . . . but I honestly don't know. But I know just because I disagree with him doesn't mean I have to imagine he meant to say something that would also, by coincidence, be one of the most stupid things I could imagine.

If he has said that, that's he's worried about gay people ogling other soldiers in battle, then I'll retract my statements, btw.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | December 15, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

@shrink2: "No one should know what the Marine Commandant thinks about a bill before the Congress (unless he is called to testify), just as no one should know anything about the Jets' assistant coaching staff."

An excellent point, BTW. What's he mouthing off about it in public for, anyway?

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | December 15, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

"Who are you going to believe, a back bench liberal hack writer with a "survey" or a Marine General with years of experience in the Corps?"

Why is survey in quotes here? It's the Pentagon that has the survey, not the liberal hack.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | December 15, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Kevin, I never criticize you because you wrote the Troll Hunter, but amorphous? Don't you think specifics matters I mean, this Jarhead is saying Marines will be killed by mistakes, a distraction. What lethal mistake, what distraction would that be?

Posted by: shrink2 | December 15, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Kevin-
"I expect the distraction he is talking about is some kind of amorphous distraction caused by some mix of romantic relationships within a unit and homophobia among other soldiers, and the general uncertainty of change and "What will this mean?"

These are somehow less ridiculous than the one cited by Sewer? If not then you are criticizing Sewer for focusing on one ridiculous excuse rather than listing them all.

They all seem ridiculous to me, but I've never served so maybe when bullets are flying my mind would wander to my fellow soldier's sexual preferences.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | December 15, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Hate to break it to you, Mr. Sargent, but the poll given by DOD was FLAWED! It asked soldiers - NONE of whom had any knowledge of how things would be if gays could be open in the military - whether they thought there would be any problems serving with openly gay soldiers.

Now the poll the Army Times gave out SPECIFICALLY asked if soldiers supported repeal of DADT...and 60% said NO.

Posted by: ChiefPayne | December 15, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Um, rural, as a female vet (who did time in the 82nd Airborne), the reason that the girls don't want to bunk with the boys has nothing to do with sex. It's that boys smell worse than girls.

/snark/

Posted by: Michigoose | December 15, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

What the hell would you know, you sanctimonious, self-serving, little twit. Have you every served in the Marines or any branch of the service for that matter?

Posted by: steveprestwood | December 15, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

is that the best you've got ashot?

the word is in quotes because I don't believe it. Much like almost all polls. Further I don't believe that a survey is a solid basis for formulating policy.

I note with amusement that you cannot refute the fact that the General is speaking from experience and Adam Serwer is, well, he's just newspeaking.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | December 15, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Hate to break it to you, Mr. Sargent, but the poll given by DOD was FLAWED! It asked soldiers - NONE of whom had any knowledge of how things would be if gays could be open in the military - whether they thought there would be any problems serving with openly gay soldiers.


Now the poll the Army Times gave out SPECIFICALLY asked if soldiers supported repeal of DADT...and 60% said NO.

----------------------------------

So the Army Times poll only asked the question to soldiers who know how things would be if gays were allowed to serve openly? If not, it suffers from the same flaw as the other survey.

And isn't whether or not there are going to be problems more relevant than if soldiers specifically want DADT repealed?

Posted by: ashotinthedark | December 15, 2010 12:18 PM | Report abuse

It's unlikely the Pentagon would ever dare to publish a survey contrary to the WH agenda. Gen Amos, the Army Chief of Staff, and the Air Force Chief of Staff have all stated reservations about abolishing DADT at this particular time. They know the mood of their troops better than a baked survey prepared by Pentagon number crunchers to support the WH and liberal agenda.

Posted by: texas234 | December 15, 2010 12:26 PM | Report abuse

It's unlikely the Pentagon would ever date to publish a survey contrary to the WH agenda. Gen Amos, the Army Chief of Staff, and the Air Force Chief of Staff have all stated reservations about abolishing DADT at this particular time. They know the mood of their troops better than a baked survey prepared by Pentagon number crunchers to support the WH and liberal agenda.

Posted by: texas234 | December 15, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

It's unlikely the Pentagon would ever dare to publish a survey contrary to the WH agenda. Gen Amos, the Army Chief of Staff, and the Air Force Chief of Staff have all stated reservations about abolishing DADT at this particular time. They know the mood of their troops better than a baked survey prepared by Pentagon number crunchers to support the WH and liberal agenda.

