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Friday, December 3, 2010

On Asking and Telling in the American Military

A lot of horse-trading playing out on American TV screens to repeal a bad policy. Are we moving towards an attitudinal shift?

In times of heated debate as to whether gay people should serve in the military, the American military, an all-volunteer force they say, where killing and maiming is de rigueur, we set about asking ourselves whether it is all really worth it. Why sign up for such a job?

Leafing through America’s Army: making the all-volunteer force by Beth Bailey, we got to this part where one top brass presented his arguments against an all inclusive force: “I am going to be blunt, maybe even a little crude with some of what I say about the infantry and combat,” Colonel Lucian Truscott III (U.S.A.,Ret) told committee members. And proceeded: “The question of gays in the military demands an answer to their serving in a real war, at dirt level, down where men kill and get killed, down where 85 percent of all of the casualties in all of the wars have occurred.”

With the gist of the thing below, Colonel goes on to present his case, forcefully, to the House Committee on Armed Services on the Policy Implications of Lifting the Ban on Homosexuals in the Military, 103rd Cong., 1st sess., May 4–5, 1993.


Down there we need to know: Will he fight? Will he be there when the going
gets tough? Is he willing to take a hill in the pouring rain, walk in
among the enemy dead, see their bloated bodies, the trash, the filth, the
piles of excrement, the stench of that mixed with that horrible sweetish
smell of rotting flesh? Is he willing to push a dead soldier out of a fox hole so
he can get into it? Is this guy willingly [sic] to aim his weapon right at
somebody and kill them? Can he take it if his best friend, the guy he went
through basic training with and shared a hole with for the past 3 months,
gets shot through the middle of his forehead and he has to sit there with
his body all night? If the answer to all of these questions is yes, then we
don’t care if he is white or black or brown or red or yellow. We don’t care
if he is Christian, Jew, Muslim, or atheist. We don’t give a damn if he is
gay. We wouldn’t even care if he were a she.

Of course, that was way back in 93! But still... Do you have the bulge?

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  1. I think this is one of many people exploiting the stereotype...that gays don't have the stomach, that they are weak, that they are wall flowers...some of us have more balls than the writer will ever hope to have and defending our country has nothing to do with sexual preference.
    I am willing to bet my life that Rue Paul has more cojones than this man and I know for a fact that I could, would and should be capable of that and more...after all, I worked in a funeral home picking up dead bodies.
    So, let's stop drawing the wrong picture and get down to the basic: this is an issue of the rights of the individual and whether they should be discriminated for something they are born with.
    It is about not being humiliated, not accepting the status of second class citizens.

  2. Col. Truscott says it like it is, as it should be. If you can do the job then nothing else matters; if only Congress could see that. If only other people outside of the military could see that too.

  3. Raulito, I kind of thought so... He was merely reaffirming sterotypes when he said that... Gays are less than manly. Not "warriors" enough to witness carnage. A democracy is a democracy rights for all. Then, only then, decide. Give them a chance. Then be proved either right or wrong.

    Ian, the whole thing is getting on our nerves. They are open to it only if it could wait till this "difficult period" is over... Then when???

  4. @ Mauro, I think that as the Senate has just proven once again with the vote against repealing Don't Ask Don't Tell, Congress has no idea of what "reality" really is.

    I wonder how many old soldiers will have to speak up against DADT or how long we have to wait for a President with balls enough to say "No" before we will ever rid ourselves of this unjust law.

  5. Your president has started a campaign on Facebook, Btw, Ian. That you people should start wrriting your senators and demanding a vote FOR.