An excellent op-ed in today’s New York Times by Owen West, a Marine and veteran of the Iraq War. Some highlights:
“[T]his fight is not about rights, but about combat readiness”.
“[T]he principal architects of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’ former Gen. Colin Powell and former Senator Sam Nunn” appear to favor repeal of the ban.
The argument that excluding openly-serving homosexuals is necessary because they present a “threat to good order and discipline” is “flawed” and based on the same “underlying fears…as with [racial] integration”.
“Maintaining ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ ignores a vast social shift since 1993”. An overwhelming majority of the public now supports lifting the ban, which wasn’t the case 16 years ago.
DADT impacts military readiness: “to choose a felon over a combat-proven veteran on the basis of sexuality is defeatist”.
Will President Obama and activists listen, or repeat the mistakes of the early 90s? Only time will tell for sure, but I’m not very encouraged from what I’ve seen thus far.
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