This is a response to an editorial by Katie Joaquin (“Rally Toward Equality,” Daily Nexus, May 2) and the article titled “Rally Speaks out Against ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell'” (Daily Nexus, May 3). Both contain Joaquin’s disturbing beliefs concerning the U.S. military. I am not against gays, gays in the military or gay rights in the civilian world. I am against gay rights in the military commensurate with the civilian sphere.
The “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy is essential for the military to properly function. The Soldier and the State, by Samuel Huntington, states that there are two basic ways that civil authorities can control the military: subjective control and objective control. Subjective control is “maximizing the power of civilian groups in relation to the military.” This results in a civilianizing of the military, making the military politically correct and effectively neutering the military. Objective control is “maximizing of military professionalism” and is “most conducive to the emergence of professional attitudes and behavior among the members of the officer corps.” Objective control is the ideal type of civil-military relations. This means that when soldiers enlist, they give up certain rights enjoyed by civilians.
Secondly, I agree with the article written by Randall Shulman, which essentially states that in times of war, it is counterproductive for people to expose their sexuality. As my friend Chad, a former Marine sergeant, says, “When I’m cleaning my balls with a wet-nap in a trench, I don’t want to think that one of my corporals is wishing he could lick them.” This leads to distractions in war, which could be costly. This is partly why women can’t serve on the ground – because a soldier can’t be thinking about banging Pvt. Jenny while he’s on guard duty.
Thirdly, this policy is also in place to prevent the hazing of gays. Not everyone in the military grew up in California, where people are generally tolerant of gays, and thus may haze gays. Essentially, this policy is in place for the protection of the individual, the unit and the army.
Joaquin states, “We all must educate ourselves on the military,” and I couldn’t agree more. But perhaps Joaquin shouldn’t be the first person casting a stone. I have never served in the military, but did grow up in 29 Palms, a military town. Joaquin thinks the military is racist. I couldn’t disagree more. The Dept. of Defense website states that between 1977 and 1997, racial minority officers jumped from 7 percent to 15.3 percent of the officer corps, while women officers jumped from 5.9 percent to 14.1 percent. The military is a means that these minorities can be socially mobile. I have a black friend whose dad grew up as a poor kid in New Jersey. He now is the top military policeman of the Marine Corps. Now my friend is joining the Marines as an officer. How’s that for social mobility, SCORE?
Joaquin thinks that “90 percent of women in the military claim to have been sexually harassed and a third claim to have been raped.” I would like to see the reference for those stats. It is unlikely that the military would actually release that data, and thus I doubt the validity. It is true that these things do occur, but not to that degree.
She said, “The military discriminates against those who are less physically able because it requires those who enlist to meet physical fitness requirements.” The physical standards of a soldier are necessary for the protection of the individual, the unit and the army.
Joaquin’s argument is contradictory. She wants to give rights to gays in the military. But kicking the ROTC out will deny the right for others to join the military as an officer after graduating. While I feel for the 1,500 U.S. soldiers who died in Iraq and their families, the truth is that they are discovering mass graves with over 300,000 people, according to National Review.
If the ROTC is kicked off the UCSB campus, then I guess that UCSB doesn’t deserve such a noble program. And, I’m glad that I’ll only have five weeks left to deal with this PC bullshit. And as for Joaquin’s fear of an “unsafe campus climate because of the presence of military recruiters,” remember that U.S. soldiers have fought and died for your ass throughout history.
William Brogan is a senior political science major.