After DADT: Military Still in Left’s Crosshairs

December 21st, 2010 at 5:37 pm | 33 Comments |

| Print

One day.  That is all it took for a noted liberal to call for purges of the Armed Forces based on expressed qualms about the repeal of the statutory prohibition on open homosexuals serving in the armed forces.  What did I predict yesterday to abuse by some in the comments? “The next step of the GLBT lobby will be to use political correctness and military command to transform the military into an engine for stigmatization of any view not in accord with their agenda.

What did I also predict? “The effort to oust or demote soldiers who continue to make jokes about homosexuality.” No jokes are now required.

This is the consequence of liberal thinking on “progressive issues”: those who continue to contest, case or even question, sovaldi sale the progressive view of things will be expelled from government.  There are Richard Cohens in the administration.  As Powerline points out the administration’s review of DADT was a fixed game.  But they assured the military that an airing of servicemen’s true views would not injure them in promotion or their careers.  What a crock.

The units most leery of the repeal of DADT are also the units most involved in actually fighting the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Cohen is asking, for ideological reasons, to strip those fighting units of the commanders who expressed their true views to the political branches when asked.  A better prescription for destroying civilian control and the fighting effectiveness of the military cannot be imagined.  This is not American, it is Soviet.  The purging of the Russian Armed forces for ideological reasons right before Germany attacked cost Russia millions of lives.  How many are Richard Cohen and his leftist allies willing to tolerate so that gays never hear a discouraging word?

Like Nostradamus, I will make yet another prediction.  The silence among liberal commentators to Richard Cohen’s suggested ideological purge of the Armed Forces will be deafening.

Recent Posts by John Vecchione



33 Comments so far ↓

  • Kevin B

    Like Nostradamus, I will make yet another prediction. The silence among liberal commentators to Richard Cohen’s suggested ideological purge of the Armed Forces will be deafening.Agreed. The left will not support Cohen, so It will be the right that keeps the idea afloat.

  • TerryF98

    I predict that John Vecchione continues to write vacuous nonsense into eternity because that is all he knows.

  • think4yourself

    John V – you have made the argument that Richard Cohen speaks for the Gov’t. That’s like saying Rush Limbaugh speaks for the Republican Party (oh wait – sorry). Since you did not win on DADT, you’re now finding all you can to criticize the consequences of the vote by equating some liberals viewpoints and calling that the gov’t's viewpoints.

    Implementing the repeal of DADT will have issues, just like integrating the armed forces did in the ’50′s. There will be some G&L soldiers who will use this change to act inappropriately (look, it’s not cool for straight people to do the nasty in public, but some people do it anyhow) and there will be people in command who do not handle integration well. I suspect that when given an order the Commadant of the Marine Corp will follow his duty as he would with other orders – if not, THEN he should be replaced. If he is replaced for simply speaking his mind, you’ll end up with officers that never provide their opinions and the military will make mistakes because command officers don’t speak out when they should. Richard Cohen and you both might find that people can rise above their prejudices when given the opportunity to do so.

  • Nanotek

    “That is all it took for a noted liberal to call for purges of the Armed Forces based on expressed qualms about the repeal of the statutory prohibition on open homosexuals serving in the armed forces.”

    That is patently false. Cohen did not call for purges — as opposed to social conservatives who actually engineered purges of gay soldiers — he called for the resignation of Amos on the basis of unit cohesion and his disregard for chain of command.

    “The purging of the Russian Armed forces for ideological reasons right before Germany attacked cost Russia millions of lives.”

    German spies manipulated Stalin into believing that his military officers were plotting against him and he killed them off, down to the rank of Sergeant. “Ideological reasons”? Plucked from thin air.

    “Like Nostradamus, I will make yet another prediction…” Good luck with your huffing and puffing with your little Ouija board

  • aidan

    Richard Cohen is probably #1 on the list of supposed media liberals that no actual liberal has ever agreed with

  • spblat

    “The effort to oust or demote soldiers who continue to make jokes about homosexuality.”

    Is it acceptable (or becoming) for our service members to use offensive epithets to joke about the ethnic minorities in their midst? Is it acceptable (or becoming) for male service members to sexually harass and assault their female comrades?

    No. Never.

    Am I using “political correctness and military command to transform the military into an engine for stigmatization of any view not in accord with [my] agenda” when I insist that gay bashing is no more acceptable than sexual misconduct or racism?

    No. This is called social progress. If Vecchione’s claims meet with deafening silence it will be because they lack a scintilla of merit.

