Tag Archives: Military

Is There Trouble Brewing In Iran’s Military?

The Iranian army has arrested at least 36 officers who were so furious at the brutality of the crackdown on demonstrators that they planned on Friday to attend the sermon of Hashemi Rafsanjani in which he sharply condemned the actions of President Ahmadinejad and the Ayatollah Khamenei. The officers wanted to offer a show of solidarity with demonstrators and planned to wear their uniform at the sermon. There are also reports a senior revolutionary guard commander, General Ali Fazli, is under arrest for refusing to obey orders to attack demonstrators. Stories concerning a desire among members of the military to obey orders are a symptom that President Ahmadinejad never received the 60% of votes he claimed and that a substantial part of the Iranian people want their voices heard.

Ayatollah Khamenei and President Ahmadinejad can continue ruling, but underneath the cover of suppression and brutality is arising a new fury led by people who seek an Iran based on principles of the Muslim religion and democracy. Perhaps, it will take months or years before the explosion erupts, but it will eventually come to the surface.

Iron Fist Of Iranian Theocracy Slams Down!

The iron fist of the Iranian theocracy has slammed down its fist on anyone who dares to speak with members of the foreign press or have contacts with non-Iranian sources. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has made clear that any problems with the Iranian presidential elections stem from interference by the world media so the solution is to ban any contact with those who created the problems. The German newspaper, Der Spiegel, which had an interview with President Ahmadinjad before the elections is now termed a “Zionist newspaper” because it also interviewed Hossein Mousavi. There is scant doubt in the immediate Iran’s government can beat, imprison and even kill those who have defied the Supreme Leader and his ill advised support of Ahmadinejad. Khamenei still does not grasp the extent of what he has done to the Muslim religion and the power of clerics. He has besmirched his reputation as a “leader” among millions of Iranians, and he has opened the door for the Ahmadinejad military alliance to take complete control of the nation.

What will happen four years from now when Ahmadinejad’s term of office concludes? Will he go quietly into retirement from politics? Or, will he use the military to overthrow clerical rule and declare himself president for life? I am certain he will find something in the Koran to justify such action.

Gay Rights, Low Priority Say Mullen

Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the military is confronted with a host of issues, including two wars, which must be the major focus of their attention. He indicated the need to give additional study to implications of how the “military culture” woudl be impacted by overturning the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. Mullen says he is aware President Obama wants to change the policy at some point, but any change requires an act of Congress so it is not up to the military. General James Jones, the White House national security adviser noted, “we have a lot on our plate now.”

General Jones is correct there is a lot on the plate right now, but among the most important needs is for additional soldiers. The key issue can be simply stated as — the military needs more soldiers and there are thousands of gays and lesbians who want to serve their nation. Why deny this valuable resource?

Ex-Military Officers Warn-Watch Your Backside!

The fact someone has served in the military forces of this nation does not ensure they have ideas that must be accepted because of their service to the nation. More than 1,000 retired military officers, including several who held high positions in the armed forces, warned President Obama and Congress that it would be a disaster for the nation to allow gays and lesbians to serve openly in the military. A statement issued by these neanderthals said repeal of the “don’s ask, don’t tell,” policy would “have adverse effects on the willingness of parents who lend their sons and daughters to military service, and eventually break the All-Volunteer Force.”

Let’s see, according to these individuals, parents “lend their sons and daughters to military service!” Really, I thought young men and women join the armed forces because they desire to serve and in many cases against the wishes of parents. This statement is ridiculous. Gays and Lesbians are serving in the military and there are no reports of straights heading straight out the barracks in search of a phone to call mom and dad about the horrors of being with gays and lesbians.

How about these retired people getting out of the sun.

Army Fires Gay Soldiers

Congressman Jim Moran charged that the Army discharged 11 soldiers in January who violated the military policy of that openly gay servicemen could not be members of the armed forces. They can remain if the keep secret the reality of who they really are. “How many good soldiers are we willing to lose due to a bad policy that makes us less safe and secure? asked the legislator. The Pentagon policy of “don’t ask, don’t tell” was instituted under President Clinton and remains in effect until members of the armed forces and the president can join the world of 2009. During the past ten years about 10,000 men and women who wanted to serve their nation were denied that opportunity because they were honest.

