Friday, March 5, 2010

Not asking…

Today’s question, Dear Gentle Reader(s), is why doesn’t anyone from the cadre of supporters of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” bother asking a basic question.

For example, in today’s The New York Times, one Merrill A. McPeak pens a few thoughts under the headline “Don’t Change ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’”  The former Air Force Chief of Staff rests his case on this sentence:

Seventeen years ago, the chiefs — all four of us, plus the chairman and vice chairman — concluded that allowing open homosexuality in the ranks would probably damage the cohesiveness of our combat units.

Then he proceeds to argue against several other elements in the current discussion—rights, costs, etc.

What he doesn’t do is offer any evidence to bolster his “probably damage cohesiveness” statement.

As a matter of fact, his only other approach to this issue is found in the opening of the third subsequent paragraph,

Perhaps young American men and women will fight better when openly gay soldiers are included in the ranks, though I’ve heard no one make this claim.

McPeak should ask why no one makes this claim.  Perhaps it’s because the answer is self-evident based on the experiences of three of our most steadfast allies, Canada, Israel, and the United Kingdom, all of which have no policies which discriminate against sexual orientation in their armed forces.

McPeak uses probably and perhaps, but not whether.  He ought to ask whether unit cohesion would be damaged or not.  So far our allies haven’t halted their programs; that ought to indicate a bit of evidence.

The answer is there, General.  But you have to ask the question—if you’re truly interested.

Trust, but verify.

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