Posted by: texas234 | December 15, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

We don't need to have our valiant American marines, while they are fighting for universal freedoms, and universal human rights, being distracted by people who are being denied those rights.

Just like there never should be any fighting in the war room, right? You Betcha!

We'll meet again, don't know where, don't know when. Sing it again Vera.

It is guys like Amos that put the Dick, in Military Dictatorship.

Posted by: Liam-still | December 15, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

All, still another poll finds that rank and file Dems support the Obama tax cut deal:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2010/12/another_poll_finds_dems_suppor.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | December 15, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

"I note with amusement that you cannot refute the fact that the General is speaking from experience and Adam Serwer is, well, he's just newspeaking."

Why does that amuse you? If this argument was won by simply posting the opinion of someone who served than that would be a compelling point, but sadly for you this isn't that simple.

"the word is in quotes because I don't believe it."

Another compelling argument.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | December 15, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

General Amos does not believe that the Marines he is serving are professional or capable of following orders.

It's a shame that General Amos believes soldiers serving in the British, Dutch, or German military are more professional than those serving in the Corps, because they were able to allow gays to start serving openly, and did it without any loss of unit effectiveness.

By the way I did serve in the Marine Corps, and do recognize some of the issues that will need to be addressed. But I am deeply disappointed that General Amos would come up with such a stupid argument. Anyone who has actually come under fire knows that this is a moronic argument. The Commadant is just an old man who does not want to admit he has ever served with a gay man

Posted by: JRolsen | December 15, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

What Generals are looking for promotion? Our two most prominent war fighters, Generals Patreus and Odierno are both in support of repealing this law and doing it now. General Amos, as the second ranking Marine in service needs to get a reality check.

Posted by: sweeper4444 | December 15, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

George Wallace was also speaking from experience, when he said: "Segregation now; Segregation for ever".

Obama should fire Amos, since he is clearly a raging homophobe, who traffics in the most absurd stereotypes about gay people. They are our brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces, and coworkers.

This clown Amos makes his Marines sound like they are a bunch of bedwetting cowards, who are afraid of a few gay people.

Look out General Amos, if Osama ever deploys a couple of gay terrrorists against your forces. According to you, your Marines will be routed.

Posted by: Liam-still | December 15, 2010 12:48 PM | Report abuse

"It's a shame that General Amos believes soldiers serving in the British, Dutch, or German military are more professional..." Yes and don't forget those pansies in the IDF. Everyone knows Israel can't fight.

Yes, Amos should be fired for saying DADT repeal will cause Marines to be killed and maimed.

"They are our brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces, and coworkers." Yes, just like everyone else, ordinary human beings.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 15, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

"It's unlikely the Pentagon would ever dare to publish a survey contrary to the WH agenda."

Yup.

Posted by: wbgonne | December 15, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Here's my view: the WHite House is keeping DADT alive just long enough to keep the Liberal Intelligentsia in line to pass the Tax Capitulation. DADT disappears and Congress packs it in the second the Tax Capitulation is enacted. The DADT folks are being played by the White House. This isn't rocket science.

Posted by: wbgonne | December 15, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

"The DADT folks are being played by the White House. This isn't rocket science."

I have a $400 Xmas present for the charity of Greg's choice that says you are right.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 15, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

Under DADT Congress tells the military what to do. It takes away from the military the authority to make policy in this area.

Show me a service chief who advocates for having LESS power rather than MORE, and I'll show you a man with ulterior motives.

Posted by: rmnelson | December 15, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

The "distraction" the general is worried about is homophobia. His solution to the problem is to encourage it.

Posted by: rmnelson | December 15, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Ah yes, the liberal know-it-all tendency rears its ugly head here.

first we are asked to believe that the Marine Corps General just doesn't understand Marines. yeah, sure.

Then we are told all we need to know about men in combat from folks who don't actually provide any proof that their opinion is based on anything other that something they read at firedoglake or mother jones.

And of course no liberal screed about gays would be complete without a healthy dose of whining about "rights". Basically this argument states that combat readiness and effectiveness, the concerns expressed by this General simply don't matter. All that matters is that gays feel included. Wow, there's a lofty goal for America.

