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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Do the expedient thing?


There's been a lot of coverage today about General Peter Pace's comments in defense of the Pentagon's "don't ask, don't tell" policy, so I'll keep this brief (cause who cares what I think anyway, right?).

I found two paragraphs of interest in the Chicago Tribune's coverage of the story (Gen. Pace regrets comments about gay acts being 'immoral' but doesn't apologize)

First the easy one ...

"In expressing my support for the current policy, I also offered some personal opinions about moral conduct," Pace said in his statement. "I should have focused more on my support of the policy and less on my personal moral views."

So, he's not apologizing for believing that homosexuality is immoral, he's just apologizing for making the mistake of expressing that belief. I know the "fascist" term gets thrown around quite a lot (and I even engaged in a bit of that free-for-all on the local Rogers Park Bench blog recently), but isn't that a little too close for comfort to the Nazi's characterization of gays as degenerate? Do we really want military leaders in this country who take that point of view?

Then there's this seemingly innocuous little tidbit ...

An Obama spokeswoman said the senator agrees with retired Gen. John Shalikashvili, chairman of the Joint Chiefs during the Clinton administration, who wrote recently that he favors the repeal because the military is having a tough time recruiting and training troops.
I may be reading too much into that, and maybe the paraphrase was poorly worded or taken out of context (based on my limited experience of dealing with the mainstream media for the Ginderske 2007 campaign, neither is unusual), but that's a strange argument to make in favor of a repeal. Let's allow gays into the military, because we need fresh bodies?

Shouldn't the argument be that gays, as citizens of this country, have full and equal rights with all other Americans, and therefore should be allowed to participate in every aspect of our society including military service? I know politicians start parsing their words very closely in election years, but if the Democrats are ever going to do this thing right they need to be a little more committed to their convictions.
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