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Someone to lead the Marines out of 'don't ask, don't tell'

By Richard Cohen

The Marines need one good man. That would be a commandant who sees his job as implementing the end of "don't ask, don't tell" and integrating openly homosexual men and women into the Corps. As it is, the current commandant, Gen. James Amos, has indicated he is not up to the job. He is thoroughly befuddled. He can't distinguish between a gay man and a sexual predator.

In the general's telling, the coming end of this discriminatory policy could produce sexual havoc in our nation's barracks and battlefields. The Marines have a mission. They have to consider unit cohesion. There's a war one -- actually two, come to think of it, not mention providing guards at countless embassies abroad. What if the Marine in front of, say, the embassy in Paris was gay? I shudder. What about London. I shudder some more.

This shuddering is not shared by most enlisted men and women. To them, the all-but certain end of the policy - either the courts will find it unconstitutional or Congress will "man up" on this issue - does not fill them with dread. The Washington Post earlier this week published leaked details from the Pentagon's yet-to-be-released survey on the issue: "More than 70 percent of respondents to a survey sent to active-duty and reserve troops over the summer said the effect of repealing the 'don't ask, don't tell' policy would be positive, mixed or nonexistent, said two sources familiar with the document. The survey results led the report's authors to conclude that objections to openly gay colleagues would drop once troops were able to live and serve alongside them."

Still, Amos has his doubts. The Marines do not offer their enlisted men single rooms. They have to double up and this, Amos warns, could cause trouble if one of the men is gay and the other is not -- or if both of them are. "There is nothing more intimate than young men and young women -- and when you talk of infantry, we're talking our young men -- laying out, sleeping alongside of one another and sharing death, fear and loss of brothers," Amos said. "I don't know what the effect of that will be on cohesion. I mean, that's what we're looking at. It's unit cohesion. It's combat effectiveness."

Some facts: Given the law of averages, I was undoubtedly in the Army with gay men. We shared the same barracks and slept, on the rare occasion when I could not avoid it, on the ground. We showered together and use the lavatory together -- the army is just wonderful at stripping away all dignity -- and I never knew of an incident. I was not, I acknowledge, a Marine, and the Marines have a somewhat different culture. Still, the military is the military and leaders are expected to lead. If gays are integrated into the services, there will surely be incidents -- this is human nature -- but they can be handled. Enforcing discipline is what officers do.

Amos was rebuked for his remarks by the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen "I was surprised by what he said and surprised he said it publicly," Mullen told reporters.

If and when the policy is changed, President Obama ought to see to it that Amos is not tasked with implementing it. At the very top, the Marines need one good man.

By Richard Cohen  | November 12, 2010; 9:05 AM ET
Categories:  Cohen  | Tags:  Richard Cohen  
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Comments

Political correctness wins out again, what?

And Richard...whatever century you served in, the circumstances regarding gays is no where remotely close to those existing today.

Posted by: silencedogoodreturns | November 12, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

The President should just declare (like Truman did relevant to African Americans serving in the armed services) a total end to the ban---once an forever.

Posted by: fairness3 | November 12, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Richard, the General is thinking of the disruption that a totally unnecessary change like this would cause while our exhausted, overextended troops are engaged in two futile, unwinnable quagmires.

I know a limp wristed, latte sipping weenie like yourself never lived in an open squad bay or used a communal shower or shared a fox hole, but marines do it around the clock.

Do we need to saddle them with additional problems?

Since you were instrumental in getting us sucked into "W"'s phony war, the least you cand do is have some sympathy for the grunts on the ground.

Posted by: daniel3715 | November 12, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Amos needs to man up or ship out.

Posted by: pnwmainah1 | November 12, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Oh, the blindness of the conservative! Daniel3715 wrote "I know a limp wristed, latte sipping weenie like [Cohen] never lived in an open squad bay or used a communal shower or shared a fox hole, but marines do it around the clock."
RTFA, Daniel.
Cohen made clear that he was in the Army, and given his age, that would have entailed an open squad bay and communal shower.

Posted by: jlhare1 | November 12, 2010 10:03 AM | Report abuse

I don't disagree with the premise of the opinion; I simply disagree with the implementation of the idea. At least at this time. Unlike college or most work environments, the military is a different situation. It's one thing for those out of the military to say, "I worked once with a gay guy, or a gay woman and he/she wasn't a problem..." or "I had a gay friend/roommate in college."

The people who came in to today's serving military came in under once set of "moral" standards; they've served in many cases multiple combat or war zone tours of duty because, in part, most other Americans can't or won't serve. To me, even though the U.S. military may lose out on the possible enlistment of several (or tens or maybe even hundreds of) quality gay persons, I would hold off such a dramatic social change that might, just might, cause disruption in the ranks of those that are currently serving. Along the way, if serving service members have objections to serving/living with (especially in close quarters) with openly gay personnel, those persons should have the opportunity to leave service because they entered under one set of morals or life style (to them), frequently or especially because of religious beliefs; and those persons should be able to leave honorably, with all benefits, and perhaps with early retirement.

The bottom line, to me, is to not change the standards currently serving military personnel - and their dependents/family - are under to satisfy a social desire. Yes, all men and women are equaly, but until we require all men and women to serve, I have a hard time disagreeing with the General.

That said, if the "door" should be open because gay personnel should not be denied the right to serve their country, can we, in good faith, not accept personnel who do not meet general military physical fitness standards, mental testing, or criminal records who want to, in good faith, serve their country in what may be more limited capacities than highly qualified personnel? Should the military/government not help them meet the standards?

dungarees@gmail.com

Posted by: Dungarees | November 12, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

Well, I was a Marine with a combat MOS. I shared a squad bay and slept in fighting hole, and I think the general is wrong on this. After the change comes (and it will, sooner or later) everyone will look back and say, "What was everyone so worked up about?".

Posted by: jbandjb99 | November 12, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

I don't necessarily disagree with jbandjb99 that "sooner or later..." I just don't think now, with two major wars going on (major in numbers of troops, not major in the sense that everyone or anyone else really cares) that NOW is the time to make a total change.

I respect the opinions of jbandjb99 and Mr. Cohen; I disagree on the timing.

Posted by: Dungarees | November 12, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

Gen. James Amos, has indicated he is not up to the job. He is thoroughly befuddled. He can't distinguish between a gay man and a sexual predator.

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

The general does not indicate what exactly he is afraid of. Does he really expect an openly gay marine would sexually assault their roommate? (But a closeted gay marine would not?) This is nonsense, and sexual assault is obviously grounds for discharge anyway. Clearly this guy has issues, and I agree that if he is not up to the task, he should step aside.

Posted by: jake14 | November 12, 2010 10:19 AM | Report abuse

You don't get it, Cohen. It's all about being "fair," isn't it? Well, if two gay Marines fall in love with each other and decide to share a room, their commanding officers can hardly deny them without risking the wrath of the ACLU. So, if you're a gay Marine, you get to have all the sex you want with your lover, in the quarters provided by the Corps. Meanwhile, if you're a hetero Marine and you want your girlfriend or boyfriend to be able to share your Corps-provided quarters every night, so that you too can have as much sex as young, virile people like to have, you don't get to do that.
Liberals are all about "fair." Is that fair?

Posted by: CapnRusty | November 12, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

For those who oppose Homosexuals in the U.S. Army, please identify an army that did not have Homosexuals serving. In my seven years service, I achieved PFC several times and eventually M/Sgt once and during those years and places of service, I and all others could identify Homosexuals. I can never remember their presence causing problems. And when the bench warmers can get men and women to serve as ground pounders in the infantry, be glad that somebody is willing to put his or her life on the line, whereas you graduates from Harvard and Yale found loop holes to avoid any chance of giving your life for your country or the billionaires that control it. "The Best Generation" implies an end to democracy; for what you may ask? Well, look around, my friend, look around; and read, my friend, read. You might start with Chalmer Johnson's books. OMG!
grant

Posted by: gusu81 | November 12, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Gen. James Amos, has indicated he is not up to the job. He is thoroughly befuddled. He can't distinguish between a gay man and a sexual predator.