A shot it is funny because you simply ignored the main point and focused on syntaxical detail. I rightly concluded that you've got nothing, but the urge to look cool overwhelms you.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | December 15, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse


"FEEL DIRTY AND SICK"

caothien9 says, "We're supposed to feel dirty and sick, and that won't be maintainable when the pride of the uniform is stirred into the mix."

That is what this is all about. The homosexuals are trying to use the pride of the uniform to hide from their inner agony. And of course, their selfishness in this regard is highlighted the more, as they will grab at this STOLEN HONOR, without regard to how many additional soldiers die as a result.


Posted by: GoldenEagles | December 15, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

"....soldiers die as a result..."

Well this specimen looks like someone who is capable of explaining the distraction that will cause soldiers to die. GoldenEagles, how will DADT repeal cause Marines to be killed?

Do you have data from lets say, Israeli combat missions to support your distracted-to-death by homos theory?

Posted by: shrink2 | December 15, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

"A shot it is funny because you simply ignored the main point and focused on syntaxical detail. I rightly concluded that you've got nothing, but the urge to look cool overwhelms you."

What main point? That the General served and Adam didn't? I did address that and said it's a weak point and obvious point. DADT was passed by a Congress filled with people who didn't serve and will be repealed by the same.

"first we are asked to believe that the Marine Corps General just doesn't understand Marines. yeah, sure."

What about members of the military who say it wouldn't be a problem? Should we believe they don't understand the Marines?

Posted by: ashotinthedark | December 15, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

@shrink2: "Don't you think specifics matters I mean, this Jarhead is saying Marines will be killed by mistakes, a distraction. What lethal mistake, what distraction would that be?"

I do, and I think he should be called out on it. I just don't think it's he's sharing a well-thought out position with specifics and, if he has specifics, he hasn't shared them. That I know of.

But unless he said somewhere that he's worried about gay folks ogling the butts of other soldiers while in combat, I don't think the words need to be put in his mouth.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | December 15, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

He is saying Marines will be killed or have their legs blown off if they know members of their units are homosexual. So I don't care what people put in his mouth, so long as it tastes so bad it makes him gag and it is so thick he can't breathe past it...you know what I am talking about...an unwashed sock.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 15, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

The ratio of repealers versus non-repealers is about 70/30, but everyone the news highlights, with the exception of Amos, supports repeal.

Amos's objections are easier to counter than other objections. Some attack his age. Some attack his sex. Some attack his military experience.

No one however can refute the fact that giving gays and lesbians a right to serve openly will wrongly violate the privacy of heterosexual soldiers, who are sex-segregated to protect their privacy from desiring eyes. Everyone knows gays can't control who they fall in love with. Now some want to give them the right to make romantic overtures to heterosexuals in the shower room.

Please, instead of screaming names at me, explain why it could never happen, without asserting that gays are perfect people (i.e., the "professionalism" defense).

Posted by: blasmaic | December 15, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

"Everyone knows gays can't control who they fall in love with."

And here I thought that was only a problem for heteros, I thought I was the only one. I've never been able to control anyone I've fallen in love with. Let me tell you about my mother, do you have a few hundred hours?

Posted by: shrink2 | December 15, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Run afoul of a gammarian.

But the super-smart grammarian failed to comment on whether removal of DADT will permit the scenario I described.

Without DADT, will a well-behaved gay man who falls in love with another male soldier be prevented from speaking to that soldier about his orientation and his feelings -- while showering or sleeping or dressing?

Posted by: blasmaic | December 15, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

At $110/hour, I have all the hours you can afford shrink2

yes, we should conclude that the survey doesn't adequately express the sense of the military on this issue. It is a thin reed to which you cling.

Again, my point is quite simple, whom should be believe on this? Adam Serwer? or the Marine Corps general?

The"points" being made by liberals here are just funny. They show an abyssal lack of understanding of the ordinary grunts in the service. Robert Kaplan spoke of a divide between the American citizens and the warrior caste. The divide has never been clearer to me than this. You guys just don't understand the mindset of the grunts. I didn't serve, but I grew up in the Navy. My son served proudly in the Marines in Iraq. The anti gay rhetoric from both my dad and my son is just the way it is in the military. I'm not at all certain that openly gay men will find life bearable in combat outfits.

