Thursday, May 07, 2009

Obama To Fire His First Gay Arabic Linguist


Obama To Fire His First Gay Arabic Linguist
Aaron Belkin
Associate Professor of Political Science and Director of the Palm Center at UCSB
Posted May 7, 2009 | 04:52 PM (EST)

Dan Choi, a West Point graduate and officer in the Army National Guard who is fluent in Arabic and who returned recently from Iraq, received notice today that the military is about to fire him. Why? Because he came out of the closet as a gay man on national television.

Some readers might think it unfair to blame Obama. After all, the president inherited the "don't ask, don't tell" law when he took office. As Commander-in-Chief, he has to follow the law. If the law says that the military must fire any service member who acknowledges being gay, that is not Obama's fault.

Or is it?

Don't ask, Don't tell is bad policy, Mr. President.

We have an Armed Services that now accepts:
1. Rural Terrorists - better known as White Supremacists
2. Urban Terrorists - better known as Gang Members

But, a West Point Grad who speaks Arabic can be thrown out, during a time of WAR, because he's a homosexual.

Uh huh.

1 comment:

The Angry Independent said...

I wouldn't say this is Obama's fault directly. Until the law is changed, then they have no choice but to follow through for the time being.

I fundamentally disagree with you regarding the policy. While the technical workings of the policy are indeed screwed up, i'm not sold on the idea that the entire policy should be eliminated. There have been some unintended consequences with this law.... some of the punishments don't make flexibility in the law... and the way that it has been implemented has been sloppy.

Being a military kid, i'm familiar with this issue...and thinking back... the original goal of the policy was inherently good in my opinion. It was actually originally intended/designed to protect Gay/Lesbian service members.... so that they could live their lifestyle privately, and serve....without #1. Risking being abused, ostracized, etc...and #2. Having an unfavorable impact on their units...especially in the Field of battle. Military culture is not the same culture that you are used to as a civilian.

However, over the years... the policy has gotten out of control...and has turned into something else.

I personally believe that things will be worse for Gays/Lesbians if this policy is completely lifted. Obama knows it... that's why he's probably moving cautiously on this... (at least I suspect & hope that's the case).
By mentioning that things might turn out worse... i'm not saying that I want bad things to happen... I'm pointing out that unfortunately, we live in a screwed up World where the backlash from this will be worse than the status quo.

What is needed is some sort of revamped policy that would be a compromise. The problem is... neither side wants to be sensible. The Gay/Lesbian movement wants to see a complete lifting of the policy (over the objections of the top military leadership...and officers throughout the command structure who know that this would be a bad idea). I don't think a complete lifting of the policy could work in military culture.

On the other side you have the status quo people who would like to continue with what appears to be a broken policy.

I personally think this is a misguided fight by the Gay/Lesbian community. Too much pushing by those who want to eliminate the policy completely could lead to a backlash not only within the military, but from the American public as well. They may end up relegating themselves to only certain assignments within the military (to support roles and logistical roles). Today... Gays/Lesbians for the most part get to do whatever straight servicemembers do in terms of duties/assignments. But that would probably change if Gays/Lesbians insist on living their lifestyles openly.

The U.S. military has its own distinct culture within American society... it has its own justice/legal system, its own traditions, its own medical services, social services, its own family life, its own education systems, etc... Folks are attempting to put steak sauce on pancakes....and I don't think it's going to work.