Barber on omelettes, exploding brains, and flawed military policy
Liberals in Washington are very vocal in opposition to the president's planned deployment of additional troops to the Iraqi theatre, but in the culture war on the home front, those same liberals are prepared to enthusiastically push for an "escalation" in troop enlistment by repealing the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy and permitting openly homosexual men and women to sign up. (Move over National Guard and Green Berets - make way for the avant-garde and Lavender Berets.)
Yes, because supporting non-discrimination in terms of the military's recruitment practices is exactly the same thing as opposing the misuse of troops to fight unnecessary wars. Hey Matt, guess what -- we also support equal employment opportunity for police officers and fire fighters, but we don't want their superiors to use flawed intelligence to send them on life-risking missions either!
Oh, and as for the "avant garde/Lavender Berets" -- Cleverness: 6; Offensiveness: 8.5.
Barber then lashes out against the NY Times Op-Ed recently penned by former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff John Shalikashvili, in which the decorated general called for a reconsideration of the military's ban on openly gay soldiers. Barber says:
...Shalikashvili fails to provide any evidence whatsoever which would support his pro-homosexual contention to the contrary (other than perhaps his own "evolving" moral compass). He offers no evidence which would indicate that anything has changed or that it ever will change.
In fact, one of the scant few pieces of anecdotal evidence Shalikashvili offers up in attempts to bolster his argument, has the unintended result of causing both hemispheres of your brain to abruptly and violently swap places.
While gathering support for his assertion that it's now time, and "equality" dictates that openly 'gay' sailors be permitted to serve as effective members of, say, a nuclear submarine crew, Shalikashvili cheerfully informs us that he's had his opinion seconded by "an openly gay senior sailor who was serving effectively as a member of a nuclear submarine crew." He's asking for permission to eat that omelet - but already has an empty plate in front of him and egg on his face.
To which our first reply is : "What? Eggs? Omelettes? Brains whose hemispheres violently swap places?! Huh?!?" But after scratching our head for a few minutes and deciding we will never figure out what Matt is talking about, we then ask of Mr. Barber: "Why did you overlook the piece of evidence that Mr. Shalikashvili did include in his Op-Ed":
[The perception that gays and lesbians can be accepted by their peers] is supported by a new Zogby poll of more than 500 service members returning from Afghanistan and Iraq, three quarters of whom said they were comfortable interacting with gay people. And 24 foreign nations, including Israel, Britain and other allies in the fight against terrorism, let gays serve openly, with none reporting morale or recruitment problems.
After all, Matt, if you're going to discuss the topic of evidence, you can't just overlook one of the two paragraphs in Mr. Shalikashvili's piece that is wholly dedicated to the subject! And besides that, considering this is an insider who has the sort of information on the situation that few on this planet have, it's hardly a scenario where he needs to prove his opinion with anecdotal evidence culled from other soldiers. He has his own "fly on the wall" knowledge of the actual situations, both now and then.
This situation is one issue on which these conservatives are so clearly set to lose! That being the case, they are pulling out all sorts condemnations and desperate measures to bolster their argument that it is somehow okay to tell folks they can die for their country, just as long as they don't reveal the identity of the same-sex partner who makes their life worthwhile. We've already seen them accuse gay activists of taking advantage of the fact that Mr. Shalikashvili suffered a stroke in 2004 and pressuring him to write the piece. Now Mr. Barber is trying to further discredit Shalikashvili, liberals, gays, and anyone else who supports inclusion.
It's enough to make your omelet split into two hemispheres, even if you already have brain on your face at an empty table.
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