ON GAYS IN THE MILITARY

An email worth sharing:

I am a retired US Army officer.
The de facto policy in the military has always been that you never run a “witch hunt” after a really good soldier who keeps it out of the barracks.-“Witch hunts’ went after the women for the most part because lesbians for some reason were much more likely to be in the barracks than male homosexuals, who would take it off-post.
When I was a kid sergeant in the 101st Airborne, working on air movement, one of the most important people around was the division air-movement NCO.-This guy knew more about loading US Army equipment on US Air Force aircraft than anyone.-If he said if was rigged right, it was right– even the Air Force called him for rulings.-But if he said it was wrong – no arguing, no appeal – your stuff wouldn’t get on the airplane.
The first time I had to take paperwork to him, my platoon sergeant called me aside and said, “DeeTee, this guy is the biggest fag you’ve ever seen.-But you better make him a happy fag.”-Platoon Daddy was right – the guy was a mincing flamer – but he knew everything.-I watched him chew out officers and senior NCOs right and left who had their paperwork examined ahead of me.-And I was really proud when it was my turn and he praised me and my unit in a very loud voice for knowing what the real deal was.
Several years later, as a young lieutenant, the company command and I had our best clerk come into the office and say that he wanted a discharge because he was queer. We told him, bullshit, we’ve seen your hippie chick girlfriend.- He fell back on, well, I’m bisexual.- We told him no you aren’t – you just want to get out of the Army, go to college, screw, and smoke dope.-We made him a deal – stay on through the summer (while we prepared for our annual general inspection), and then when college classes start in the fall, we’ll give you a homosexual discharge if that’s what you still want.-He said OK.
Two weeks later, our worst clerk got busted for driving under the influence.-His lawyer called us saying that his client was just being prosecuted because he was black, and that he’d told him that we had a notorious queer we were protecting. We were, of course, shocked, shocked, to get this news.-On his own confession, we discharged our best clerk in 48 hours.-It took over three months, and repeated incidents of misbehavior to get rid of our worst.

EMAIL OF THE DAY

Some political predictions:

Once again the media -which is almost genetically anti-Bush- has whipped itself into hysteria fueled by the hope that he will fail. I believe their hatred of him is the motivator and they are indulging in a kind of optimism that this will be his Waterloo. The most obvious comparison is of course Modo and Afghanistan.

But my point is that the more they screech that we are losing, the GREATER the glory of victory.

They are walking into a political trap of their own making. I believe they are about to make utter fools of themselves one more time.- On some level, a substantial portion of the public senses this, “gets it” and in the end, this will only enhance Bush. They will be doing him a political favor.

Any politician’s career is hardly an important thing compared to the outcome of a war. Bush knows this.-He does not care that he is risking all on this.-His ultimate goal is life is not political, that is secondary.– He has a deeper aspect to him that Clinton -a more “intelligent” president- never had.-For Clinton, political victory is the epicenter of the universe.– For Bush in this particular, protecting the country is.

Once again, the second guessers have underestimated Bush, this time by underestimating temporarily our military. I believe they shall, -little by little, -destroy the Republican Guard and like a well oiled machine,- crush the enemy.-I believe that inside of the-enemy’s universe right now,- there is-mostly fear and a growing despair. They have seen the casualties on their side.-They can do the math, comparing our twenty something deaths with their hundreds, perhaps already thousands.

Our strategy will work and all -that will be lost, is time.-Not more lives, not more infrastructure,- just some time.-This may not be a happy fact for the Nasdaq nor Helen Thomas, but for the rest of us,-we are content.

The media has once again given an opportunity to Bush in the longer run. I think he knows this. I think they will rue their hysteria in the not so distant future.

I think it’s too soon to predict the course of this war. But there’s a pretty good chance this emailer could be right.

AL JAZEERA VERSUS FOX

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune thinks Al Jazeera is less biased than the Fox News Network:

But the Al Jazeera reporters and anchors themselves generally avoid commentary. And Al Jazeera also provides its Arabic audience with many pro-war, pro-U.S. perspectives, including those from top U.S. military and Bush administration officials. On Wednesday, Al Jazeera carried the U.S. military briefing and the beginning of a Bush speech in Florida, then it left the speech early for a live, exclusive interview with U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell. Fox, despite its slogan of “fair and balanced,” doesn’t disguise its pro-war and pro-American sentiments.

I’m not making this up.

THE ME GENERATION’S PROTEST

Julie Burchill does her best Camille Paglia impression today (before Camille went soft on the war). Man, does she nail it:

I’ve just heard a snippet of the most disgustingly me-me-me anti-war advert by Susan Sarandon, in which she intones, “Before our kids start coming home from Iraq in body bags, and women and children start dying in Baghdad, I need to know – what did Iraq do to us?” Well, if you mean what did Saddam do to America The Beautiful, not an awful lot – but to millions of his own people, torture and murder for a start. Don’t they count?
Surely this is the most self-obsessed anti-war protest ever. NOT IN MY NAME! That’s the giveaway. Who gives a stuff about their wet, white, western names? See how they write them so solemnly in a list on the bottom of the letters they send to the papers. And the ones that add their brats’ names are the worst – a grotesque spin on Baby On Board, except they think that this gives them extra humanity points not just on the motorway, but in the whole wide weeping, striving, yearning world. We don’t know the precious names of the countless numbers Saddam has killed. We’re talking about a people – lots of them parents – subjected to an endless vista of death and torture, a country in which freedom can never be won without help from outside.

