Tag Archives: Department of Defense

The man-purse for behind enemy lines

IDF Israeli Paratrooper bagA staple of army surplus stores since the days Banana Republic was the Starbucks of olive drab, the Israeli Paratrooper Bag was marketed as the Swiss Army Knife of handbags. Beside the ludicrous notion that an airborne assault fighter would shoulder a single-strapped man-purse, the red logo of a winged parachute raises another incongruity. For what pretext does a nation’s defensive force have “paratroopers?” I know the US/UK imperial powers label their entire military as being for defense, but they’ve got client states to dominate. Every nation’s special forces are now synonymous with SWAT, basically unconstitutional deployment of paramilitary forces against their own populations. Even if we grant governments this tool of repression, they don’t use parachutes. Paratroopers are the advance team for an invading army, dropped behind enemy lines to demolish another’s defenses against the main assault. And that’s why Israel is so unsuccessful in defending itself, it’s attacking.

Gay, married, or in the military: pick 2

top of wedding cakeI admit to feeling less supportive than I ought to for gays pushing for their right to wed — in the midst of every American’s crumbling civil rights — while our country decimates foreign human rights and lives. Couldn’t gay marriage activists at least share the spotlight with peace, out of consideration for the suffering of others, proportionately? How about: Make Love (Marital), Not War. Now gay rights are being made a wedge issue with the dubious right to aspire to be a soldier. Is now the time for us to urge the military to leave no gay behind?

I object as always to the presumption of a professional soldier’s moral validity.

To be fair, it may be that the gays-in-the-military meme is being pressed upon the gay activists. These days, military enlistment has lost a great deal of its appeal. Who can the Army pretend wants to join but can’t? Who else but a demographic that’s been historically denied? I can’t say for certain that gay rights activists haven’t been rallying at recruiting offices, but reporters always seem to find someone to complain they’re being discriminated against. No doubt the war-monger message-shapers can always track down one lone homosexual or two who want to play soldier.

With today’s economy, I’m sure there are not a few gay men and women who will decry the unfairness of being denied the military career path. Being gay doesn’t mean you’re a born hairdresser or a saint. Belonging to a victimized minority doesn’t automatically imbue you with empathy or a higher social conscience to preclude wanting to be a soldier. Gays can hate and kill with the best of grunts I’m sure.

The purpose of circulating this meme, that gays want the right to serve their country in uniform, doesn’t mean the Department of Defense intends to consider granting the right. This is not about enhancing gaydom. This is about putting some spin on the department’s recruiting problems. Who says no one wants to enlist? Gays do! This pseudo-rights campaign is meant to push straight boys into military service while they think it’s their exclusive right. Not only that, the campaign theme serves to reinforce that the military will be your sanctuary from gays. And if any lurk in the barrack, at least they are prohibited from showing it. In everyday civilian life, gays were much more bearable before they held parades to shove it in your face.

American media has come to delight in gayness writ Big Gay Al. But South Park is the only showcase for gay characters who aren’t the stereotypical decorator or fashion nerd. The gay home makeover does not cease to be a novelty, but I’d say the focus group is still out on construction contractor bears, gay bar trolls, and United Court female impersonators.

Without saying gays not welcome, the move to reexamine Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is really just spiffing up the old brand. Army of One, still gay-free.

What was the announcement today? That after years of criticism for the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy, the military has decided to put the question to further study. That is to say, to begin a year-long inquiry into the matter. The Army is still gay-free, in all certainty will remain so, now with a year’s warranty.

I have this message for my gay compatriots in activism. If this issue is being forced on you, and you abhor as I, the loaded nature of the media soundbite, the implication that people want to be in the military, it seems to me you have have a unique opportunity to make this message your own. Do you want to be in the business of soldiering? Tell them why.

Tell them why you want to go to war. Borrow a page from the testosterone-heavy war lovers. War crime, playing god, abuse of authority, yours for the taking.

Decry the stereotypes of gays as effete fops. Gays can kill, gays can have blood lust. Gays can shoot at women and children, maybe even with greater enthusiasm. I’ll bet gays could absolutely massacre women. And girls. With relish. If the Army is going to peddle stereotypes, answer in kind.

No telling what gays can do to boys. They can give boys equal time, the menace today’s soldiers reserve for girls. No one’s children will be safe. A gay-straight platoon will wreak havoc on all enemy’s progeny.

Imagine an inter-squad rivalry between the straights and the gays, who can out-debauch whom. Clearly an enhancement on America’s war of terror.

DoD tells court: you and whose army?

We know what happens if you and I are found In Contempt of Court. Well, maybe we only know from television. Defendants who defy the judge wind up with a time out in jail. Journalists who aren’t forthcoming famously sit in a cell until they decide to cooperate. What happens when the entity held in contempt is a government agency? For example, the biggest agency, protected by the world’s most powerful military? This week the US Department of Defense was held in contempt for blatantly ignoring a court directive. Now what?