Oh, wait, we can spend a fortune to retrain these people. We can subject them to whatever the liberals call sensitivity training these days.

yeah, that will solve the problem. a few hours in a classroom, a healthy dose of death by powerpoint, and voila, centuries of tradition in the US military will be overcome by a rational approach to the modern era.

Now let's imagine the repeat of DADT during the civil war. Won't "spooning" for mutual warmth be ever so much more fun once the gay guy is widely known as gay? yeah, that'll work.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | December 15, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

"But the head of the Marine Corps, Commandant Gen. James Amos, repeated his opposition this week, saying that lifting the ban during wartime could cost lives. "I don't want to lose any Marines to the distraction," he said. "

it would be nothing but crass malfeasance to pass legislation that would put american soldiers at greater risk during time of war. this is no time to have american marines die to satisfy a perverted desire to legitimize homosexuality.


Posted by: ibsage | December 15, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

"super-smart grammarian"

Thanks. You know what? I have been approached by gay men all my life, yeah, first I was cute, then I was handsome, now I am ruggedly grizzled, I've been breaking gay hearts all my life. Women still mystify me, but I try not to hurt them. But let's not talk about me.

Gay men, they know right away I don't want to; if they persist, I have to go out of my way to be offensive. In the Catholic boarding school where I grew up, I was down right nasty. It never hurt me, it has never distracted me from anything I've ever considered important, not for a second. That must be how girls feel, that is what I always thought.

In the military, I think having women around was the much, much bigger deal if people being distracted is what you worry about. And if it is all about "the mission", competence and so on, well colored people have proved themselves in so many ways. No one cares who anyone is anymore in the service so long as they are energetic, competent, honest and more than anything, dependable.

"I'm not at all certain that openly gay men will find life bearable in combat outfits."

Again, the experience of the Israeli Defense Force in this regard would be instructive.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 15, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

blasmaic- Your arguments are really against homosexuals being in teh military at all, not just serving openly. Heterosexuals already bunk with homosexuals and shower with them too. The desiring eyes are already there. Not to mention that as shrink as mentioned a couple of times, other militaries already allow homosexuals to openly serve, why can't we?

Skip-
Why doesn't the survey adequately capture the views of the military? There are certainly areas to criticize the survey, but I'm not sure why it should be ignored in the face of one opinion of one General. Why do you value General Amos' opinion more than other military leaders in favor of repeal?

As for your experience with military grunts, let me just say that my uncle is a vet who felt similarly about gays as your son apparently does, but my grandpa and several friends don't.

I do like your concern about gays not feeling comfortable in the military if they served openly and thinks it's great that you're willing to make that decision for them.

You don't need to retrain soldiers any more than retraining was needed during racial integration. Soldiers follow orders, not their own feelings. If they don't follow orders there are consequences. Just like there are presently consequences for gay soldiers that don't follow DADT.

So we shouldn't repeal DADT because of the impact it would have had during the Civil War? Even getting over the absurdity of that argument, I guess the homosexual soldier would freeze. The risk of that will have to be on the mind of a gay soldier when they enlist and they can make that decision rather than you making it for them again.


Posted by: ashotinthedark | December 15, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

It never hurt me, it has never distracted me from anything I've ever considered important, not for a second. That must be how girls feel, that is what I always thought.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 15, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

---------------------

Since something has never been a problem for you, no one for whom it may be a problem deserves any respect or consideration. (I'd say it's obvious that you've never been aborted, but that's a different topic.)

How you think is how you think.

If DADT is repealed, it in effect will grant to gays and lesbians a right to view the naked bodies of people to whom they can become sexually attracted. I believe that's wrong. It violates the privacy of heterosexuals and it makes gays and lesbians into immoral people.

As it is, straights pretend their privacy is not being violated and gays pretend they are straight. If you want to stop pretending, then gays and lesbians must sleep, bathe, and dress somewhere other than facilities for heterosexuals.

Since you raised the topic of girls, how many times in your life have you used girls' shower rooms, locker rooms, restrooms? Some who raise the topic of women believe it's alright for gays to harass heterosexual men because heterosexual men have always harassed women. I disagree on both points -- men don't always harass women and gays have no right to harass heterosexual men.

And, just for the record, for a second time you did not address the legality of the scenario I posed.

Posted by: blasmaic | December 15, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

First of all, Marines are all grown up, they will kill anyone who actually tries to violate them.

