R Conrad

Be Gay and Say F--k You to the Armed Forces!

Filed By R Conrad | January 05, 2011 3:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: Don't Ask Don't Tell, Mr., peace activist

While many gay and lesbian activists are celebrating the recent overturn of DADT, I thought it important to remember and reflect on queer resistance to the military industrial complex. The fierce and deafeningly blunt anti-war cartoons of Mr. Fish and a spate of recent articles from a handful of anti-war voices across the political spectrum come to mind, like Cindy Sheehan's "Don't Go, Don't Kill," Lady Bunny's "Don't Ask, Don't Go,," Queer's For Economic Justice's Statement on DADT: "A Military Job Is Not Economic Justice," or Crunch's "Why I Won't Be Celebrating the Repeal of DADT: Queer Soldiers are Still Agents of Genocide."

And of course, many more queer critiques of queer investments in militarism are available online through Against Equality's digital archive.

More visual sass from Mr. Fish after the jump.

FISHDontTellDontAsk500.jpg


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Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | January 5, 2011 3:52 PM

Or, alternatively, organize the GI and civilian antiwar movements to bring all the troops home now.

And defend PFC Bradley Manning, a hero of the GLBT and antiwar movements.

What? You would criticize the healthiest part of our economy? The one thriving sector that we have subsidized since the Korean conflict and accounts for 95% of our 14 trillion dollar national debt? The majestic armed forces who invaded 2 foreign countries and slaughtered hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians in retribution for less than 4,000 who died when the trade center fell? Don't you know that God is on our side as we flush out and exterminate those who bow to Mecca? I am aghast that you would write against the biggest bully ever cheered on by the patriotic masses. Don't you realize we have created and maintain the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction ever assembled on earth? Why we even have plans for the next several invasions into places like Iran and Venezuela when things die down a bit more in Afghanistan. Ah but I shouldn't speak of those things because it violates the military policy of Don't Ask Just Fund otherwise known as Wankers (we are now killing every resisting slob).

“I am not only a pacifist but a militant pacifist. I am willing to fight for peace. Nothing will end war unless the people themselves refuse to go to war.” .. Albert Einstein

Exactly, Deena! ... If the new Tea Partiers in Congress want to reduce federal spending and the National Debt, they need to start by bringing home the troops and slashing the defense budget!

Democrats gets blamed for the national debt ... but it rarely gets pointed out that the Republican presidents, starting with Reagan and including Bush-43, ran the debt up by routing all that borrowed money through the Pentagon!

Brad Bailey | January 5, 2011 4:24 PM

This is a bold article. I can only imagine the responses in the comment section had this been posted on the Advocate.

Check out "Why We Fight," the Eugene Jarecki documentary, to find out just how evil, corrupt and entrenched the military-industrial complex has become.

http://www.sonyclassics.com/whywefight/

It's scary as hell. There are actually think-tanks of people who get paid solely to find reasons to go to war, and sell those reasons to the American public. This has been documented.

In my book, we've not had a moral excuse to exercise military action since WWII, and even that conflict is questionable.

Franklin Roosevelt is hailed by many as "the savior of Western Civilization" because he got us into WWII. I think he was one of this nation's biggest traitors for lying to the American public the whole time he was secretly planning our involvement.

It is clear that when you spend mega-millions training thousands to conduct war, you know they will look for reasons to do what they've been trained to do. It is natural for them to want to prove their competency, but at the same time it is a when-you-have-a-hammer-every-problem-looks-like-a-nail sort of mindset.

As for FDR, you must remember that the US tried to stay neutral in the early years of WWII, got sucked in first via the lend-lease program with England (which almost certainly saved their asses), and finally the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Once American soil had been attacked, any president would have no choice but to defend the homeland. We think of WWII as a European theater, but often forget that Japan continued to attempt to attack the US West Coast, and that's what all the battles in the South Pacific were about -- keeping the Japanese as far as possible from the West Coast of America.

