Obama missing in action over DADT

Why are we polling heterosexual soldiers to find out about the difficulties faced by homosexual soldiers under Don't Ask, Don't Tell?

This week Pentagon officials picked 350 self-identifying heterosexual troops at random for a in-depth discussion about the gay troops living and working among them.

Conspicuously absent? Gay troops. They aren't permitted to give their two cents, because that would mean revealing they're gay, which would mean being thrown out of the military immediately.

Catch 22. You can't get there from here.

Maybe it's just me, but there doesn't seem to be much point in assessing the impact of Don't Ask, Don't Tell by asking the people least affected by it. Besides being a strategy that makes gays the problem, solely, it also presumes there is some kind of equality of impact for gay and straight soldiers when really, that's not the case.

Let's face facts. Some soldiers don't like gay people. Everyone knows that. But a heterosexual soldier's fleeting discomfort does not, in fact, stack up against a homosexual soldier's loss of his or her entire military career.

Whilst this 'study' continues it seem the real point is to run out the clock before midterms - before anyone has to, you know, take action. Then you can either kick it further down the road again or blame the GOP, if they win a majority, for blocking progress.

What a farce. What an embarrassing, stupid, anachronistic farce. America's gay community deserve better. They now have every right to their so-called 'fierce advocate' President Obama to lift the ban. But where is he? The military have a term for it: he's M.I.A.

A week after U.S. general John Sheehan had to apologize to the Dutch troops for bizarrely suggesting that their defeat by Serbs at Srebenica in 1995 was due to the presence of gay soldiers in their ranks, the military's fig leaf of soft bigotry isn't covering the utter injustice like it used to.

Last week Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende said Sheehan's comments were "beneath contempt" and the Defense Ministry called them "absolute nonsense."

That's the thing though, bigotry isn't rational. And neither is the Pentagon's strategy for examining the failure of DADT by consulting the people least affected by it.


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