Waymon Hudson

Conflicting Signs on DADT Repeal

Filed By Waymon Hudson | January 14, 2010 5:30 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics, The Movement
Tags: Barack Obama, Don't Ask Don't Tell, Mike Mullen, military, Pentagon

There are conflicting opinions coming out of the Military and the Administration on when to move forward on a repeal of the discriminatory "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy barring gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military.

dadt_3(1).jpgPentagon legal counsel for Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, are saying to wait on the repeal at least another year according to the AP:

"Now is not the time," the in-house legal counsel for Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, wrote recently in a memorandum obtained by The Associated Press. "The importance of winning the wars we are in, along with the stress on the force, our body of knowledge and the number of unknowns, demand that we act with deliberation."

Mullen received the conflicting advice this month about whether to move quickly to lift the 1993 ban, and it is not clear what he will recommend to President Barack Obama. Although allowing gays to serve openly in the military was one of Obama's campaign promises, the issue was put on a back burner during his first year in office. Some liberal supporters and several congressional Democrats are pushing for action.

Pushing back the repeal effort would put it right in the middle of 2012, an election year that might make weak-spined legislators less than enthusiastic about supporting it.

This call for more foot dragging comes on the heels of the reporting Tuesday that a repeal would be added to the upcoming defense authorization bill, a move reportedly supported by the White House:

Congressional negotiators and White House officials are moving forward with plans to add the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell to the upcoming defense authorization bill, Democratic sources tell the Huffington Post.


At this juncture, aides say, the prospects look good. Meanwhile, a source close to the White House says the president has instructed the Defense Department that he believes the repeal of DADT should be placed in the authorization bill.

Will the in-house council advice give cover to weak law-makers to say "now is not the time for repeal", even though we are fighting multiple wars and losing qualified soldiers (including in understaffed areas like linguists and strategists)? Will political weakness continue to kick the repeal further into the future?

Not if the White House, Congressional Leaders, and Military Leaders come forward and take strong stands on repealing a law that is not only discriminatory, but makes us weaker as a country.

Now is when we need our "Fierce Advocates" to stand and deliver on promises that were made to do what is right and not get cold feet when it comes to equality for our soldiers bravely serving our country.

(Big Hat Tip to Joe.My.God and Steve Rothaus at the Miami Herald)

Leave a comment

We want to know your opinion on this issue! While arguing about an opinion or idea is encouraged, personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please be respectful of others.

The editorial team will delete a comment that is off-topic, abusive, exceptionally incoherent, includes a slur or is soliciting and/or advertising. Repeated violations of the policy will result in revocation of your user account. Please keep in mind that this is our online home; ill-mannered house guests will be shown the door.

Thanks, Waymon, for trying to keep everyone up-to-date of this virtual Tilt-a-Whirl, as the dizzying, old carnival ride was called, of this-way, that-way events re ending DADT.

Going all the way back to Obama's initial backpedaling after winning the nomination, for every proverbial step forward there is soon one or more steps back. One need not know each of them to know this: gays continue to be discharged every day just as they were before he took office, even before he was BORN.

But now that he is the Commander-in-Chief, with documented promises regarding ending DADT more explicit than on any other LGBT issue, and regardless of whether one sees these various stories as a glass half empty or half full, this week the director of Servicmembers Legal Defense Network summed up the discouraging status quo this way [emphasis mine]:

"...the Administration understands that Don't Ask, Don't Tell is definitely coming up. But HOW they are going to handle it and WHAT they plan to give the services to respond to questions from Congress ARE BOTH UNKNOWNS, at least to me and to most of the Capitol Hill and DOD players we talk to."

In the absence of any other clarity, what I'm certain of is that we gain nothing...and risk all...if we simply remain silent, trusting that WITHOUT PRESSUE he will finally listen again to his better angels and reverse course from his first year in office which has both enforced and legally defended DADT.

Thank you.

I completely agree Michael- we have to put more pressure on now than ever. I know the SLDN has already started a new lobbying/public opinion campaign focused on Obama, with many other orgs joining in.

We can't let up for a minute, especially with this mixed signal coming out of the Pentagon.

Someone, some place wants to be re-elected and wants your vote. Thats all they want, YOUR vote. If you vote for them to stay in office just a few more years they'll try sooo hard to repeal DADT. Until the next election, when once again, they'll ask for YOUR vote. Thats all they want, is for you to vote for them.

