Thursday, February 04, 2010

Oh, what the heck.

Since it won't go away, more on DADT from Abby and ASM826, who bring interesting (and well-written) thoughts to the table.

26 comments:

Ed Foster said...

It's not often I'm in agreement with Bill Clinton, but on DADT I am.

If the military can't function with openly gay personnel, and it can't, for many reasons, there are really only two options. Discharge all gay personnel, or tell them to keep it in the closet and act like everybody else while on base or in uniform.

DADT says you can be gay, just not strident. And I suspect that, under the present system, there is a great deal more empathy for homosexuals than there would be if some to many of them were demanding priviledges and antagonizing people who disagreed with them.

Bottom line, as has been pointed out in several commentaries on the subject, the military needs the killing machines that come from essentially homophobic cultures.

They don't need people who come from the gay community anywhere near as much.

DADT is the only thing that keeps all gays acting like soldiers all the time, preventing a split that would destroy unit cohesion.

Themadlemming said...

One of the things I find interesting is that some of the most powerful warrior cultures in history accepted bi-sexual and/or gay troops. The ancient Spartans and Macedonians both come to mind.Even the Hagakure (IIRC) taught the samurai the proper way to have homosexual relations.

Boat Guy said...

Abby's comment IS very well-written ('course I agree so that may have some bearing on my compliment). While I would expect we would not go so far as to presume to teach folks the "proper way" to have ANY "relations", I think Abby really hit on one of the better reasons to ditch DADT; if one of our people wants a "partner" to accompany them to a social event, then DEAL WITH IT. The thought of getting a "Dear John/Jane" and not being able to tell anyone would be bad indeed.
As I've noted on another forum, I'm pretty sure that in the course of 32 years in uniform and (so far) 4 years in civvies I've served with gay folks (though again, no irrefutable, compelling proof) and I do have gay family memebers; in essence, I have two brothers-in-law but only one sister.
We have the means to deal with discipline problems already and we use them, usually to pretty good effect. I did have the thought that was brought out on the LabRat site; "I guess now we guys might have to deal with what the gals have always had to deal with; the possibility of somebody hittin on ya, who you'd not want to have hit on ya" Again; deal with it...

Boat Guy said...

To Ed I'd say; DISCIPLINE is what "keeps soldiers acting like soldiers all the time". Unit cohesion is the responsibility of the chain-of-command.
I don't get that "homophobia" is a requisite "quality" for killing the enemies of my country. I know of a number of exceptions to that idea; indeed many of the people I know who've successfully taken out a number of the bad guys are not homophobic.

Ed Foster said...

Discipline couldn't exist in that environment. Billy-Bob McCracker simply won't enlist for that kind of service, especially after his older brother Bobby-Joe leaves the service rather than put up with "Those People".

There are no rights and wrongs here, only a simple engineering problem. You need the rednecks, especially, primarily, in the combat units. If you mix in gays you lose the rednecks.

FoxNews poll of military personnel. Roughly 45% will leave the service rather than serve with openly gay individuals. In combat units it's a heavy majority.

If three guys in the squad are homophobes and three guys aren't, you just lost your unit. It's not what you like, it's what you have to work with.

I don't particularly dislike gays, and have a few as relatives. I think there's something broken there, something a bit sad, but I don't think they're the devil's spawn. I'm reminded of Socrates's argument against homosexuality, "It's just so illogical".

I don't care how somebody else tickles his plumbing on his own time. It doesn't raise my taxes.

But there is a stridency to much gay activism, and it would become far stronger if gays in the military wwere allowed "out of the closet".

We need our killing machines, all of them, not just the 55% who would initially stay. And I'm certain that number would decrease over time as the place took on more of the style of a gay bath house.

Yes the Vikings were bent, and the Spartans and the Samurai. But they were ALL bent, not mixed with straights, and came from fighting cultures that accepted open homosexuality as the norm. We don't have that anymore, except in Afganistan, and I wouldn't consider them a shining example of organization and discipline.

It might also be noted that each of these cultures failed precisely because of the lack of babies. By the forth century B.C. the entire Spartan supply of Similares, full citizen heavy infantry, was less than 1,000 men. And virtually all of them had been fathered by Helots.

The Vikings virtually eliminated XYY from the Baltic gene pool, with the incidence of it being 2,000% to 3,000% higher among the Scots and Irish than among Scandinavians. The Scots and Irish bred selectively for it, and the Norse eliminated it by using it up.

The Samurai looked the other way while their employers got their women in a family way, and still had to have a constant stream of new blood from the peasantry. In 16th century Japan, going Samurai was virtually the only upwardly mobile venue available to aspiring young men.