"...gays and lesbians a right to view the naked bodies of people to whom they can become sexually attracted."

That has been happening...forever. It might be a dreadful burden, for some people, but it has always been true.

"I believe that's wrong. It violates the privacy of heterosexuals and it makes gays and lesbians into immoral people."

It is what it has always been.

"As it is, straights pretend their privacy is not being violated and gays pretend they are straight."

So...what is the difference? Maybe some will still have to pretend, just as they always have, always, for thousands of years.

But you know what? Nowadays straight people and gay people know how to deal with all of this a lot better than in the days when religious bigots ruled the roost. Seriously, times have changed.

I'm not saying Sharia has changed, but that isn't the legality of the scenario you posed.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 15, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

blasmaic-

"If DADT is repealed, it in effect will grant to gays and lesbians a right to view the naked bodies of people to whom they can become sexually attracted."

They already have that right. You are just pretending that they don't.

Your whole argument rests on a non-existent right of soldiers not to be oggled by homosexuals. But if we are going to play your game, someone's right to privacy isn't being violated because people stop pretending. There is absolutely no legal significance to the distinction you are attempting to draw.

Oh and repealing DADT does not give homosexuals the right to sexually harass other soldiers as you contended in your first post.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | December 15, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

blasmaic- Your arguments are really against homosexuals being in teh military at all, not just serving openly. Heterosexuals already bunk with homosexuals and shower with them too. The desiring eyes are already there. Not to mention that as shrink as mentioned a couple of times, other militaries already allow homosexuals to openly serve, why can't we?

Posted by: ashotinthedark | December 15, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

---------------------

Gays and lesbians can serve openly in the military when each soldier is provided with his own or her own private sleeping, bathing, and dressing area.

We need a bold, courageous federal judge to demand that the military build such facilities. So far, we have only bold judges who want to reinstate "droit de siegnuer" in North America. It's wrong to give gays and lesbians a right to view the nakedness of people to whom they can be sexually attracted. They're not masters at a slave auction.

I believe in tolerance, like most Americans. As long as a gay man does not assert a legal right to view my naked body, then I can ignore the fact that he should not be violating my privacy.

And regardless of whether I like a person or not, if that person doesn't violate DADT, then he or she has all the rights of a soldier in good standing.

Ah, Israel and the Europeans...

I'm all for drafting women like the Israelis do.

And I'm for loosening the laws that criminalize sex between young people, but no to the extent that The Netherlands has.

The Netherlands grants power of consent for intercourse to girls at age 13, but that might be too low for the USA.

Here in Virginia where I grew up, sex between an 18 year old man and a 17 year old girl is a felony. It could cost a man his right to vote when young people are just trying to begin a family.

Since you want America to be hip to what everyone else in Europe and Israel is doing, do you support drafting women and lowering the age of legal consent for intercourse?

Posted by: blasmaic | December 15, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

"As long as a gay man does not assert a legal right to view my naked body, then I can ignore the fact that he should not be violating my privacy."

I have never seen this said before. I don't get it, but at least you said it.

"...lowering the age of legal consent for intercourse?"

Hmmm. I'll just say age of consent has nothing to do with the military mission, nor the combat readiness and effectiveness of military units.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 15, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse


Your whole argument rests on a non-existent right of soldiers not to be oggled by homosexuals.

Posted by: ashotinthedark | December 15, 2010 5:43 PM | Report abuse

-------------------

I didn't mean just gays. I said and I meant desiring eyes, which means heterosexuals are sex-segregated to assure their privacy from the desiring eyes of the opposite sex or the same sex, because gays and lesbians are officially prohibited.

A gay man does not have the right to serve in the military. DADT assures that those who identify themselves as gay or lesbian are removed from service. While a soldier does not say he or she is attracted to the same sex, then people can ignore the inconvenient truth that would force the gay soldier's discharge.

And I'm pretty certain a heterosexual soldier who repeated violated the privacy of the opposite sex would be discharged if not imprisoned and then discharged.

Posted by: blasmaic | December 15, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse

I won't dispute what Gen Amos said or what the survey shows, but here are some things to keep it in context.

As of FY09, the USMC Active Duty (AD) force was 202,786 (officer and enlisted).

Of that, 44,630 were enlisted combat arms AD Marines and 3631 were officer combat arms AD Marines.

