Most of our soldiers were asleep in their sandy Middle East barracks when Sen. Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) took to the Senate floor on Saturday afternoon. It was the last night any of them would go to bed believing that Washington had their well-being at heart.
Instead, the United States Senate--against the advice of every military chief but one--chose to buy the support of a fiercely radical base with the blood of innocent warriors. The victims will be America 's parents, her sons and daughters, absent husbands and wives. But in the eyes of this fading Congress, our fighters were never anything but pawns.
When the Senate repealed 17 long years of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" this weekend, they didn't do it because our service members demanded it. Or because America 's mission would be aided by it. They did it, because it endears them to one of the greatest sources of campaign dollars in America : the homosexual lobby. And as that lobby stands, triumphantly, on the rubble of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," they'll tell you that they can already see marriage in the distance. And thanks to 65 self-serving senators, the gap to their last target is shrinking. Most of us have long understood the gravity of this repeal for the rest of society. It's a shame that Congress didn't. "If you can fight and die for your country," argued HRC , "there's absolutely no reason why you can't be granted the full set of rights--[including marriage]." Even the media sees the writing on the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" wall. "Activists are hoping that the repeal--which will allow gays to serve openly in the U.S. military--gives them significant new leverage," the Washington Post writes. "For the first time they can argue that if the Army trusts gay men and women with rifles, why shouldn't society trust them with wedding rings?"
Other outlets, like the New York Times, waited until after the vote to do the real reporting. In a stunning article yesterday, the paper printed dozens of quotes from soldiers about how this change would affect their ability "to get the job done." Private Carias feels strongly that homosexuals "shouldn't be allowed to serve in front-line combat units." "They won't hold up well in combat," he said. Others, like Cpl. Trevor Colbath, were frustrated. "Coming from a combat unit, I know that in Afghanistan we're packed in a sardine can." "Showers will be awkward," said another. One Army sergeant struck at the heart of this whole debate. "They were kicking people out for being homosexual," he said, "and now they will be kicking people out for picking on homosexuals."
It's a foreboding message for our troops--one that homosexual activists hope will echo through every policy debate to come: embrace homosexuality or else. But for some of our brave men and women, acceptance is not an option. Even Newsweek warned, "...[T]he gulf between the military and civilian society is real; and it has widened through almost 10 years of grueling wars in pursuit of goals hotly disputed by America's civilian political leaders. Demanding that the military now accept openly gay soldiers will strike many in the military, whatever their personal views, as an imposition by civilians who have never served and who don't appreciate the military's uniqueness." Twelve percent of the military surveyed threatened to leave the service sooner than they had planned if Congress overturned the policy. Are Republicans Scott Brown, Richard Burr, Susan Collins, John Ensign, Mark Kirk, Lisa Murkowski, Olympia Snowe, and George Voinovich prepared to accept the responsibility for losing those 264,600 soldiers--and others who may be injured or killed because of their votes?
Meanwhile, it seems that Sen. Reid may have ignored the leaders of the Marines, Air Force, and Army--but he has no trouble taking orders from Lady Gaga. Moments after the vote, the Majority Leader tweeted the rock star: "@SenatorReid @ladygaga We Did It! #DADT Is A Thing Of The Past." It's comforting to know that America 's future is in the hands of a Democrat who gets his policy advice from a 24-year-old circus act who wears red meat bikinis.
It's been a long, hard fight. And as sobering as the outcome may be, we can all be proud that we stood our ground and did what was right for our soldiers and our country. Now it's time to leave the outcome, however ominous it may be, in the hands of the Lord. Mighty are our soldiers; Yet humbly they must stand/Before the gates of heaven, where God is in command. (U.S. Army Hymn)