I wrote this about a month ago as a draft. Inspired by this article, I decided to submit it for my next Inspection column.
One of the biggest canards out there is that a professional fighting force can’t take the intrusion of women or gays on the battlefields and elsewhere in the military. Professional fighting forces in other countries do. In fact the inclusion of both in the military is a good thing, in my opinion.
There are all kinds of good reasons for them to be part of the military. They can make great soldiers: even better, than some straight white males. Unequal access is unconstitutional. Because sexism and homophobia shouldn’t get any stamp of approval: even from the military. But there’s a reason why the inclusion of people who offend simply because of who they are should be often allowed in the military…
They provide a very necessary stress test.
We need soldiers who will fight despite distractions: and that includes sexual distractions. That also includes their hatred, or disgust regarding, gays, Jews, Muslims, Christians, Atheists, liberals, conservatives or their looking down upon women. If their problems with these things, with their passions, or perversions, is too great for them to deal with, then they suck as a choice for defending of their country.
I am not suggesting we wait until rape, for example, happens. No: comments overheard, attitudes they obviously have, how they treat other soldiers who are women, or gay: the watchful eye of officers should use all this like a stress test. If soldiers can’t handle working with each other they should be let go: no longer allowed to be soldiers.
If those whose job it is is defend America are as good as defenders of some claim, there should be no problems. No rapes. No bashing. No outing.
Never guess what? We have met the enemy and he is us, as the cliche’ goes. The enemy isn’t “she.” The enemy isn’t gay. No, is straight and thinks rape and bashing more important than serving their country. Too many testosterone focused males have failed miserably at working well with others. If they can’t pass this test: officer or enlisted, maybe their just not fit to serve at all.
If gays, or women, were the problem then the rapes, the abuse, the deaths would be committed by them. Simply “that’s what young men driven by pheromones (or prejudice) do: it’s natural,” should never, ever, be allowed to excuse such behavior. It’s also “normal” to run when bullets start to fly, but what do we consider those who do? Not just cowards, but traitors, deserters. Soldiers who rape, attack or go after other soldiers due to sex, or sexual preference, are running from their responsibilities as soldiers, so the same terms apply.
I do believe we should support our soldiers: they don’t choose the missions, but suffer the consequences no matter how poorly chosen such missions are. But support those who serve their country first… not their own personal theology or sexual prejudices.
There was a time when Blacks couldn’t be in the same foxhole as whites. Should those who refused to defend their countries with Blacks have been rewarded? I’m sure there have been problems with Jews, Atheists, Muslims: many faiths other than Christian, being in the same foxhole. Should they have been rewarded for refusing to do their duty when a Jew or an Atheist might be in a foxhole with them?
If someone refuses to do so, obviously they’re the problem: not those who offend them simply by being there.
They failed because they got too stressed out.
In the same sense those who get too stressed out and start verbally abusing women because they are women, gays because they are gays, have failed their stress test and should be told to leave.
And we’ll have a far better military for it.
Inspection is a column that has been written by Ken Carman for over 30 years. Inspection is dedicated to looking at odd angles, under all the rocks and into the unseen cracks and crevasses that constitute the issues and philosophical constructs of our day: places few think, or even dare, to venture.
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