President Obama supposedly is consulting with military officials about changing the policy and allowing members of the military who are honest to serve and be gay. In virtually all other aspects of life, being gay or lesbian does not result in being fired. Why should the military be any different than the rest of American society?

Olbama And Gay Ban In Armed Forces

The ever present issue of where do gays and lesbians fit into the military structure is once again being discussed in government. The White House said President Obama is consulting with his military advisers on how best to lift the ban on gays serving openly in the military forces of the nation. During the last election, Obama promised, if elected, that he would address this issue and make certain the gay ban was lifted. He supports ending the current, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy which has created ongoing problems about if gays should or should not be allowed in the armed forces.

Rep. Ellen Tauscher of California, has introduced legislation that would end the ban on gays in service and it already has 148 co-sponsors. The American people are not interested in getting into complicated discussions about whether gays should or should not be in the military. The majority is ready to end the ban and go on with life.

Secretary Gates On Bush And Obama

The United States has a new president whom most Republicans believed would not support the military and would act in an indecisive manner once in office. Secretary of Defense was asked on “Meet The Press” to compare the two men in terms of style. Gates noted, “I think that President Obama is somewhat more analytical. And, he makes sure he hears from everybody in the room on an issue. And, if they don’t speak up, he calls on them.” Gates believes that Bush was “interested in hearing different points of view, but didn’t go out of his way to make sure that everybody spoke if they hadn’t spoken before.” Of course, another major difference is that Bush wanted to be surrounded by “yes” people who knew it was wise to repeat back what the leader had said or face the consequence of not being allowed in his presence.

Admiral Mullen commented that President Obama was “anxious to get the military’s input to all his decisions.” In the lead up to the disastrous invasion of Iraq, many American military leaders insisted they lacked sufficient troops in order to control Iraq but Bush listened to the noted military expert, Don Rumsfeld, and the rest is history.

Home Time– Make It The Law!

Senator Jim Webb of Virginia who fought in the jungles of Vietnam, wants to make it law that members of the military who are deployed overseas are entitled to as much time at home as they spent overseas. Although, current military police is a 1:1 ration, Webb wants to make it the law so that members of the military are not subject to the whim of government officials who seek to create new wars without any consideration of that impact on the lives of those who do the fighting. National Guard and reserve members would have a promise of three times as long at home as they spend overseas before getting another deployment in the world.

A tragedy of the past eight years is that no member of the Bush administration ever saw combat although they talked as though they were not afraid of any enemies. Bush could readily cry, “Bring Em On” but no one who has actually been in combat would utter such an inane expression. Senator Webb is correct–make it the law.

US Military Officers-End Gay Ban Policy!

More than 100 retired generals and admirals appealed to the incoming Obama administration to end the infamous “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy which prevents gays from openly serving in the armed forces. “As in the case with Great Britain, Israel, and other nations that allow gays and lesbians to serve openly,” wrote the officers, “our service members are professionals who are able to work together effectively despite differences in race, gender, religion and sexuality.” In a September interview, Obama made clear he opposed the current policy which bans gays, but wanted to ensure change came as a result of “working through a process, getting the Joint Chiefs of Staff clear in terms of what our priorities are going to be.”

Several officers urged Obama to avoid making the Clinton mistake of appearing to challenge military authority in pushing for an end to the gay ban. Fortunately, for Obama, life has changed and attitudes have changed over the past decade and most senior military commanders are ready to accept gays and lesbians in the ranks.

British Military Opposes Iraq To Afghanistan

The head of the British armed forces warned against sending UK troops from Iraq directly to Afghanistan.General Jock Stirrup, emphasized it was critical for British troops to get some down time before once again being forced to engage in combat. He said it was necessary for soldiers to experience a reduction in “operational tempo” in order to recover from being over stretched from years of fighting. His comments apparently came in response to statements by foreign secretary David Miliband who indicated the UK would be willing to dispatch additional troops to Afghanistan as fighting winds down in Iraq.

General Stirrup spoke, not as a politician, but as a soldier who is close to what fighting men and women are experiencing. “I have said for a very long time that the British armed forces are stretched. We are doing more than we are structured and resourced to do.” It is time for a time out in the Middle East.