Saturday, March 20, 2010

Don't Ask....Don't Make It Up As You Go Along

Wow that title would make for an even more awfull acronym than...DADT

It makes for even more awfull testimony in a Senate hearing regarding "Don't Ask Don't Tell"...yet thats exactly what Retired General John Sheehan did during his turn to testify. For those who haven't heard what happened, retired General Sheehan testified at said Senate hearing that because the Dutch army allows gays to openly serve in their armed forces...they were unable to prevent the overruning of Srebrenica... and the following massacre of Muslims, during the Bosnian War....huh?.....Video coverage of the hearing is easily available..but not as much fun as Rachal Maddows coverage below the fold...


I don't know about any of you but the General seemed to be making up his story, litterally on the fly. You can almost see the wheels turning in his head as he gives his answer. He didn't seem very confident in his facts and had a hard time responding when questioned about the specific details of his assertion that it was all the gays fault.  General Sheehans words (as transcribed by me):

"That led to a force that was ill equiped to go to war. The case in point that I'm refering to is when the Dutch to defend Srebrenica against the Serbs. The battalion was under strength, poorly led...and the Serbs came into town....handcuffed the soldiers to the telephone poles...marched the muslims off ..and executed them."

Ah, let me see if I get this straight....any military that contains gays will automatically lay down their arms when confronted with the prospect of battle. Did I get that right? Because thats the way he made that sound. Including gays weakens the resolve to fight. However, theres a couple of small problems with this argument.

First, I don't think you will find a military force in the world that doesn't already have actively serving gays soldiers...whether serving openly or on a closeted basis. How many of the Serb's that overran Srebrenica may have been closeted gays? Probably not many but I bet they were there. And what of our own military which contains hundreds of gay men and women already serving their country in duties that bring them under fire on a daily basis?...They are serving right now, with distinction. If the presence of gays is all it takes...we're already screwed.(pun intended)

Second, The General gives no other supporting background information regarding the overruning of Srebrenica. How long had they already been fighting? How many casualties had they taken by then? How long did they fight before they were "handcuffed to the telephone poles". There is a whole story here that General Sheehan disregards to try to make the flimsy assertion that it was because the Dutch military allows openly gay soldiers to serve.

Third, Did the general just slap the face of those that served and died in that conflict by reducing it to such a shallow cause? And doesn't this kind of betray a sense of "we are better than you" to our allies? Most countries already believe that is how the U.S. feels..this just confirms it for them. Next time we need them they may just pack up their and straight...and go play with someone else.

Of special interest is when the General was asked why he thinks that allowing gays to be open about their sexual orientation in the military counts as a "special accomodation" while he doesn't feel that way in regard to heterosexuals soldiers. The General thought long and hard about that one, and end the end could not come up with a satisfactory answer...I give the point to Senator Levin on that one.....and for highlighting General Sheehans comments  that allowing gay soldiers creates a dangerous "intimate situation" between gay and straight soldiers yet heterosexual male and female soldiers serving together does not....and that he believes that...somehow...that does not create a double standard...../facepalm.

And bringing up one sexual assault case from the Vietnam era?...seriously?...I bet Pam Spaulding of Pams House Blend will have something to say about this. She has brought to light the fact that the military already has an issue with sexual assualt between male and female soldiers that the military wishes it could sweep under the rug. So why do we cover up the rape of female soldiers by their male counterparts and then get in a tizzy over the unrealistic idea that gay soldiers are just waiting for the chance to assualt their fellows? Where is the sense in this?

Aye Carumba...the Dutch are all kinds of pissed at the Generals comments..which they have a right to be I'd say... and another Rachel Maddow episode covered that too. your saying perhaps these comments weren't thought out and may be...I don't know....wrong? Wow, who knew?..

And thank you so much Rachel I'm going to have nightmares about an angry torch and pitchfork wielding mob of Dutchmen....ah well, have a good weekend everyone.


  1. When I first heard Gen. Sheehan's comments I was pretty well revolted. Then I watched Rachel Maddow's comments, and it very quickly just became ridiculous. Love her so much for managing to mock people by just being smarter than them.

    Thanks for writing on this subject Bryan, hadn't seen her follow up with the Dutch quite rightly being up in arms over it.

  2. I'm laughing really hard, because it's just all so.......ridiculous!

  3. Why would that general make such a tit of himself by lying about such easily checked facts?

    He has just made himself look stupid. If I was on the other side I would be trying desperately to make my allies realise they need to make arguments that appeal to some sort of reason.

