Friday, December 24, 2010
DADT and Left-Wing Intellectual Bigotry
Last spring, after the Family Research Council President Tony Perkins had been disinvited to an Air Force prayer luncheon because of his support for “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” I wrote a piece called “The Intolerance and Bigotry of Openly Gay Military Service.”
My warnings were ignored and even dismissed by many conservatives as overblown. But Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen has confirmed my worst fears today by calling for the dismissal of Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James F. Amos.
Amos’ crime? Like Perkins (who is himself a former Marine), Amos had the audacity to speak out in defense of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” And, in Cohen’s warped view, this constitutes impermissible “bigotry,” or “one step short of being a bigot.”
“The Marines of today know that virtually the entire Republican Party stood up for bigotry,” Cohen writes. And “this is what concerns me about Amos. His views are on the record…. His subordinates know what he thinks of gays.”
Of course, Amos never said anything disparaging about gays per se. He simply fulfilled his constitutional duty, which is to give his best professional military advice and counsel to policymakers and the public. Cohen doesn’t want to admit it, but homosexual dynamics within small-scale military units are inherently problematical and disruptive. Amos had not choice but to point this out and to state the obvious.
But Cohen is absolutely right about one thing: There certainly is bigotry at work here: intellectual bigotry and intolerance from leftists like him who cannot countenance dissenting points of view. Indeed, I’m reminded of William F. Buckley, Jr.’s famous line: “Though liberals do a great deal of talking about hearing other points of view, it sometimes shocks them to learn that there are other points of view.”
Cohen’s column, though, isn’t so much aimed at Gen. Amos as it is the next generation of Marine and military leaders. His column is a warning: If you dare to dissent from the prevailing left-wing orthodoxy on homosexuality, you will be branded a bigot and deemed unfit for military service. Traditional conservatives and religious believers need not apply. Keep your warped conservative views to yourself.
So it is that the Southern Poverty Law Center has designated Perkins’ own Family Research Council, a widely respected Washington, D.C. public-policy organization, a “hate group.” As Pat Buchanan explains in his column this morning:
"The world has turned upside down. What was criminal vice in the 1950s -- homosexuality and abortion -- is not only constitutionally protected, but a mark of social progress…
Only in secularist ideology, [however], is it an article of faith that all sexual relations are morally equal and that to declare homosexual acts immoral is bigotry…
Not until recent decades have many in America or the West argued that homosexuality is natural and normal. As late as 1973, the American Psychiatric Association listed homosexuality as a mental disorder.
Today, anyone who agrees with that original APA assessment is himself or herself said to be afflicted with a mental disorder: homophobia."
But as Buchanan observes, behind traditionalist beliefs about homosexuality, lie the primary sources of moral authority for traditionalist America: the Old and New Testaments, Christian doctrine, natural law. Thomas Jefferson believed homosexuality should be treated with the same severity as rape.
The problems with openly gay service are exacerbated by the nature of military life, which is hierarchical, bureaucratic, and government-run and –administered. Indeed, as J.E. Dyer has observed at Commentary magazine’s Contentions blog:
"Gays can already serve in the U.S. military; repealing DADT isn’t about allowing them to [serve]. It’s about endorsing their sexual orientation in military operations and culture.
The course of hands-off neutrality is not an option in these realms; their unique character is to require affirmative policy. Civilians should start by understanding this.
The quiescent tolerance they think of in relation to their own lives must translate, in the military, into endorsement and administration of an explicit position."
One question that will have to be answered, Dyer notes, is
whether eligibility for promotion or command will be contingent on explicit support for homosexuality. The issue will be forced by lawsuit if by no other means.
A 20-year veteran with combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan may not be comfortable, for example, endorsing “Gay Pride Month” or participating in scheduled military celebrations of it. He may be charged by a gay subordinate with creating a hostile work environment or ordered by a senior officer to get onboard with gay-pride celebrations.
Perhaps his chain of command would back him up and force the issue to a higher level. The serious question remains: what does this have to do with warfighting readiness?
As Perkins himself explained last spring, after he had been disinvited to the Air Force prayer luncheon:
"Unfortunately, this is just a precursor of things to come in a post-“Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” military. This legislation would more than open the armed forces to homosexuals; it would lead to a zero-tolerance policy toward anyone who disapproves of homosexuality…"
Richard Cohen and the liberal-left establishment, of course, don’t disagree. Political conservatives and religious believers, they decree, better learn to shut up and censor themselves if they want to serve in our brave new military.