Amen, sister. The day of reckoning is not just coming for Saddam Hussein. It’s coming for the anti-war movement.

IT’S A QUAGMIRE!

Johnny Apple, fresh from a couple of bottles of the best Chardonnay, uncorks a memorable vintage of his: the “This-War-Is-Vietnam” thumbsucker, brought to the table in every conflict, undeterred by its catastrophic record in the past. Actually, there’s something vaguely comforting about this kind of piece. Like a rite of spring, it blossoms early in every recent conflict, a slightly different exhausted metaphor each time – in 2003, in the desert, it’s “quicksand” – a gentle reassurance that the people who have always got it wrong are saying the same thing yet again. Well, we’ll see.

“A MILLION MOGADISHUS”: While the New York Times hails the anti-war movement’s new-found moderation, a Columbia University professor calls for U.S. military defeat. He hopes to se a “million Mogadishus,” a million U.S. soldiers, captured, murdered and paraded through the streets. What the anti-war movement must do now if it is to regain credibility. My take in Salon.

ANOTHER EPIPHANY

Another peace campaigner – also an Assyrian Christian – comes home from Iraq and recants his opposition to war:

I wept with family members as I shared their pain and with great difficulty and deep soul searching began little by little to understand their desire for war to finally rid them of the nightmare they were living in.

The terrible price paid in simple, down to earth ways – the family member with a son who just screams all the time, the family member who lost his wife who left unable to cope anymore, the family member going to a daily job with nothing to do, the family member with a son lost to the war, a husband lost to alcoholism, the daily, difficult to perceive slow death of people for whom all hope is lost.

The pictures of Sadaam Hussein whom people hailed in the beginning with great hope everywhere. Sadaam Hussein with his hand outstretched. Sadaam Hussein firing his rifle. Sadaam Hussein in his Arab Headdress. Sadaam Hussein in his classic 30 year old picture – one or more of these four pictures seemed to be everywhere on walls, in the middle of the road, in homes, as statues – he was everywhere!

All seeing, all knowing, all encompassing.

“Life is hell. We have no hope. But everything will be ok once the war is over.” The bizarre desire for a war that would rid them of the hopelessness was at best hard to understand.

“Look at it this way. No matter how bad it is we will not all die. We have hoped for some other way but nothing has worked. 12 years ago it went almost all the way but failed. We cannot wait anymore. We want the war and we want it now.”

Eventually, fair-minded people will see the truth about this war and its profound moral justification. Read the whole thing.

THOSE PREDICTIONS

Salon has a summary of the worst that can be leveled against the hawks for predicting a “cakewalk.” I think they have a small point with Perle and Adelman, although I suspect that when this war is over, their stock will rise again. But the Wolfowitz and Cheney quotes don’t pass muster at all. When waving at a British soldier can get you hanged, I don’t think we know yet what the real feelings of the Iraqis are. Wolfowitz’s predictions of joy at liberation have yet to be validated either way – because much of Iraq’s population is still not liberated. But none of the quotes match those accredited to Bill Clinton. Here’s another one:

But the former president quickly got serious when Letterman mentioned Saddam Hussein. Letterman asked, “Are we going into Iraq? Should we go into Iraq? I’d like to go in. I’d like to get the guy. I don’t like the way the guy looks.” “He is a threat. He’s a murderer and a thug,” said Mr. Clinton. “There’s no doubt we can do this. We’re stronger; he’s weaker. You’re looking at a couple weeks of bombing and then I’d be astonished if this campaign took more than a week. Astonished.”

I think Clinton was genuine. I don’t buy the argument that this was a brilliant campaign to heighten expectations to make life harder for Bush. Clinton is slippery, but not that slippery. Still, I wonder if any reporter will ask the former president if indeed he is now astonished. Although, to be fair, he still has two weeks to go to be proven completely wrong.

FROM THE ONION

“Sheryl Crow Unsuccessful; War On Iraq Begins WASHINGTON, DC-In spite of recording artist Sheryl Crow’s strong protestations, including the wearing of a “No War” guitar strap, the U.S. went to war with Iraq last week. “Making the decision to go to war is never easy, but it’s that much harder when you know Sheryl Crow disapproves,” White House press secretary Ari Fleischer said at a press conference Monday. “It is this administration’s sincerest hope that it can one day regain the support and trust of the woman behind such hits as ‘All I Wanna Do’ and ‘Soak Up The Sun.'” Fleischer issued similar apologies to Martin Sheen, Janeane Garofalo, and Nelly.” Good one.

INSIDE THE COCOON

The BBC boss responds to criticisms that his organization is biased – in favor of the allies! One thing you have to understand about some of these left-liberal top media honchoes – Howell Raines, Patrick Tyler et al – is that their actual social circle is pressuring them to go even further to the left. Their concern is seeming to be too conservative!