The Japanese even had a program of sending weather balloons into the atmosphere with bombs on them, so that the jet stream would carry them over the western US and bomb a random target -- that shows how totally desperate and obsessed the Japanese were about attacking the US directly.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | January 6, 2011 1:35 AM

"As for FDR, you must remember that the US tried to stay neutral in the early years of WWII, got sucked in first via the lend-lease program with England (which almost certainly saved their asses), and finally the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor."

Wrong. FDR and the US did what all they could to provoke both major Axis powers, openly siding with the English against the Germans and declaring embargoes that would have left the Japanese imperialists without fuel for their navy.

The Second World War, like the First, was just another war for imperial economic hegemony between four empires. The US and England fought d Germany and Japan to control the world. Of world leaders at the time only Stalin was imbecilic enough to think that neutrality was possible.

The war was the only reason the Depression of 1929 began to subside.

Had it not been for the Red Army the US would have won.

"The Japanese even had a program of sending weather balloons into the atmosphere with bombs on them, so that the jet stream would carry them over the western US and bomb a random target". There were 9,000 of them and they caused a few forest fires and sic casualties. The pay back consisted of genocidal anti-civilian fire bombing raids on Tokyo that historian Richard Rhodes says killed 100,000, injured a million and made a million homeless. Yokohama, Kobe, Nagasaki and Hiroshima also took hits which like Rotterdam, the anti-civilian blitzkrieg attacks to panic French civilians, the Blitz, Hamburg, Bremen, Dresden and Berlin were meant to kill as many civilians as possible.

From FDR and his contemporaries to Obama these people have no compunctions about mass murder.

As someone whose grandparents survived -- barely -- the unspeakably brutal Japanese occupation of Vietnam during WWII, your suggestion that the Empire of Japan was in any way an "innocent" victim of American aggression is pretty damn offensive.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | January 6, 2011 7:13 AM

You're hallucinating. You won't find the word 'innocent' used in connection with Japanese imperialism because it's not there. The whole point of my remarks was that all four imperialist powers tried to win the war by killing civilians. The civilians, except colonialists, were innocent, in my opinion.

If you think FDR wasn't pursuing a war policy and tried to provoke both the Germans and the Japanese then say that, and try to prove it (you can't), but try without creating things that aren't there.

I could care less if you're offended by the truth.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | January 6, 2011 7:53 AM

Bill, Happy New Year!

Of your comments I found the "embargo" of fuel to be most interesting. So, by failing to provide Japan with fuel to fight those "innocent civilians" we were not being neutral because we gave "lend lease" to the British who were not a Fascist state? So, while the United States (horrible imperialist) investors who had put a lot of money into Germany were also illogically planning on destroying their investment? Germany was the greatest investment growth sector of American overseas investment in the 1930's. "The establishment" was overlooking the horrors of fascism and they should not have been.

You are absolutely right about one thing..."only Stalin was imbecilic enough to think that neutrality was possible."

That remains true today. We cannot be "neutral" because it would mirror the imbecilic, head thrust in the sand, record of Stalin and Nevil Chamberlain's error of "appeasement." Your grasp of "truth" therefore is off the mark. Britain did not want war and certainly the American people did not want war, but we were attacked.

It was a different time and a different war where non interested persons were drafted to serve like it or not. With an all volunteer military DADT will translate into greater civil rights. I have always said that ANY federal recognition of our equality will make state level discrimination unsupportable. This should really be about trans gender inclusion in the American military for those who make the free choice to serve.

This was a time before "the military industrial complex" and the United States itself was ill prepared for war or we would not have been so utterly surprised at Pearl Harbor. (please, no conspiracy theories)

As to Ryan's point of this posting...he overlooks the fact that we may CHOOSE TO serve both as active military or not and civilian employees (such as translators) will not lose their employment either.

War is a horrible and unthinkable thing for any person to see at point zero. Rather than rehash old wars lets work to insure no new ones. Yes, our military will face cuts just as it did after Vietnam and it should be cut to defend our country. It may soon be hard for anyone to even join our military. At least, I hope so, but we should remember the need to keep our defenses trim, but well oiled. Our military and national guard are first responders to domestic disasters and the strain of being over committed elsewhere was too evident in New Orleans.

Giving the British and Soviets with millions of dollars worth of war material under the Lend-Lease program was absolutely a provocative act. What we SHOULD have done was offer asylum to Jewish refugees instead of turning them away, and refused to allow America to get dragged into another European war.

