Colonel Eugene Householder on opposing reforms to combat protocol:
“The army is not a sociological laboratory; to be effective it must be organized and trained according to the principles which will ensure success … Experiments are a danger to efficiency, discipline and morale and would result in ultimate defeat.”
That was the argument in 1941 against integrating army units and permitting black soldiers to fight alongside white soldiers. It is the same argument that is used against gays in the military. Bigots have a tendency to declare that morale and unit cohesion will suffer if soldiers are asked to serve with like-minded patriots who they regard as “different.” And now this insipid and disproven viewpoint is being aimed at women in the wake of the recent order by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to integrate women into combat units under certain conditions.
Allen West: “Now is not the time to play a social experiment with our ground combat forces…This is the misconceived liberal progressive vision of fairness and equality which could potentially lead to the demise of our military.”
Nothing hyperbolic about that, is there? It’s the typical alarmist overreaction that one would expect from West, who has so little faith in the integrity and loyalty of America’s soldiers that he actually believes that serving with women (which already occurs) would “lead to the demise of our military.” And there is retired Army Lt. Gen. William G. Boykin, whose military career ended after making disparaging remarks about Muslims. Boykin is currently an executive at the right-wing Family Research Council. He had this to say about Panetta’s decision:
Boykin: “The people making this decision are doing so as part of another social experiment, and they have never lived nor fought with an infantry or Special Forces unit.”
It is not a coincidence that the arguments in favor of discrimination sound so similar. They are always efforts on the part of intolerant, exclusionary elitists to dismiss the humanity of those they cannot abide. They aspire to keep the military (and America) a straight, white, male club that designates everyone else as second-class citizens. And, not surprisingly, Fox News concurs with those aspirations by promoting the views of the bigots.