Robert Ganshorn Robert Ganshorn | January 14, 2010 9:37 PM

Thank you for this Waymon. The president can "intend" to do something all he likes, but no president (since perhaps Nixon?) has ever successfully brought DC entrenched interests to heel and that is why it is seldom a straight line to any conclusion in Washington.

Assuming our "all volunteer" military has DADT repealed and the inevitable backlash from the right wing shrinks recruitment during the period when we have two land operations underway on the other side of the world. This could endanger people. They exaggerate the danger because they, the military, hate change anyway.

Waiting a year however, is as certain as waiting three, if it is not done now. It should have been done by executive order at once during the height of Obama's popularity to be followed up shortly by congressional action.

Instead health care has sucked all the air out of the room and only obtained inadequate (don't get sick for four years) results. I am still waiting to know why Japan spends half on health care per capita than we do and insures everyone while we leave 40 million people out and still spend twice the amount.

remember when queer activists used to despise the us military? when being queer often meant being anti-war and anti-imperialist. when so many were critiquing the military industrial complex?

remember when queer nation put out stickers and buttons saying:

"homosexual not homicidal, fuck the us military"

and now we are supposed to be begging to be participants in the us war machine on the basis of some idiotic notion of equality? what, you want equal opportunity to kill black and brown people (some of home will surely be gay) the world over for oil and other natural resource extraction?

come on now people. the equality rhetoric has got to stop when we are using it to demand participation in institutions that are making the world less safe.

and how much money will be poured into these repeal campaigns while working class people (including queers) are being preyed upon by the army recruiters with false promises of $$$ and education?

ugggg. now im going to bed totally irritated....

But what's happening is that queer folk enter the military, are chewed up by the war machine, and *then* discharged for being gay so they don't have to help them heal or give them any benefits.

Which is pure evil.

Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com | January 15, 2010 12:33 AM

Remember when we used to live in caves?

It's your right, Conrad, not to join the military yourself, and to recycle bumpersticker rhetoric, but you don't have the right, any more than the homohating dinosaurs in the Pentagon and Congress, to deny that choice to gays who want to.

And, please let us know the response you get from Haitians when you tell them to refuse to accept help from the American military now in and heading there.

No, can't think of a more efficient way to send aid to Haiti, not a single one. Obviously the only way to send aid to Haiti is through the military, two endless wars, a defense budget wasted on machinery that never gets used, and a huge bureaucracy. I believe CNN quoted one Haitian as saying: "I love the help they're sending. Without the blood of over one million Iraqis on this food, it just wouldn't count."

And I haven't think of anything more hyperbolic or histrionic I've read in a long time.

Absolutely, Alex.
It should have been left to the UN.

As their performance in Aceh shows, if you leave it up to the UN, if you have two million people starving and homeless, within a few months the problem goes away, and the UN can congratulate themselves on a job well done.

Look at how well they did in Myanmar too.

As regards disaster relief domestically, see Katrina. The city of Biloxi was erased, as were dozens of smaller places. Yet you don't hear about that disaster. That's because Mississippi had a half-competent state government that took care of things in the vital first week before the federal aid really stepped in. As is the plan.

Louisiana, and the City of New Orleans... not so much. A smaller problem, given equal federal resources, but a monumental screw-up.

You don't hear about the USCGS efforts in Mississipl or other places. That's because it didn't fit the Lede.

That's a great case for the military ending its involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq and engaging solely in situations where it can help like Haiti. The vast majority of the US military's operations are not humanitarian in nature, which is what I was responding to: Bedwell's assertion that the military is awesome and their actions are justified because of the humanitarian work they do.

As for Katrina, that's DHS, not US military, that was supposed to lead the federal response there. Don't really see how that's related.

Bedwell? Bedwell who? ... Alex, I don't see any comments here signed "Bedwell" ... what's going on?

Joani McBride | January 15, 2010 10:20 AM

The other factor saving Mississippi' s a$$ was the Feminist/Lesbian Community of the U.S. The womyn of Camp Sister Spirit (a Feminist/lesbian Retreat Center in Southern MS) initially stopped government aid convoys headed through the area and "requisitioned" supplies for the area and then got the word of the totality of the disaster and the Govt.neglect to the Lesbian Feminist community of the country through the internet. Womyn, Lesbian womyn, straight womyn, bi-womyn, trans womyn responded quickly and hugely and within days, money was arriving along with convoy after convoy of pick-up trucks & U-Hauls from all across America, California to Maine and every point in between with food, diapers, clothes and bedding and tools. Sister Spirit set up distribution centers and meal service for those with no power and shelter for those with no home and this poor, mostly black, thoroughly neglected corner of our world survived and rebounded. Millions of pounds of food and supplies of all kinds were delivered over the next 6 or so months.Was this UN or Natl. Guard? Hell no, this was Militia Etheridge.I think that there is a message here.

