The following is my response to a neocon who gave his two cents on an article by Glenn Greenwald discussing the Obama administration's recent decision to end the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy and allow gays to join and serve in the armed forces openly. The response also deals with the topics of the purpose of the military and whether or not it's actually fighting for our freedom. The comments of my opponent are in bold.
The only people who deserve a say in this matter are the serving members of the US armed forces. Imposing liberal prejudices on the men and women defending your Freedom is another stab in the back for people who are rather busy at the moment.
Leave it to a war-mongering neocon to perceive the democratic concept of equality of opportunity for everyone, regardless of race, gender, or sexual orientation, to be a "liberal prejudice," or any form of prejudice at all.
The soldiers in the armed forces should not have a say over who gets accepted into the military based solely on arbitrary factors that have no bearing whatsoever on the individual's performance or general capabilities in functioning within any vocation in question, including the military. Decisions based on bigotry are not consistant with American values (then again, what do neocons either know or care about American values?). I guess you also think that the integration of black people into the military many decades ago was another example of "liberal prejudices" being imposed upon our wonderful soldiers, considering how rampant racism was in the military back then. Typical neocon logic at work. Only a neocon could see the concept of equality of opportunity based on individual merits rather than arbitrary factors like race, gender, and sexual orientation to be a form of "prejudice."
And you say these soldiers are fighting for our freedom? Neocons' definition of the word "freedom" is every bit as bizarre and utterly corrupt as your above definition of "prejudice." If the military was being used to defend American shores from an unprovoked invasion, and actually acted in harmony with the tenets of the U.S. Constitution, then I would consider them fighting for my freedom. But what they are doing in the Middle East right now has nothing to do with securing our civil liberties. Rather, their actions are entirely based on the imperialist occupation of other nations that did nothing to us, largely for securing fossil fuel resources for the fat cat capitalists whom the government--and thus, the military--truly serves.
And if you even try to argue with me that the soldiers are there primarily to fight terrorism, I will have to remind you that terrorism is a tactic that is not embodied in any single nation, and thus should be considered a law enforcement problem, not a military one.
And I will also remind you that the U.S. government has likewise supported, funded, and trained various terrorist cells for a very long time, including the notorious Contras. But when certain of these cells spread their violence and death in support of U.S. interests ("interests" being a code word for business dealings and matters dealing with money in general), they aren't considered terrorists but are instead called "freedom fighters."
If you and your fellow neocons were truly concerned about the freedom of the people in America, you wouldn't be fanatically and mindlessly supportive of the attacks on our civil liberties that occur most often during wartime. Of course, wartime is a time that you neocons love more than a fat kid loves cake, because in your eyes, a war is a chance for you to feel strong, tough, and macho by association whenever the U.S. military flexes its muscles and shows some small militarily inferior nation who's boss. And the Bush administration, which you neocons cheered on like a bunch of lovestruck sycophants, gave us the USA Patriot Act, warrentless surveilance, Guantanamo Bay, the Military Commissions Act, suspension of all legal rights for anyone designated an "enemy combatant," and the repudiation of our government's adherence to the Geneva Conventions. All of these things constituted brutal assaults on the civil liberties that are supposed to be embodied by America and make us a strong moral force in the world. Civil liberties are what FREEDOM truly means. Hence, I laugh at the neocons' claims that they support the concept of freedom, at least not the definition of it as understood by America's Founders when they crafted the Constitution.
Peaceniks will never understand the realities of active service life- so get honest and worry about stuff you can comprehend.
As opposed to the chicken hawks like the typical neocon, who has usually never been anywhere near a battlefield, but still consider themselves "experts" on the armed forces and the mindset of the typical soldier within simply because they cheer on wars from the safety of their homes in the world's most powerful nation, which also happens to be separated from our enemies in the Middle East by a vast stretch of ocean.
The US military also bars druggies, criminals, the thick and lazy. Unlike Obama, who makes them into Czars... But where's your outrage for these Americans?
As if some of the neocons' greatest idols, such as Reagan and Bush Jr., as well as any number of Democratic presidents that your brethren reflexively hates just because they are Democrats regardless of how much the current breed capitulates to almost everything the Republicans demand of them lest they be called names, have been any less involved in making such negative elements that you mention into "Czars."
All presidents of both political parties, especially in more recent decades, are beholden to precisely the same "special interests" (i.e., big business) that routinely use the military not for self-defense or otherwise preserving our democratic freedoms, but in foreign operations that are based on securing U.S. corporate business interests in other nations that are militarily helpless to resist. The latter foreign policy often includes supporting and even directly putting into power some of the world's worst dictators, who preside over extremely oppressive regimes that haven't the slightest conception of freedom and democracy.
Then again, since neocons routinly define "freedom" as the freedom of the capitalists to make as much money as they want at everyone else's expense, rather than as a term used to describe civil liberties, it's perhaps not surprising that you guys describe the military's current operations in the Middle East as fighting for "our" freedom ("our" being defined as the only people in America who truly matter in the eyes of the government, and that sure isn't the vast majority of citizens).
You children need a lesson in Real World.
Glenn and all true progressives worthy of that moniker are well aware of what the "Real World" is like, because if they didn't he wouldn't be calling things like they are as opposed to living in the narcissitic dream world of the typical government and media establishment pundits who routinely tell us that the military is used for defending the democratic ideals of America and nothing else.
And I stand by my stance in a previous letter in this thread that the very desire for gay people to become part of this military at the present time should be questioned, as I believe that if they were genuinely interested in fighting for their country's best interests, they would avoid the military like the plague and become civil rights activists instead. I would totally cringe at the idea of being part of any institution that was cheered on by neocons.