Skip to main content
Published on
Grit TV

Time to Stop Making Nice to Military

President Obama's go-slow approach to ending "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" discrimination in the military has left repeal on life support in a lame-duck session of Congress.  Well thanks for nothing, Mr. President.

But it's not just him. How about our justice strategy? As we mark another Veterans -- or Armistice - Day,  with LGBT vets shut up and shut out, it's time we called an Armistice on making nice to our military.

Before another much-medaled macho man talks about unit cohesion and combat readiness -- and why we simply must protect our boys from out gay men and lesbians -- we need an answer. Just what is rape and sexual abuse doing for unit cohesion?

General James Amos, the new commandant of the Marine Corps, recently told reporters that he was concerned about a possible loss of unit cohesion and combat readiness if "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" is repealed. It's the umpteenth time we've heard this.

According to SWAN, the Service Women's Action Network, one in three women is raped or sexually assaulted while serving in our military. I heard a Marine Corps captain choke back her pain this week. Her cohesion's barely holding up; is that just fine with General Amos?

Misogyny and homophobia go hand in hand. Listen to any service person talk about their training. Much of it actually encourages female-hate, or the hatred of the femme within. So no wonder "fag" is a label to be terrified of. The military will never be safe for LGBT people until it's safe for females and it's not. It's deadly.

It's time to stop asking servicemen and starred generals how safe they feel -- and start bringing them into the dock to account for hate crimes. They've wrecked and ruined enough brave women. When they put that to rights, maybe we'll consider letting them employ the services of our precious gay and lesbian people.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do.

Laura Flanders

Laura Flanders

Laura Flanders is a best-selling author and broadcaster who hosts the The Laura Flanders Show, where she interviews forward thinking people about the key questions of our time.  The LF Show airs weekly on KCET/LinkTV, FreeSpeech TV, and in English & Spanish in teleSUR. Flanders is also a contributing writer to The Nation and Yes! Magazine (“Commonomics”) and a regular guest on MSNBC. She is the author of six books, including The New York Times best-seller, BUSHWOMEN: Tales of a Cynical Species (Verso, 2004) and Blue GRIT: True Democrats Take Back Politics from the Politicians (Penguin Press, 2007). The Laura Flanders Show first aired on Air America Radio 2004-2008. You can find all her archives and more at or via Twitter @GRITlaura

Share This Article

More in: