Tag Archives: United States Marines

U.S. Marines are pussies

Reports AFP (a French news service):

Washington — The top U.S. Marine [said yesterday that] most Marines would prefer not to share a room with gay comrades, despite plans by President Barack Obama to lift a ban on gays serving openly in the military.

General James Conway, who has made clear his opposition to ending the ban, said if the law is changed the Marine Corps might look for volunteers willing to share quarters with gays as some “very religious” members objected to rooming with homosexuals.

“I can tell you that an overwhelming majority would like not to be roomed with a person who is openly homosexual,” Conway told a Pentagon press conference.

“Some do not object. And perhaps, you know, perhaps a voluntary basis might be the best way to start without violating anybody’s sense of moral concern or a perception on the part of their mates,” he said.

He added that “in some instances we will have people that say that homosexuality is wrong and they simply do not want to room with a person of that persuasion because it would go against their religious beliefs.” …

Um, so what?

My federal tax dollars — which go to the U.S. military-industrial complex instead of to things that we Americans need, like health care, public education and public infrastructure — are used to support a military that caters to religious-based ignorance, bigotry and hatred?

What if a “Christian” Marine doesn’t want a Jewish or a Muslim or an atheist or another non-Christian roommate? Is he or she accommodated?

What if a white Marine doesn’t want a non-white roommate? Is white supremacism to be supported by my federal tax dollars?

Fact is, if you’re a straight guy, your assigned roommate could be gay or bisexual whether you can tell or not. Get over it. As long as your roommate (of either biological sex and of any sexual orientation) doesn’t sexually harass or sexually assualt you, what do you have to piss and moan about? That your sensibilities are offended? Oh, boo hoo! I thought that the Marines were tough.

I understand that the U.S. armed forces attract redneck dipshits who apparently think that Jesus was all about killing civilians in foreign lands who refuse to convert to “Christianity.” These “patriotic” crusaders for Christ apparently don’t perceive that they’re just cannon fodder for corporate global expansion; they apparently actually believe that they’re truly protecting freedom and liberty and puppies and kittens and butterflies in the names of God and Jesus.

But that’s the problem: God and Jesus.

I have a problem that our military is not secular, but that it is so highly “Christianized.” It’s wrong. It’s anti-American. It’s dangerous.

Dozens of soldiers at an Army base in Virginia apparently were punished recently for having refused to attend a “Christian” band’s concert at the base. That any branch of the U.S. armed forces would allow such religious-based propaganda on a taxpayer-funded military base anyway is questionable, but to punish soldiers for declining to attend? That’s the bullshit cramming of “Christianity” down soldiers’ throats, and I hope that some high-ranking “Christo”fascist heads roll for it.

I just can’t have confidence in my nation’s military knowing that it apparently is riddled with (in no certain order) xenophobes, homophobes, white supremacists, racists, “Christo”fascists, et. al. A chain is only as strong as is its weakest link, and there are a lot of weak links — and missing links — in the U.S. armed forces.

Placing roommates together, I am sure, can be difficult. Would it be a good idea to place a known gay soldier with a known homophobic solider? No, probably not.

But is it in society’s good to coddle the haters?

No. That’s why, to my knowledge, U.S. soldiers don’t get to object to their roommates’ race or religion.

If we want a stronger military, we should expel the haters. Period. They’re mentally unstable anyway.

And all Americans need to embrace diversity. It’s 2010, for fuck’s sake. I know that millions of Americans are still reeling over the fact that we have our first non-white U.S. president, but they need to get a grip and move forward.

A federal appeals court ruled last month that it violates caregiving staff’s civil rights for a caregiving facility to allow racist and/or white supremacist patients to be able to refuse to be cared for by them because of their race.

“I always felt like it was wrong,” said Brenda Chaney, a black certified nurse assistant who brought about the lawsuit, said of the fact that white patients at her workplace in Indiana were allowed to refuse to be cared for her because she is black.

Back in my nursing days in the 1990s in Arizona, I recall at least a few white patients who refused black caregivers — and that they often if not usually were accommodated. I always thought that it was wrong, too, but the alternative, it seemed to me, was to subject a black caregiver to race-based abuse by a patient.

(To be fair, I had some black patients who didn’t seem to be thrilled to have a white caregiver [I especially remember the one who once rather venomously referred to me as “white boy”], but to be fair, blacks always have been worse victims of racism at the hands of whites than vice versa.)

So while I wouldn’t want black (or other non-white) caregivers to be abused by white supremacist patients, is it good public policy to allow the haters to pick and choose with whom they get to associate in communal settings?

Probably not.

As a federal court just ruled that a patient can’t choose the race of his or her caregiver, how would a federal court rule on allowing a homophobic soldier to be able to pick the sexual orientation of his or her roommate or roommates?

Um, yeah.

You know, while it’s true that gay is the new black, black is a pretty good litmus test: If it wouldn’t be OK to do something to a black person (such as not allow him or her to marry the person of his or her choice), it probably wouldn’t be OK to do the same fucking thing to a non-heterosexual person.

It’s not rocket science.

But then, we’re not a nation of rocket scientists, are we?

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Propaganda begins at home

The controversy du jour is this (from POLITICO):

Defense Secretary Robert Gates is objecting “in the strongest terms” to an Associated Press decision to transmit a photograph showing a mortally wounded 21-year-old Marine in his final moments of life, calling the decision “appalling” and a breach of “common decency.”

The AP reported that the Marine’s father had asked – in an interview and in a follow-up phone call — that the image, taken by an embedded photographer, not be published.

The AP reported in a story that it decided to make the image public anyway because it “conveys the grimness of war and the sacrifice of young men and women fighting it.”

