Steven Begakis’ recent article “Military Culture Overrules Rights of Individual Soldiers” (Daily Nexus, Oct. 20, 2009) is a pile of steaming bullshit. He implies that when you join the military you check all your personal rights at the door in order to better serve your country. This is simply not true. If it were, soldiers would not be known by their names, would not be allowed to have friends, and would not be allowed to do anything they enjoyed that wasn’t strictly for the “greater American good.”
Begakis ignorantly implies that “don’t ask, don’t tell” is not an unfair policy directed at gays, disregarding the simple logic that if what he says about the policy is true, then no one in the military would be able to be open about anything regarding their sexuality or love life. Clearly this is not the case, as straight servicemen are perfectly within their rights to discuss their significant others. In fact, their ability to even openly have significant others disproves Begakis’ assertion that individuality cannot be tolerated above duty. A more likely explanation for Begakis’ support of the policy is perhaps that he himself is homophobic, despite his assertions that he is a champion of individual liberty.