This makes for a total of 48,261 or 24% of the AD Marine Corps.
Of this 24% percent, 58% (27,991 of the 202,786) opposed the repeal of DADT.

Meaning that the 58% of all combat arms in the AD Marine Corps who oppose the repeal of DADT account for a total of 14% of the entire AD Marine Corps.

Posted by: orchapin | December 15, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

I won't dispute what Gen Amos said or what the survey shows, but here are some things to keep it in context.

As of FY09, the USMC Active Duty (AD) force was 202,786 (officer and enlisted).

Of that, 44,630 were enlisted combat arms AD Marines and 3631 were officer combat arms AD Marines.

This makes for a total of 48,261 or 24% of the AD Marine Corps.
Of this 24% percent, 58% (27,991 of the 202,786) opposed the repeal of DADT.

Meaning that the 58% of all combat arms in the AD Marine Corps who oppose the repeal of DADT account for a total of 14% of the entire AD Marine Corps.

Posted by: orchapin | December 15, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

If only straight men were fit to be soldiers then we never would have heard of Alexander the Great.

Just saying.

Posted by: PartialMitch | December 15, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse

the good general should be relieved of command if he has so little control over his subordinates.

Posted by: alanflatt | December 15, 2010 7:07 PM | Report abuse

"If only straight men were fit to be soldiers then we never would have heard of Alexander the Great."

Yup and surely countless heroes before and since.

Weirdly, so many combat veterans have told me how they have learned to love men and of course I mean love them in a way that has nothing to do with sex. They learn to love their unit, individually and collectively more than they love themselves.

This is the big big problem with coming home.

Man love is not going to kill any Marines. They already know too much. If a Marine is distracted by anything, anything at all, a Marine needs to look in the mirror. If I had a few days with General Amos, I'd set him straight.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 15, 2010 7:43 PM | Report abuse

I've seen that big long list of famous homosexuals, including Alexander the Great, and I just have one question. If gays have done so many tremendously popular things, why are't they more popular?

They say the military can admit openly gay homosexuals because Alexander was a successful military commander.

Well, George Washington led the continental army, defeated the British, and served as president for two terms, and he was straight.

Shouldn't we conclude that heterosexual conduct is required because Washington was a great leader?

Posted by: blasmaic | December 15, 2010 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Someone should tell General Amos that the new law won't force him to tell...he can keep his secret if he has one. But...really...he and his marines are afraid of gays? Really? And would be so distracted that they can't function and do their mission? Really? Are these a band of insecure bullies from high school or a professional fighting force? Gays...really? They are that insecure...really? Silly boys. Other countries can handle it - why not America. Really?

Posted by: MarcfromSanDiego | December 15, 2010 10:13 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry but really? General Amos of the Marines is really THAT afraid of the gays? I thought the marines were a mature professional fighting force...but he seems to think they are an immature band of high school bullies who are afraid...of...of...of...gay people. Silly boys. Really? You are that afraid?

Posted by: MarcfromSanDiego | December 15, 2010 10:22 PM | Report abuse

I'll just say age of consent has nothing to do with the military mission, nor the combat readiness and effectiveness of military units.

Posted by: shrink2 | December 15, 2010 6:01 PM | Report abuse

-------------------

The Netherlands permitting gays to serve openly has nothing to do with America then.

If The Netherlands is so hip and enlightened with respect to the open service of gays and lesbians, why shouldn't we consider their standard for the age of legal consent to be better than ours too? Open military service for gays and lesbians, decriminalization of heterosexual sex for Americans of military service age. Sounds progressive without being unequal.

But since you want to stick to the military mission thing, why doesn't America draft women like the Israelis. Israel drafts women and permits openly gay service. If Israel is so much better than America on social issues and the military, do you also support drafting women?

Posted by: blasmaic | December 16, 2010 4:53 AM | Report abuse

Why doesn't America draft women like the Israeli's?? SIMPLE:

The US doesn't have a DRAFT - therefore we don't draft women OR men today. HOWEVER, should we re-institute the draft, whether or not we will draft women will become an interesting debate.

Repeal DADT - it's a ridiculous mirage - Gay and Lesbians have always and will always serve as honorably as everyone else. The younger troops are all out to each other anyway. In the Marines, and every other service. The younger generation is SO over this. They don't even understand why there is a debate!

Posted by: MarinemomandAFretired | December 16, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

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