The photo shows Lance Cpl. Joshua M. Bernard of New Portland, Maine, who was struck by a rocket-propelled grenade in a Taliban ambush Aug. 14 in Helmand province of southern Afghanistan, according to the AP.

Gates wrote to Thomas Curley, AP’s president and chief executive officer. “Out of respect for his family’s wishes, I ask you in the strongest of terms to reconsider your decision. I do not make this request lightly. In one of my first public statements as secretary of defense, I stated that the media should not be treated as the enemy, and made it a point to thank journalists for revealing problems that need to be fixed – as was the case with Walter Reed.”

“I cannot imagine the pain and suffering Lance Corporal Bernard’s death has caused his family. Why your organization would purposefully defy the family’s wishes knowing full well that it will lead to yet more anguish is beyond me. Your lack of compassion and common sense in choosing to put this image of their maimed and stricken child on the front page of multiple American newspapers is appalling. The issue here is not law, policy or constitutional right – but judgment and common decency.”

The four-paragraph letter concluded, “Sincerely,” then had Gates’ signature. 

The photo, first transmitted Thursday morning and repeated Friday morning, carries the warning, “EDS NOTE: GRAPHIC CONTENT.”

The caption says: “In this photo taken Friday, Aug. 14, 2009, Lance Cpl. Joshua Bernard is tended to by fellow U.S. Marines after being hit by a rocket propelled grenade during a firefight against the Taliban in the village of Dahaneh in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan. Bernard was transported by helicopter to Camp Leatherneck where he later died of his wounds.” …

The AP reported that it “waited until after Bernard’s burial in Madison, Maine, on Aug. 24 to distribute its story and the pictures.” …

The AP photograph — which, ironically, now will be viewed by more people than it otherwise would have been because Bush regime holdover Gates has made it into an issue — actually isn’t all that graphic, not by today’s standards. Here it is:

Associated Press photo

You see some carnage in the image, but you’ve seen much worse in a Quentin Tarantino movie.

But this is the only kind of U.S. military picture that you’re supposed to see, you see:

This undated photo provided Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2009 by the US ...

Associated Press photo

That’s a picture of Joshua Bernard before he was sent to fight a questionable war in Afghanistan.

In his anti-free-speech letter to the AP — oh, yes, it is about constitutional rights and constitutional law — Gates described Bernard as a “maimed and stricken child” (emphasis mine).

Um, why are we sending such young people — so young that even the secretary of defense refers to one of them as a “child” — to fight old rich stupid cowardly white men’s wars?

And whose fault is Bernard’s death? Is it the fault of The Associated Press for simply showing an image of his death, or is it the fault of those evil men, who put corporate profits far above human life, who sent him to Afghanistan in the first place?

The Obama administration isn’t proving to be much better on free and open speech and on transparency than was the unelected Bush regime, which prohibited the media even from taking images of closed caskets containing American war dead. First the Obama administration blocked the release of more images of the Abu Ghraib House of Horrors abuses, and now this, Gates’ attempt at censorship in order to keep U.S. military recruitment propaganda intact.

But it’s only propaganda when someone else does it. The White House never engages in the dastardly practice of propaganda, of lying to the American people, even if only by omission, such as by blocking the release of images that aren’t politically helpful.

Again, you’re supposed to see only the before military pictures, the happy military pictures, the “Top Gun”-like pictures, the pictures that are good for U.S. military recruitment, and never the after pictures, because the after pictures aren’t good for the military-industrial complex. Pictures of maimed 21-year-olds aren’t good for military recruitment, you see, and they might just make the American taxpayers revolt against what is being done in their name with their tax dollars. (Yeah, I know, Americans having a revolution funny…)

Why block the image of Bernard’s death? To be able to continue the same insanity that will cause the deaths of even more of our young people.

Sure, every young person who joins the U.S. military knows, intellectually — abstractly — that he or she could get killed. But knowing something abstractly and seeing something with your own two eyes — those are very different things. Gates and his ilk know this.

But they can’t state the truth, which is that images of wartime carnage aren’t good for U.S. military recruitment and make the American people rethink the whole war thing.

So they have to lie, they have to hide behind the families of the young people who are put through the meat grinder that is the U.S. war machine, and they have to hide behind the troops, saying that the release of images that aren’t good for the military industrial complex harms the families of the fallen and even harms the troops.

The unelected Bush regime routinely hid behind the troops — Orwellianly asserted that those who opposed the Vietraq War were against and/or threatened U.S. troops, even though it was the unelected Bush regime, not anti-war activists, who sent our troops to their wholly unnecessary deaths in the sands of Vietraq for the war profiteering of Dick Cheney’s Halliburton and the other war-profiteering subsidiaries of BushCheneyCorp — and now here is Gates hiding behind Bernard’s family.

The Associated Press and the rest of the media are guilty only of not showing us enough images of the carnage that is going on in the name of we, the people.

Gates should go. The American people elected a Democratic president and here is a Repugnican “president’s” secretary of defense held over from the unelected Bush regime’s bogus wars. I think that President Obama retained Gates primarily in order to try to prove that Obama isn’t a pussified commander in chief. Ironically, though, Obama’s retention of Gates proves exactly that Obama is a pussified commander in chief, that he puts what some fucktards think above doing the right thing, which is to dump Bush regime holdover Gates.

And the only purpose of prohibiting images of what war really looks like is to be able to continue to dupe our young people, like Joshua Bernard — our children, as even Gates calls them — into dying for the profits of the evil filthy rich white men who send our children to die in their place for their spoils of war, wars which are paid for by us, the American taxpayers, who aren’t even guaranteed adequate health care — or even allowed to see the images of what our tax dollars are paying for.

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