The importance of winning the wars we are in, along with the stress on the force, our body of knowledge and the number of unknowns, demand that we act with deliberation.

Well, that's pretty disingenuous. When was the last time the military acted with deliberation? Number of unknowns? Usually that turns them on.

And not that the military should have any say either. It doesn't provide cover, it just looks more ridiculous because more and more people work with queer ppl and are like, "deliberate what?" If they're paying attention at all.

"Now is not the time," the in-house legal counsel for Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, wrote recently in a memorandum obtained by The Associated Press.

It's never the time for civil rights, is it?

Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com | January 15, 2010 12:55 PM

You know how hollow people's arguments are when they have to resort to putting words in your mouth.

Stating the obvious, even to you Alex: I never wrote anything remotely suggesting that the military "is awesome and their actions are justified because of the humanitarian work they do."

THAT is a kind of "disrespect," too, that I respectfully suggest Bilerico consider adding to their official list of No-No's. Or is it only Bilerico Editors who are allowed to get away with bullshit demeaning others?

I have repeatedly written that they are an unfortunate necessity just like their parallel civilian police forces. When you have a better solution to those in the world or our neighborhoods who would like to maim or kill us, please let us know. The killers of Matthew Shepard and Gwen Araujo weren't tracked down by the Lavender Panthers carrying nothing but whistles. Have you written their mothers yet demonizing them for not saying, "No, you have to let these killers go because there are some really evil police in the world and the blood of their victims would be all over justice for my child”?

It would be one thing for you to simply have written, "I'm a pacifist and don't support violence even in cases of self-defense," but you chose to have a Cartmanlike meltdown in which you went off in comic book imagery of the American military being universally evil, ejaculating, along with the blood of a million Iraqis on the food cuteness, shrieks of, oh the horror, "BUREAUCRACY!!!!” while essentially expanding on the ridiculous post [NOTA BENE: I did not say the poster was ridiculous] suggesting that the deaths of "black and brown people" are somehow worse than the deaths of others.

For the record [for others], I hope to live long enough to see Bush Inc., tried as war criminals for invading Iraq [unfortunately, no one will live that long], have mixed feelings about Afghanistan but am certain I wish I didn’t have two cousins in uniformed harm’s way there because joining the military offered them economic opportunities they didn’t have otherwise, and have paid far higher dues for my beliefs that, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, I’d guess neither you nor Conrad have paid from your armchairs.

I was one of the leaders of multiple demonstrations in Indiana against the Vietnam War, the draft, and chemical and biological weapons [Newport] which resulted in my being physically attacked by strangers. I refused military induction twice resulting in my being indicted by a federal grand jury and thrown into jail by the FBI. I was prepared to accept a federal prison sentence for my felonies that could have been as long as five years, but, due to a legal error by my draft board, the indictment had to be dropped and I served two years as a civilian, minimum-wage employee of a nonprofit.


its tools like you that make me want to get violent. talk about disrespect...?!

keep yr arm chair comments to yrself. i live in a rural state in a working class mill town and i am organizing self-defense classes and pepper spray distributions to queer and trans folx. why call the police when we can defend ourselves just fine...? (thank the black panthers for this kind of forward thining) maybe the cops are just as unnecessary as the military in the kind of world i want to live in and the kind of world i'm desperately trying to help make.

you can continue to go begging to the state to stop trying to kill you and i, or you could take matters into your own hands like those of us that are actually doing something that doesnt re-inscribe violence on other marginalized people (like the black and brown people being murdered the world over by your homophobic us army bros).

also spending time in jail cells and wading through awful and bureaucratic criminal trials for two different arrests at anti-war demos means yr not the only one who has earned anything. the kind of rhetoric you spill is similar to that of crazed right wing republicans who think they are the only one that pay taxes.

some humble pie would do you good. eat yr words and get back to me...