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

The general does not indicate what exactly he is afraid of. Does he really expect an openly gay marine would sexually assault their roommate? (But a closeted gay marine would not?) This is nonsense, and sexual assault is obviously grounds for discharge anyway. Clearly this guy has issues, and I agree that if he is not up to the task, he should step aside.

Posted by: jake14 | November 12, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

1) The left cares not at all about access to the military they publicly despise

2) "Gays" in the military is to undercut the institution
...(just like Iraq was the wrong war and Afghanistan was the 'right' war to the left when Bush was in office, today Afghanistan is less loved by the left.....)

3) Homosexuality is as biologically normal as pedophilia or necrophilia.

4) Homosexuality was rightly classed as a mental illness until a 3 to 2 vote by the governing body of American psychiatry in the early 1970's at a convention where no papers on related topics were presented...a "global warming" bit of political science...

Posted by: georgedixon1 | November 12, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Does the liberal left have no concerns in the world but welfare and getting perverts in uniform?

Posted by: georgedixon1 | November 12, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

I was in the Army before DADT, and we had gay soldiers. Gasp! I even once shared a two-man pup tent (pair of shelter halves) with a soldier I knew darn well was gay, and we managed to refrain from raping each other.

This was back in the days of open barracks and latrines and showers.

Later, in barracks with 4-man rooms, when we were allowed to pick roommates, I remember at least one 4-man grouping I strongly suspected was gay (but did not ask, and they did not tell), and a room of 4 black soldiers from Alabama next to a room of 4 white soldiers from Alabama. The two racially-divided grouping constantly sniped at each other in a way an outsider would consider race-baiting. But if you asked members of either group they've tell you, "Us Bama boys stick together" and so they did, including sharing rides back home (from Ft. Hood) where enough social interaction resulted that one of the black soldiers showed up with a white wife related to one of the white Bama boys and one of the white Bama soldiers showed up with a black wife.

Everybody was fine with that. We had a unit party to celebrate the marriages, attended by everyone including our suspected-gay soldiers. And life went on.

Posted by: roblimo | November 12, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

It's funny that if 70% of the led think one way, then Cohen wants 100% of the leaders to follow in lock-step groupthink.

The truth is, everyone has rights. Even heterosexual men. It is illegal to force a person to be naked at work in an area with anyone who could become sexually or romantically attracted to him or her.

We don't require that a woman say or believe that all men are rapists to assert her privacy right from all men. Why do we call men bigots and homophobes when they assert a privacy right from all gays?

Since he believes that our allies in Europe are so advanced in their views toward sexuality, why not drop the age of legal consent to match the European standard of 13 or 14 years old?

This would end the criminality of typical male and female heterosexuality where older boys and younger girls pair more naturally.

Why is Europe right on the issue of gay males but wrong on the issue of heterosexual males?

Posted by: blasmaic | November 12, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Cohen,

You forgot to point out that when you were in the army that the army was actively searching out gays and kicking them out. Of course you didn't witness any incidents. The quickest way to get out of the draft was to tell them you were gay.

Your army experience has nothing to do with the current situation. It's apples and oranges.

Also the leaked study doesn't say what you said it does. To get to the 70% number the leakers had to add together 3 different questions and make their own determinations on what those answers meant.

Others that have seen the report don't agree with the 70% figure with a majority of the positive anwers coming from family members, not soldiers.

Posted by: robtr | November 12, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

The ignorance and homophobia of amos and his ilk never ceases to amaze me. Like anyone would want his shriveled up arse to begin with.

Posted by: dem4life1 | November 12, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Cohen,

Thank you for your gratuitous and completely unsolicited advice. Yes, I know that your vast wisdom and unique insights matter more than the 235 years of experience that the world's premier fighting force has. You don't get it and you never will.

I suggest that you go back to advising the Democrats on communications strategy. Your advice to President Obama on healthcare "...Ramming speed, Captain" seems to have been ever so successful determining the outcome of the recent elections. The public really enjoyed having your health care package rammed hard at them.

I don't think the Marines will react kindly to being "rammed".

Posted by: strategiesinter | November 12, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

The ignorance and homophobia of amos and his ilk never ceases to amaze me. Like anyone would want his shriveled up arse to begin with.

Posted by: dem4life1 | November 12, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

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

Would you ever tell an unattractive female to shower with men because she is so ugly she has no right to privacy?

What do so many people hate straight men?

It's like reverse misogyny or misogyny against males or... oh why don't I know the word?

Posted by: blasmaic | November 12, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Some of you seem to think that hetero Marines are "afraid" of being raped by gay Marines. Ye gods! Marines, you ought to know, can kill with their bare hands.

Posted by: CapnRusty | November 12, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Mr. Cohen makes it seem like all marines do is stand in front of embassies in dress uniforms. Marines won that honor by killing and dying on the battlefield. Why start this article by insulting the marine's battle record?

Newspapers like the WaPo talk about this policy like the big issue is whether marines will care, if the guy next to them killing the enemy is gay. Of course, that's not the issue. Our troops don't even care when the guy killing the enemy next to them next to them is in the French army, so it won't matter if the're gay.

It's one thing, however, to be killing enemies alongside an allied French platoon, but you wouldn't want to have to live with the French.

The potential problems are more likely to arise on military bases somewhere in the rural US, when some 19 year old straight marine is disgusted when the marine in the next bunk returns from leave and talks about his sexual adventures with guys.

Right now, under don't ask don't tell, gay marines can't talk about their sex lives.
The "Don't tell" part of the policy is meant to avoid such talk by gays.

You can assert free speech rights all you want, but there are good reasons for the military to prohibit some types of free speech by gay soldiers.

If lifting the ban on "don't tell" would not protect such speech by gay military members, then what type of "tell" is permitted and what type of "tell" is not permitted?

There seems to be a rush to change this policy without talking about issues like this. That's a mistake. Let's define what will be permitted and what not permitted. The devil really is in the details. Determine the details first. Then Congress should vote.

Both lives and military discipline are at stake.

Posted by: jfv123 | November 12, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

If you want this policy, then please tell your little anti war protesters like 'code pink" that in order to enact this fairly, we need to reinstate the draft. No exceptions, no deferments. Here's betting that you want the draft less then DADT.

Posted by: elcigaro1 | November 12, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Wow, so much stupidity to choose from - I'm going with this as the least informed comment on THIS subject...

"The truth is, everyone has rights. Even heterosexual men. It is illegal to force a person to be naked at work in an area with anyone who could become sexually or romantically attracted to him or her."

Did I miss the news? Is there now some sort of negative IQ test to be a conservative? Is your creditablity as a right winger enhanced the more you stray from facts? Or did you all decide that the best way to engage people is just to make stuff up?

I can only hope that the demographics of the folks engaging in our great national temper tantrum called the Tea Party indicate that it's a passing phase, limited to white men born between 1945 and 1965.

And that's why, as I always say - Tea Parties are for little girls.

Posted by: JohnDinHouston | November 12, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Unrelated to this issue, isn't it time to examine whether or not the Marine is really "necessary" for America's defense? Yes, they have a proud tradition and all that, but so did Pontiac and Oldsmobile. There is nothing the Marine Corps does that could not be melded into the Air Force, Army, and mainstream Navy. By phasing out the Marine Corps, we would affect much-needed streamlining and cost-saving in our military budget.

Posted by: Tony83703 | November 12, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Since the fear is that some sort of sexual attack will occur in the trenches, the question has to be asked: Who will do the preying? The gays against straights or the straights against the gays? I believe the answer is that gays will be attacked more by straight soldiers than the other way around. Maybe women should be mustered out of the service, too. It has been painfully obvious for some time, that women in the military have been sexually preyed on for some time with very little support from their superiors. So maybe if we are going to continue to discriminate against gays in order to protect our straight young soldiers, maybe we should discriminate against our women to protect them from our young soldiers, too.

