Day by Day

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Hey, let me just stick my face into this blender!

Here goes. Might be painful.

Something tells me that Gen. Pace said what he said, and he won't apologise for it, no matter how much people yell. I'll save my comments till the end.

In a newspaper interview Monday, Marine Gen. Peter Pace had likened homosexuality to adultery and said the military should not condone it by allowing gays to serve openly in the military.


"As an individual, I would not want (acceptance of gay behavior) to be our policy, just like I would not want it to be our policy that if we were to find out that so-and-so was sleeping with somebody else's wife, that we would just look the other way, which we do not. We prosecute that kind of immoral behavior," Pace was quoted as saying.

I think I've written about this in the past, but I'm too lazy to go back and look it up. Maybe when I get home. Till then, here's my feelings on the whole thing:

The military exists to fight. Anything that interferes with our ability to fight needs to be removed. I honestly believe that homosexuality does more harm than good to the military. Now, there are probably a bunch of people asking "But Dave, how in the name of Hades does a person's sexuality interfere with their ability to fight?" The simple answer? As an individual, it doesn't.

"But, but, but....." I can hear the breath being drawn in for a good yell in my direction. Hold off for a bit.

As I said, as an individual it doesn't interfere with fighting ability. But despite all the crap advertising from a couple of years ago, there are no meaningful individuals in the Army, other than perhaps a few generals and the CSM of the Army. The smallest unit in the military is a TEAM. We try to separate men from women because to be quite blunt, sexual relationships in a unit degrade that unit's ability to fight. We don't allow men and women to share a barracks room, because unless the two people are in a committed relationship, living with someone of the opposite sex in close quarters interferes with daily life. We discourage relationships within the unit as much as possible. And trust me, right now it's hard enough to keep things simple with just male/female dynamics involved. So you tell me - especially all you women out there - would you want someone of the opposite sex living in a room with you for a couple of years? Not in the same HOUSE, where everyone has their own little private room they can go into to escape. Your room. Your BEDROOM. Think about all the problems that would cause.

Now then, you tell me, where shall we house these newly accepted homosexuals in the Army? If we don't allow men and women to share a barracks or a tent due to the sexual complications and other problems inherent in that, what is the difference with two gay men? Or a gay man and a hetro man sharing the same room? There will be just as many problems and complications between THAT room-sharing couple as there would be with a man and a woman sharing a room.

Again, it degrades the effectiveness of the UNIT. They could be G.I. Joe as an individual for all I care, but if they degrade the UNIT then they need to go.

When I made that case to one person, they told me "Well then, just give them their own rooms!" Really? With what money for extra housing? And what kind of a reception would a Private get if they have their own single room due to their sexuality, while Specialists and Sergeants have to share rooms because they're straight? You think that won't hurt the unit integrity at all?

And I'm not even getting into the problems that a gay soldier would have while dealing with the rest of the Army. News flash: There are still people who have big problems with homosexuality, for whatever reason. Religious. Cultural. Whatever. In civilian America, people's issues with homosexuality can be diminished in some fashion. In many instances if two people disagree on something fundamental, they can avoid each other for the most part. You cannot do that in the military. If (for example) somebody has a problem with me because I have a big nose, they can't go somewhere else and continue to work. They have to stare at my big nose day after day after day.

Anything that degrades the effectiveness of a unit must be removed. It's that simple. It's that harsh. It's that cruel. It's not nice, and I will never tell you that it's nice. But it's still the truth. If my abnormally large proboscis degrades the effectiveness of the unit, then I need to be removed.

By the way, I have a problem with women in the Armed Forces as well. I'm sure that'll generate me some hate mail, but I'll say it anyway. The vast majority of women cannot carry as much as I can. They cannot run as fast as I can. They cannot perform most if not all of the physical tasks inherent in military actions on par with me. And I'm not some super-troop, I'm about average physically. But my average outperforms their superior physicality time and time again. They can be courageous, honorable, disciplined, have integrity, but if I get popped in a firefight they cannot carry me out. Where as I know that I could carry anyone in my unit out of a firefight. I've practiced it. I know I can lift them. And I know that the females cannot lift me. Most of them cannot lift a crew-served weapon into place by themselves. If they get pregnant, they cannot be deployed. It degrades the effectiveness of the unit.

The military rejects people for all kinds of reasons. Too short. Too tall (and yes, that happens. It happened with one guy in Basic Training when I was going through. He was too tall to fit into a humvee, and was discharged). Too fat. Too slow. Too weak. Eyesight not good enough. Joints unable to take the strain of military duties. Illness. When I was at Ft. Riley, one soldier developed Diabetes, and was medically discharged. There is no guarantee of an insulin supply in the desert, and that made the soldier permanently undeployable. Bye bye. Actually, if I remember correctly, they were allowed to ETS and get an honorable discharge, but they were barred from re-enlisting due to their medical condition. The only difference was the type of certificate the soldier got. People get discharged because of bad knees, or bad backs, or bad whatever. One of the guys I was working with down here had a kidney shut down. Just went "That's it, I'm done" and turned itself off and died. That means he cannot be deployed, because the Army isn't going to send someone with only one functioning kidney into combat. He was discharged. It wasn't his fault, and there was nothing he could do, but it degraded the effectivness of the unit.

The point is this: If it degrades the effectiveness of the unit, it needs to be removed, or not allowed to enter the unit to begin with. This isn't corporate America, where a mistake might mean losing money, or hurting someones feelings. In the military, your life depends on your unit's ability to fight. And that doesn't just mean equipment and training, it also means having the right mindset and emotional framework needed to go into combat. This cannot be compromised.

I did not write this post because of any deep-rooted hatred of gays. I did not write it because of any percieved lack of courage or faithfulness on the part of any female. I wrote it because I wanted to impress on people the importance of the combat effectiveness of the unit, and that this effectiveness cannot be ignored, mishandled, or in any other way hurt. I know that someone will come up and tell me about something else stupid the Army has done and still survived. That's fine. I don't agree with everything the Army does, and while I approve of many of the changes the Army has made, I would roll back the clock on many of them as well.

I will now sit back and await the emails and comments labeling me a "woman-hating, faggot-bashing cock-slapper", or whatever else people feel like calling me.

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