Note, I wrote, "absent evidence to the contrary" and never suggested that I was the only one who had "earned anything" [Please "evidence of hollow arguments" above.]

Thank you for providing some, though an objective person wouldn't agree with you about all you've convinced yourself it constitutes. Training people to use pepper spray is training people to be violent. I support you in that but not your denial about it.

Were the final chapters of whatever history book you've read missing. In addition to having self-destructed long ago, save for some breakfasts they provided, the Black Panthers ended up being their own and their people's worst enemy and communities of color remain disproportionately victimized both by racist police, businesses, politicians, and criminals of color. I'd encourage pursuing a different role model.

In any case, just, again, to name two, Matthew Shepard and Gwen Araujo could have been summa cum laude graduates of your self-defense/we don't need the police panacea classes and they'd still be DEAD. As would Gandhi, 3000 occupants of the Twin Towers, any number of Palestinians, ad infinitum.

And, again, ENOUGH with the party line meme that "black and brown" lives are somehow worth more than white, red, yellow lives.

To paraphrase John Lennon, "All we are saying is give common sense a chance."

Just to be clear: Asking if "you want equal opportunity to kill black and brown people (some of home will surely be gay) the world over for oil and other natural resource extraction?" and noting "the black and brown people being murdered the world over by your homophobic us army bros" is hardly the same as saying that ""black and brown" lives are somehow worth more than white, red, yellow lives."

Fact: Wars in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries have disproportionately affected black and brown people and, yes, other people of colour - the "red" and "yellow" that you so cavalierly invoke, with little regard for the historically racist histories of those words when used to refer to Native Americans and, usually, Chinese people. (Or perhaps you were referring to the aliens among us, who knows?)

War is about gaining economic power via the rhetoric of patriotism and nation-building and, I'm sure you'll agree, it's about destroying lives and regions in the process. So far, yes, it's people of colour who have mostly been at the receiving end of that brutality because it's been mostly POC regions/nation-states that have been at the receiving end of all forms of imperialism. If you don't see that, well, there's nothing more to be said - but I'll note that even in your flattening of history where you involke Sheparde, Araujo, Gandhi, those who died on 9/11, AND Palestinians, the majority of the people who suffered violence have been people of colour. And, by the way, those are all different forms of violence - but those with a more nuanced version of history will know that, of course.

The question might well be: Does this mean that POCs are inherently incapable of perpetrating war? No. But we're not talking about philosophical hypotheticals here; we're talking about the history of war.

Let's be done with the distracting need to point out fictitious "memes" (the use of the word alone has become the most vile and annoying meme there is, in my opinion) and tackle the issues raised. As for the Black Panthers, sweeping aside of their contributions as "some breakfasts provided" isn't going to make their history disappear, and for that we have sound history books to thank. As opposed to blanket statements that rely on sound bites rather than nuance.

One person's "nuance" is another person's "Holier than thou."

And, actually, what we WERE talking about were actions/inactions re the homohatred of DADT before the discussion was hijacked AGAIN into a debate about the military as an institution.

You can deny it all you want, but the problem, and there IS one, with bringing race into that hijacked discussion is, AGAIN, implying that, e.g., killing millions of innocent people of certain colors is worse than killing millions of innocent people of any color.

That is, if nothing else, racist itself.

And, Madame, before you pontificate with the adverb "cavalierly" you might consider that the use of "red and yellow" in this context was no less grammatically justified than the use of "black and brown" for there would be differing preferences among all those individual groups about what THEY want to be called. [Ever hear of "First Nation people"?] Just as I wouldn't have called you on your use of "Chinese" because it served to reference the primary victims of "yellow race"-based oppression in the US even tho every young Chinese I know prefers "Asian" just as young Japanese, in my experience, do.

Finally, your dusty ideology books aside, I dare you to find 10 random African-Americans under 40 who can name ONE contribution of the Black Panthers. And I dare you to find 10 random ones over 40 who would say they miss them.


Putting aside the fact that you think using a simple word like "cavalierly" (which I could modify to "in a cavalier fashion," but you'd probably hate that even more) is pontificating, here are a couple of quick points I'll leave you with (and I am leaving you because I know you can and will, ah, pontificate in your own style, but then when *you* do it, you're only providing clarity, I know, I know):

a) You can't expect to have a conversation about DADT without also being pulled into discussions about the military as an institution. Well, you can, if you're part of the gay hegemony/Gay Inc. (there I go with another bit of pontificating) and if you choose to believe that there is such a thing as an apolitical gay world where a simplistic discourse on "rights" trumps a rational discussion of the contradictions that come about in issues like DADT. That discussion is a vibrant one that's going on in the real world, queer and straight, but I won't expect to find it here.