There really aren't any historical anologies that would work in our present system. It's important to remember this isn't simply a personal choice in entertainment, it is, to a greater or lesser extent, a distinct culture, one that, under the smiles and jokes, is quite hostile to the norm.

Is the hostility justified? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. It doesn't matter. We're dealing with what is, rather than what we would prefer. The question is, how do we keep the Rednecks?

"I know of a number of exceptions to that idea; indeed many of the people I know who've successfully taken out a number of the bad guys are not homophobic".

And the definition of exception is...?

We can't fight wars with exceptions, we need the military we have now. All of it. If gay soldiers continue acting as they do now, they have value to us.

If, released from the constraints of DADT, many of them stop acting like soldiers, I doubt there is much that could be done in today's political climate to correct the problem.

So why not leave it alone. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.

Kristopher said...

Ed: If you are such an un-confident heterosexual that queers scare you, then maybe you don't belong in the military?

My heterosexuality is not diminished by the presence of queers.

Maybe you should get help with this confidence issue of yours?

Lewis said...

Kristopher:

Nice way to not respond to what Ed actually said. Oh well!

To the Tam collective in general:

A buddy of mine, active duty in the Suck, has been conducting an ongoing poll, asking, "Women, or gays?" (I.e., which would you ban, if you could only ban one, and banning the one would open the floodgates to the other.)

Between 80 and 90 percent of respondents would take gays, if they could keep women out of the military.

Not going to solve anything, of course, but it's a datapoint.

Ed Foster said...

Kristopher,read what Lewis said.

It was an exercise in logic, stated simply as "How do we keep the Rednecks". Again, without them we have no military.

I said nothing about how many of my personal friends were of any particular orientation, as, if they are my friends, it doesn't matter.

I suspect that, in non-military matters, my attitude toward gays is probably considerably farther toward the libertarian than most of the people I know. I just don't care what happens behind closed doors. It's not my business.

But after my own military service, and being the third generation of my family born in a military hospital, I will say, based on my own personal knowledge of the service, that virtually all the hard chargers will leave.

I'm also positing the supposition that military gays post DADT will, as a group, be far more strident and less disciplined than they are now, and enlistment will swing strongly toward angry, disfunctional types looking for that bath house I mentioned before.

Not a recipe for a dynamic fighting force.

staghounds said...

Those rednecks wouldn't serve with Black people back in 1947, either.

If you think that even trigger pulling I-B privates are merely "killing machines", you are ignorant.

Being a gay man and a killer in uniform work fine together. To pick some obvious names, Seigfried "mad Jack" Sassoon was so bloodthirsty that old soldier Frank Richards was bothered by it. Robert Graves was no slouch as a combat officer, and Ernst Rohm didn't get the EK1 for sitting in an office.




From my own experience, "homosexual man" and "killing machine" are not mutually exclusive categories even in civil life.

In addition to some famous high achievers in Chicago and Atlanta who have fit into both categories, many an old time homicide detective will tell you that the very extreme-est killings of men- stabbed ninety seven times, that sort of thing- are often, if not almost always, the work of homosexual men.

Done arguing with the wrong.

cma said...

staghounds said...

"Those rednecks wouldn't serve with Black people back in 1947, either."

FWIW, In 1947 we had conscription.

Whether we could expect the same results with today's volunteers may be somewhat less certain.

Anonymous said...

Having spent time training Canadian military units that allow gay soldiers, I have seen no evidence that it has any effect on their unit cohesion.

The big point I would make is they were soldiers first and gay second.
The warrant we worked with was a top soldier in any army and that's why he was respected.

It about being a soldier, sailor, airman or marine. It will not work if it is more important to be a (insert group or gender) soldier, sailor, airman or marine.

Gerry

Stuart_the_Viking said...

I have to disagree with the Ed Fosters of the world. Sure change is hard, and initally, there seem to be insurmountable problems; but once everyone gets used to the idea it will seem like thats the way it has always been.

Sure, there may be a huge number of soldiers who believe they would leave the service rather than serve with "fags". It's easy to say "I'd quit", but harder to do. They would at least have to finish their enlistment, and in that time it would become odvious that everything was all blown out of proportion. The feared dick sucking parties in the halls of the barracks just won't materialize. Male soldiers won't be allowed to run around in female uniforms, it just won't happen.