  • chrisduckworth

    What I read in Cohen’s piece is not an administration plan to purge the armed forces according to ideology, but for one general to be removed because of his presumed inability to lead on a particular issue related to unit cohesion after the implementation of new policy regarding a soldier’s ability to be honest about her or his sexual identity in the military.

    Cohen’s piece is not about sensitivity or protecting gays from hearing “discouraging words.” Rather, it is about leading the military during a time of social change.

  • ktward

    “One day. That is all it took for a noted liberal [Cohen op-ed @WaPo] to call for purges of the Armed Forces based on expressed qualms about the repeal of the statutory prohibition on open homosexuals serving in the armed forces.”

    Complete nonsense. Cohen didn’t suggest any ‘purges of the Armed Forces.’ He simply offered his journo opinion (aka his job) as to why he believes Gen. Amos–just Amos–might be unable to effectively manage the repeal of DADT among Marines. Maybe Cohen makes a good argument, maybe he doesn’t. Doesn’t matter, he has zero influence on the WH or the Pentagon– neither he nor anyone else claims otherwise.

    “But they [unclear who "they" are: Obama & Pentagon? Johnson & Ham?] assured the military that an airing of servicemen’s true views would not injure them in promotion or their careers. What a crock.”

    Which servicemen have had their promotion or career injured–or experienced even the tiniest threat of injury–by speaking their anti-repeal mind regarding DADT? The Powerline link provided doesn’t even mention the subject of potential retribution for anti-repeal opinions among servicemen. Is it too much to ask for a source link that at least pretends to offer verifiable evidence to warrant Vecchione’s indignant histrionics?

  • abk1985

    The fears the Commandant of the Marine Corps expressed are no different than the fears anyone would have about putting people who are potentially sexually attracted to each other in the same context. Why is that a big deal?

    I did not oppose the repeal of DADT if done by legislative process. So it is done. And I have been out of the Marines for a long time so I look to the commandant and other Marines to tell me what the score is. If the commandant is opposed to DADT, fine. If a captain is opposed, also fine. If close to 60% of Marines in combat arms (infantry, artillery, armor) are opposed, that deserves respect (which is, BTW, probably the reason the commandant takes his position.)

    There is a definite cognitive dissonance in the pro gay equality position. If same gender sexuality is no different than cross gender sexuality, and yet we have segregated the genders forEVER because of the potential of cross gender sexuality, then it follows that if we are “officially” going to allow same sex and opposite sex people of the same gender to live and fight in the armed services, then we should also eliminate all gender distinctions in the armed services. I for one can see no reason to segregate the genders once we agree that sexual attraction is controllable by law, self-control, and training, and I can see no other possible reason for segregating the genders.

    As to the larger culture war, we clearly have two incompatible positions. On the one hand, we have the position that same gender sexuality is no different and no worse than opposite gender sexuality (see Cohen’s column.) I can think of at least one qualitative difference, but advances in reproductive science may make that distinction moot in short order.

    On the other hand, we have a position sanctioned by tradition, custom, and religious ideologies that argues that same gender sexuality is abnormal, wrong, sinful, or just plain weird.

    I am not sure the two POV’s can coexist indefinitely. Seriously.

    One thing that is true is that by biological design humans are designed for cross gender sexuality. I don’t mean that to be a determinant. I mean it’s perfectly obvious. That doesn’t mean that gays and lesbians cannot be accepted as the same or normal by straights. It simply means that every gay or lesbian will still have to go through the agonizing pubescent and post-pubescent questioning of “Am I? Am I not?” In other words, no amount of social acceptance is going to make it any easier for gays or lesbians to figure out who they are, simply because the cross gender preference is going to be assumed by the nature of sexual equipment.

    As to predictions, I wouldn’t be surprised if the next step is to intimidate and drive from the services anyone who doesn’t accept the current reform with open arms (as it were). I will also predict that the Ivy League colleges will not continue their love affair with the armed services for long. I mean, I have seen how colleges have handled the armed services for decades, long before gay rights became an issue. There is a fundamental lack of respect for the military mentality at work there.

  • abk1985

    By the way, I should add that I understand that the drive to get gays out of the service is sometimes unjust. For example, if a male officer sends an email to a boyfriend, he shouldn’t be forced to quit, in my opinion. On the other hand, if an officer is accused of rape by a gay lover who may have been paid for his services, then he can easily be forced to quit for conduct unbecoming an officer. At the same time, an officer who grandstands his sexuality, for whatever reason, is just not being professional and also should leave. However, someone who is just plain old gay and wants to be left alone to do his job should not be hassled, or left to worry about being “found out.” Repealing DADT is good for that guy (or girl) and I am happy for them.

