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Progressivism on the March - Literally

February 8, 2010

It pains me to criticize our military in any way, since I was once a proud part of it, and overall their performance in the Iraq and Afghanistan theatres has been stellar. However, several unrelated yet connected events were reported recently that point to infiltration into the military—even and maybe especially in the highest ranks—by the same forces that are trying take our country down the path of a socialist, politically correct, one-world government "utopia."

I'm not a conspiracy buff, but by the same token when dots are begging to be connected I don't think they should be ignored. And ever since General Wesley Clark showed the nation that a politically liberal officer can rise to the highest levels because of rather than despite his beliefs, it should have been clear that the military—for all of its fine qualities—has some significant bad apples in its ranks.

The first story concerns the never-ending demand of the gay lobby to abolish the "don't ask, don't tell" policy that the president included in his State of the Union laundry list of promises as something he wished to accomplish for them. Secretary of Defense Gates, a Bush holdover who seems to have adopted Les Aspin as his role model for the job, is of course four-square in support of his commander-in-chief. Unfortunately, so apparently is the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Michael Mullen. The question is, why? Why now is it being determined that the Clinton-era policy, with all of its flaws, doesn't work? It seems to have worked reasonably well for over 15 years now as an admittedly imperfect compromise that allows gays to serve while keeping their orientation a secret. Could it be that continued pressure from the powerful gay lobby, in combination with Obama's clear support for them, has turned the tide? Why is the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs suddenly so passionate about this issue—pressure from Gates and/or Obama, or is he simply stating on the record what he's believed all along? Whatever the case, when senior military leaders look at this issue dispassionately—as they should—they cannot possibly reach the conclusion that allowing gays to openly serve will not be detrimental to overall morale and readiness. How Admiral Mullen has not reached this conclusion is beyond me.

A brilliant op-ed in the Wall Street Journal outlines, in case military leaders need reminding, why allowing openly gay members to serve is not a good idea. As the article states, "The glue of the military ethos is what the Greeks called philia—friendship, comradeship or brotherly love. Philia, the bond among disparate individuals who have nothing in common but facing death and misery together, is the source of the unit cohesion that most research has shown to be critical to battlefield success. Philia depends on fairness and the absence of favoritism…. The presence of open homosexuals in the close confines of ships or military units opens the possibility that eros—which unlike philia is sexual, and therefore individual and exclusive—will be unleashed into the environment. Eros manifests itself as sexual competition, protectiveness and favoritism, all of which undermine the nonsexual bonding essential to unit cohesion, good order, discipline and morale." Yet, given these timeless precepts about human behavior, Gen. Colin Powell (Army, Retired) recently changed his long-standing position and joined the chorus for repeal of "don't ask, don't tell," simply because, in his words, "attitudes and circumstances have changed." So much for the rock-solid principles of the "moderate Republicans" that the liberal media insist are the role models for the party.

Another news item concerns a thesis that a U.S. Army major wrote for the Army Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas entitled "Strategic Implications of American Millenialism" which attacked Christian pre-millenialists for their influence on our country, our government, and the military. The major's principal assertion is that the pre-millenialists (that is, those who believe in a pre-tribulation rapture) have an outsized influence on national security policy, which therefore tilts too much toward Israel. This in turn supposedly causes increased instability in the region and the eventual involvement of U.S. troops in an Armageddon-style battle of the ages which, in the major's opinion, will be the fault of the pre-millenialists because of their belief system and its influence. His thinking assumes that, due to the pre-millenialists' belief that all-out war in the Middle East is inevitable anyway (due to Biblical prophecy by the way), there's no point in diplomatic outreach to Israel's adversaries. What he ignores, of course, is the years of attempted diplomacy by both the U.S. and the United Nations, resulting in treaties that make Israel bend like a pretzel and yet are still broken repeatedly by the other side.

You might say, OK, but what possible influence can a mere major have on the nation's security policy? Apparently more than we may think. The major's commanding officers at the Staff College support the thesis paper and, as a result, the paper may be disseminated throughout the military as part of officer training and education programs. Also, the major's mere presence "in-residence" at the Command and Staff College marks him as one of the Army's future leaders, meaning someday he may be wearing colonel's eagles or even general's stars.

As if the above were not enough, neo-pagans, cadets and staff, are now being allowed to have "worship circles" at the Air Force Academy according to a recent Fox News article. This is just a furthering of the trend to support, in the name of political correctness, every extant religion that is practiced by the troops. It will be interesting to see how the crazy-quilt mixture of religious beliefs now supported in the military will play into morale and disciplinary issues in the future as the military, under this radical administration and commander-in-chief, increasingly becomes a PC social-experimentation laboratory.

The point of all this is that we have much to fear from a potential takeover of our military by leaders who are assimilating the progressive agenda into the military culture. It's bad enough that the civilian control of the military built into our Constitution has too often in recent times resulted in incompetent, uncaring leadership of our treasured military resources. When the progressive culture seeps into the military itself, we may end up with a military that is as divided as the nation which it serves.

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