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D-Day and the Claw

March 19, 2009
by

On June 6, 1944, seventy-three thousand American soldiers stormed the Normandy beaches. There were 156,000 Allied troops overall. All Americans recognize the bravery of these troops, and we’re proud of the role our country played in pushing the Nazi metastasis back to its source. According to one estimate, 1,456 Americans died and 3,184 were injured.

Occasionally, I shoot targets at a gun range. Even with ear protection, and with only a dozen or so people shooting at different lanes, it can get loud. Even standing still, shooting at a faraway piece of paper is difficult to do accurately. And the target sure isn’t shooting back.

Like all soldiers, the Americans who fought on D-Day overcame a survival instinct that must have been screaming “get the fuck out of here.” Surrounded by the chaos of the battle, they carried out the grave mission of killing other human beings. Even in a justified war, ending human life is not to be taken lightly. No matter the battle’s outcome, people who voluntarily expose themselves to the horrors of war on our country’s behalf deserve our deepest respect and gratitude. Those who, in so doing, earn a monumental victory understandably command a share of awe.

Different polls and studies estimate the gay and bisexual male population of the United States to be as low as 1.3% and as high 13.95% of the overall male population. For the sake of this post, I will choose 2% to work with. Though I think that’s a low number, it’s close to estimates proffered by the pro-discrimination crowd.

Though 75% of Americans support the inclusion of gays in the military, the minority opinion is advocated zealously. Elaine Donnelly from the Center for Military Readiness said, “The complete acceptance of homosexual conduct would have a negative effect on the armed forces. We’d lose a lot of good people and we can’t afford that.”

If I could pose one scenario to those who shamelessly advocate for an absolute policy of discrimination against gays, it would be this: Imagine you controlled an enormous claw machine hovering over Normandy that day. You’re able to watch the landing craft as they lurched through the waves and to see inside the planes that delivered 13,000 paratroopers. What would you do if you had the ability to implement your policy of banning gays in real time? Would you use your claw to pluck gays from the ranks?

If the gay military population is representative of the gay makeup of society at large, these people are actually arguing that 1,460 Americans should have stayed home that day. Do these people want to wish the rest of the paratroopers godspeed while taking 260 out of the planes? The combined allied forces would be reduced by 3,120 soldiers. Could we have afforded that? Surely, the gay soldiers must have done something useful that day. Perhaps by prancing around in hot pants and assless chaps, they drew fire away from some nice Christian soldiers. Maybe they gave nice haircuts to the real men who fought for us that day. Maybe they helped the straights relax by making them mojitos and brunch.

Or maybe, just maybe, they carried their weapons into a scene of unimaginable horror and helped rescue Europe.

Don’t insult my intelligence,

B

PS – People who criticized President Bush for starting a war in Iraq were often accused by the right of lacking support for our troops. Of course the protest was against the policy, something out of the troops’ hands, so the accusation fails. On the other hand, Ms. Donnelly & Co. are comfortable lobbying for a policy that would lead to the discharge of gays on active duty, close the door in the faces of many who would voluntarily defend this country, and insult the memories of gays who have fought and died. Apparently, their definition of “support” comes from a very strange dictionary indeed.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. Taz permalink
    May 10, 2009 5:11 am

    Like all soldiers, the Americans who fought on D-Day overcame a survival instinct that must have been screaming “get the fuck out of here.” Surrounded by the chaos of the battle, they carried out the grave mission of killing other human beings. Even in a justified war, ending human life is not to be taken lightly. No matter the battle’s outcome, people who voluntarily expose themselves to the horrors of war on our country’s behalf deserve our deepest respect and gratitude.While I don’t disagree with the conclusion, keep in mind that overcoming that survival instinct is exactly what military training is designed to do. Those soldiers didn’t storm that beach because they believed in “the cause”, but because that’s what they were trained to do.

    The fact that gays are no less susceptible to this training is a major argument against banning them from the military.

  2. Barry permalink
    May 10, 2009 5:36 am

    I agree, Taz; I am not concerned with “the cause”. What’s important is competency and performance. Unless one can show that gays lack in either department, there is no justifiable reason to ban them.

  3. Barry permalink
    May 10, 2009 5:36 am

    I agree, Taz; I am not concerned with “the cause”. What’s important is competency and performance. Unless one can show that gays lack in either department, there is no justifiable reason to ban them.

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