Gays in the military: Could they in fact improve unit cohesion?



Causeur, France

Gays in the Military? … The Greeks Had it Right


"The Sacred Battalion, Plutarch and Polybius tell us, was considered one of the best operational units of antiquity. And like the French infantry, it was composed of pairs, but pairs in which each was the lover of the other, which gave them additional motivation in battle."


By Jérôme Leroy



Translated By Mary Kenny


October 21, 2010


France - Causeur - Original Article (French)

Gay American soldiers can finally come out of the closet. Indeed, it is little known, but there are times homosexuals seek professional fulfillment outside of the hair salon, the Culture Ministry, books published by Editions P.O.L., techno-parades and bars in Le Marais.




Some of them like, for example, the arms trade. And they succeed at it brilliantly. One will fondly recall Hubert Lyautey, who conquered Morocco by plunging into the backcountry and whose taste for second lieutenants was a mystery to no one. The leading historian on Lyautey, Douglas Porch, in his The Conquest of Morocco, says that whatever his predilections, he was never, for all that, an advocate of tent sofa promotions, and held to a very strict professional code of ethics when it came to granting them. All of which goes to show that even a homosexual can handle things sensibly.


The homophobic French, for example [rap group] Sexion d'Assaut, can rest easy. Today at least, this isn't our concern. It's the concern of the United States Army. So we can take a deep breath and listen. A federal judge in Los Angeles recently invalidated a law that forced gays into hiding. The law, steeped in Protestant hypocrisy, is called Don't Ask, Don't Tell, or DADT. Judge Virginia Philips has ruled that the law contradicted the First and Fifth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution, which guarantee, among other things, freedom of expression. The first response to this calling DADT into question came from Lady Gaga, who applauded with her well-manicured hands [video below]. It's uncertain whether this was the best form of publicity that Gay GIs may have dreamed of and who, from now on, will no longer have to hide from GI Joe ... or perhaps they still might.



NU, The Netherlands: Marriage in America: ‘Man, Woman and God’
Guardian, U.K.: How Obama's Gay Marriage Move Changes Presidential Race
CenarioMT, Brazil: Gay Marriage: 70 Years from Disease to Presidential Blessing
The Zimbabwe Mail, Zimbabwe: Obama's Gay Stance Called ‘Worst Form of Satanism’
La Informacion, U.S.: In Latin America, Only Argentine Leader Stands with Obama
Liberation, France: Mr. Obama and Gay Marriage: ‘Courage’
Mail & Guardian, South Africa: South Africa: Pride, Vigilance, on Gay Rights
Globa & Mail, Canada: From Obama, a Bid to Broaden Stream of American Life
Toronto Star, Canada: Obama Tilts Scales Toward Compassion and Equity
Macleans, Canada: Obama Passes the Leadership Test
Irish Times, Ireland Mr. Obama's 'Brave and Welcome' Move
Irish Examiner, Ireland: Let's Be Honest About How We Live Our Lives
Independent, U.K.: 'Full Marks' to President Barack Obama
Independent, U.K.: At last, Obama Asks U.S. to Open Door to Acceptance
Guardian, U.K. Obama's Historic Affirmation of Gay Marriage
Economist, U.K.: Good for Obama; But Bad for Gay Marriage


More than likely, there will be expressions of extreme reservation, like those of former Republican presidential candidate John McCain. A Vietnam war hero, McCain has fought hard on the subject, engaging in a gallant last Congressional battle without preventing the reinstatement of a lesbian nurse. I know when "lesbian nurse" is said this way, it sounds a little like the title of 1970s porn film ...


For the rest, we'll likely move quickly to the reactions of a few decorated brutes who'll grieve at the idea of fielding units of faggots confronting the Taliban today and the Syrians or Iranians tomorrow. A homo in the military, that's alright, but when there are lots of them, this, it must be said, poses a problem.




They are wrong. The end of Don't Ask Don't Tell is a stroke of good fortune, as will be seen if one looks at things more pragmatically and strips oneself of prejudice. First things first: the American army, officially heterosexual, has taken blow after blow over recent years. The second Gulf War cost it thousands of lives and America is preparing to depart with its tail between its legs from the sectors of the country it still rather badly controls. Places like Baghdad's Green Zone and a few ultra-fortified and secured points, where people live self-sufficiently as reporter Adrien Jaulmes has so well described in Amerak. How to avoid such disappointments? By remembering that one fights best for what one loves. Being commanded by a small Latino sergeant with garlic breath when you're turned on by big blonds with Swedish names from Minnesota would rather tend to depress you when surrounded by overexcited Sunnis in the area of Fallujah. Or having a White virgin from the Bible Belt steeped in religion as a roommate while you adore big Black men from South Central would tend to make the nights in Kabul even chillier.  



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The Greeks and the city of Thebes understood this perfectly. In battle, not only is homosexuality not a drawback - it's an advantage. The Sacred Battalion, Plutarch and Polybius tell us, was considered one of the best operational units of antiquity. And like the French infantry, it was composed of pairs, but pairs in which each was the lover of the other, which gave them additional motivation in battle. It was Flaubert, who shows in his book Salammbô, during the rout of the besieged and starving Carthaginian mercenaries in the defile of the axe - at which point the Thebans were unmistakable among the thousands: "They slept, side by side, under the same mantle, under the starlight … They had formed strange loves, obscene unions that were handled like serious marriages, where the strongest defended the youngest in the midst of battle … and the other repaid this devotion with a thousand delicate cares and spousal kindnesses."


All that remains now is for the United States Army to grant equal rights to its heterosexual personnel. It's true, isn't it? I don't see why one should be thrown in the cooler simply because one wanted to offer a beer, and maybe more, to his sexy captain, who happens to be a real dead ringer for Sarah Palin.



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[Posted by WORLDMEETS.US October 23, 8:16am]


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