Posted by: mg11231 | November 12, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Unrelated to this issue, isn't it time to examine whether or not the Marine is really "necessary" for America's defense? Yes, they have a proud tradition and all that, but so did Pontiac and Oldsmobile. There is nothing the Marine Corps does that could not be melded into the Air Force, Army, and mainstream Navy. By phasing out the Marine Corps, we would affect much-needed streamlining and cost-saving in our military budget.

Posted by: Tony83703 | November 12, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Unrelated to this issue, isn't it time to examine whether or not the Marine is really "necessary" for America's defense? Yes, they have a proud tradition and all that, but so did Pontiac and Oldsmobile. There is nothing the Marine Corps does that could not be melded into the Air Force, Army, and mainstream Navy. By phasing out the Marine Corps, we would affect much-needed streamlining and cost-saving in our military budget.

Posted by: Tony83703 | November 12, 2010 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Pray tell, what happens when a "real" war is fought and the meat grinder demands a very involuntary draft of all citizens?

When that day comes, will draft avoidance be as easy as a personal discovery of some heretofore unknown gayness? Come now. If such were the case during Vietnam, we might have already had our first openly gay President in our own Billy C.

And so it goes...

Posted by: pgould1 | November 12, 2010 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Substitute the word "Black" and turn the clock back 60 yrs & you realize that the same things were said. 'We have a war going on and we can't afford to be a social experiment.' Well, we did then & we will now & afterwords people will wonder what the big deal was all about.

Posted by: cyberfool | November 12, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

The ignorance and homophobia of amos and his ilk never ceases to amaze me. Like anyone would want his shriveled up arse to begin with.

Posted by: dem4life1 | November 12, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

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

Would you ever tell an unattractive female to shower with men because she is so ugly she has no right to privacy?

Why do so many people hate straight men?

It's like reverse misogyny or misogyny against males or... oh why don't I know the word?

Posted by: blasmaic | November 12, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

What's pathetic about how long this is taking is that in 1948 there was FAR MORE resistance in the ranks to desegregating the armed forces than there is resistance in the ranks to this change.

And Harry Truman was a typical small-town bigot himself, but he still did the right thing.

Posted by: Observer691 | November 12, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Blacks are fully integrated into the military. They sleep, bathe, and dress in the same areas as whites.

Women are not fully integrated into the military. They do not sleep, bathe, and dress in the same areas as men.

Shouldn't we complete the integration of women into the military before integrating GLBTs?

Posted by: blasmaic | November 12, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Good-bye Amos. Don't need any old marines that let their emotions and personal biases get in the way of the mission.

Posted by: mhoust | November 12, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

The Marines have many good men, Cohen. As a former Marine who served in combat [Korean War] homosexuals have no place in a man's fight. Anyone who regards an anus as a sex organ does not belong in the Marines.

Posted by: Forward11 | November 12, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

I agree with Dungarees. If the dropping of DADT causes someone in the Military currently who has served for some time, say 10 years or so, to desire an early out, they should be given such an opportunity to leave, with prorated full retirement benefits. This could be because of whatever reason, moral, religious, and political -- or just some undefined un-comfortableness driving them. Just like not asking a Gay person why they want in so very badly, you should let those out that want out -- fair treatment ACROSS THE BOARD. Now, in that context, the disruption and, need I say it, (since the argument for repeal is such a Holy and Righteous cause above such pettiness) cost is going to be extensive. And even with that all said and done, there will *still* be disruption.

I've read reports that hint the 70% agreement comes with this caveat of "case by case" basis. Hmm... That does *not* sound to me like an overwhelming support of "just drop it" that the spin doctors like the author here, are making it out to be.


By the way, it is *not* that 70% you need to worry about, or the 30% who don't agree. It is not even 99% of those in or wanting in. Nope. It is a *very* small number that will cause problems that is not related to their percentage -- from both sides of this issue. They could even be hidden in those 70% who answered the Politically Correct way they were instructed to early on in life, but have a less than total buy-in on the concept. Those "sleepers" are probably the most repressed and dangerous ones, and you won't see them until it is too late.

But go ahead. Play Political Correctness Games with people’s lives. Just don't try to lie about it and act like you really care about *all* people more than your agenda!

;'{P~~~

Posted by: Clearbrook | November 12, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

Homosexuality is a filthy, disease-ridden practice explicitly condemned by God.

Posted by: Smarg | November 12, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Dungarees. If the dropping of DADT causes someone in the Military currently who has served for some time, say 10 years or so, to desire an early out, they should be given such an opportunity to leave, with prorated full retirement benefits. This could be because of whatever reason, moral, religious, and political -- or just some undefined un-comfortableness driving them. Just like not asking a Gay person why they want in so very badly, you should let those out that want out -- fair treatment ACROSS THE BOARD. Now, in that context, the disruption and, need I say it, (since the argument for repeal is such a Holy and Righteous cause above such pettiness) cost is going to be extensive. And even with that all said and done, there will *still* be disruption.

I've read reports that hint the 70% agreement comes with this caveat of "case by case" basis. Hmm... That does *not* sound to me like an overwhelming support of "just drop it" that the spin doctors like the author here, are making it out to be.


By the way, it is *not* that 70% you need to worry about, or the 30% who don't agree. It is not even 99% of those in or wanting in. Nope. It is a *very* small number that will cause problems that is not related to their percentage -- from both sides of this issue. They could even be hidden in those 70% who answered the Politically Correct way they were instructed to early on in life, but have a less than total buy-in on the concept. Those "sleepers" are probably the most repressed and dangerous ones, and you won't see them until it is too late.

But go ahead. Play Political Correctness Games with people’s lives. Just don't try to lie about it and act like you really care about *all* people more than your agenda!

;'{P~~~

Posted by: Clearbrook | November 12, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

Homosexuality is a filthy, disease-ridden practice explicitly condemned by God.

Posted by: Smarg | November 12, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Dungarees. If the dropping of DADT causes someone in the Military currently who has served for some time, say 10 years or so, to desire an early out, they should be given such an opportunity to leave, with prorated full retirement benefits. This could be because of whatever reason, moral, religious, and political -- or just some undefined un-comfortableness driving them. Just like not asking a Gay person why they want in so very badly, you should let those out that want out -- fair treatment ACROSS THE BOARD. Now, in that context, the disruption and, need I say it, (since the argument for repeal is such a Holy and Righteous cause above such pettiness) cost is going to be extensive. And even with that all said and done, there will *still* be disruption.

I've read reports that hint the 70% agreement comes with this caveat of "case by case" basis. Hmm... That does *not* sound to me like an overwhelming support of "just drop it" that the spin doctors like the author here, are making it out to be.


By the way, it is *not* that 70% you need to worry about, or the 30% who don't agree. It is not even 99% of those in or wanting in. Nope. It is a *very* small number that will cause problems that is not related to their percentage -- from both sides of this issue. They could even be hidden in those 70% who answered the Politically Correct way they were instructed to early on in life, but have a less than total buy-in on the concept. Those "sleepers" are probably the most repressed and dangerous ones, and you won't see them until it is too late.

But go ahead. Play Political Correctness Games with people’s lives. Just don't try to lie about it and act like you really care about *all* people more than your agenda!

;'{P~~~

Posted by: Clearbrook | November 12, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Geeze! At first it errors out twice. Then it posts three times! Sorry guys. If a moderator would be kind enough to remove the duplicate posts, I'd appreciate it very much!

;'{P~~~

Posted by: Clearbrook | November 12, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

If they had a moderator, then he or she would demand a fix to the bug that won't close the Comment window after it uploads the text. Then multiple duplicate posts would not occur whenever someone repeatedly hits the Submit button.

Posted by: blasmaic | November 12, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

"Anyone who regards an anus as a sex organ does not belong in the Marines.

