- The Washington Times - Saturday, February 5, 2000

"In our Army we expect that all soldiers will be treated with dignity and respect at all times and will be afforded a safe and secure environment in which to live and work." So reads a memo to Army commanders from headquarters at the Pentagon announcing a new policy mandating homosexual sensitivity training for all soldiers. Written surveys will also be taken to gauge the frequency of off-color jokes or negative remarks about homosexuals with remedial action of some sort undoubtedly following shortly thereafter. Both the sensitivity training and the survey-taking arrive in the wake of the beating death of Army Private Barry Winchell by a fellow soldier, Private Calvin N. Glover, apparently, because of his homosexuality. The incident was hideous and tragic, but in the remedy, the Army has moved from punishing crime to promoting thought control.

Instead of training to fight and win America's wars, the Army will train its New Age soldiers to be kindly disposed towards homosexuals. Once again, politics and political correctness trumps military readiness. According to this newspaper's Rowan Scarborough, this does not sit well with the Army's officer corps whose members nonetheless shy away from being openly critical of the new policy for fear of seeing their careers go into a tailspin. "As you read the additional briefing requirements, again more and more time will be taken away from the real issues training for combat," a colonel who asked to remain anonymous explained to Mr. Scarborough. "Commanders of all levels seem to be obsessed with pleasing the political masters to get ahead, like little schoolkids," the colonel continued.

Indeed.

Until quite recently politics at least used to take a back seat to military necessity. More and more, alas, politics and specifically, appeasing civilian know-nothings who don't mind undermining military readiness in the furtherance of their agendas has become a central organizing principle of military life. Advancement through the ranks increasingly depends on kowtowing to the prevalent orthodoxy, be it feminism or gay rights. Officers who express any disagreement can expect to cool their heels or be passed over for command. "Harassment of soldiers for any reason, to include perceived sexual orientation, will not be tolerated," reads the order from the Pentagon.

This fixation on touchy-feeliness is prompting dedicated, professional officers and competent enlisted personnel to leave the armed forces the Army, Navy and Air Force in particular faster than the ink can dry on their discharge forms. With sensitivity training becoming a normal part of military life, it's no wonder. "I guess this would explain why the Navy can't give us a bigger pay raise because they are so busy spending our tax dollars on indoctrination and garbage like this," another officer grumbled to Mr. Scarborough.

And this is just the beginning. The clumsy "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy which allowed homosexuals to serve provided they did not announce their orientation or give evidence of it is likely to come under renewed assault for being "unfair" and "intolerant." After all, when the standard is no longer military readiness, but inculcating "tolerance," "diversity" and "sensitivity," how will it be possible to refuse demands by open homosexuals for "equal treatment"?

Before long, "don't ask, don't tell" might well be the motto for those who don't agree with the Army's political correctness of the day.

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