Entry from May 25, 2010

If you were to cut out the front-page story in today’s Washington Post headed, “Obama backs ‘don’t ask’ compromise that could pave way for repeal,” you would incidentally mutilate a page two story printed on the back of it about the firing of Admiral Dennis Blair as Director of National Intelligence. The second story is headed, “White House hard fit for ex-military officers” and reveals that, according to the Post, not only Admiral Blair but his likely successor, Air Force Lieutenant General James Clapper and several other Obamite ex-military men — including National Security adviser and retired Marine General James Jones, Army Lieutenant General and Ambassador to Afghanistan Karl Eikenberry and Air Force Major General L. Scott Gration, a special envoy for the Sudan — have all had their problems fitting into the administration of a man with no military experience and, seemingly, little interest in military matters. I wonder if the two stories could be somehow related?

Here is how the Post describes the “compromise” on Don’t-Ask-Don’t-Tell: “Lawmakers will now, within days, vote on amendments that would repeal the Clinton-era policy, with a provision ensuring that any change would not take effect until after the Pentagon completes a study about its impact on troops. That study is due to Congress by Dec. 1.” I confess, I don’t quite get this. Why not wait to see what the study says before passing a law which, presumably, assumes its outcome? What if the study concludes that the change in the law, already passed by Congress and signed by the President, to abolish the policy is ill-advised? More puzzling still is the fact that the Post’s story doesn’t even consider this possibility. Could there be something about this brilliant compromise, said to be pleasing both to the gay lobby and to those conservative Democrats who, according to the Post “have said they would oppose a repeal unless military leaders made it clear that they approved of such a change,” that we’re not being told?

But of course I am being ironic. The findings of the study — or “study” — can be safely assumed to be in accordance with the wishes of the President and his fellow repealers. It is, as the British say, a stitch-up, as those allegedly “conservative Democrats” might know very well if they chose to know it. That the military are going along with this charade is one measure of how they have been cowed since the Truman administration into not speaking out against foolish political decisions by their civilian masters, even when military common sense would have been invaluable, as in the case of Vietnam, in pointing up that foolishness. Their silence also demonstrates that they do not approve of the change. If they did, there would be no need for the imposture of the study and the further imposture of the “compromise” with the militant and would-be military gays. But look for the dawning of enlightenment among those existing military doubters — at least the ambitious ones among them — between now and December 1st.

Yes, I think there just might be a bit of a culture clash between the Obama administration and the military. Unfortunately, however, it’s not nearly clashy enough.

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