Day by Day



09 December 2010

Misguided and Ill Informed Saxby Chambliss does not speak for me...

Below is the response from Sen Saxby Chambliss, who represents me by his
role as Senator, but not in his misguided, and incorrect opinion on DADT.

____________________________________________________________________________
_________________________________________

Thank you for contacting me regarding the United States Military's Don't Ask
Don't Tell (DADT) policy. It is good to hear from you.

In 1993, the U.S. Congress passed and President Bill Clinton signed into law
the current Don't Ask Don't Tell policy (P.L. #103-160). The current policy
authorizes the discharge of any service member who acknowledges his or her
homosexuality by word or deed.

The Senate Armed Services Committee has held many hearings concerning Don't
Ask Don't Tell. As I stated at those hearings, I am not in favor of
repealing the current policy. I believe that military life is fundamentally
different from civilian life. Military leaders and military law acknowledge
the need to restrict certain behaviors. For this reason, military personnel
are restricted from and punished for certain forms of self-expression that
are permitted in civilian life. This includes restrictions on speech,
appearance, and behavior that do not exist outside the military. Military
leaders acknowledge that these restrictions are necessary to safeguard
morale, good order and discipline and unit cohesion.

I believe that allowing openly gay individuals to serve in the military,
along with the necessary accommodations that would need to take place, may
adversely affect military performance and readiness, particularly at a time
when our military is under great stress and engaged in two major operations
in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Recently, the Department of Defense conducted an extensive review of the
current "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. The intent of the review was to
evaluate the Armed Forces' readiness to transition to a new policy of open
homosexual service and prepare for the accompanying changes it could bring
about with regards to housing and benefits, regulations, fraternization
rules, training, and individual conduct. As a member of the Senate Armed
Services Committee, I thoroughly reviewed this study upon its release.

The study found that a majority of service-members who responded to the
survey believe that repealing the policy would not have an overall negative
effect on their unit's ability to complete its mission. However, the number
believing the effects of repeal would be negative is significantly higher in
war-fighting units and in the Marine Corps particularly. After reviewing
the study, I still remain concerned with repealing this policy, given that
war fighting units expressed significant concern with the repeal and that we
remain a nation engaged in two major combat operations which continue to
greatly stress the force.

Following the release of the study, the Senate Armed Services Committee held
two additional hearings to receive testimony from the Secretary of Defense,
Joint Chiefs of Staff, and the co-chairs of the study. During the hearings,
three of the Service Chiefs stated that they oppose repeal of the "Don't
Ask, Don't Tell" policy at this time. The views of these three Service
Chiefs confirm my own concerns that repealing this policy could have a
detrimental effect on our military's ability to carry out the missions our
Nation asks of them. For this reason as well as the reasons above, I
continue to oppose repeal of the policy at this time.

07 December 2010

Infamy...

It is the memorial date of the attack by the Empire of Japan on the
United States of America's ground and naval forces in the Hawaiian
islands. On this date, in a cunning move, the Imperial Japanese Navy
sought to strike a crippling blow to the US carrier forces.
Unfortunately for the IJN, their attack only served to galvanize
American forces and miss the carriers, which were operating at sea
during the attack. At that time in history, the Japanese were a
homogeneous, xenophobic culture with deep mistrust of foreigners. Their
barbaric actions against neighbors in the region linger on in the
memories of Koreans, Australians, Phillipinos and Chinese alike - far
more deeply than the military assault on the United States.

We may draw some comparisons with the Japanese Empire and the current
enemy which may be classified as Radical Islamist Zealots, (RIZ). Both
Imperial Japan and radical Islam have a deep distrust of outsiders.
They also operate under a hierarchical structure, with a small group of
individuals defining doctrine and policy. Unlike Japan, radical Islam
does not have the aspect of a nation state, although the restoration of
the Caliphate is a significant objective in all of the "organized"
groups. This domain of Sharia and Islamist rule echoes the designs of
Imperial Japan to dominate the Pacific rim.

Ultimately the war with Japan was won when the allied powers,
specifically the United States, revealed the folly of the leadership of
that nation and demonstrated our own will to conclude the conflict on
our terms. The outcome ushered in the atomic age but also heralded a
deep friendship and alliance with our former enemy - which still
respects the vast cultural differences between the East and West.
Although I doubt that there will be a seminal event which undoes the
loosely connected leadership of the RIZ organizations, there is clearly
a willingness to connect with the wider population of "daily Muslims"
who simply would like to practice their faith, raise their families and
have a seat at the world table as an equal.

I sincerely hope we can begin to see the foundation which can be built
upon through the ashes of the start of this current conflict.