Sunday, March 25, 2007

Contra Dict

I recently received a reasoned anonymous comment to an older post which helped me to define my position, and I wanted to expand upon my answer ("No to Drug Traffickers and Homosexuals".)

The letter writer suggested I show a bit more compassion towards former felons, in part:

"(I)f a young man or woman has made one grievous mistake, they should not be punished for the remainder of their lives for it. If that same young man or woman feels they can serve their country and can prove they have led a meritorious life, why should they not be allowed the opportunity to risk their lives for their country? It is they who have the greatest need to prove they are not terrible people, and should be given the chance."

My humanism agrees with anon. I realize that I am most at odds with the hypocrisy of the system.

To explain: the U.S Marine Commandant has issued a recommended reading list on which is listed a book about Thermopylae and the Spartans. The Marines admire the Spartan warrior ethic, but they fail to acknowledge the homosexuality of Sparta's soldiers, and would disallow a homosexual from open service in today's Marines

The U.S. military should not be a social experiment, though we have turned it into one, with women filling the ranks in addition to people with criminal backgrounds.
Yet queers are unacceptable in our new action, social welfare military. This is contradictory.

Either it's no gays and no criminals, or it's open to all. Any measure that is halfway is unrealistically discriminatory. I am thinking of a local buddy and soldier in arms who served in the mud with the Marine on the DMZ for two tours in Vietnam.

He carries his poodle out with him, and occasionally wears pink shirts. As he says, only a tough guy can get away with it. I wonder, would he be shoved in an excluded category, too? He seems to have served their purposes well, when they needed men in the mud.

Military membership is a privilege, and not conferred upon all (just ask Jenna and Barbara Bush.) Any sincere and capable citizen should be given a chance to serve his or her country, and no one should have to die for that country--be they homo, former criminal or choir boy--if the engagement is unnecessary for all, but padding the pockets of the war profiteers.


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