But Cohen and the Left needn’t worry: I’m sure they’ll be plenty of reeducation and sensitivity training to ensure that our military personnel think the right and appropriate thoughts. The “gay rights” advocates will make sure of that.
The Year of Right-Wing Terrorists?
There is some very dangerous -- as in red-hot incendiary -- hatred going on, and it's being advanced by the national news media directly.
The panel of judges for the Media Research Center's Best Notable Quotables of 2010 found that theme time and time again while selecting the year's worst reporting and punditry.
PBS talk-show host Tavis Smiley won "The Poison Tea Pot Award for Smearing the Anti-Obama Rabble." On May 25, he was interviewing author Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a bold critic of radical Muslims -- at the risk of a fatwa against her own life since 2004. Ali said jihadists "got into their minds that to kill other people is a great thing to do and that they would be rewarded in the hereafter."
Smiley shot back: "But Christians do that every single day in this country."
Jaws dropped. Ali couldn't believe her ears: "Do they blow people up every day?"
Read very carefully Smiley's response: "Yes. Oh, Christians, every day, people walk into post offices, they walk into schools. That's what Columbine is -- I could do this all day long."
Smiley wasn't done. Next, he smeared the tea party movement, repeating falsehoods as fact: "Here are folk in the tea party, for example, every day who are being recently arrested for making threats against elected officials, for calling people 'nigger' as they walk into Capitol Hill, for spitting on people."
What, oh, what is the U.S. Congress doing underwriting this radical leftist dishonesty with taxpayer money?
Liberals like Smiley cravenly plead that Islam is no more violent than any other faith. Then they blame Christians for violently persecuting Muslims. When controversy erupted this fall over a mega-mosque proposal at ground zero, Christian conservatives were put in the cross hairs. The dreadful ABC host Christiane Amanpour won "The Ground Zeroes Award for Impugning Americans as Islamophobic."
In an Oct. 3 "This Week" special on Islam, Amanpour opened fire on Gary Bauer in that snooty British accent of hers: "As you know, a series of politicians have used the Islamic center, have used sort of Islamophobia and scare tactics in their campaigns. ... My question is: Do you take any -- after some of the loaded things that have been said, and we can play you any number of tapes, Mr. Bauer -- do you take any responsibility at all for, for instance, what happened in Murfreesboro (Tenn., where a mosque site was vandalized)?"
Bauer, like Ali, was stunned. "Are you serious? Absolutely not. I have never encouraged violence. I condemn violence." But Amanpour would have none of it. "You don't think the rhetoric lays the groundwork for others?"
When conservatives warn America of the potential threat of Islamic radicalism, they're "rhetorically laying the groundwork" for violence. When Islamic radicals actually plot -- and undertake -- violence, America is to be blamed for its failure to be open-minded enough. Such is the worldview of our increasingly radicalized "news" media.
If conservatives are going to be called terrorists, the megaphone-in-chief for that clarion call must be the rabid Keith Olbermann of MSNBC. He won the "Obama's Orderlies Award for Prepping America for ObamaCare" with a Jan. 5 screed about our allegedly murderous private health care system: "What would you do, sir, if terrorists were killing 45,000 people every year in this country? Well, the current health care system, the insurance companies and those who support them are doing just that. ... Because they die individually of disease and not disaster, (radio host) Neal Boortz and those who ape him in office and out approve their deaths, all 45,000 of them -- a year -- in America. Remind me again, who are the terrorists?"
Boortz wasn't alone as some kind of talk-radio terrorist in Olbermann's cockeyed view. Olbermann also took the "Crush Rush Award for Loathing Limbaugh" for his rant on the 15th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing. He wouldn't blame the actual (executed) bomber, Timothy McVeigh. He was still painting with liberal smears from the Clinton years: "What was the more likely cause of the Oklahoma City bombing: talk radio or Bill Clinton and Janet Reno's hands-on management of Waco? ... Obviously, the answer is talk radio. Specifically Rush Limbaugh's hate radio. ... Frankly, Rush, you have that blood on your hands now, and you have had it for 15 years."