Refusing to support Japan's imperial ambitions by declining to provide them with oil and steel for their war machine, on the other hand, was (for once!) doing the right thing for the right reasons and is only construed as provocative by historial revisionists who wish to recast Japan as a "victim of American aggression".

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | January 6, 2011 5:40 PM

Lead-Lease wasn't important because it was provocative. It was a sign that the US looter class intended to crush German imperial ambitions. The fate of European Jews and others, particularly Soviet citizens was never a concern of FDR or Churchill. They did nothing to stop the holocaust. In the main it was stopped as the Red Army crushed the Wehrmacht.

Again you don't seem to get it. The Japanese were not victims, they and the US were rival and equally pugnacious Empire builders who fought for control of China. Both killed huge numbers of civilians during their empire building forays. The US in the Philippines, Vietnam, Korea, China and Japan and the Japanese primarily in China and Korea.

The Japanese were defeated and then came the surprise that angered racists in this country, the permanent success of the PLA and the formation of the PRC. The US has never recovered.

If the Japanese also treated French, Dutch, American and English colonists roughly it was a propaganda ploy to appear as liberators. In Vietnam most French colonial officials were retained by the Japanese so they could maintain control with few troops.

I confess I haven't run across any historians who think the Japanese were victims.

How ever you want to spin WWII I would suggest that it is reasonable to include some level of "defense" whereas no subsequent conflict or war can claim such a component. Oh sure the politicians of the day claimed defense under everything from the domino theory to WMD's but those were always transparent rationalizations.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | January 6, 2011 6:34 PM

The English, German, French, Italian, American and Japanese looters classes were all, and equally, guilty of aggression.

No one defended the Jews, least of all the zionists.

No one defended civilians from the mass murder of air raid and the depredations of the warring powers. Nanking was followed by Nagasaki, London by Hamburg, and Stalingrad by Berlin in a six year nightmare of mass murder.

FDR, Hirohito, Hitler, Churchill, Mussolini and the others all had the same goal - expansion and solidification of their empires. None put defense of civilians on top of their list of wartime objectives and combined, their victims were some sixty million civilians and soldiers.

It wasn't the worst blood bath in history and it won't be the last. One is going on now in Iraq, Palestine, Afghanistan and Pakistan as the American looter class moves to control oil and other resources of the muslim world.

The English, German, French, Italian, American and Japanese looters classes were all, and equally, guilty of aggression.

The Germans, Italians, and especially the Japanese committed atrocities of a quality and quantity which, frankly, utterly eclipse those committed by any other regimes in history. Speaking as someone whose family actually experienced this, I do not appreciate people who blindly describe all imperialism as equally evil out of some sort of twisted ideological purity.

In the particular case of Japan, I would argue that the general public's explicit knowledge of and enthusiastic support for the atrocities carried out by their military totally forfeited any sort of "civilian innocent" status and totally justified the use of unlimited warfare against them. The United States' motives certainly had a lot more to do with imperialism than justice, but that doesn't change the fact that they were ultimately doing the right thing in intervening against Japan.

What America should really be sorry for was its morally bankrupt decision to grant Japan mercy out of a racism-driven disinterest in justice for war crimes committed against nonwhites.

Bill Perdue Bill Perdue | January 7, 2011 1:57 PM

"I would argue that the general public's explicit knowledge of and enthusiastic support for the atrocities carried out by their military totally forfeited any sort of "civilian innocent" status and totally justified the use of unlimited warfare against them."

It's obvious you can't tell the difference between the imperial military class and Japanese workers and farmers. To call for the mass murder of the latter is inexcusable. The Japanese military were almost as rapacious as the European colonists.

You obviously have no idea of the role of the Kempeitai, the Japanese equivalent of MI5, the Gestapo, the NKVD or the FBI. The news was managed in Japan, and still is. Just like here. Paytriotism was mandatory.

Your bloodthirsty excuses for the genocidal air attacks on civilians in Tokto, Yokahama, Kobe, Nagasaki and Hiroshima are as ugly as the results of those bombings.