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01/02/2007

His name is hard to spell but his ideas are crystal clear

by Jeremy Hooper

Picture 1-48In an Op-ed published in some small local publication called The New York Times, John Shalikashvili (pic.), former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff ('93-'97), has renounced his support for the military's ban on openly gay soldiers, now calling for a repeal of the so-called "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. The retired general writes:

In the early 1990s, large numbers of military personnel were opposed to letting openly gay men and lesbians serve. President Bill Clinton, who promised to lift the ban during his campaign, was overwhelmed by the strength of the opposition, which threatened to overturn any executive action he might take. The compromise that came to be known as “don’t ask, don’t tell” was thus a useful speed bump that allowed temperatures to cool for a period of time while the culture continued to evolve.

The question before us now is whether enough time has gone by to give this policy serious reconsideration. Much evidence suggests that it has.
...
I now believe that if gay men and lesbians served openly in the United States military, they would not undermine the efficacy of the armed forces. Our military has been stretched thin by our deployments in the Middle East, and we must welcome the service of any American who is willing and able to do the job.

Right on, Mr. S! Now let's just hope this charming little New York Times periodical has somewhat of a large readership. After all, we're told it's the "paper of record," and nobody's even listened to one of those since 1985!

Second Thoughts on Gays in the Military [NY Times]

*RELATED: Meehan to give fairness another go-round [G-A-Y]

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