You can dismiss these as the ludicrous utterances of Smiley, Amanpour and Olbermann. But what does it say that they are headliners for PBS, ABC and NBC? It is those networks, not just their reporters, that are advancing a very dangerous form of hatred on the airwaves.
I Confess, Too
I must confess. Rhetorically, that is. I don't want to give European prosecutors any ideas should I travel abroad!
Perhaps you should confess, too. If you have ever publicly expressed an opinion that somebody, somewhere, might deem offensive, chances are you may have violated any one or number of the "hate speech" laws that have proliferated throughout Europe.
The language of some of these laws is sweeping. These perhaps once, well-intentioned efforts to prevent discrimination now no longer merely threaten to eviscerate free speech rights; they are eviscerating them. Europeans must speak up now, while they still can and remove these insidious laws from the books once and for all.
On December 3, 2010, Danish MP, Jesper Langballe, of the Danish People's Party offered a "confession" of his own. Langballe was being prosecuted under Danish penal code Article 266b for a statement he made in support of Lars Hedegaard and in regard to the important issues of honor killings and sexual abuse in some Muslim families. (Hedegaard himself faces prosecution under the same code.)
According to his statement, since truth would not be allowed as a defense and to avoid dignifying the process by participating in what he rightly called a "circus," Langballe pleaded guilty to the charges. He was sentenced to a fine or ten days in jail.
While I can appreciate Mr. Langballe's reasons for confessing, it still makes me shudder to think that, in a Western democracy, he was being prosecuted in the first place. Aside from the most obvious point -that I think his prosecution is a human rights violation- I am most disappointed that the Danes allowed it to proceed even as some Danish officials have called for rolling back these "hate crimes." Back in August, the Legal Project reported on efforts that were afoot to change Denmark's laws on offensive speech because of the threat they posed to free expression. But any progress has been too slow to save Langballe, and Hedegaard's trial is set to proceed in January.
Let the experience of the Danes be a warning to us before we consider adopting "hate speech" provisions here. Laws ostensibly directed toward ending one type of wrong can lead to something even worse, that once on the books, becomes very difficult to dislodge.
Australia's charming Muslims again
THREE worshippers from inner-city mosques were confirmed as Melbourne's second Islamic terrorism cell when a Supreme Court jury convicted them of conspiring to plan a terrorist attack. Two other men, including one who warned that an attack in Australia would be "a catastrophe", were found not guilty.
Their target was the Holsworthy army barracks in Sydney's south-west. Their aim was to enter the barracks armed with military weapons and kill 500 personnel before they were killed or ran out of ammunition.
But there was no evidence that the three found guilty - Wissam Mahmoud Fattal, 34, Saney Edow Aweys, 27, of Carlton, and Nayef El Sayed, 26, of Glenroy - had weapons when they were arrested on August 4 last year.
Federal police monitored their conversations in Somali, Arabic and English for almost a year as they sought a fatwa, or religious ruling, on the permissibility under Islam of launching an attack on the military in Australia. A Somali sheikh suggested it would do more harm than good for Australian Muslims.
The convictions end a 15-week trial and come after the jury of eight men and four women deliberated for more than 47 hours.
The verdicts drew no immediate reaction from the men. But Fattal, who appeared to be praying before the verdicts were delivered, called out to the jurors as they were dismissed: "I respect you. Islam is a true religion. Thank you very much."
The two found not guilty were Abdirahman Ahmed, 26, of Preston, and Yacqub Khayre, 23, of Meadow Heights. Both were embraced by the three guilty men before they left the dock.
When asked about the convictions of his co-accused, Mr Ahmed said: "It's unfortunate but this is God's will. I just want to tell them to be patient. They'll get out one day." He planned to spend the rest of the day at home. "See my daughters. Been a long time."
The federal Attorney-General, Robert McClelland, said the investigation into the group, code-named Operation Neath, was an example of state and federal police and intelligence agencies co-operating.
The court heard that the group's motivation was anger at the earlier, and what they regarded as wrongful, jailing of a group of seven Muslim men on terrorism charges. Those convictions resulted in sentences ranging from four years' jail to 15 years' jail. The men convicted yesterday were also angry at the deployment of Australian military personnel in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Fattal, Aweys and El Sayed will be sentenced next year. A pre-sentencing mention hearing is set for January 24.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here or Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.