As far as the supposed need for homophobic rage in order to kill the enemy goes... damn... I don't even know what to say to that. Homosexuals who join the military (and succeed there) aren't the powder puffs that you see in the movies. In the time that I was in the US Marines, I knew of 4 homosexual Marines that I interacted with only one of which I would have worried about going into combat with, and truth be told, he probably would have done fine. There were plenty of strait Marines that I wouldn't have wanted to had to rely upon.

s

Ed Foster said...

Stuart, anonymous, and staghounds, I just have to disagree. It's as simple as that. The crucial point I tried to make was this: eliminate DADT and you lose most of what keeps many military gays acting like military gays, rather than non-military gays.

The anology of gays equals blacks doesn't hunt either, as there are almost no blacks in combat units. Big stink from both left and right on that about two years ago, google it up.

Getting shot at is a "Cracker Thing", and African-Americans, with only a few noteable exceptions, end up in supply, the motor pool, and the kitchen.

Eight hours a day, three hots and a cot, and an early pension. The chance of rear eschelon troops getting whacked in a sandbox scenario has dropped the black enlistment rate to almost zero since the first invasion of Iraq.

As far as the rapidly dwindling Canadian military, I had relatives in the Princess Pats and Canadian Seaforth a few wars back, and I won't make any jabs at anyone who puts on a uniform and joins combat arms.

But except for several excellent snipers (American trained and armed), the Canadian military is window dressing. America has the only serious military in the more or less free world.

The Brits ride our planes to get to Afganistan, eat our food, and fire our artillery ammo, which they no longer manufacture. The Germans are a bad joke, a collection of obese clowns who couldn't make it in the outside world. The French could actually do something if they had the will, but they don't.

So what the Danish or Lower Slobbovian army does is entirely unimportant. We are the last line, we are the only line, and we need to maintain at least what minimum strength and efficiency we now possess.

Stuart, I never said anything about a homophobic rage. There are perfectly normal people who simply believe that homosexuality is wrong and homosexuals are disfunctional and often untrustworthy. It's an opinion, not a madness, and their contempt or pity for gays has nothing to do with their ability to perform militarily. It's a separate part of their culture and one that is not wrong simply because you disagree with it.

Also, there's a bit more to soldiering than killing rages. Without DADT, could you really be certain discipline could be maintained? Again, especially with a large influx of openly gay recruits? These are teenaged male animals, regardless of where they hide the salami.

While in the Marine Corp, I only knew one homosexual guy personally, and a couple of Navy Corpsmen by reputation. All functioned competently, although the Marine was legitimately creepy. Perhaps more so to me because I was sympathetic, but I coped.

The BAMs, or Women Marines, probably went 30% or 40% lesbian, and that was O.K. too, because you didn't have to depend on them in a fight, and there wasn't any real interaction between us.

Please don't cast me in the mold of frothing homophobe, because I'm not. I'm merely saying the middle way of Don't Ask, Don't Tell is a reasonably neutral compromise, and I don't know anybody who has been shot at often who could tolerate anything more liberal. And I know lots of people who have been shot at.

I was drinking with a bunch of them last night, and there isn't a nutter in the bunch, just a cold, hard, professionalism and a staggering body count.

I can guarantee every one of these guys would spit on the PC idea of a "mixed" unit.

If not because of the reaction of the gays involved, then because of the reaction of those who distrust the motives and self control of the gays. And those people are a large part of combat arms. If not a majority, then a damned large minority.

What we have works. Anything else, including swinging the other way and discharging all gays, would leave a stressed and understrength military all that much more vulnerable in the middle of a war. All I'm saying is,if it isn't broke, then don't fix it.

Kristopher said...

Le3wis said:

Kristopher:

Nice way to not respond to what Ed actually said. Oh well!


As far as I could read his points consisted of one outright lie; that DADT simply requires less stridency, and his other points were that fear of gays would destroy discipline. A little later, he said that some of his best friends were gay, but that he thought they were somehow not right ... and that this wasn't really bigotry.

I gave his points far less brutal treatment then they deserved.

If he is such a coward that he can't handle the mere thought of a gay looking at him, then I don't trust him to adequately defend this country.

Kristopher said...

Oh, yes, and I almost forgot, he also equated blacks with cowardice. I guess that Eisenhower guy was just being stupid when he decided to trust them b lacks with firearms.

Way to get the bigotry trifecta, Ed!

Got any choice comments about women in the military to share with us at all while you are at it?

Ed Foster said...

Kristopher, I was trying to have a logical conversation on a subject that rightly or wrongly is being commented on by many folks.

I was using honest, easily researched demographics in discussing cultural differences in and out of the military and how they intersect and sometimes clash. Nothing more, nothing less.

Please recall I was defending DADT as a compromise, a flexible middle ground between the two extremes so strongly espoused at the time the legislation was passed. Does that make me a fanatic of the center?

My observation of you is that you think in cliches, are always angry at something, perhaps feel the need to be angry to justify your existence, and you need a devil to attack, even if you have to manufacture one out of whole cloth.

Did you ever see the old Bob Hope bit on YouTube, concerning zombies? I was just wondering if you were a registered you-know-what.

My suggestion would be to go up the cellar stairs, tell Mommy the mean man was bad to you, and ask her for a cookie and a hug.

And I won't be posting any more comments on this particular subject, as it seems to reder you incapable of coherent thought. That's assuming you ever were.

ASM826 said...

Thanks, Tam. I am going to correct an oversight and add you to my blogroll.

Boat Guy said...

Ed,
You've got some points there but I think you may be sellin our folks a little on the short-side. We seem to travel in similar circles and yes, there are a number of old guys who've told me they'd quit, but the proportion of the younger guys seems smaller, frankly put they seem to care less - as long as they're not being hit on.
I don't agree with your generalization of "only rednecks=warriors", though. I've seen too many exceptions in both cases. I've served a long time, most of the second half was Joint-SOF, and I've had most of my stereotypes busted on more than one occasion. I think our people and our leadership ( the current crop of conventional Bn CO's especially) can handle this if it comes.

Lewis said...

I would be more sanguine about the prospect of removing/redacting DADT if we weren't, you know, in the middle of two shooting wars right now (one half Iraq, one half Pakistan, full on Afghanistan) with the prospect of another one in the wings (Iran).

The time to tinker and innovate is not during a fight, unless you're getting your ass whipped and need to really change how you're doing things. (Note: I do think we're getting our asses whipped, but on a more Sun-Tzu level.)

Maybe I just don't get the fierce urgency of now.

Kristopher said...

Registered Republican, Ed, and a heterosexual white man.

Gun owner, and about as conservative as you can get ... except I am not a god botherer, and I have no truck with bigotry.

Perhaps you should examine yourself for kneejerk reactions.

staghounds said...

Reading all these comments, I'm struck by a couple of things.

Most of us are students of history and believe it can be a pretty good predictor.

Most of the commenters who have seen service refer to fellow service members who were homosexual. Most of the homosexuals are described as goos soldiers, some as run of the mill, only very rarely as objectively bad, and never as worse than any straight soldier.

I don't know if this is the "pet Jew" phenomenon, but it sounds like homosexuals do alright. And that is just the known ones, who serve in defiance of the law and in the face of immediate discharge if discovered.

I also see lots of suggestions that soldiers would quit if confronted with homosexual (shower, barrack, foxhole) mates.

Yet zero of the commenters so confronted did leave. Nor has anyone pointed out any actual examples of this panicked departure in any military service, ours included.

And although President Truman ordered desegregation in 1948, it didn't happen. Actual integration was a result of the still segregated army getting beaten all to hell by the Chinese in Korea. That gave the Generals a shove to actually integrating the services.

There's no indication that the immediate, forced integration, in the middle of a serious shooting war against an actual army caused any effect at all, on enlistment rates, retention, or anything else.



I agree it's about effectiveness, not about nice.

Nothing indicates that the services depend on f@g haters for their effectiveness today, any more than they did on ni6ger haters in 1952.

Stephen in Pittsfield said...

My father was an MP in the army from 1964 until 1986. He stayed in the Massachusetts National Guard until 1995, and was in Fort Benning Georgia for a year training MPs during desert storm. I checked the one percent figure about African Americans in combat units and it is true.
My father was only twenty miles away when the My Lai massacre happened. Most of the MPs and CID that investigated it were his friends. After committing mutiny in the field, almost two hundred black soldiers committed gang rape of all the Vietnamese women in a friendly village, killed the Vietnamese men who tried to save their families, then split the women open with their bayonets like chickens.
After that, the Army got all the African Americans away from combat units and made them truck drivers and clerks. That kind of behavior is supposed to be why they were disarmed after the Spanish American war and used as laborers.
My father said that the reason the unit was almost all black was that it was a 'shitbird' company, made up of troublemakers sent there from other units that couldn't trust them in a fight. It was a safe area without much communist activity. He also said the fraggings done in Vietnam were pretty much done by blacks, against NCOs, white and black, who tried to make them fight.
Some fragging were defensive, done by responsible NCOs against known troublemakers, and the reverse fraggings were the only thing that kept the lid on at a lot of fire bases. Them, and some friendly fire accidents when possible.
Because the Generals were afraid of race riots back in the US, none of the murderers were punished, another reason for not having them in combat units.
At the same time My Lai happened, a bunch of blacks in Germany tried to storm a base armory, and were driven away with a bayonet charge from Airborne troops returning from a field exercise. A true story, sworn to by my father's best friend in the army, another MP E-9.
Could it be that a large part of the efficiency of the American military is due to the return to a segregated force? Three out of four medals of honor in the Korean War went to appalachian whites, all the rest to other whites,and the 24th regiment, a black unit, ran away every time they were shot at, abandoning their tanks and weapons to the communists.
Bob, the NCO from Germany, also mentioned the level of dishonorable discharges, bad conduct discharges, and undesireable discharges for blacks was four hundred to five hundred percent higher than for whites or asians. These weren't gangbangers with criminal records, those people couldn't get recruited.