Which brings me to:

b) Or it would, if you'd actually address the fact that war has, for a long time, been an inherently racist and brutal and oppressive *institution* unto itself. That's not a distraction from the original post; it's absolutely germane to it. Again: military = war, war = discussions of militarism. Like it or not, those connections will be made, and the fact that so many in the gay community refuse to address those contradictions might explain why the repeal of DADT has been so slow in the coming. Outside the blogosphere, people are actually wondering and thinking about these issues.

c) "Chinese" was meant to reflect the historical specificity of the term "yellow" that you used; that should have been clear from the context. I would add "Japanese" to that as well. A lot of Chinese, over 1 billion in fact, prefer to call themselves "Chinese" because they reside in the country of China. Just as a lot of "South Asians" prefer to be referred to as Indians or Pakistanis, for instance. But perhaps you know all those billions of people, who knows? It's possible that the people you speak to are either immigrants or Asian Americans. But, for better or for worse, pride in national identity is not restricted to the U.S. so, yes, a lot of people living in those many, many countries outside the U.S actually prefer to mark their countries of origin. For that matter, for instance, very few native Austrians will refer to themselves as "Europeans" unless, ahem, they're responding to ahem, someone's ad in the personals (and no doubt someone will spring up here and insist that all the Austrians they know do, in fact, refer to themselves as Europeans. That will only prove one of my more subtle points here). And terms like "yellow" were historically used to refer to what we might today call Asians or people of Chinese/Japanese descent.

d) As for finding African-Americans to agree with me: interesting that you can only resort to cheap ethnographic stunts, the kind that can only flourish in comment threads, to prove your point. I won't waste my time explaining why your statement there is so problematic (am I pontificating again?)

Again, I'll leave you with this reminder:
DADT = Military, Military = War, War = Kinda what the U.S has gained a reputation for in the last two centuries. That's not dusty ideology; that's the reality of the here and now and it's a reality that makes the U.S an unwelcome presence in most parts of the world.

Frankly, I would be fine with DADT being repealed. At least *then* we can stop pretending that gay military personnel or veterans are holier-than-thou individuals whose ideology in relation to war must never be questioned. At least *then* we can start questioning their complicity in the war machine. And yes, because I know you'll go there: I'm fully aware that war has become an economic issue for many; I've seen my poorest students lost to it. That's all the more reason to oppose war, not to support it.

Carry on, then. I just wanted to stop by and make a point about the disproportionate effects of war on people of colour in the U.S and abroad, and to remind people that a conversation about DADT is not a simple conversation about the "right to serve." And that you can't separate "gay" from "person of colour" and "poor" and "class" and "immigrant forced to serve with a promise of citizenship" and all those myriad other configurations that Gay Inc. keeps erasing in the hope that we'll forget that the military is not exactly a safe place for most people, of colour or not, even if they're able to be out. And it's a lot less safe for those who endure its violence.

I think those points have been amply made. The floor's yours (and anyone else's) for the rest of...however long you'd like it.

Good night.

And I should add: sometimes Asians and Europeans will refer to themselves as such because, sadly, they don't expect most of us in the U.S to actually be able to identify their countries of origin.

i can't hear you with all that white guilt in your mouth...

"Good night" 8:04 PM?

Is counting buzz words and memes, even your own, putting you to sleep? It is me.

Wait..... 8:11 ...She Who Knows adds more....

10, 9, 8, 7, 6 ......

Just kiddin', Darlin!

You know, Michael,

In *some* countries, that's called "early-bed-ism" (making fun of people who tuck in early).

Tongue tucked firmly in cheek, saying nighty-night indeed.

First of all it is fallacious (as it is irrelevant) and idiotic to answer the question of wether or not gay people ought to serve in the military with an answer that is pretty much "why would they want to anyway". Let’s assume for arguments sake that I am a factory owner and without any rational reasons whatsoever I choose to exclude a specific group from being hired. The protest would be about my decision to not hire said group, not whether or not the specific group of people ought to demand a place in my workforce. The very same blog whose writers insist on this idiotic standpoint is the same one that a few months ago published the story about a transgendered person being denied employment by McDonalds. I didn't see anybody then protesting that McDonalds is the polestar of bad capitalism, exploiting their workers, the health of its consumers and aggressively entering global markets and essentially ruining locally owned family owned low brow restaurants and as such she shouldn't have sought employment there. The issue is the discriminatory nature of the US military's hiring policies and NOT the military as a whole.

