Thursday, March 01, 2007

Don't Ask, Don't Tell

So Eric Alva, the first soldier to be injured in Iraq, - who also happens to be from San Antonio - now turns out to be gay. And he is speaking out against the military’s moronic “Dont Ask, Don’t Tell” policy.

He is the same soldier who was invited to speak at the Texas Republican State Convention in 2004. The Republicans were delighted to have their photos taken with Alva back then and to glam off of his hardships. But I’m sure they will be avoiding him like the plague now.

The policy is indeed moronic, especially during a time when our military forces are stretched to the breaking point. Consider that we are forcing soliders to rush back to Iraq for second and third tours much more quickly than they would be scheduled otherwise. That we are taking all kinds of extreme measures to bulk up our military such as lowering standards for education and criminal records and at the same time this:

Since 1993, the Department of Defense has fired more than 11,000 service members under ìDonít Ask, Donít Tell.î On average, 2 -3 people are dismissed under the law every day. According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) at least 800 of those had skills deemed ëmission-criticalí by DoD, including more than 300 linguists, of which at least 55 were proficient in Arabic.

That’s really sad. And yet the general public’s bigotry toward gay people persists unabated. Last night when one of the local TV networks ran a story about Alva they included a call-in poll question on whether gays should be allowed to serve in the military. 60 percent of respondents said no. Morons.

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