With all the special treatment they recieve, gays are now a distinct and usually hostile cultural group. One of many minorities with a bad attitude and a feeling that they are owed something by the 'breeders'.
So if we had aggressive gays acting up, violating the UCMJ and protected by the Democrats and Media, would the NCOs have to handle it the way they did black racism?
As for this thing with Kristopher and Ed, it seems to me that Ed is talking with logic, trying to make objective points about real things. Kristopher seems almost hysterical, and he seems to think that anybody who disagrees with him is a closet homosexual. He keeps bringing that up in every post, it's very important to him. I don't think Ed is the one with the problem.

I'm in the NROTC and take my commission in June. My attitude towards gays is one of mistrust for many of them, total trust for none of them Too many of them have a seperate agenda and divided loyalties, and because of their special status thcan always work the system in a way straight military personnel can't.

I do not know a single person in the military who feels different. They might agree with someone who is aggressively pro gay to avoid problems, but please believe me, we don't want them.

Kristopher said...

Stephen: Your anti-black screed told us all we need to know about you and your opinions.


Thanks for being straight with us.

Anonymous said...

Kristopher, I think Stephen kicked your butt. He's only racist if he's wrong, and he isn't.

My friend Ben, the second best machine gunner in the world, was a light skinned African-American. Because he did a good job and would hang with whites as an equal, he was called traitor, and abused regularly. Lots of oreo remarks, and we were careful where we walked at night.
Our unit didn't have much in the way of fragging incidents, but there were units, particularly artillery units, that had a full scale race war running.
And in every case, it was the blacks who started it, the blacks who refused to pull guard mount, and the blacks who threatened armed mutiny if forced to actually do their job.
Bottom line, if the numbers are honest, it's not racism, it's history.
I won't go near the gay thing, that's a total cluster, but I think it's honest to say that, for what ever reason, African-American culture produces few good soldiers.
There are wonderful exceptions, but they are exceptions.

Will said...

Stephen,

According to this: http://www.historynet.com/korean-war-forgotten-24th-and-34th-infantry-regiments.htm/5 (story of the 24th starts about pg5)

"During that fight, machine-gunner Pfc William Thompson gave his life to stop the enemy and save many of his comrades, for which he was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor."
per Wiki:
"The regiment also had two Medal of Honor recipients, Cornelius H. Charlton and William Thompson."



"The struggle for Battle Mountain went on through the rest of August. At times, according to an Army historian, individuals in the front-line units of the 24th pulled out of position without orders, or 'bugged out' in Korean War terminology. No doubt some men did bug out, but most of the troops stayed, fought and died, inflicting heavy casualties on the North Koreans. The 24th's own battle losses were severe...
The summit of Battle Mountain changed hands 19 times between August 15 and August 31, according to calculations of the Intelligence sergeant of 1st Battalion. The 24th regiment suffered 500 battle casualties in August. In that month, too, the 3/34th had three different battalion commanders."

It seems that most of the problems with the 24th were due to lousy leadership at all levels, partly due to an incredible level of turnover, and possibly to low quality of officers and/or low expectations of performance of the troops by these officers. BTW, all officers were white.
In addition, it is mentioned that the upper brass didn't expect the high level of performance of the North Korean Army. Consequently, our guys were told to stop them with a distinct lack of equipment to accomplish it with.

In the 1898 War, they lost 40% of their men(IIRC) going up San Juan Hill.

So, the first Google hit indicates that your dismissal of the 24th Reg is a bit overblown. Can we guess that your other cases might also be somewhat exaggerated? Over time, word of mouth stories tend to change and grow in the telling.

Kristopher said...

Anonymous coward 10:54 :

Yea right, some of your best friends were black.