Posted by: Forward11 | November 12, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse"

Says the guy whose wife is out getting cornholed right this very minute.

Posted by: Observer691 | November 12, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Cohen, you absolutely brilliant writer, the commandant of the Marines' job is to advocate for homosexuality. That is what the Marines were established for 235 years ago - to fight for homosexuality. In fact, the leaders of all the principle national and world organizations should understand that their job is to fight for the right to be homosexual, and to brag about it. Please, Cohen, start writing articles about how the number one job of the Imams of the world is to fight for homosexuality. In fact, write some articles about how the Pope's job is to advocate for homosexuality.

Posted by: chatard | November 12, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Must we read the idiotic post about phasing out the Marines 3 times?
Why not convert to a U.N. Blue helmet force, or other completely useless "military"? The nickname for the international force in Afghanistan, the ISAF, is "I saw Americans fighting". There's a reason for that.

Posted by: CraiginJersey | November 12, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

BTW, the hidden cost is not the up front and honest bashing that will go on. Guys will pull back (not sure if it applies to Marines, but I would think it could even happen to them) and leave a guy stranded and killed, even with some other people because they didn't trade their chocolate bar in their meal for a pudding, which supposedly they liked better. The stress of combat can do some funky things to your head. Gays will likely be victimized that way, and I think it would be safe to say that someone might take more offense at being called a bad name like "homo" or "fagot" and just like the guy hanging their comrade out to die for a chocolate bar, the outcome is likely to be the same. The hard part is this: most of the time, everyone will know it, which is bad for morale, but no-one could prove it, which means if there is a problem, it will have to be handled "out of channels" and that just never ends up going right, no matter what. None of that will statistically reflect back upon the repeal of DADT, but make no mistake, the cause and effect will be brutally obvious to those thrown under the bus!

;'{P~~~

Posted by: Clearbrook | November 12, 2010 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Must we read the idiotic post about phasing out the Marines 3 times?
Why not convert to a U.N. Blue helmet force, or other completely useless "military"? The nickname for the international force in Afghanistan, the ISAF, is "I saw Americans fighting". There's a reason for that.

Posted by: CraiginJersey | November 12, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

The military and marines need to start following the Constitution.
This is more evidence of a culture of blatantly unconstitutional discriminatory persecution gay and lesbian Americans in the U.S. military...with such discrimination in our military I would tell any family member or friend thinking of joining the military NOT TO!!!

Posted by: Civilius | November 12, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Must we read the idiotic post about phasing out the Marines 3 times?
Why not convert to a U.N. Blue helmet force, or other completely useless "military"? The nickname for the international force in Afghanistan, the ISAF, is "I saw Americans fighting". There's a reason for that.

Posted by: CraiginJersey | November 12, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

The military and marines need to start following the Constitution.
This is more evidence of a culture of blatantly unconstitutional discriminatory persecution gay and lesbian Americans in the U.S. military...with such discrimination in our military I would tell any family member or friend thinking of joining the military NOT TO!!!

Posted by: Civilius | November 12, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

The repeal of DADT should honor this former marine.

I recently discovered the story of a decorated veteran and forgotten gay American hero. His name is Oliver W. Sipple and on September 22, 1975, he bravely saved the life of President Gerald R. Ford in San Francisco when he grabbed the hand of Sarah Jane Moore as she attempted to assassinate the president.

Oliver W. Sipple epitomized service in the eyes of many. However, simply because he was gay, his own parents and hometown of Detroit Michigan rejected this hero and disabled Vietnam veteran. Thirty-five years has come and gone and it is high time America honors this gay hero in a special and meaningful way.

We have a custom where we have placed the name of a prominent figure on a piece of newly enacted legislation when warranted. This is to honor or recognize certain individuals, whether living or dead, who have influenced our lives for the purpose of betterment.

I support honoring this forgotten gay American hero and Marine Oliver W. Sipple by placing his name on the repeal of DADT or any legislation whereby current and future gay soldiers can serve openly we will be making progress. I also believe this will help sway reluctant members to understand how counter-productive it is to deny homosexuals to serve our country in the military.

Posted by: jones-allen | November 12, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

The repeal of DADT should honor this former marine.

I recently discovered the story of a decorated veteran and forgotten gay American hero. His name is Oliver W. Sipple and on September 22, 1975, he bravely saved the life of President Gerald R. Ford in San Francisco when he grabbed the hand of Sarah Jane Moore as she attempted to assassinate the president.

Oliver W. Sipple epitomized service in the eyes of many. However, simply because he was gay, his own parents and hometown of Detroit Michigan rejected this hero and disabled Vietnam veteran. Thirty-five years has come and gone and it is high time America honors this gay hero in a special and meaningful way.

We have a custom where we have placed the name of a prominent figure on a piece of newly enacted legislation when warranted. This is to honor or recognize certain individuals, whether living or dead, who have influenced our lives for the purpose of betterment.

I support honoring this forgotten gay American hero and Marine Oliver W. Sipple by placing his name on the repeal of DADT or any legislation whereby current and future gay soldiers can serve openly we will be making progress. I also believe this will help sway reluctant members to understand how counter-productive it is to deny homosexuals to serve our country in the military.

Posted by: jones-allen | November 12, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

I recently discovered the story of a decorated veteran and forgotten gay American hero. His name is Oliver W. Sipple and on September 22, 1975, he bravely saved the life of President Gerald R. Ford in San Francisco when he grabbed the hand of Sarah Jane Moore as she attempted to assassinate the president.

Oliver W. Sipple epitomized service in the eyes of many. However, simply because he was gay, his own parents and hometown of Detroit Michigan rejected this hero and disabled Vietnam veteran. Thirty-five years has come and gone and it is high time America honors this gay hero in a special and meaningful way.

We have a custom where we have placed the name of a prominent figure on a piece of newly enacted legislation when warranted. This is to honor or recognize certain individuals, whether living or dead, who have influenced our lives for the purpose of betterment.

I support honoring this forgotten gay American hero and Marine Oliver W. Sipple by placing his name on the repeal of DADT or any legislation whereby current and future gay soldiers can serve openly we will be making progress. I also believe this will help sway reluctant members to understand how counter-productive it is to deny homosexuals to serve our country in the military.

Posted by: jones-allen | November 12, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

I recently discovered the story of a decorated veteran and forgotten gay American hero. His name is Oliver W. Sipple and on September 22, 1975, he bravely saved the life of President Gerald R. Ford in San Francisco when he grabbed the hand of Sarah Jane Moore as she attempted to assassinate the president.

Oliver W. Sipple epitomized service in the eyes of many. However, simply because he was gay, his own parents and hometown of Detroit Michigan rejected this hero and disabled Vietnam veteran. Thirty-five years has come and gone and it is high time America honors this gay hero in a special and meaningful way.

We have a custom where we have placed the name of a prominent figure on a piece of newly enacted legislation when warranted. This is to honor or recognize certain individuals, whether living or dead, who have influenced our lives for the purpose of betterment.

I support honoring this forgotten gay American hero and Marine Oliver W. Sipple by placing his name on the repeal of DADT or any legislation whereby current and future gay soldiers can serve openly we will be making progress. I also believe this will help sway reluctant members to understand how counter-productive it is to deny homosexuals to serve our country in the military.

Posted by: jones-allen | November 12, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

As a retired officer I do not support lifting the ban. However, I did sit on an admin board decades ago in which I voted to retain a sailor who had committed a homosexual act on another sailor. He said it would not be repeated and I said to keep him but was outvoted. To respond to fairness3 "The President should just declare (like Truman did relevant to African Americans serving in the armed services) a total end to the ban---once an forever." We do not live in a dictatorship. Obama cannot reverse the ban with a wave of his sceptre. It is the law. There also are articles in the UCMJ which criminalize sodomy so that would have to be repealed as well to allow sexually active homosexuals to serve. Truman as CIC could change military policies on segregation but there were no federal laws mandating segregation in the armed forces.