  • HardlyConservative

    I have to say- it’s incredibly amusing to watch you cherry-pick examples to suit your own narrative. You are your own completely self-contained spin machine. One op-ed from one journo is all of a sudden this massive left-wing conspiracy. I love it!

    If Cohen is the mouthpiece of all-that-is liberal… who do we get to pick for the lone voice of conservatives? Sorry- I don’t think you qualify. Pick somebody a bit more famous.

  • Watusie

    I’m a fully-paid up card carrying member of “the left” and I had never, until this moment, heard of Richard Cohen. A quick read of his bio on Wikipedia makes me think he’ll write anything when a deadline is approaching:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Cohen_%28columnist%29

    This is an incredibly weak piece.

    Is there a contest between Vecchione and Guardino to see who can do the most the lower this site’s standards?

  • abk1985

    I should add that I am sympathetic to the notion of social construction. IOW, we all have ideas and perceptions that we believe exist, except that they don’t really “exist” we just accept them because we were brought up this way.

    A leading social construction is “race.” Not to say that, say, someone from the Congo doesn’t look different from someone from Iceland, but the fact is the more you focus on the concept of “races” the less there is to it, there are innumerable gradations. This led to the argument — that has intellectual merit, but not necessarily common sense merit — that “race is a social construct.”

    The notion that race is a social construct has also led to the notion, popularized by Judith Butler, that gender is a social construct. Of course the counter-intuitive example is that there is a distinct difference between male and female genders, insofar as pregnancy is not a social construct. On the other hand, a “baby” is DEFINITELY a social construct, in our “right to choose” world, so it follows that pregnancy is simply a social construct that afflicts 50% of our population with some kind of, I dunno, cyst or something under certain conditions.

    Now all of this is intellectually defensible but I have to register how successful all of this is going to be in the long run. My guess is that if our culture does not place child bearing on a level somewhat higher than other lifestyle choices we will probably be superseded, demographically, by cultures that are efficient at reproduction, and which, not coincidentally, esteem it.

  • Kevin B

    Is there a contest between Vecchione and Guardino to see who can do the most the lower this site’s standards?If there is, Guardino wins this round hands down. I almost commented on his latest, but it was so outrageous that I would have felt dirty for doing it. I’m gratified to see that his “Dan White was a hero” post is (so far) empty of comments.

  • Ana Gama

    Richard Cohen is such a liberal and so utterly respected on the left that he was recently named the #1 hack journalist (out of 30) by salon.com.

    http://www.salon.com/news/war_room_hack_thirty/index.html

  • TJ Parker

    Wow. Clearly Mister Vecchione is someone who moves his mouth for a paultry living and has never had the responsibility of managing a large project – much less something as big as some on the Right think the repeal of DADT will be.

    If you had that executive experience, Clyde, you’d know that the person you hire to do the job is not the one who can’t see beyond the scenario in which men will end up with their legs blown off because of his implementation of the policy change. The job goes to the person who has ideas for a smooth and effective transition.

    You should get yourself a real job sometime, Clyde, so you can maybe get a chance to try out the executive chair. Though I think first you should have a doctor examine that jerkin’ knee. In most Fortune 500 companies, you’d be out on your @ss in minutes at the first whiff of sexual harassment.

  • DirtyLibrul

    Who the F is Richard Cohen?

  • busboy33

    @DirtyLibrul:

    Well, according to the headline for this article, he is apparently the spokesperson for Teh Left. All of it.

  • Watusie

    That comes as a surprise to me as well. How can I have had a spokesperson all this time and not been aware of it?

  • CentristNYer

    As noted above by almost every commenter, Cohen is hardly a widely respected or influential columnist and there’s no shred of evidence that he’s speaking for the administration. Furthermore, having read the Cohen piece, I’d say that Vecchione’s hyperventilation clearly overstates the point he was trying to make.

  • jjv

    I want to thank all the commentators from the Left who have disowned Cohen’s suggestion, and even more gratified that many do not know him. He is a fixture of the D.C. commentariat having written for the WP for years.

    If his suggestion does not get traction on the Left I will be more than happy to be wrong.

  • Nanotek

    “If his suggestion does not get traction on the Left I will be more than happy to be wrong.”

