Saturday, May 1, 2010

The Opponent of My Opponent

I got more e-mail from the blogger I've been talking to about Don't Ask Don't Tell:
I read your post on DADT and I understand what you mean now. I agree too that we should focus on ending the unfair wars first and then focus on allowing gays in the military.
Oh, dear. The trouble is that I don't agree. But I think I see where the problem lies. In the last paragraph of my previous post, I wrote:
I think few people today would agree that the first goal should have been equality for German Jews in military service, and then you could ask whether supporting Hitler and invading Poland was really a good thing. But that is what the more moderate opponents of Don't Ask Don't Tell argue: first we need to get formal equality for the LBGTQ Citizen, and then we can debate the propriety of invading Iraq, or escalating the US war in Afghanistan, or attacking Iran.
From this I think it's an easy jump to supposing that I would believe the opposite: first end the unjust wars, then end DADT. But that's not what I wrote, and it's not what I meant. I don't mean to tell anyone how to set their priorities. There's too much to do, and people have to decide what matters to them and what they think they can do about it. For many gay people, ending DADT is the most important thing, so it's where they put their energy. I won't tell them that they should work against the war instead, especially since the antiwar movement is currently moribund, apparently because of unwillingness to oppose Obama. That's why I praised the getEQUAL activists, for getting in his face, for not believing his promises, for holding his feet to the fire (to use a popular phrase for what progressives were going to do once he was in office -- those were the days!).

President Obama thinks it's funny to joke about the predator drones that have killed between 109 and 188 people during his administration, making him officially a grotesque monster. (Possibly even more so than Pre-President George W. Bush joking about a woman on death row.) I'd like to know what Dan Choi has to say about that. But anyone of any sexual orientation who has joined the American military since 2003 must know that they are not defending or protecting the United States. I don't see any reason not to ask the people who oppose the military ban on homosexuals what they think they're supporting. Such questions are, of course, in bad taste, but they aren't in nearly as bad taste as blowing up innocent people, or the President of the United States joking about it.