Posted by: Childrex | November 12, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Must we read the idiotic, insulting post about phasing out the Marines three times? Why not convert to a U.N. Blue helmet force, or other completely useless "military"?

The nickname for the international force in Afghanistan, the ISAF, is "I saw Americans fighting". There's a reason for that. Don't those Marines in that hellhole have enough on their plate without dumping this controversial, population-engineering initiative on them?

Posted by: CraiginJersey | November 12, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Civilius,

I don't see ANYWHERE in the Constitution where Gay is defined as a protected status. Neither is Pedophile or Pyromaniac or even Kleptomania. I am willing to treat a Gay person with equality as long as *they* do not make their being Gay an issue. As soon as *they* do that, I must argue that they are NOT entitled to special protected treatment any more than I am, despite the fact that I am about 1/4 Native American Indian! (7/32 if I understand my family tree correctly) I get pissed off, quite frankly, when legitimately (if not legally) minority people are treated with absolute disdain and because of some technicality of not being just enough blood, or on a tribal roll, or a publicly recognized figure, they have NO protection under the law. I get even angrier when some idiot starts equating LGBT with "Constitutionally" protected status, when such does not exist. Certainly you can argue that common decency as well as the Constitution requires that *all* people are given the same chance. The truth is that some groups even more deserving of equal treatment don't even get close to as fair a treatment as LGBT people do! The Constitution talks about race (as amended) and sex as well. Federal Equal Rights laws even address Age and Veteran Status as invalid reasons to discriminate against someone. Frankly, in my understanding, LGBT is not an issue, and not worthy of special protection! To do so means you MUST define people's Religious and Moral convictions as invalid, and THAT is specifically prohibited by the Constitution! So lay off that limp "Constitutionally Protected" crap argument! It doesn't hold water, no matter how much you think it sounds nice and would in your estimation, be something you want to put into the Constitution.

;'{P~~~

Posted by: Clearbrook | November 12, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

As a retired officer I do not support lifting the ban. However, I did sit on an admin board decades ago in which I voted to retain a sailor who had committed a homosexual act on another sailor. He said it would not be repeated and I said to keep him but was outvoted. To respond to fairness3 "The President should just declare (like Truman did relevant to African Americans serving in the armed services) a total end to the ban---once an forever." We do not live in a dictatorship. Obama cannot reverse the ban with a wave of his sceptre. It is the law. There also are articles in the UCMJ which criminalize sodomy so that would have to be repealed as well to allow sexually active homosexuals to serve. Truman as CIC could change military policies on segregation but there were no federal laws mandating segregation in the armed forces.

Posted by: Childrex | November 12, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse


Barry the incompetent boob Obama be running out of generals to fire.

General Amos' predecessor as Commandant of the Marine Corps, James T. Conway, also thought homosexuals in the U.S. Military is a bad idea.

So do all four service chiefs in the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Posted by: screwjob22 | November 12, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

As a retired officer I do not support lifting the ban. However, I did sit on an admin board decades ago in which I voted to retain a sailor who had committed a homosexual act on another sailor. He said it would not be repeated and I said to keep him but was outvoted. To respond to fairness3 "The President should just declare (like Truman did relevant to African Americans serving in the armed services) a total end to the ban---once an forever." We do not live in a dictatorship. Obama cannot reverse the ban with a wave of his sceptre. It is the law. There also are articles in the UCMJ which criminalize sodomy so that would have to be repealed as well to allow sexually active homosexuals to serve. Truman as CIC could change military policies on segregation but there were no federal laws mandating segregation in the armed forces.


Posted by: Childrex | November 12, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

_______________________

I almost agree Childrex and the arse who says that if we allow gay men, then we should also tell ugly women that they should NOT shower with the men because the men don't want to see her ugly butt.

You see I served in the military, and as a female gay officer, NOT ONCE was I accosted by a FEMALE OFFICER, but regularly accosted by male soldiers. That was permissible and often even encouraged, as I was one of the first to serve. THEN THE MEN COULD NOT HANDLE HAVING A GIRL IN THEIR MIDST. The men were unable to control themselves. IT was the men who had no apparent ability to keep professional and were being juvenile and STUPID.
Do you know when that changed??? The moment they needed my skills AFTER they lost an arm or a leg on the battlefield. OH they then realized that maybe the Girl with the MD from Hopkins and the surgical skill better than ANY of the other men might just be okay. it was then HELP ME -- like a bunch of WHINEY LITTLE BOYS.

It reminds me of a story a friend of mine told while out at dinner and drinks the other night. There were a group of couples out at dinner and a bunch of silly little servicemen decided they were going to try to make a scene and get a little loud in the place discussing very loudly about DADT. They were rude, obnoxious and ticking off the whole place.

My friend quietly asked them to please have some respect for others in the pub and either be quiet or leave. They laughed at him, calling him derogatory gay slurs.

My friend unfurled all 6'4", 260 lbs of former offensive lineman turned JAG lawyer and in a very controlled voice said these wonderful words (Though not true)

"Young man,every day, I VOLUNTARILY bend over and take it like a man from REAL men. So why don't you take you and your friends who feel the need to shout out how manly you are, who feel the need to use SHOOT large phallic projectiles to kill other people because you can't find your tiny white wheenies with a magnifier, go ahead and run on home to mommie. Come back when you have some sense, and be a man

Posted by: racerdoc | November 12, 2010 1:12 PM | Report abuse

I can just see Servicemen and women rolling over in their graves at Arlington Cemetary. What a conversation they must be having: "

"We fought and died to free homosexuals to serve in the Armed Forces. Heck, I thought we died to keep the world free from Nazis/VC/Republican Guard et al! Nope: fought and died for the freedom of sexual orientation in the military."

Neither the Marines or the rest of the services should be used for this social experiment.

Posted by: pararanger22 | November 12, 2010 1:26 PM | Report abuse


The imaginary Doctor Man-hater has a big chip on her shoulder.

Posted by: screwjob22 | November 12, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

smarg sputters:

Homosexuality is a filthy, disease-ridden practice explicitly condemned by God.

Really? Then why does an omniscient, omnipotent entity not simply stamp out all forms of homosexuality and there'd be no issue left? And, please, don't hand me the "free will" nonsense - if free will can trump God's will, then God is obviously not omnipotent (in case you forgot the definition - almighty or infinite in power; hard to be infinite if one of His worms can override it that simply by deciding to be homosexual).

Bottom line is that you can't have your cake and eat it, too. Either God doesn't care about homosexuality or (heavens!) came up with it for His own reasons, or your God is not truly a God because His omnipotent condemnation of homosexuality is trumped by a minimum of 1% of the world's population. Your call, smarg (and the other lurking homophobes).

Posted by: jk5432 | November 12, 2010 1:31 PM | Report abuse

An attorney's dream (but they are running the country, aren't they!). Imagine the possibilities.

Posted by: JAH3 | November 12, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

you and Gen. James Amos should meet in a dark alley somewhere...
then you can tell him to his face what you wrote...
if you are man enough...

Posted by: DwightCollins | November 12, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

I am so tired of hearing about this intrepid perspicacity against gays. What about us single guys. We would like some of the perks that married personal receive. It is one thing to see Ted & Alice receive perquisites but it gets a little old to see Ted & Bruce get the married perks. I have a solution lets do away with perks for being married because in demotic America it is so miry and has nothing to do with the original hypothesis told to me. Perhaps it would also at the same time reduce the national debt and make us all equal. Is not that the plan that everyone espouses ?

Posted by: buckaroo5 | November 12, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

I would rather have a General who can lead his troops during a war...
this General deserves all our respect...

Posted by: DwightCollins | November 12, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

to "forward 11" perhaps you should ask this of marines before generalizing...do you really think you know what all of them might say??

Posted by: fairness3 | November 12, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

You have the Sec. of Defense and a number of his deputies on down saying they have no use for Don't Ask Don't Tell but you in the civilian world knows better.