    “his suggestion” is not “the suggestion” you insisted it was …

  • Slide

    the left still isn’t satisfied. Now, one pundit is calling for the firing of one time DADT-defender Marine commandant Gen. James Amos.

    Amazing how John can extrapolate from “one pundit” to “the left” but hey, John has amazed me before with his unique analytical processes.

  • lessadoabouteverything

    And on this thread no one is coming out in favor of Vecchiones own interpretation of Cohen’s remarks. I have not seen any poster calling out for Amo’s being fired for his objections to the ending of DADT.

    And who the hell care about a pissing match between Vecchione and another columnist.

    By the way, did Vecchione have any great objections to the purging of Gen. Shinseki for his stating that the Bush administration had nowhere enough troops in Iraq? Can anyone show me any Conservative columnist who objected to that?

    Massive fail by Vecchione.

  • Nanotek

    “By the way, did Vecchione have any great objections to the purging of Gen. Shinseki for his stating that the Bush administration had nowhere enough troops in Iraq?”

    good point

  • busboy33

    @CentristNYer:

    “Furthermore, having read the Cohen piece, I’d say that Vecchione’s hyperventilation clearly overstates the point he was trying to make.”

    Inconcievable!

  • DifferentFrumer

    John V.

    You have a future as a telemarketer and that’s about the limit of your talent. They’re used to rejection so you won’t need to make any mental adjustments.

  • Gus

    Hahahaha, Richard Cohen, spokesman for the left! That may be the funniest thing I’ve read all week.

  • SFTor1

    I have to wonder about you, John.

    So we’re going to see a repeat of the Moscow trials over gay tolerance, much in the same way we have seen political putsches over the treatment of women, say by the Air Force Academy?

    You are kidding of course? No, you’re not. That’s the sad part.

  • sublime33

    When conservatives start apologizing for Glenn Beck, liberals can start apologizing for Richard Cohen.

  • drdredel

    I think the larger point being missed is that the military is a job. You apply, you get hired, you go to work. It’s not compulsory. It’s not mandatory. It’s not even all that difficult. Yes, it’s honorable, but it’s arguably not the *most honorable. So… why all the hysteria around its employees being required to follow the same rules of work place decorum as those of any other profession? Unless you’re saying that you prefer the “good old days” where it was acceptable to discriminate openly in the workplace, or to do all sorts of other work inappropriate things, it seems like the logical way to treat the employees of the military, in this regard, is the same as everyone else.
    Or maybe I’m missing something? Perhaps you’re going to say it’s very stressful so, soldiers need to be granted the privileged to run around shouting “fagot” all day?
    I suppose I should actually read your article to find out what you are trying to say… but the first few lines make the rest difficult to get to.

  • abk1985

    “I think the larger point being missed is that the military is a job. You apply, you get hired, you go to work. It’s not compulsory. It’s not mandatory. It’s not even all that difficult. ”

    Probably 80% of jobs in the armed services are of a service nature. The other 20% is combat arms. The people in combat arms must be willing at any time to give up their lives for their comrades, and of course in addition they must be willing, even eager, to take the lives of their enemies.

    How do you get people to do this? The main way is by inculcating in them the idea that they are part of a larger body, a corps, whose survival and reputation is more important than their individual concerns. When Marines say, “Death before Dishonor” they do not mean their _personal_ honor. They mean they would rather die that betray the reputation of the corps. Other services have similar notions.

    This inculcation of identity in the corps is reinforced by boot camp, and continuous indoctrination of the history and traditions of the relevant corps. It is the primary factor in the morale, that causes Marines, Soldiers, Sailors, and Airmen, to sacrifice their own lives in a split second for the sake of the larger body. Without such notions, they are not likely to do so.

    So, thanks for trivializing service in the armed forces of the United States of America.

  • Kurlis

    “This inculcation of identity in the corps is reinforced by boot camp, and continuous indoctrination of the history and traditions of the relevant corps. It is the primary factor in the morale, that causes Marines, Soldiers, Sailors, and Airmen, to sacrifice their own lives in a split second for the sake of the larger body. Without such notions, they are not likely to do so.”

    You are correct. And it is yet to be seen what effect the admittance of open homosexuality into the military will have on unit cohesion.

    For an 18, 19, or 20 year old kid, that uncertainty is not academic. We call on them, after all, to sacrifice their lives if necessary.

    The way I see it, warriors must celebrate their masculinity. Homosexuality seems completely antithetical to that.

    Maybe I’m wrong.