Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A Military That Looks Like America

Letter to the Post, #18

Another letter to the Post goes unpublished. My guess is I'll get another one in the paper by the time I get to letter #22.

Retired Army General John Shalikashvili’s column “Gays in the Military: Let the Evidence Speak (Post, June 19) is a welcome relief from the usual narrow dicta issued by military command officers, retired or otherwise. In fact, Shalikashvili cites and refutes a previous Post op-ed piece (Gays and the Military: A Bad Fit, April 15), in which four retired command officers trot out the usual clich├ęs about gays harassing straights and undermining military cohesion. (I wrote a letter to the Post about that one, also. Read it here.)

That earlier piece confirmed me in my own prejudice, which is that in a democracy neither war nor social policy ought to be left up to generals. Shalikashvili is a clear exception, a general able to see that our society must be served by a military that can keep pace with broader social change; specifically that gay men and lesbians ought to be able to serve openly in our armed forces because our democratic values require a military that reflects who we are as a nation.

Jeff Epton

No comments:

Post a Comment