No one is coming out after the lifting of DADT---the military is still a homogenizing organization. You are not black, a woman, christian, jew, asian or anything personally identify before you are a Service Member.

So I really don't see DADT stopping on Monday and on Tuesday someone coming to the office with a Liza Minelli croptop and a Pride wristband.

It is about the outings, the leverage someone holds over another Service member for who they are. That undermines our national security to have something that Service Members have to keep secret.

Posted by: CultureClub | November 12, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

The military and marines need to start following the Constitution.
This is more evidence of a culture of blatantly unconstitutional discriminatory persecution gay and lesbian Americans in the U.S. military...with such discrimination in our military I would tell any family member or friend thinking of joining the military NOT TO!!!

Posted by: Civilius | November 12, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

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

You know there's nothing in the constitution about the Air Force. That's because planes didn't exist then.

There's also nothing in the constitution about gays, and gays did exist then.

We have an expansive concept of equality today, and that's okay with me. I see no reason to favor gays over heterosexuals though.

Posted by: blasmaic | November 12, 2010 2:18 PM | Report abuse

The troops already live and serve alongside gays. Some troops just don't know it yet. There likely will be a few problems until things are "normalized" after the DADT policy is gone. As long as gays are required to live within the rules and reg straights have to follow things should be okay. As to housing and benefits for gay partners of military personnel, I think that will be more of the problem $$$ than service members proclaiming how gay they are.

Posted by: lorddunsmore | November 12, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Inevitably, some future administration will blunder the country into a war too big to be fought with volunteers. If the issue of gays and lesbians serving openly has not been addressed by then, one of two things will happen. 1. The military will try to keep the exclusionary policy in place, people will be coming out of the closet who were never in it to begin with, and straights will sue based on discrimination. 2. The military will try to change the policy, and gays and lesbians, who have grown up hearing that the military considers their presence to be prejudicial to good order and discipline, will sue to keep from being used as cannon fodder. Either way, by the time the lawyers and the courts are through fighting it out, the war will be over and we will have lost.

Posted by: dataflunky | November 12, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

While I don't have any problem with the current policy of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" it is very important to make a clear distinction between gays serving openly and those serving effectively under the current policy. Let's be real clear here - these two things are not the same. Just because gays have served and are serving well under "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" doesn't mean that the same will be true should gays be allowed to serve openly.

There are numerous morale and unit issues likely to develop from allowing gays to openly serve. The one that gets a lot of attention is the close quarters, showers, etc. To put it simply, what would happen if I as a commander told my female soldiers to shower with or sleep in the same room as my men? Most likely harrassment charges, IG complaints, etc. So, why should I be put in a position of telling my non-gay soldiers to shower with or sleep in the same room as an openly gay soldier? Isn't this the same thing? It certainly is likely to be from the perspective of many of my non-gay soldiers. These are very real issues that commanders will be faced with should the policy change.

How about when openly gay soldiers are off-duty and start wearing clothes, jewlery, etc expressing their orientation that would normally not be considered appropriate but now they are able to openly do? Do we recognize their partners as we would a spouse? What if my soldiers are uncomfortable around two male Soldiers or Marines kissing in uniform or dancing at a military ball? Are the heterosexual soldiers just unelightened? Is this really what we want? Does this improve my effectiveness as a unit?

The decision of whether or not to allow gays to openly serve should focus on one thing and one thing only - will it improve unit cohesiveness and effectiveness? If it doesn't, then very simply it is the wrong thing to do. Secretary Gates is correct in taking a thoughtful measured approach to this very complicated issue.

Finally, keep in mind that the U.S. military is not the Canadian or Dutch military nor do I think we want it to be.

Posted by: dbmn1 | November 12, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

"This shuddering is not shared by most enlisted men and women"

Most combat arms troops would disagree with you as would the entire Chaplains Corp.

I suspect your "army" time was not in a foxhole or a combat vehicle getting shot at where God is appreciated a bit more than by those somewhere else safe.

What part of "Thou shall not lie with mankind as with womankind: it is an abomination" (Leviticus 18:22)do you expect them to ignore.

Clergy would be ineligible to serve as chaplains if their churches withdraw their endorsements as all of the organizations have already told the military.

If DADT is repealed a chaplain who preaches against homosexuality would be disciplined as a bigot under the military's non-discrimination policy.

What parts of Leviticus 18:22 and Leviticus 20:13 do you not understand?

Do you expect clergy to look the other way? Most of the combat troops believe in God and have a higher standard of ethics than those who say whatever it takes to get ahead like that politican hiding in a uniform of a mouthpiece that fired men after asking their opinion and then not liking what he heard. Yes, Mullians, I mean you.

You are a fine example of someone with a chest full of medals and zero ground combat time, unlike the man of strong religious beliefs you replaced, Gen Pace.

I think you either have no idea of the impact this will have or even worse do and just do not care as long as you keep you boss happy.

For those who like to point out how well it worked out elsewhere think about our armed forces with a special gay union in side the armed forces who is used to go after whomever a gay member points at....

Think I'm kidding, do some serious research on the status of the Netherlands armed forces readiness.

The American combat soldier (I really could care less about the other 95% of the armed forces because they can be replaced with civilians) is mostly Christian and has a problem with gays serving openly.

You want to replace that 5%, you can do that, but it will take a draft.

When that draft comes I hope all of those who supported gays in the military remember their support when their children are brought home in body bags instead of the Christian soldiers who are the bedrock of the Army and Marine combat arms troops.

Posted by: LeviticusEighteenTwentytwo | November 12, 2010 3:00 PM | Report abuse

dbmn1 is spot on. Add to that trying to implement this in the middle of a war zone. Might want to hold off on the name-calling toward these commanders - they have a few things on their mind besides social engineering initiatives.

Is there any breakdown on this polling of 400,000 military members and families? How the questions were phrased, who got asked, which branches, etc?

Posted by: CraiginJersey | November 12, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

DADT is just the beginning, cross-dressing, gender neutral, tranny, it is all going to be just one big experiment. Sleeping in the turret of M-1 tank with your buddies for a month of more at a time is going to bring a whole new meaning to "camaraderie". Nothing like all the additional baggage that sexual politics among 18 to 25 year olds adds to the mix to see how difficult it is to maintain discipline under stressful and war time conditions. Those who are gay get to live and sleep with their “buddies,” while heterosexuals don’t get a live in “sweetie” to keep them warm. Everyone will adjust or they will just have an “accident” or maybe they will just not come back from a “patrol.” This is going to be interesting while the 18 to 25 year olds are left alone at night to sort it all out.

Posted by: droberts57 | November 12, 2010 3:16 PM | Report abuse

I am amazed in this day and age at the stupidity of so-called educated people. There is a code of conduct in all military branches that forbids relationships between different ranks and adultry between men and women. Perhaps the gung-ho "manly" Marine's know how often they rape female Marines or commit adultry right and left and therefore are just positive they could be on the receiving end (so to speak) and powerless to defend themselves.

These are people who are supposed to be the toughest of all, fearless, dedicated but they are afraid of being raped in their sleep or something? Women have lived with that fear (and the reality) for as long as humanity has huddled around a fire - somehow to me it says these so-called Marines are actually chicken and has our Govinator says "girly-men". Put in rules, put in penalties but make it for men AND women and I'm betting there are far more infractions of men raping women than someone gay raping a straight.

Yes I understand the argument of close quarters but somehow I don't think this is what those men and women really have to worry about, it's a made up argument and a poor one at that.