The disagreement between the McDonalds and US military case show how "queer radicals" (whatever that is supposed to mean) are prejudiced towards what they perceive as goals of the white gay men belonging to the petite bourgeoisie, not realizing in the process that they are actually hurting the very people they want are claiming that they are out to protect.

Moreover, if one makes the argument that the military is oppressive and gay people ought to be against oppression and by default they shouldn't want to enlist then there are plenty of other institutions that this logic can be applied to. The law by default is oppressive, so gay people shouldn't go to law school or engage in legal scholarship. In fact they ought to run to the streets and burn their law degrees. This fatalistic logic can swing to pretty much any direction.

What exactly is the proposal for what is supposed to take the place of the military anyway?

Furthermore, I don't understand why people need to bring up some original position of the gay rights movement that somehow the current movement has shifted away from and conclude that such a move was bad. Firstly, (and I have asked this before) in order to make such a claim there needs to be an established and commonly agreed temporal and geographical start point for the gay rights movement. Secondly, the question why the community nowadays has to follow the original positions of the movement needs to be answered. Of course the first part can be partially answered. The second however is problematic. For example just because Harvey Milk was sympathetic to Jim Jones doesn't mean that I ought to drink the Kool Aid. Of course any movement in human history is radical as it proposes something "new". However, this whole subversion of social institutions that some people insist on is as wrong as can get. Almost all gay movements in the world had as their starting point the decriminalization of homosexuality, erasing the labels of abnormal behaviour or deviance in psychiatry and sociology respectively, and the ability of homosexuals to enter any social sphere without fear of persecution or social alienation. Repealing DADT is in line with these goals.

And some final remarks on the military. The notion that the military in general (that is universaly) is racist is outright stupid and shows that people talk about things that they don't know. Perhaps the political management of the military has racist/sexist/etc motives. However, anyone who has actually served in the military would sing in a different tune of what happens in there and how radically different human relationships and expectations are.

The notion that the military (again globally) is basically Caucasian imperialists out to get "coloured" victims is false. If some of the people in here read a paper worth anything every now and then, they would know which was the bloodiest war of the past 20 years and what colour were both the instigators and the victims.

Gay people and the gay rights movement are the not the safe keepers of any other minority in the world. If members of the gay community want to play that part then they are free to do so but not at the expense of our movement. And playing the oppression Olympics game of other minorities is both irrelevant and morally wrong. And let's be quite honest and clear here. Currently it is "coloured" people that use the most barbaric torture and killing techniques in the world against gay (and a number of other) people. Where are the discussions about their culpability in the current world affairs? Why exactly is it for example that Islamic studies departments love talking about western Islamophobia but are either silent or apologetic about the very lethal Islamic homophobia? Why do I never see "queer radicals" talk about that and calling them out?

The LGBT movement is about any member (black, white, fat, old, young, slim, rich, poor, etc) of the LGBT community and his significance to the group is precisely that he falls into one of the sexual or gender categories and not about any other groups that he/she may or may not belong to.

abu ghraib as a singular incident, among many similar incidents, during a single (and endless on forever ongoing) war disproves most of what you just wrote.

i dont claim to protect anyone aside from my family of lovers and friends. thinking critically about equality rhetoric, the racist/imperialist us military, and queer inclusion in such institutions doesn't mean i have to have all the answers. is critique somehow less valid? what is wrong with asking pointed questions?

if less gays spent their time and money trying to figure out how to get full inclusion in racist imperialism and more time in how to make our extended queer families safer at home and abroad maybe we could come to those answers together? but we wont if no one is willing to think critically about the military and our involvement and inclussion within it. especially when there are those that aren't willing to hear any critique until there is a ten point party platform and plan to replace the current systems. but we all know that kind of problem solving does not work (ie. soviet union).

so lets stop being so defensive and start thinking critically so we can find actual solutions to our safety needs...?

or is that just *radical queer* wishful thinking that will be lost on reactionary liberal gays?

oh, and for a 70's throw back for shits and giggles: Fuck The Arm - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4HlkgPCgU7g