  4. As a fifteen year old, I have seen more maturity from clueless sophomores debating with my grumpy Civics teacher in class.
    It saddens me to see that people like this, who's mentality is far below that of a child's, hold power in our nation. I'd expect this, "Mr. Imaginary man told me so and so, therefore we should have my way" attitude from a 5 year old, not a man who gets to voice his opinion to millions of people.
    Yet in reality, childish and immature are perfect words to describe the "Don't Ask Don't Tell" policy. So as Rachel Maddow said, "I think we may be pretty much on the track to repeal" thanks to the General. So thank you General John Sheehan, you can go play in your sandbox now. :)

  5. Goodness, that is just so hard to believe.

    @Orangegoblin, I think these people are thrown up in desperation. There are no arguments that appeal to reason.

    If they keep this up they will repeal DADT to stop the embarrassment.
    I would hate to have to work with the Dutch military in the near future.

  6. Anonymous, I doubt your last point can be said for the military of my country (the UK) or those of virtually every other state in Europe. This is an issue on which the US is trailing behind nations like the Philippines, Brazil, Estonia, Romania, Lithuania & Russia.

    Yes, Russia.

    That kinda shows how much catch-up the USA has to do.

  7. Hi Bryan, yes, we were pissed off LOL, I was too, after I first had to laugh when I heard what Sheehan said because it was over the top absurd.
    In short, the Dutch were under NATO rules of engagement, a peacekeeping force therefore under-armed and only 400 soldiers, we were not there to fight. When however the situation started to get worse, and when the Serbs came into our teritory where we protected the muslims, we asked for back up, but it was denied. Its a complex story, but help was denied and the help that did come (airsupport) was too late. Various soldiers were deeply traumatized because they couldnt defend the musims from getting killed. The lies by Sheehan were so humiliating and painful to make about such a tragedy/massacre happenign and blaming it partially on the gays&lesbians here, it was outrageous, even our Prime Minister released a statement, saying it was beneath contempt, towards gays&lesbians, but also towards all the soldiers that were there who couldnt do anything (and many were traumatized not having been able to prevent the killings of 8000 muslim men). The outrage was justified.
    This general just lied about everything,a nd you gotta defend yourself, even when the lies are so preposterous.
    Anyway, thought to give that bit of info as that shows even better how this Sheehan was lying for his own agenda.

    On another note, I left a comment on youtube to your latest video, but it didnt post. Since the layout of commenting changed I have trouble commenting on YT in general, but wanted to say I loved your video and again, your honesty, its so inspiring and to learn from. You really are a great couple, great people. Take care! Love, Wendy

  8. DADT is pointless.

    Gay soldiers are good enough to die for their country, but not good enough to let the world know who they really are.

    DADT is all about making the bigots feel comfortable. And why should bigots ever be allowed to feel comfortable?

    That General really should have been better prepared. When stumbling over his own answers, in the above videos, he simply looks foolish and lost.

    And almost 70,000 gay men and women in the US forces? Those people should be given the respect they are owed.

  9. It's all so absurd. We love Rachel for telling it like it is. Thank God she totally gets it and I feel like we finally have a voice in mainstream news.

    Hey guys, check out the lead story on goodkin today. I think you'll like it.

  10. QUOTE: "It saddens me to see that people like this, who's mentality is far below that of a child's, hold power in our nation. I'd expect this, "Mr. Imaginary man told me so and so, therefore we should have my way" attitude from a 5 year old, not a man who gets to voice his opinion to millions of people."

    i just believe that if someone can say a man who believes in god is a 'man with the mantality far below a child' and believing in an 'imaginary man' is fine to say then so should someone be able to say there should be no gay troops. doesnt seem as harmful anyways.

  11. I also believe that we live in a free country. and just as a man should be free to express an opinion so should a man be free to suppress it. i mean isnt that what the fight is? true freedom? or is it just to be gay? cause the truth is true freedom is impossible. someone is going to have to compromise somewhere down the line. question is who? and as i sit back and watch two sides bickering about nonsense and exposing nonsense in the other, both playing a game of 'which bullshitter is right' it makes me wonder why the fight at all? are you not both human? how are you going to fight for your opinion by suppressing another? its impossible. it makes no sense and frankly i dont see how anyone can pick one side or the other. it all comes down to this. are you gay or human? do you fight for freedom of speech and expression? or for freedom of speech and expression of gays? cause thats not exactly equal.