Posted by: Lemon7221 | November 12, 2010 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Cohen,

Wherein do we look to examine the basis of your expertise in the selection Marine Corps Commandants? You don't have any? Well there's a shock. This Chairman and this Commandant disagree on the issue, but I don't think that would be the case with others who filled the Chairman's billet. Did the Chairman submit General Amos' name to Congress? No,who then? President Obama did. Now would it have made a lot of sense for the President to know where exactly where General Amos stood on this issue before sending his name forward? Probably so, but since you do not seek a candid discussion of this issue that is informed by survey results from the men and women in uniform this point won't be considered. The idea that many people do not find the idea of living with a gay room mate does not fit within the scope of the LGBT agenda whether it is the case or not. What exists here is a moral issue for Marine Corps leaders as they see it. General Amos exercised moral courage when he spoke frankly on the subject most Marines will admire hime for being the ultimate example. You deride him for his action and call for his replacement, but what 2nd Lt. do you think is ready to take his place because I don't think there is anyone in between that rank and his that would take on that mission in direct opposition their fundemental beliefs. The benefit is you will not have to worry about a force reduction in the Marine Corps if DADT is repealed because the end strength won't exceed a battalion in five years.

Posted by: GMnStoneRidge | November 12, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

"Yes I understand the argument of close quarters but somehow I don't think this is what those men and women really have to worry about, it's a made up argument and a poor one at that."

No you don't.

Unless you have served in combat in a ground combat unit, you are clueless.

I did over 20 years in ground combat units.

Between the "abomination against God" thing that most of the COMBAT units read in their bibles and the incidents that have occurred over the years with homosexuals that no one talks about and various other things like the greater chance of a guy that just sprayed everyone else in the foxhole or vehicle with blood as he was killed having aids it’s a really big deal.

For you safe here in America it’s just a feel good thing.

We kick out homosexuals for the same reasons we kick out folks we find are using drugs involving needles.

They place our troops at a higher risk of infection if something explosive happens to them. You don't like hearing that, tough.

Which activities carry the highest risk of HIV infection?

Here are the most risky:
Sharing needles to inject drugs

Receptive Anal Intercourse


Google it.

Posted by: LeviticusEighteenTwentytwo | November 12, 2010 3:36 PM | Report abuse

daniel3715:
"Richard, the General is thinking of the disruption that a totally unnecessary change like this would cause while our exhausted, overextended troops are engaged in two futile, unwinnable quagmires."

Hmm. Perhaps if we stopped kicking out gays for no good reason, our troops wouldn't be as exhausted and overextended.

"I know a limp wristed, latte sipping weenie like yourself never lived in an open squad bay or used a communal shower or shared a fox hole, but marines do it around the clock."

...and? Statistically speaking, there are already gays in the Marines, they just can't admit it. So what's the difference? It's OK to share a foxhole with a homosexual solider as long as you don't *know* that he's gay?

Posted by: presto668 | November 12, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Our Combat arms troops and our army works because they have a solid belief system that holds them together.

You want to see what happens when that system is torn down with something more liberal that supports open homosexuality?

The link below is to the only large scale combat action by an army that has fully supported homosexuality at the cost of its solid Christian belief system.

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/cryfromthegrave/massacre/time_line.html

For those who care not to go to the link I will include this single line from the entire sorry affair.

Noon Dutch peacekeepers begin to carry out Serb demands to expel 5,000 refugees from their base. Many of these people will be killed by the Serb Army.

Posted by: LeviticusEighteenTwentytwo | November 12, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

one good man? not u nor ur brother obozo can measure up to a Trainee Under Rigourus Discipline. semper fi u A......

Posted by: pofinpa | November 12, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

LeviticusEighteenTwentytwo wrote:
"What part of "Thou shall not lie with mankind as with womankind: it is an abomination" (Leviticus 18:22)do you expect them to ignore."

OK- so let's leave aside the idea that social and military policy must be based on adherence to the strictures of one religion (though of course, the mind reels at the jiggering necessary to make many military actions jibe with "Thou shalt not kill," for example).

Even so, sticking with Leviticus- should we also be prohibited from serving pork or seafood to members of the military? If so, what will that do to the market for pork- and what will the effects be on farmers? If not, then how do we determine exactly which statements in Leviticus we should follow and which we can safely ignore?

Is the politician who serves shrimp cocktail, or meat and dairy at the same fundraiser, as venal and beneath contempt as a homosexual? After all, by serving such prohibited foods, they are actively seducing others to abandon the righteous path, right? So, it appears they are not simply akin to ordinary homosexuals- they are actually more like, say, pedophiles.

Who would have thought?

Posted by: jhherring | November 12, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Once again liberals are missing the point. The study is asking if gays serving is acceptable. Most say yes. I agree

The issue is living accommodations and this is where Mr Cohen gets it wrong. If the issue as he says is as a sexual predator than let EVERYONE shower together (men, woman, and gays )and see how liberal everyone is.If men have nothing to fell uncomfortable about than neither do woman.

Posted by: trader1 | November 12, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

The Commandant has said he opposes it, not that he will disobey the Congress or the chain of command. Only Congress may change the policy and only Congress can change the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Marine general officers are known for speaking their minds and taking the consequences.

Posted by: JarlWolf | November 12, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

"OK- so let's leave aside the idea that social and military policy must be based on adherence to the strictures of one religion (though of course, the mind reels at the jiggering necessary to make many military actions jibe with "Thou shalt not kill," for example)."

It is "thou shall not murder" an unlawful killing of a human being. Just another example of just enough knowledge to make oneself look stupid....Perhaps you should have thought first.

As for the food, if you don't see the difference between forced to live with someone your religion considers an abomination against God and chosing what food to eat you I suspect you have problems in basic reasoning that are not to be solved here.


Posted by: LeviticusEighteenTwentytwo | November 12, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

"Given the law of averages, I was undoubtedly in the Army with gay men. We shared the same barracks and slept, on the rare occasion when I could not avoid it, on the ground. We showered together and use the lavatory together -- the army is just wonderful at stripping away all dignity -- and I never knew of an incident."
________________________
And this is somehow different from Don't ask; Don't tell?

Maybe the general sees his job as defending our country and not one of overseeing social engineering.

Posted by: amazd | November 12, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse

This is really a sign of how Obama is a terrific speech-giver, but not a good leader of those ideas.
If he was half the liberal he claimed to be, he would make an executive order that allows openly gay service in the armed forces. There would be no waffling, no surveys, no studies, just simple concrete and final action.
There would be turmoil for about 6 months, as all the negative reactions that people have would burst onto the scene. Then it would be over and the military would serve and function just as well, if not better, than it had prior to that order.
It's time for Obama to man-up, unless he isn't the capable of doing that. Clearly, the commandant is not ready for it, and wants to delay the inevitable.

Posted by: natecar | November 12, 2010 5:59 PM | Report abuse

"Then it would be over and the military would serve and function just as well, if not better, than it had prior to that order"

You obviously have never served in the part of the armed forces at the sharp end of the stick. You know combat arms soldiers and marines.

You win the prize for the dumbest thing said on this site tonight.

Your prize is a free enlistment contract for either the Marines or the Army. Make sure you check the box for a combat MOS.

You may pick up your prize at the nearest Armed Forces Enlistment Station.

Good luck in Helmand Province.

Posted by: LeviticusEighteenTwentytwo | November 12, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

Ever wear the Marine uniform Cohen? Didn't think so. Write about something you know about if you can find a topic.

Posted by: delusional1 | November 12, 2010 6:12 PM | Report abuse


Barry the incompetent boob cannot issue an executive order to repeal a law. DADT is the law of the land, only an act of Congress can repeal it.

The same goes for the articles of the UCMJ: only Congress can alter them.


Posted by: screwjob22 | November 12, 2010 6:20 PM | Report abuse

Mr Cohen can you not find some other place in society to engage in politically correct Gay self validation exercises. Leave the Marines alone.
Voltaire once said a rational army would run away. The creation of an infantry force, (one of the last in the world of genuine competence, )that gets the job done is not necessarily the end result of mere logic. Perhaps you should leave the job to those who actually know what they are doing.

Posted by: devluddite | November 12, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

First off stop with the sexist "man up" remarks.

Second Gen. James Amos is a warrior. Not a social engineer, politician, or human rights activist.

My primary concern with him is whether he is capable warrior, leader, strategist, and can follow the orders of his superiors, and the President.

Posted by: moebius22 | November 12, 2010 7:13 PM | Report abuse

The Marines have many good men, Cohen. As a former Marine who served in combat [Korean War] homosexuals have no place in a man's fight. Anyone who regards an anus as a sex organ does not belong in the Marines.

Posted by: Forward11

---------

Then I will respect your wishes and not refer to you as a sex organ.

Posted by: johng1 | November 12, 2010 7:35 PM | Report abuse

the christians are afraid of don't ask don't tell because most of them are latent homosexuals themselves.

Posted by: eezmamata | November 12, 2010 8:06 PM | Report abuse

You stated in your article that "The Marines need one good man. That would be a commandant who sees his job as implementing the end of "don't ask, don't tell" and integrating openly homosexual men and women into the Corps."
I beg to disagree, I served in the Navy for 24 years and I'm sure that I served with gays but the ones that came out of the closet were put out of the service right or wrong. My point is that General Amos' job isn't seeing to a social engineering push by special interest groups and politicians. His job is to see that the Marines that are in Iraq and Afganastan have the training, material and support to complete the mission they are undertaking for the National Command Authority. That is his priority and I want it kept that way as I have a son who is a Company Commander in a Battallion that is currently in the vicinity of Marjah Afganastan. Supporting my son and the Marines under his command and all the other troops, Marines, Sailors and Air Force personal is the most important thing for the current service Chiefs to do not make sure that gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered feel good in serving.

Posted by: RICHDIET1 | November 12, 2010 9:57 PM | Report abuse

georgedixon1 -
You are absolutely wrong when you state that those on the left hate the military. Most people, even those labeled liberals, respect our military and support them. Under the last administration, a "conservative" one, our military was thrust into two wars without a clear goal or purpose. When those brave warriors were killed, they were not offered a hero's welcome like Canadians do, but "hidden" from the public. Those injured were sometimes subjected to sub-standard medical facilities as was the case in the Walter Reed incident. That conservative administration shouted to the rooftops how they "supported our troops", but then ignored them when they returned.
Things have changed dramatically since Viet Nam. People realize that our soldiers, sailors and marines are, except for a few bad apples, decent human beings who have done their patriotic duty and followed their leaders orders. Therefor, our military is supported by the public, even if some politicians short-change them when they return "damaged".
I thank those who have served their country and wish them a safe return to their families. I also thank the families of those who didn't return safely and paid a dear price for our politician's errors.

Posted by: pjohn2 | November 12, 2010 10:13 PM | Report abuse

Sounds like the Baptists are out in full force tonight.

Posted by: essl | November 12, 2010 10:57 PM | Report abuse

The Commandant has already manned up, right out of the box. He courageously stood up, based on his 30+ years of service, and took his stand. Let Mullins or the President remove him. That's where the focus needs to be, Mr Cohen. It's the CIC who hasn't manned up.

If Obama is really for removing DADT, well it's his move. That's who you beef is with, not with the Marine who has served his country well and who has the brass ones to take a stand.

Posted by: wehutson | November 12, 2010 11:36 PM | Report abuse

The Commandant has already manned up, right out of the box. He courageously stood up, based on his 30+ years of service, and took his stand. Let Mullins or the President remove him. That's where the focus needs to be, Mr Cohen. It's the CIC who hasn't manned up.

If Obama is really for removing DADT, well it's his move. That's who you beef is with, not with the Marine who has served his country well and who has the brass ones to take a stand.

Posted by: wehutson | November 12, 2010 11:37 PM | Report abuse

Adm Mullen is a disgrace to his uniform. It's okay for him to run around spouting his opinion that DADT should be lifted, but not okay for General Amos to oppose that view. That's called hypocrisy. Mullen has no business rebuking anybody. As for the "Study" and the so called "survey" of the troops, it appears to be a trumped up exercise in self-fulfilling prophecy by a liberal political leadership supported by an unscientific survey.

Posted by: DQuixote1 | November 14, 2010 9:02 AM | Report abuse

"Amos was rebuked for his remarks by the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen "I was surprised by what he said and surprised he said it publicly," Mullen told reporters."

This is classic Mullen leadership--he felt quite OK to voice his own personal opinion that supported gays in the military last Spring, and then chastises one of his subordinates for doing the same thing. Maybe if he listened to the other Chiefs and represented their opinions as well, Gen. Amos would not feel compelled to voice his own concerns. Mullen has hijacked our military with his "diversity is our number one issue" jihad and the Navy is still suffering from his tenure as CNO. He needs to go.

Posted by: BlackBart1 | November 14, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

I am a retired Marine Reservist and father of two active duty Marine sons one of whom is serving aboard the USS Essex with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit sailing somewhere in the Western Pacific. The berthing quarters in the troop hold aboard the Essex are even more crowded than Marine barracks ashore.

Having served in such close quarters myself, I completely support my Commandant’s belief that allowing gays to serve openly would substantially degrade unit cohesion in our Corps. I say this even though on social issues I am very liberal—except for the death penalty. I canvassed door-to-door and climbed thousands of apartment building steps to help elect President Obama in 2008.

You wrote:

“Given the law of averages, I was undoubtedly in the Army with gay men. We shared the same barracks and slept, on the occasions when I could not avoid it, on the ground. We showered together and used the lavatory together…and I never knew of an incident.”

Mr. Cohen, do you read what you write? OF COURSE you “never knew of an incident” precisely because the gay soldier you undoubtedly served with knew he would be quickly discharged from the Army if he was openly gay!

That policy was harsh—the current don’t-ask-don’t tell policy is kinder and gentler. It is consistent with good order and discipline which is essential to accomplish dangerous missions while minimizing loss of life. It should be continued.

James Haluska

Posted by: jimdog | November 14, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

I'd expect nothing less from Cohen than an ad hominem attack. Cohen and his ilk continue to misquote General Amos, who was merely explaining to those who have no comprehension of life on a battlefield when he stated that there is nothing more intimate than combat. Amos has clearly been on the record stating that this issue isn't a social matter, rather one of unnecessary risk at a time when so many of our young men and women are risking their lives on the battlefields of Afghanistan. Life for our troops is dangerous enough right now without monkeying around with trying to ram social change into American culture via the military. If people are behind changes to gay status in America, let them change our culture via their local and federal legislatures, and then the military will follow. If America was truly behind the gay agenda, the issue of gay marriage would have been already resolved. It is wrong to give our troops in harms' way a significant cultural agenda to contend with when they already have their hands full dealing with the Taliban. So, go ahead Cohen; spout off from the comfort of your office while guys and gals like Amos defend your 1st Amendment rights.

Posted by: williambarnacle | November 14, 2010 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Cohen draws on flawed reporting to make his point. The highlight of what Gen Amos said recently, that went unreported in Spagat's piece, was, "There is nothing more intimate than combat and I want to make that point crystal clear." Instead Spagat pulled a later quote "There is nothing more intimate than young men and young women ...." which significantly altered the context of the remark. The fact of the matter is this, The Marine Corps has ligitmate concerns about the ramifications of changing the policy as it relates to the cohesion of Marines in combat. The Corps awaits the outcome of the survey, and if and when the policy changes, will lead the way within the deptament to implement the change. To paint Gen Amos' comments in any other fashion is willfully dishonesty.

Posted by: MatthewMcLaughlin | November 15, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

The Commandant has said he opposes it, not that he will disobey the Congress or the chain of command. Only Congress may change the policy and only Congress can change the Uniform Code of Military Justice. Marine general officers are known for speaking their minds and taking the consequences.

===========================================

If Congress changes the policy and the president orders integration than Gen Amos will carry it out. What makes Cohen's post so asinine and gratuitous is that not only is it out of the Commandant's hands but with all the challenges he faces this is the last thing he wants to deal with.

Posted by: bbface21 | November 15, 2010 11:34 AM | Report abuse

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